Helping Haitians Help Haitians

2023 Ride - September 25-29

Ride Starts on Monday at 9:00!

Each day, energy and time permitting, we will post a brief description of the day's ride here. We will leave the description of the overall ride at the bottom, and, of course, you can find the donate button at the bottom of this page, or on the home page.

We're really excited to start our ride, and are are motivated by the people of Haiti who never give up, by Outreach to Haiti staff and volunteers, and by all the people who have donated to the bike ride and who have expressed their support! Our friends and family have been very generous with donations, and this, along with the great work Outreach to Haiti does to help people help themselves motivates us to do this ride. We’re also looking forward to starting our ride in beautiful Cape Cod.

More later!


September 25 - Day 1

The first day of the ride is like Christmas morning – all the preparation and anticipation comes together! For this year’s bike ride, we have four riders returning from last year, Steve Cuddy, Ron Paine, Emily Paine (Ron’s daughter), and Tom Campbell, along with Dan O’Sullivan, who is re-joining after being unable to ride the last two years. Jim Hubert, who rode "80 for Haiti" last year in honor of his 80th birthday, will also be joining us for the first part of Thursday’s ride.

We are very pleased and blessed to have Dorothy Paine as a huge part of the ride. She will be providing support for the entire week. Thank you, Dorothy – we can’t do this without you!

We started right at 9 am, and rode a total of 72.8 miles, starting in Brewster MA and finishing the day in New Bedford MA. Starting on Cape Cod was a change from prior year rides - we wanted to do something a little different. So, we modified the first two days of the ride to work in two new, and mostly untested, routes. It won’t be without its challenges - read on to see how this is working out!

The pictures below show us just before and at the beginning of the ride. We started at beautiful Paine’s Creek in Brewster (no relation to Ron, Dorothy, and Emily). The forecast was for rain most of the day, and in the low 60s. Winds were from the east, which was good since we were mainly headed west. We were anticipating heavy rain at times, but we mostly had drizzles – not ideal, but better than we could have gotten. Here is a photo of the five riders at the start of the ride – Tom, Ron, Emily, Dan, and Steve – and one of us starting the ride.


           Note the wet roads!

At about mile 3, we turned onto the Cape Cod Rail Trail. This is a wonderful trail – if you ever visit Cape Cod, we recommend getting a bike and riding on the trail. Most people think about beaches when they think about the Cape, but there are also ponds, hiking trails, and cranberry bogs, and this is the scenery we experience on the trail. There was even a bike trail rotary (you may – incorrectly – call them “roundabouts”).




After the rail trail, we headed towards the bridges. If you’ve ever visited the Cape, you know you have to cross the Cape Cod Canal to get there and to leave, and to do that you have to take one of two bridges. On each side of the Canal is a very scenic bike trail. Here are photos as we headed towards the Sagamore Bridge on the Cape side of the canal, and the canal trail on the off-Cape side.


                 Suspect selfie skills!

The bridges are a bit outdated and due to be replaced, so there is currently no bike trail on the bridge (same for the Bourne Bridge). So, the only safe way to get over is to either load the bikes onto vehicles or walk the bikes over. We chose to walk. This was quite an adventure walking our bike on a raised sidewalk as cars drove by us. We were safe, but a bit nervous, nonetheless. We did get nice views of the canal below us that you don’t get when you drive over. Here is a photo from the top of the bridge.


The ride took us across southern MA, over Buzzards Bay (mentioned in a Jimmy Buffet song – do you know which one?), by Onset Harbor, through Wareham, and Rochester. The rain kept us from getting photos of this part of the ride (sorry!). We stopped in Rochester for our last break of the day (thanks Dorothy!), and headed out towards Mattapoisett for the last 13 miles of the day.

                 Still wet!

This took us to the Pheonix Rail Trail, a very nice trail that runs from Mattapoisett Harbor to Fairhaven. From there we crossed the Route 6 bridge, which is a swing bridge that goes over Acushnet River.


                                                 Photos from the swing bridge

From there it was short ride to the hotel. We arrived just before 4:00, a bit wet, but happy to finish our first day.

Tomorrow we are riding to Warwick RI, along six different bike trails, as well as a stretch along Providence Harbor. Stay tuned!

September 26 - Day 2

Today, we started just before 9:00. No rain, but very windy – we were by the water in New Bedford MA. It was cloudy and 60 degrees, and it stayed that way all day! We rode 69.2 miles to Warwick, Rhode Island, riding on six different bike trails.

