The 100 : A Ride for Jim Stenholm
There is no better time of year than October to go on a 55-mile bike ride, and there is no better reason to do it. The 100 is organized in honor of Jim Stenholm, an everyday hero. He was a Phoenix police officer who gave 100 percent in everything he did. The proceeds from the ride benefit the families of first responders – the men and women who support our communities and neighbors every day.
Jim Stenholm passed away on October 24, 2008 after having routine outpatient surgery. When he wasn’t protecting the community as a Phoenix police officer, he was spending time with his family, or riding his bike with friends in the community. In fact, every Thursday Anthem and surrounding area cyclists ride together on the route they now call the “Stenholm Crit.” The route passes by the Stenholm house, and it is the same route that Jim used to take every night when he rode his bike and waved to his family as he passed by.
According to Rebecca Stenholm, Jim’s wife, the first year after his unexpected passing was very tough. (Please see “Meet the Stenholms” in this issue) She decided to organize a bike ride that Jim would have taken part in – something that truly honored his active, giving spirit. Rebecca shares, “We didn’t want to just sit around and be sad at the time of those milestones. It is not what he would have wanted. We thought that, if we organized a bike ride like “The 100”, and if we could get 50 people to show up and each bring a donation, it would be a great thing. We were surprised that first year, which fell on a Saturday, when we had between 200 and 250 riders. The second year we had between 350 and 400 participants. The event seems to have taken off, and it is growing with each passing year.”
The numbers are not what mean the most to Rebecca. But rather, as she points out, “What is important to us is the reason why people come out to support the event and honor Jim’s memory. There is something special that happens when you ride as a unit – no one gets left behind. That is the way Jim thought, and that is the way he rode. He would never leave anyone behind.”
The ride will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6 and returns around noon. It departs from and returns to Desert Horizon Park (16030 N. 56th Street, on 56th St. at Paradise Lane between Bell and Greenway Roads). The cost of the ride ($30) is low for a group ride such as this one, and donations will be shared between The 100 Club of Arizona and Off the Back, both non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting first responders and their families. Refreshments will be served throughout the ride, and there will be a police motorcycle escort. The day promises to be one that Jim would have loved – good times with good friends. Ride for Jim on Saturday, Oct. 6. He would have ridden for you.