Why We Ride

We ride for our friends and loved ones who suffer from lung cancer and all lung diseases. Let's make sure everyone can benefit from healthy lungs.

Why We Ride (Julie's Story)

My Name is Julie and This is why I make Every Mile Count

My first time riding was in 2009, and I started Team Nunatak in 2012 with three other friends. The next year we had eight team members and had reached up to almost 30 in 2019. As of 2023, Team Nunatak has raised just under $160,000. I first rode because it was a fun event and was a personal challenge to ride a long distance. While those things still play a part in why I ride and encourage others to do the same, the ride has taken on a bigger meaning by supporting the Lung Association as lung health has affected almost everyone in my immediate family. One of my favorite things about the ride, besides riding my bike, is recruiting everyone I meet to join my team. Sometimes I just can't shut up about it!

Those of you who know Julie know that she works hard for her team, earning the title from her friends, team members, and fellow captains of "Best Team Captain - Ever!" and she wears it with pride.

Julie began riding the Clean Air Challenge in honor of her mother, who passed away in 2006 from emphysema. Julie's grandmother also passed away from emphysema, her father and his mother both succumbed to lung cancer, and both of her grandfathers passed away from massive heart attacks. They all smoked; and all but her maternal grandmother were taken too early.

We are grateful for Julie's continued commitment to the American Lung Association in Alaska and join her in honoring the memory of her mother…her friend and now her angel.

Why We Ride (Leslie's Story)

My Name is Leslie and this is why I make Every Mile Count

My first year involved in the Clean Air challenge was as a volunteer; roped in by my now team captain Sherry Price. Back when our route was different, I manned the luggage truck to carry luggage and bikes to/from Big Lake. Seeing how happy and engaged in the event everyone was, even after riding so far, made me want to ride instead of volunteer. I have been riding ever since. I think this is my 11th or 12th year riding. I've participated in the volunteer committee and I've seen how much work goes into putting this event on by the staff and the volunteers. It wasn't until that first year raising money when updating my fundraising profile that I realized how many of my friends and family had been affected by lung disease. I have lost friends and family to different lung diseases and my teammates and I ride with asthma; some more severe than others. I think there is an inhaler on every bike on my team. This event has a way of making you feel connected to the mission. You aren't just another fundraiser; you're a part of the mission. The mission can't happen without our help. I have always been a big promoter of every dollar counts. The biggest and the smallest donation are equally important and all you have to do is ask.

Why We Ride (Chris's Story)

My name is Chris and this is why I make Every Mile Count

I ride to support clean air for all. As an air quality professional, I understand the impact how dirty air in our cities and industrial areas can affect people’s health and their abilities to enjoy the outdoors. The American Lung Association is committed to providing more awareness on these critical issues and to advocate for the health and well-being of us all. I commit to riding in the Challenge to support that mission by raising money to help fund this important work.

Thank You to Our Local Sponsors


Mission Sponsor

Providence Imaging Center

Platinum Sponsors

Enstar Yordy AVRTC

Gold Sponsors

Orthopedic Physicians Alaska Mat-Su Health Foundation Doyon Limited Foundation Health Partners Conoco Phillips Providence Alyeska Pipeline

Event Partners

Alaska Airlines Credit Union 1 Northwest Strategies Yuit Comms Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge Alaska Railroad Corporation Denali Brewing Company The Alaska Club The Bicycle Shop

National Sponsors

National Corporate Team Partner

Kindred Hospitals

Learn more about National Teams