On a not-so-typically overcast, slightly-chilly, Sunday morning in Santa Monica on a temporarily walled-off section of the world famous Santa Monica Pier, the 5th Annual Harold Robinson Foundation’s Pedal on the Pier fundraiser took place.
The sectioned off portion of the Santa Monica Pier was transformed into a high energy outdoor cycling studio to raise money for the foundation’s Camp Ubuntu*, which provides Los Angeles’ underprivileged children with a unique camp experience.
The people who planned and executed this event did a first class job. Things were already set up and in full swing when this examiner arrived at 9:45 a.m. for some red carpet photo ops. One of the co-founders and spokespersons for the Harold Robinson Foundation, Joyce Hyser Robinson, an actress, who is probably most remembered for her role in the movie, Just One of the Guys, happily posed with arriving celebs, such as Rosanna Arquette.
The event was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Set up on the pier were 100 spin cycles courtesy of Cycle House, which earlier in 2015 opened a location across from the Santa Monica Pier they refer to as the Cycle (beach) House. Cyclists, some solo and some teams, were set to cycle 100 miles at a rate of 20 m.p.h. to raise money for the Harold Robinson Foundation.
About 20 or so minutes before the 11 a.m. start, with his left arm in a sling, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers fame showed up.
Ten minutes prior to the scheduled start, the crowd was led through an energy rousing 10-minute warmup.
Next up to the stage was David Moss, President and Co-Founder of the Harold Robinson Foundation. David had the pleasure of introducing the Pedal on the Pier event’s National Anthem performers. To rousing applause, Flea on trumpet, Fernando Pullum on trumpet and John Norwood Fisher on strings took to the stage and performed a music only rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.
Next the event’s MC, Ben Gleib, was introduced. He lead the crowd in a 90-second period of spreading via social media with the hope of trending the Pedal on the Pier event using the hashtag, #wespinkidswin. We spin. Kids win.
Gleib introduced the crowd to instructors from the Cycle House, who then took the stage to get the party started with the U2 song, It’s A Beautiful Day, which the crowd was told is the song which has become the traditional song used to kick off the Pedal on the Pier event. According to David Moss,
“Although the song is quite complex we see it as a wonderful way to start a day/begin our event. We want our kids and families to see that there is beauty in life despite their circumstances. The song represents hope and resurrection.”
Towels with Pedal on the Pier and other sponsors’ logos were plentifully available for cyclists in need of wiping sweat from their brows. CaliWater, the events primary sponsor, could be found throughout the event’s grounds to help ensure cyclists stayed hydrated. Another welcome sponsor was Wahoo’s Fish Taco. Celebrity entrepreneur, Wing Lam, founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco was also in attendance at the Pedal on the Pier event. At one point the line for Wahoo yummies was quite long as attendees opted for a sustenance break from cycling.
Energy was high throughout the event, often people who weren’t cycling took to the dance floor to bust a move to all the great music being played to keep the cyclists pumped.
There is a website, Great Nonprofits, with the masthead, “Reviews that make a difference”. There people can leave reviews of nonprofits. One reviewer shared this review of the Harold Robinson Foundation,
“They don’t just ‘talk the talk’; they get down and work hard, extremely hard. They are leading a revolution of young community leaders who are ‘walking the walk’ and leading by example.”
The event was a lot of fun and almost makes this examiner think about being one of the cyclists next year. And yet, in the big picture the true purpose of the event is to gain awareness and funds to continue the good works of the Harold Robinson Foundation. If you are interested in donating to the Harold Robinson Foundation, you can do so at any time by clicking this link: http://haroldrobinsonfoundation.org/donate.asp
*In case you were wondering: ubuntu (oo’boon too) can be defined as 1. I am because we are and 2. a quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity.