Bikers’ ‘exhilarating’ ride from Nashville to Surfside Beach benefits cancer research

Grand Strand

SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A group rode bikes more than 600 miles from Nashville to Surfside Beach and just finished its journey Friday night.

From starting in Nashville and riding more than 600 miles through three states, the Ashley G Ride Group arrived in Surfside Beach Friday night with its group leader, James Brown.

“In the end when you finish it, it’s exhilarating but when you finish it, it’s tough,” Brown said.

Brown started riding for Ashley back in 2011. He was her teacher and tennis coach. Ashley Gaines graduated from Waccamaw High School where she was involved in soccer, tennis, and was homecoming queen. She was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins’ Lymphoma at 17 and died in 2008.

“She was everybody’s favorite girl and all of the sudden this thing hit her spring of her senior year, but she took it all like a champ,” Brown said.

Brown said the ride not only raises money for the foundation that her parents created but keeps her memory alive.

“Ashley was a great girl,” he said, speaking to a crowd. “She was fun. I told y’all many times, I called her, she wouldn’t answer and I texted her, she wouldn’t answer and I said why not and she said my phone got taken — your phone got taken last week.”

Brown said what’s great is that people who didn’t even know Ashley ride with him. Starting from Canada, New York, California, Texas — the group has done it all, but he said they always end back in Surfside Beach. Over the years, they’ve raised almost $500,000 for the Ashley G Foundation to help research rare childhood cancer’s like Gaines’.

For more information on the group, visit the Ashley G Foundation website.

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