Cockeysville man Rick Ray last week honored his favorite Raven Ray Lewis with his own sort of "last ride."
“And still I have a very hard time sitting down as we speak,” Ray said.
And he did it all without leaving the Maryland Athletic Club.
“After doing this, the road would’ve been easier. I swear to God. Even with all the elements,” Ray said.
A long-time gym member at MAC Timonium, Ray proposed the idea two weeks ago to raise money for Ray Lewis' children's foundation by doing what he does best—working out.
“I loved the idea to tie it into Ray Lewis," Ray said. "It’s the Super Bowl. It worked well. ... I was something to do to give back.”
Ray hopped on the stationary bike in the lobby at the gym on West Timonium Road on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 a.m. It took him five days, 15 well-placed towels, pads and a jar of anti-chafe glide to make it to New Orleans.
“The top of my legs were just shredded,” Ray said.
Ray explained that since stationary bikes are designed to burn specific muscles, the ride was more of a metaphorical uphill climb than first expected.
“This was 1,110 miles on just my quads," Ray said. "Oh, and my rear end? It’s gone.”
By Tuesday, giving up looked like a very real option for the seasoned cyclist.
"I just didn't think I could do it anymore," Ray said.
The plan was to ride from 5 a.m. straight into the Wednesday finish line.
“I only slept a total of 11 hours,” Ray said of his charitable adventure.
“[Management] was nice enough to let me bring a sleeping bag.”
He spent the first night sleeping on the floor.
“That was brutal," Ray said. "The next night I found the couch in the conference room.”
But by Tuesday evening, the pain in Ray's legs was reaching a breaking point. He hopped off his bike and snagged 15 of the club's towels.
He tightly positioned them under the the front wheel of his bike to take the pressure off of his now burning red quadriceps. He could finally stand and stretch a few of his other throbbing leg muscles.
"I could barely bend my knees," Ray said.
It was 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30, when—had Ray rode outside—he would've steered clear through Bourbon Street and into the stands at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
He managed to raise $2,599 for Ray Lewis' charity.
"And the money is still coming in," Ray said (Interested in donating? Scroll to the bottom.)
“It’s all storybook stuff man," Ray said. "That’s what makes me believe that they’re going to win the Super Bowl. No doubt in my mind.”
But just to be safe, Ray said he was going to continue his weekly tradition of riding his bike outside through the trails of northern Baltimore County, while listening to the game on his little AM/FM pocket radio.
"They win when I ride," Ray said.
The San Francsisco 49ers have home-invading "Rob" and his lucky couch. Baltimore has Rick Ray and his trusty bicycle.
Who takes home the trophy?
If you're interested in hearing more about (Rick) Ray's Last Ride and are looking to make a donation, contact MAC Timonium at 410-453-9111. You can read more about the RL52 Foundation here.