On November 3rd each year, cyclists from all over the United States congregate for a bike ride through the hills in southern California in memory of Michael P. Nosco. The bike ride is donation only and all proceeds go to recipients of the Michael P. Nosco Foundation.
Mike Nosco was a friend, uncle, soldier, son, and great brother. Mike was in the Navy for over 20 years as part of a very special elite unit: HCS-5 (helicopter combat support). After two tours in Iraq, Mike was tragically killed in a devastating traffic accident on November 3rd, 2004.
(Moment of silence)
Jack Nosco, Mike’s brother, was a firefighter at the time he heard the accident over the radio scanner and had no idea it was his little brother. Shortly after Mike’s death, Jack got on his bike and rode the course that serves as the 80-mile course that is officially the “Nosco Ride”. Each year on November 3rd, the ride takes place in celebration of Mike’s life. Mike worked at Amgen, a biotech company, for ten years and had a love for serving others, kids, family, and animals.
I have been fortunate to participate as a cyclist the last several years and this year had the humbling opportunity to attend and represent Tennant Products and speak on recovery and how the body heals when it has the nutrition it needs.
The Nosco Ride is a unique event that blends two things we are passionate about at Tennant Products: healing and cycling. Though we are a small company, we are focused on health at the cellular level, but we have also found that this is beneficial in the sports and recovery space. The Nosco Ride is a unique blend of both worlds.
Tennant Products has a focus on the functional medicine space, specifically focused on the nutrition that the body can absorb at the cellular level to help create new, healthy cells. Dr. Tennant’s formulas were designed for the chronically ill to help rebuild and fill in nutritional deficits. There are no fillers, no preservatives, no soy, no corn, or GMO in Dr. Tennant’s® Restore, which is designed with the best ingredients on the planet.
The concept of rebuilding new, healthy cells works well in the chronically ill space, but ironically also works incredibly well in the performance recovery space. After discussing recovery with Mark Allen, Ironman 6X World Champion and ESPN’s Greatest Endurance Athlete of All-Time, Mark stated “The needs of someone struggling to heal and someone recovering from an elite endurance sport are not that different. They are uniquely similar.”
“The Michael P. Nosco Foundation, Inc. provides financial relief to families and/or individuals who are confronting a life-threatening illness.”
—Michael P. Nosco Foundation, Inc. Mission Statement
This year there were many sponsors for the ride (GIANT, TREK, ENVE, UCLA Health to name a few) where many cyclists show up from around the United States to support this incredible opportunity.
Tennant Products was fortunate enough to be able to partner with the Michael P. Nosco Foundation to support all five recipients with nutritional supplements for six months as they each travel on their healing journey. Recipients varied from cancer survivors, life-threatening burns, and scleroderma—a rare condition that involves the hardening and thickening of tissues, skin, and organs.
The day started dark and blustery. I didn’t anticipate having to wear my puffy jacket most of the day, but the cool weather and brisk wind made for wonderful riding conditions and brisk volunteering throughout the day.
The event started with the presentation of colors, bagpipes playing and the national anthem being sung by a trio of previous Nosco recipients. The atmosphere was electric! Two firetrucks from Ventura County Fire and a helicopter were present to kick off the race. A neutral rollout section was led out by the lead service car for the first several miles, down to the crash site where Mike was killed. All riders stopped at the site and there was a moment of silence where Jack spoke about the impact of the ride and the impact Mike made on peoples’ lives. The race then ensued for those who would like to race, while other cyclists enjoyed the stark contrast of the beauty of the Californian coast with the contrasting difficulty of the steep climbs.
The day was cold, blustery and windy. Challenging conditions for a bystander, but great conditions for a hilly cycling day—just enough wind to keep the body cool and not overheat. Cyclists started to trickle in and the party began with music, food, and some discussion about recovery from such a difficult event.
Although this bike ride is difficult, the 80-mile course, which runs over the hills of the coast in California and has just over 9,000 feet of elevation gain, pales in comparison to the battle each of the recipients is fighting for—his or her life.
We are humbled and honored to be able to partner with the Nosco Foundation to help provide some relief for this incredible fight that each of the recipients are going through and look forward to working more with the Nosco Foundation in the future.
(Scott Jessen and with Edwin Caceres at finish)
Want to learn more?
If you would like to learn more about the Michael P. Nosco Foundation or interested in supporting or donating to this cause please visit www.mikenosco.com.