Santa Clara couple Annie and Troy Yung met while they were riding in the 2009 California Coast Classic (CCC), a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation where participants venture through a 525-mile bike tour spanning eight days from San Francisco to Los Angeles. During the 2013 tour, Troy Yung proposed to Annie Yung and the two married last year. The Yungs will be participating in the CCC for their sixth year, from September 26 to October 3, because they know people affected by arthritis and feel passionate about supporting the Arthritis Foundation.
“I’m originally from New Hampshire and my voice teacher, whom I moved to California to study with, has bad rheumatoid arthritis,” says Annie Yung, a barista, opera and classical singer, and voice teacher. “My teacher had to stop her professional singing career as a result… She was a really gifted performer but she couldn’t perform because her arthritis was so bad…She couldn’t stand up sometimes. We know people who have died from arthritis, including children. This is a very debilitating disease. What a lot of people don’t know about arthritis is there are autoimmune diseases associated with it. It can be a deadly illness as well as being a painful illness.”
“My dad has a basic form of arthritis in his hands, the type of arthritis people think arthritis is,” says Troy Yung, a shipping and receiving manager. “It’s not deadly or anything like that. After doing this ride, I know so many people and have ridden with so many people who suffer terribly from this disease. They’re like family.”
According to the Yungs, adequate preparation is necessary for the bike tour, as some days require over 80 miles of travel.
“We do basic training during the week,” says Troy Yung. “Annie rides her bike to work sometimes. I ride in the garage in my stationery trainer. On weekends, we do group rides. You have to prepare for climbing hills and definitely a few long days.”
Fortunately, riders who need rest or relief during the bike tour can get support.
“The ride is supported; there are sag vans coming along that you can put your bike into if you need rest or a ride over a hill and there are also mechanics that ride with us,” Troy Yung says. “We ride from camp site to camp site each day. They provide breakfast and they provide dinner. There are at least three rest stops along the way where they provide drinks and food to refuel us.”
This year’s ride will come with an acknowledgement of the couple’s recent wedding.
“On the two year anniversary of Troy’s proposal during this year’s tour, we are going to wear the clothes we wore at our wedding reception,” Annie Yung says.
Visit Annie Yung’s fundraising page at ccc15.kintera.org/annie to donate money to the Arthritis Foundation.