Year Three of the Fletcher Flyer
By Charlie Clogston
In 2006, Charlie Clogston moved to be ride director of the Hilly Hellacious and Joe Sechler took over the Fletcher Flyer. In his first year, Joe mostly continued the processes that were in place, to avoid too much change in his first year. But he spotted potential improvements in every process. He recruited Jim and Val Smith to take over the registration area and they brought a new perspective.
The biggest change that year was when the WNC Alliance made contact with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. LLS did a Team in Training bike ride in Cartersville GA, but were receiving complaints from the riders that the weather was too warm to enjoy the ride. Asheville offered them cooler weather and a more fun destination. Joe worked with LLS to move the ride from Cartersville to the Fletcher Flyer. It changed the entire character of the ride with cheer teams, riders dedicated to raising funds, and some riders displaying names and pictures in memory of people that LLS had helped.
I rode the Flyer for the first time that year and it was a special moment when I came upon a rider who wore the picture of Michael McGaughey, who was President of the BRBC around 1999 and then passed away from multiple myeloma. LLS had gotten him into a research program at Duke and it had improved his quality of life and extended his life for two years. It really brought home the wonderful work that the LLS does.