Patrick Rides On 8000

Some say, nothing good happens while revisiting your college years during a class reunion. Every rule has its exceptions, however.

On a Friday night in May I found myself outside the Quadrangle on Spruce Street in West Philadelphia. My college roommates and I lingered – perhaps hoping to erase twenty-five years. Two young ladies approached – drinks in hand and signs around their necks demanding:

“Ask Me Why I Am Riding 8,000 Miles.”

“OK – I’ll bite.  Why?”

One of the young ladies explained that the duo hoped to celebrate the life of her brother Patrick Wanninkhof. Patrick tragically lost his life at the hands of a distracted driver while riding on a cross-country charity cycling trip in 2015. The young ladies planned to raise funds for Patrick’s cycling nonprofit, celebrate and remember Patrick’s life, and draw attention to the dangers of distracted driving. They expected to accomplish this audacious mission by riding the 8,000 miles from Deadhorse, Alaska to Key West, Florida.

Suzette Wanninkhof, Rachel Hartsell and I introduced ourselves. I asked, “Do you have any support from a wireless company?” Suzette told me that they had not broken through the bureaucracy of the wireless giants.

“You are in luck.  At Republic Wireless, we know the feeling,” I told Suzette and Rachel.


Here at Republic, we have a heart for people and service. We encourage safety first while driving by putting your phone away and focusing on the road. That’s why the Republic Wireless family is honored to support Suzette, Rachel and the Patrick Rides On 8000 family.

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Be sure to follow their journey online at http://www.pro8000.com/ on Instagram at pro8000, or on Facebook at Patrick Rides On 8000 – just not while you are driving!

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  • Phil Walker

    God bless Republic Wireless!!!

  • http://delmarvaprogressive.wordpress.com Ron Pagano JD

    What a great tribute! Thank you, RW, for picking up the torch!!

  • Celia Vorwaller

    Love this!

  • George Grabrick

    So, do you have anymore of those RW cycling kits lying around? They look pretty sweet.