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Ride of a lifetime

September 22, 2010 - Jeff Lichty, Clarkston Rotarian, attended a charity auction at the Mt. Clemens Rotary Club and was fortunate to be high bidder on a special cycling day with former Tour de France rider, Frankie Andreu.

He collected his prize, Sept. 12, when he and Andreu, along with Sandie Domagalski of the Flying Rhinos and Bill Guisinger, a cyclist from Birmingham, spent the morning enjoying a ride through the country roads of Clarkston and Ortonville.

Andreu is a former Olympian and team member of Lance Armstrong. In this year's Tour on Versus, Andreu often gave color commentary on the race, and would get caught in the middle of a fight between two unhappy riders as he sought to calm things down.

Andreu volunteered his time for this fundraising event as Rotary tries to eliminate polio from the world. Money raised by Rotary clubs now totals over $700 million worldwide.

Rotary has been joined in its efforts to eliminate the disease by many governments, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and UNICEF. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is matching Rotary with an additional $355 million.

After the ride, the riders were joined by Jeff's wife Mary and Joan and Rod Will of Clarkston for lunch at Via Bologna on Dixie Hwy.

Over lunch they heard stories about professional bicycle racing and life as a color commentator on Versus. Andreu was very entertaining as he shared stories about the Tour de France and about some of the things the riders do after a day of riding during the grueling three weeks of racing through the Alps and Pyrenees.

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