Students biking to cure ALS


Gannon University students and club sports teams are invited to participate in the ALS Ice Bike-It Challenge, which continues through Feb. 28 at the Recreation and Wellness Center.
The challenge is taking place to raise money for Augie’s Quest, an organization dedicated to curing Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks cells that control the muscles.
Augie’s Quest was co-founded by Augie Nieto, who founded the organization with his wife Lynne Nieto in 2006. Nieto also founded Life Fitness, an exercise equipment company, and is chairman of the board of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (TDI) in Cambrige, Mass.
The institute is a nonprofit biotech company and the world’s largest ALS organization that exclusively works to develop drugs for ALS. It funds research on the disease as well as designing and testing of new drugs for its treatment. The ALS TDI has raised over $44 million in support of ALS patients since 2007.
The Ice Bike-It Challenge is synced with electronic Expresso bikes, which are located with the weights on the second floor of the Recreation and Wellness Center. Interested students can register at
The fundraising portion is decided by donors who pledge with registered riders. Participants who raise $100 in pledges will be recognized on the Expresso bike website with the official Ice Badge appearing next to their name.
Interactive Fitness, the company partnered in support with Expresso Bikes and Augie’s Quest for the challenge, will donate an additional 50 cents per mile for the top money-raising team and top money-raising rider. T-shirts are also available for order online at All proceeds benefit Augie’s Quest.
Krysten Taccone, a senior psychology major and member of the Gannon Ultimate Frisbee team, called the challenge fun and interesting.
“I’ve never done it before,” Taccone said. “I did the ice bucket challenge over the summer.”
Alicia Mycyk, a sophomore biology major and a member of the Gannon Ultimate Frisbee team, said the bike was a good work out.
“My legs hurt,” Mycyk said. “It’s harder to steer than a regular bike, but it’s pretty good.”
Nigel Toussaint, a sophomore risk management major, was also using the Expresso bike and said he had participated in the ice bucket challenge.
“It was an amazing effort to fundraise and shine on the issues that were happening,” Toussaint said. “[Now this] is working out hard.”
Ashley Amoroso, the coordinator of student personnel and special events for the Recreation and Wellness Center, said riding the Expresso bikes would help a good cause as well as benefit students’ health.
“I was hoping to engage students that would benefit from obtaining volunteer hours and also allow the Sport Club the opportunity to collaborate together for a great cause,” Amoroso said.
“I really hope that this could be something that you would be interested in getting sport clubs and the rest of campus involved in.”
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