For seven hours, Dr. Steve Hougland, a Bainbridge State College assistant professor of criminal justice, rode a stationary bicycle for two good causes – in honor of his wife while she battles a rare form of cancer and to raise money for the College’s Relay for Life team.
As a means to raise money for the Bainbridge State team, Dr. Hougland challenged himself to riding 100 miles on a bicycle. Riding a stationary bike at the College’s Student Wellness Center took him seven hours, which included only five- to 10-minute breaks every hour.
His goal was to raise $1,000, but his monetary goal and the reward of completing his challenge exceeded his expectations.
He raised more than $1,200 for the College’s Relay for Life team, with most of the contributions coming from students. In fact, the students in Dr. Adele Cunningham’s classes contributed more than $400. He said he was touched by their generosity when he opened up the envelope containing their donations.
“I was really impressed that the students could do that and the amount the students gave,” Dr. Hougland said. “That was what got us over the $1,000 goal.”
Another challenging aspect of his ride was simply completing it. He had trained to where he was comfortable riding 80 miles. However, during Spring Break in March he got the flu and could not train like he wanted to. That set him back some and he wondered if he could physically complete the 100 miles.
“I did worry about that, but I was just really determined to finish the challenge,” said Dr. Hougland, whose wife of 20 years, Lisa, is suffering from von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL), which is a rare genetic condition that predisposes individuals to benign and malignant tumors. She was diagnosed with VHL a year and a half ago.
As other institutions and businesses prepare for the Bainbridge-Decatur County Relay for Life scheduled for April 26, the College has held bake sales, a penny drive, a staff-organized chili cook-off and a March Madness bracket contest.
Dr. Jenny Harper, one of the organizers of the College’s team, said she appreciates everything students, faculty and staff have done all year to support the team. “Your efforts and time are truly appreciated.”