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October 7, 2018

Pedal for Alzheimer's cyclists will ride for 1,098 miles starting Oct. 7. 

That's 1,098 miles for the 1,098 wins of Pat Summitt as the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach.

"We could celebrate every mile being a victory and a milestone in Pat's life," Pedal for Alzheimer's co-founder Joshua "Josh" Crisp said. "It would really honor her legacy." 

Founder, president and CEO of progressive senior living operation Solinity, Crisp has always cared for those with dementia-related diseases. 

"I've always had a tenderness in my heart for caring for people with that disease, and I've always been involved with fundraising," Crisp said. "I thought, 'What can I do in the upcoming year that would really help create a movement? '" 

Crisp came up with the idea of a 1,098-mile bike ride in March 2017, but didn't even own a bike.

"I wanted to create an event that would be so far out of my comfort zone that it would require a great team of people to make it possible and that would be consistent with Pat's mentality of building great teams," Crisp said. 

In July 2017, Crisp was joined by UT Lady Vols basketball Hall of Famer and SHEEX Inc. co-founder Michelle Brooke-Marciniak, and the two led the inaugural Pedal for Pat ride. 

Six cyclists joined the pair on the 1,098-mile ride from Knoxville to Key West, and the group raised more than $100,000 to help families and seniors coping with Alzheimer's disease. The money was donated to the Pat Summitt Foundation and the Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s Clinic at UT Medical Center. 

After the ride, Crisp and Brooke-Marciniak formed Pedal for Alzheimer's to broaden the scope. Officially receiving its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in July, the organization is spearheaded by a board composed of Crisp; Brooke-Marciniak; sports columnist and co-author of "Sum It Up" Sally Jenkins; Dr. Kevin Sprouse, medical director for pro-cycling group Team Cannondale; and former UT trainer Jenny Moshak. 

"Our whole mission is to simply create cycling events, just like Pedal for Pat, that raise money and then we benefit charities and organizations by giving them dollars that we raise," Crisp said. 

Changing the name from Pedal for Pat to Pedal for Alzheimer's for this year's event, the group also is trying to "raise the bar."

"We want to raise the bar in raising money, and we want to raise the physical requirements."  

Last year the team went around the mountains, but in the spirit of raising the bar, the cyclists will travel through the Great Smoky Mountains to North and South Carolina. The team will then ride down the Georgia and Florida coasts before finishing the ride in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Oct. 17. 

A 65-mile day ride around Knoxville will kick off the 2018 ride. For a $65 donation, anyone can join the team of cyclists on the day ride and will receive a T-shirt and a gift bag. Day rides also will occur in Greenville, South Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina. For more information visit

As of late July, nine cyclists had signed up for the trip, and each has committed to raising $10,000 through personal fundraising. Proceeds from this year's fundraiser will benefit the Alzheimer's Research Initiative at UT Medical Center. 

In addition to the core cycling team, other cyclists will participate in either the first or second half of the event. The first half will be called the "Orange Team," and the second half will be called the "Purple Team." 

Overnight stops for the team will include Asheville and Charlotte in North Carolina; Greenville, Columbia and Charleston in South Carolina; Savannah and St. Simons Island in Georgia; and Jacksonville and Daytona Beach in Florida. 

Remembering the event last year, Crisp said he feels more experienced but is still a little nervous. 

"But I'm also really excited because I know that no matter what happens, we're raising awareness and we're raising dollars," Crisp said. "It's going to a great cause, so it's super rewarding."