In the six weeks leading up to RIDETZ, we will introduce the wonderful, enthusiastic people who make up 2016’s team of adventurers. This way, you can learn about the riders before they leave, and then you can follow along on our blog for updates on their journeys as we post throughout the ride! They take off on June 18th for this once in a lifetime experience. Today, we are thrilled to introduce first-time rider and dedicated supporter of TFFT, Kayleigh Macchirole.

1. Where are you from?

Hi, my names Kayleigh Macchirole! I’m from Greenport, New York, a small maritime town located on the East End of Long Island. Greenport is a summer town surrounded by local farms and Vineyards. I’m 23 Years old and graduated cum laude last May from Wagner College in Staten Island, where I received a bachelors of science in biopsychology.  

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2. What do you do for work?

I am currently a server/floor manager at a trendy restaurant in Greenport called American Beech. Like I said, I live in a summer town, so getting two weeks off for this trip in the middle of the busy season was not easy!

3. What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I’m usually doing something active.  I ran Division I track and field at Wagner, so I take my fitness seriously and try to be as active as I can.  I love going for runs and going to the gym. When I started training for the ride I discovered my love for spin classes and have been hooked ever since!

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On days that I am not working I usually try and go on some sort of adventure.  I like to explore NYC, but have made a few trips recently to Philly, Providence, Savannah, and Hilton Head Island. I Love sightseeing and doing touristy things!  This past winter I was able to visit the Mayan Ruins at Tulum, which was definitely one of my best explorations so far!

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4. Who is your inspiration in life?

My biggest inspiration would have to be my parents. They are the strongest people I know, and have overcome so many obstacles to get where they are today, and I could not be prouder.  They have supported me in everything I have ever done.  They have also been my biggest supporters for this trip.  Most parents would be a little hesitant if their 23 year old daughter proposed the idea to ride a bike across the country of Tanzania and camp out along the way.  So I am so grateful for their support and not thinking I was completely out of my mind!  They have also played a HUGE role in my fundraising efforts.  If it were not for them reaching out to our friends and family spreading the word about my trip I would not have raised half the money I did!

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5. How did you hear about RIDETZ?

Close family friends of mine have participated in the ride in past years and thought it would be a great fit for me!  One of these family friends is Denise, who is participating in the ride this year with us.

6. What inspired you to ride this June?

The physical challenge this ride entails is what initially inspired me, along with the fact that I get to explore Tanzania in a way that not many people get to see! Throughout years of track it was always so interesting to see the new ways that I could challenge myself and make myself stronger, both mentally and physically.  While running track I was a long sprinter, so this endurance ride is far from my comfort zone, but i’m excited for the challenge!

Along with challenging myself I love that being a part of this ride is about raising awareness for TFFT and giving back.  In the past, I have taken two missionary trips to El Salvador through a charity that sponsors children there with the intent to improve the quality of living for themselves and their families. There, we built houses and got to directly interact with children and families whose lives were being improved through the charity’s work. Taking part in trips like these really opens my eyes and give me a new perspective when I return home, and makes me realize how much I take for granted.  

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7. Are you celebrating any milestone with RIDETZ?

I’m celebrating my time off from school.  Im currently in the process of trying to decide what I ultimately want to do with my life and what direction I would like to take when it comes to continuing my education.  But in the meantime I’m trying to make as many memories and explore as much as I can before I decide to go to grad school.  

8. What is your favorite place to ride? (Besides Tanzania, of course!)

Like I mentioned, I’ve become minorly obsessed with spin classes, so I’m going to be honest, thats probably my favorite place to ride!  The energy and camaraderie in the class definitely makes me work my hardest.  However, when I’m not in spin I love riding anywhere near the water, which is pretty easy living on Long Island, I’m surrounded by it!

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