Here we are leaving the hotel in New Bedford:


We rode south to a bike trial that hugged the water – near Fort Rodman, and we passed by the Irish Memorial.


    Steve and Tom, who both have Irish roots!

We then headed west through Dartmouth, MA and a scenic bridge over Apponagansett Bay, where we took a short break.


                                                                                                Steve and Dan taking a break

We made our way south into Westport and then back north, where we encountered some heavy headwinds. This made the ride more challenging – you have to work a lot harder to ride, and the headwinds make it feel like it is much cooler. We stopped for a break at the Westport Town Farm, where Dorothy was waiting for us with refreshments.


Going further north, we came to the next bike trail, the Quequechan Rail Trail. This allowed us to ride under I-195 and avoid heavy traffic. This brought us to Fall River, MA and Battleship Cove, another bike trail through Fall River Heritage Park and Bicentennial Park, and the Bouthot Bicycle Trail, which is a dedicated and protected lane on the Rte. 6 bridge over the Taunton River - much better than yesterday's ride over the Sagamore Bridge.


                    Battleship Cove                                                       view of the Taunton River from the bridge

Going back a little south and then west, we headed into Rhode Island. In Warren RI, we rode the Warren Bike Trail and then the East Bay Bike Path. The latter brought us into Providence over the Seekonk River. Once in Providence, we stopped at India Point Park. After riding a bit through Providence, including one of Dan’s top 10 favorite hills (at one point it hit a grade of 11 percent) and the pedestrian/bike Michael S Van Leesten Memorial Bridge, we made it to the Washington Secondary Bike Trail, which took us to the hotel at about 3:30.


           Views of the Seekonk River from the bridge into Providence (the one in RI)


                                           Photos from India Point Park

Tomorrow we are riding to the house of our good friends, the Huberts, in East Hampton CT, riding along the rest of the Washington Secondary Trail and parts of the Airline Trail (and a couple of hills). Stay tuned!

September 27 - Day 3

We started even earlier today – around 8:25. The weather was cool – low-50s at the start going up to the mid 60s in the afternoon. But it felt cooler on the shaded bike paths and back roads. Today’s ride started in Warwick RI and we headed to East Hampton, CT – 72.2 miles.

Here we are at the hotel in Warwick before the ride.


We started on the Washington Secondary Trail for the first 13.5 miles. It was uphill, but the grade was low (it is a converted rail line), so very rideable. This part of the trail was more scenic than the sections we rode yesterday.


We took our first break once we got off that trail at the Summitt General Store in Greene RI. We found out that the store is now closed, but they were doing work on the roof, so maybe someone will re-open it. You can see from a photo from last year that it is an old-time general store – the only real one in RI (or so the sign says).


We then took Routes 117 and 14 into Connecticut, and then turned onto some rural roads. This section included winding, and up and down hills. The strategy was to sprint downhill and use the momentum to help climb the next uphill, but of course that didn’t always work! This segment included another break and then we headed to the Airline Trail in Windham CT.


                                 Moosup Pond                                    The riders leaving a break in Brooklyn CT


         Ron and Tom in Brooklyn CT                                              Steve in Brooklyn CT

We also encountered our first flat tire – on Tom’s bike. Of course it was the rear tire! Why can’t it be the front tire??

The Airline Trail is unpaved, and starts with a slight uphill grade, followed by a downhill stretch. Along the way, we met Dorothy for one last break – we were running low on water and energy!


                             Pond on the Airline Trail                                              Riding on the Airline Trail

We arrived at the Hubert’s house just after 4:00, and Jim and Mary Ann provided a wonderful meal and great hospitality.


                   Steve, Dan, Tom, and Ron at the end of the day!

Tomorrow we are riding to St. Patrick Cathedral in Norwich, then along southern CT to St. Mark’s in Westbrook. And of course, Jim is going to join us on the ride to Norwich.

September 28 - Day 4

Joining Ron, Steve, Dan, and Tom for today's ride was Jim Hubert, who was riding with us for the first 30 miles. We scheduled today’s start for 8:00 to get to the Cathedral in Norwich in time to meet Bishop Cote and the students and staff at the Cathedral School. At the start of the ride, it was 47 degrees, but it got up into the mid-60s with some sun but mostly cloudy.

Here we are at the start - (l to r) Jim, Dan, Steve, Tom, and Ron:


Before getting into the ride, we want to thank Jim and Mary Ann for their wonderful hospitality. We always look forward to staying at their home, and last night’s dinner (and the company) was incredible. The view from their house is wonderful!


