By Brad Rushing, Alpine Fire Department
March 25, 2010 (Alpine) -- On March 20, Alpine Fire Department hosted a bicycling duo from Waterbury Connecticut. The two men are riding bicycles from San Diego to Florida to raise awareness and money for colon cancer.
Todd Colitti, a lieutenant with the Waterbury Township Fire Department, is a 10-year survivor of colorectal cancer who has recovered with such success that he was able to return to full duty as a firefighter. His partner, Jay Pacitti, is living with Crohn’s disease and is the founder of Get your Guts in Gear inc, an independent, national non- profit organization that raises awareness of Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, and related conditions through multi-day cycling events. The website for this organization is www.ibdride.org.
The men and their families flew out to San Diego from Connecticut and spent a couple of days enjoying the area while preparing their bikes for the long ride ahead. A small kickoff ceremony was held at Ocean Beach and both riders dipped their back tires in the Pacific Ocean. By 4:00 pm, they had arrived at Alpine Fire Station 17 after covering the first 40 miles of their 3,000 mile journey. The men were treated to a spaghetti dinner by firefighters on duty, and swapped stories before bedding down for a much needed rest period.
On Sunday morning, the riders were joined by Viejas Fire Department Division Chief Bob Pfohl, who rode with them to Descanso, where they had breakfast with off- duty Alpine Fire personnel before completing the rest of the day riding over the mountains to Ocotillo.
The Cycling Semicolons, as they call themselves have a website with a blog where you can follow their progress. Both men are without a substantial portion of their colons (hence the name) and were a huge inspiration to the firefighters at the Alpine Fire Department. Visit their website at www.wegotguts.com to find out more about their exciting journey. Many links are provided including maps which are updated daily with their progress towards St Augustine Florida, where they will dip their front tires in the Atlantic Ocean sometime in May 2010.