His wheels rattled across the rough asphalt of the two-lane road west of town as he neared the top of a rise in the roadway. Pausing to catch his breath, he surveyed the countryside, his red cape flapping in the breeze.
The short climb was training for a bigger challenge: skating to the top of Patterson Pass Road as he raises money for multiple myeloma research.
“It’s pretty crazy. Some of the things I do, I commit to first and then figure out how to do it later,” the 52-year-old Tracy resident said. “This will be hard.”
His brother Jeff Goad, 53, of Chicago, was diagnosed three years ago with multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer that affects plasma cells in the body.
A year ago, David Goad first donned his “Skateman” attire — a red cape, blue SpongeBob SquarePants boxer shorts and black 1980-vintage skates — to skate 10 miles from Hidden Lakes neighborhood to West Valley Mall in return for $500 in donations he was promised through Facebook.
“To this day, people still talk about it,” David Goad said. “I thought, well, the fundraising was going slow this year, so bring back the Skateman.”
This year, he challenged supporters to donate at least $5,000 by 5 p.m. Oct. 5. In return, he committed to skate from the Tesla power station near Midway Road up Patterson Pass Road to the top and back, starting at 10 a.m. Oct. 6.
Two days after he announced his challenge, he topped the $5,000 mark, and the skate is officially on. He will travel more than 4.5 miles one way up the winding road at a 12 percent grade, topping out at nearly 1,600 feet.
“The most grueling part will be going up — there is roughly 1,300 feet of elevation change,” he said. “If I have to crawl up that mountain on my hands and knees, I will.”
By telephone from Chicago, Jeff Goad said Monday that he was grateful for his brother’s efforts and support.
“He inspires me when I need it,” Jeff Goad said. “I have learned so much more about David and what he is capable of — I have learned so much about going beyond the comfort zone.”
Jeff Goad said his cancer is in remission and he is feeling good.
David Goad said his knees will take the brunt of the vibration from the country road, but he expects to average about 7 mph uphill. On the return leg, he will slalom across the roadway like a downhill skier to control his speed.
“I’m just a 52-year-old guy pushing myself to do things I’ve never done before,” he said. “It will help lift Jeff’s spirits.”
He also invited anyone who donates to the challenge to run or bicycle alongside him.
As of Thursday, Sept 26, he had raised $5,992 for his Skateman Challenge. Donations are still being accepted.
David, Jeff and younger brother Brad Goad, who lives in Indianapolis, will all run in the New York Marathon on Nov. 2 in another fundraiser for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
To donate to David Goad’s Skateman Challenge — a 4.5-mile climb up Patterson Pass Road and back on 1980s roller skates — visit http://www.active.com/donations/fundraise_public.cfm?ckey=2013mmrfNYC&key=NYCJGoad&force_a2=y.
• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.