      Beautiful Lake Pocotopaug

Most of the first 10 miles were on the Airline Trail. They did a great job of maintaining this section, so despite the rain we’ve been getting, the trail was mostly dry. The road to Norwich was a little hilly, but very scenic (sorry, we didn't have time to stop for pictures!).

We were slowed by a minor mechanical issue and made it to the Cathedral just a few minutes late, but we got a nice reception. The entire school - students and staff - came out to greet us with signs, high fives, and the presentation of a very generous check. This was very encouraging, and one of the highlights of the week!


                            Riding into the Cathedral                     Enjoying the company of the students and staff

We stocked up on drinks and had a few snacks (thanks Dorothy and Mary Ann!), and saying good-bye to Jim, we were on our way to St. Mark’s Church in Westbrook. Now, if you are familiar at all with this part of Connecticut, you know that it can be quite hilly. Every year we try to find the optimal mix of distance and elevation gain for this segment, considering we are about 240 miles for the week at this point.

Unfortunately, we started off with another flat tire (another rear tire!) about a mile from the Cathedral.

The route we took included about 19 miles of quite hilly roads, with a maximum grade of over 10% (both uphill and downhill – both of which were challenging). We worked pretty hard that afternoon, but I think we all enjoyed doing it together!

Once we were done with this segment, we stopped at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme (Ron and Dorothy’s church) for a break and some food. We then headed towards the Baldwin Bridge, over the Connecticut River. This bridge is a highway (I-95) with a protected bike/walking lane.

We had about 13 miles left, and we rode around Saybrook Point - a very beautiful section with a causeway, beaches, and beautiful homes. For the second part of this section we had a nice tailwind, which a great (and fun) bonus.


                    One of the many scenic views from Saybrook Point

After leaving Old Saybrook, we hit a couple of hills on our way to St. Mark's. Two miles from the finish we had another flat tire. This was also a rear tire – that’s three flat tires for three different riders this week! We arrived about 10 minutes after our estimated time. We had the second great reception of the day at St. Mark's – from their Walk with Haiti Committee. They greeted us with a nice snack, some nice conversation, gave us a blessing, and presented us with a very generous donation!


Total distance today – 69.9 miles.

Tomorrow is the final day of this year's ride. We will visit Mercy High School in Middletown, and then head to St. Patrick in Farmington to finish the ride. Stay tuned!


September 29 - Day 5

All week, we have been saying that the weather we get is the weather we have to deal with. Well, today we got weather and we dealt with it the best we could. All Thursday evening we heard about the heavy rains coming on Friday - 100% chance of rain, continuous, all day, heavy at times. We woke up Friday morning to a downpour. You can get a sense from the photo at the beginning of the ride below.

Our families and friends texted us that no one would blame us if we didn't ride. But we had to try. In Haiti, they don't get to take a day off from what they face. So, we decided to ride. We alway stress safety, and when you ride in the rain, safety is challenged - braking is significantly harder; there is the chance of hydroplaning; riding in traffic is more difficult; cars may not see you right away. We decided that we would not visit our great friends at Mercy High School (see prior year commentaries to understand what that means to us each year). We would head towards the Farmington Valley Heritage Bike Trail, through mostly back roads and shorter bike trails - 12.5 miles away. If we were still able to ride, we would ride past our planned ending point, and ride an "out and back" to attempt to complete the 53 miles we planned to ride.

Here we are at the beginning of the ride - thinking we were ready for the rain:


What we encountered was the heavy, continuous rain that was forecasted - unfortunately the weather people got it right this time. Temperatures in low 50s felt like 40 degrees. Usually, when it rains you get a period where it stops and you can dry out a bit. Not today! We planned to stop at mile 20 for a break - Dorothy was going to meet us at that point. Just before we got to the trail at mile 12.5, we rode down a hill. Being wet and going 17-20 mph downhill, we really felt the cold and started to shiver. When we turned onto the trail, there was Dorothy, who flagged us down. She had stopped at a parking area (with hot chocolate!) knowing that we would need a break sooner than mile 20. Even though there was a small area with shelter from the rain, we realized that we really couldn't go on. In retrospect, it was the right choice (it rained continuously for the rest of the day and into the next morning).

Here we are at the parking area before we got into the truck and rode back to the hotel to clean up and warm up:


Although this marks the completion of this year's ride, we decided to ride the remaining miles on our own during the next week. (Steve is exempt from this because he ran a 26.4 mile trail run on Sunday!)


