What: B Strong Ride
When: Rides start Saturday morning
Where: Celestial Seasonings, 4600 Sleepytime Dr., Boulder
Registration: Online registration ends Wednesday at 6 p.m.; register in person Friday or Saturday.
More info: bstrongride.com
Late in the summer of 2008, Niwot resident Kevin Mulshine was transferred out of Boulder Community Hospital to the University of Colorado Hospital. In the spring, he’d had 12 surgeries in 3 weeks. In late August, he was in his fourth of six rounds of chemotherapy.
It was an improbable time to be talking about doing his favorite bike ride — up the winding canyon roads to Ward.
“After my fourth chemo, my body was still deteriorating, but the one good news I was able to get out of that…was, ‘We can’t find cancer in your body,'” Mulshine said.
His doctors and nurses presented him with a jersey from the Lance Armstrong Foundation bearing their signatures. They wanted to see him ride again. So he decided that in a year, he would do that ride to Ward.
And he did. In the first week of September 2009, Dr. Roger Nichols called him about his one-year remission report.
“Literally, Roger Nichols said, ‘Hey meet me out at the Greenbriar,'” Mulshine said.
Nichols and other doctors, nurses, friends and family met him there and reported a cancer-free bill of health. Then they rode to Ward.
A mile outside of town, the grade gets steep. Mulshine, still weak from the battle with lymphoma and a serious staph infection, struggled. But he had a couple of helping hands there for support.
“Dr. (Stephen) Paul and Dr. Nichols had to push me up,” Mulshine said. “They’re very strong riders.”
“He did most of the work,” Nichols said. “But then we helped him.”
Now, three years later, Mulshine will do this ride with a few hundred people. He’s behind a new charity ride in Boulder — the B Strong Ride, which is a partnered event with Livestrong. The B Strong ride starts Saturday morning at Celestial Seasonsings; Mulshine will be riding the 70-mile loop that goes through Ward.
Part of the proceeds will go to Boulder Community Hospital, where Mulshine spent months in the cancer center in 2008.
Nichols said the idea for the B Strong Ride emerged on last year’s ride to Ward — after the first ride, they decided to do it again the next year if they could.
“A year later, his PET scan’s negative again, so we’re like, shoot, we’ve got to do this again,” Nichols said, with a laugh.
“So we get together — and Kevin’s recovered a lot — two years later, now he rides up and does it, no problem.”
On this second ride, Mulshine and the doctors talked about giving back to the community.
“The concept was, if we could put a ride together, the proceeds of which don’t go to brick and mortar, but go to making the day a little better — in other words, get the nurses and doctors funds for things like exercise rooms, chat terminals, nutritionist, a garden in the new cancer center — just to get people’s minds off of cancer and let them exercise,” Mulshine said.
“It’s all about just making the day a little better for people in the Boulder Community Cancer Center.”
Another goal of Mulshine’s is to make it more comfortable for friends and family of patients who spend nights at the hospital.
“When I was here at the hospital for 124 straight nights, I have four brothers who live out of state, and one of them slept on my floor every night in the hospital,” Mulshine said.
“So we thought, we’d better get sleeper sofas in the rooms.”
Nichols said that even now, for Mulshine to be able to ride to Ward “is a big accomplishment.”
“He is super tough. He’s the toughest man you know.”