Once a year, Bob Rettger rides 220 miles over the course of three days in memory of his best friend, Rob.
“He volunteered two days a week at the food bank, and so I do this ride to keep his efforts and his memory alive at the food bank where he did so much for so many people,” says Rettger.
After Rob died of a rare form of cancer three years ago, Rettger began asking for donations before riding his bike from the Chicago area to Central Wisconsin. The donations go to the Northern Illinois Food Bank, where Rob volunteered.
In two years of riding, Rettger says he’s raised enough for 40,000 community meals.
He also has Reminderband wristbands made that say “The Rob Ride NFIB” and “Cool Change,” the motto of the ride. He doesn’t sell the bands, however. Instead he gives them out to people he meets along his ride.
“It’s three days of serenity that I get to spend with my friend,” says Rettger. “I’ve always met amazing people along the way who want to hear the story. Everybody I encounter I give them a wristband.”
Rettger says he sees the purpose of the wristbands as to share his friend’s legacy.
“They are small tokens that keep spreading Rob’s memory.”