Thank you!

We have a lot to be thankful for. We thank God (and all the saints we and all our supporters prayed to this week) for our health to be able to do this, for our safe return home, for the weather (even the rain), for all the drivers who gave us room on the road (and we can still ask for blessings for those that didn't).

Thanks to all who followed us, and prayed for us, and supported us in so many ways.

There are so many people to thank for the success of the ride. First, the riders - Tom, Steve, Jim, Dan, Ron, and Emily. A great effort, and it was great spending time together, struggling together, cheering each other on, and working together to fix the three flats tires we had!

Thank you to the donors. Many of you are repeat donors, and there are many new ones. Spreading the word of our mission in Haiti is part of the reason for the ride, and it is great to see new donors, and even better to see repeat donors who learn about the mission and believe in it. Thank you!

What is inspiring to me is when I thank someone who donated to the ride, and the response is "no - thank you for doing this." Responses like these keep us going!

We thank Dan – who hatched the idea for this ride 8 years ago. We're glad you were able to ride with us this year.

A special thank you to our wives (and Mom) – Mary Ann, Lynn, Linda, Jan, and Dorothy, who encouraged us and prayed for us during the week.

We thank the parishes and the school that reached out and met us, giving us great receptions and send-offs - Mercy High School, St Patrick's Cathedral School in Norwich, Bishop Cote at the Cathedral, St. Mark's/St. Pio's, and St. Patrick Church in Farmington. Thank you for your warm welcomes!

Finally, a very, very special thanks to Dorothy Paine. Dorothy was with us the whole week, encouraging us, praying with us, making sure we were hydrated and nourished, and she took most of the photos in this ride summary (and many more). We wouldn’t have done this year's ride, nor would we have made it to the end without you! Thank you, Dorothy!

What all of you have contributed helps move the mission in Haiti forward and helps to improve the lives of deserving Haitians every day.

Donations are still coming in - it is not too late! As of the weekend after the ride, we have raised over $17,000! We are now well over $200,000 total for the nine bike rides! Please, please, please - if you haven't already donated, do so now - click here

Can't wait for next year's ride!

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts, and God bless you.







Description of Ride

The 2023 Bike Ride - our ninth annual ride - will begin Monday, September 25. Our Outreach to Haiti team of riders are once again riding 337 miles over 5 days. The bike ride is a "virtual trip" across Haiti, and we hope to visit some of the parishes and schools in Connecticut that are twinned through Outreach to Haiti with parishes, orphanages, and schools in Haiti. Last year, we returned to having the ride begining in Maine, after two years of COVID-restricted rides in Connecticut. This year, we are trying something new  we will start in Cape Cod and ride through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

The purpose of the ride is to raise awareness and funds to support our mission in Haiti. Outreach to Haiti has been in Haiti for over 35 years, serving the poor in the Christ Roi (Christ the King) community of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas with a healthcare clinic, food and nutrition programs, education programs, developing and maintaining twinning relationships, cultural immersion trips, and the FAK program, which empowers women to start their own businesses. Our motto is Helping Haitians Help Haitians, and Outreach to Haiti is truly saving and changing lives in Haiti. More information about Outreach to Haiti can be found on other pages of this website.

Joining us on our Thursday ride will be our friend Jim Hubert. If you recall, Jim turned 80 last year and he covered 80 miles of the course over 2 days  he called it "80 for Haiti." We thought that was Jim's swan song, but we were able to coax him out of "retirement" (it wasn't that difficult) to ride 50 miles with us.

Donations from this ride are being earmarked for our dental program and to support our educational program. Our medical staff in Haiti has identified the dental program as one of the greatest needs for the Outreach to Haiti clinic. Work is underway to further strengthen this program, and donations from the bike ride will help with this effort. We have also heard from our education staff that more is needed to support the students in our education program. This doesn’t just mean scholarships; it includes food programs, tutoring, and other support programs for these students.

The people we serve in Haiti ARE IN GREAT NEED OF OUR SUPPORT, due to political and social unrest resulting from many factors, including the 2021 assasination of President Moise. The unrest has not yet been settled, so both the demand for our services and the challenges associated with delivering those services has increased significantly. Despite these challenges, and with your help, we continue to maintain our services to the community.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers for a safe and successful ride (and an occasional continual tail wind would be nice!)


These are the daily rides (subject to change):

Day 1 -

Day 2 -

Day 3 -

Day 4 -

Day 5 -


To donate now, click here


© 2024 Outreach to Haiti