Chris Jewell, a BellRinger 2022 century Rider, had waited since the launch of the Ride back in 2021 to finally take to the streets with 851 Riders dedicated to ending cancer. Chris grew up in Fairfax, Virginia and has lived in Arlington since 2000. He started working at Georgetown Law in 2006, and was initially commuting by Metro. After one year of Metro rides, he was looking for a change, and cycling to work became his new favorite activity. The four years he spent bicycling to Georgetown Law with his son and daughter, who both attended the Early Learning Center daycare, are some of his most cherished memories. Fast forward almost 15 years later, Chris has turned his passion into a means of fighting to further cancer research through BellRinger.
In the weeks leading up to BellRinger, Chris was concerned he wouldn’t be able to complete the 100-mile Ride. Getting his post-pandemic, work-from-home body into shape was taking a toll on him. But it was the donations from friends and family and the faith they instilled in him that got him out the door every weekend for months leading up to the Ride.
After a year of training and fundraising, BellRinger Weekend arrived, and Chris felt prepared to take on yet another century Ride. It wasn’t until about mile 36 that Chris started to get into the groove. Here, he joined forces with a group of three other Riders that made all the difference and lit a fire inside of him to finish his Ride strong.
One of the most inspirational moments of the Ride came when Chris met a fellow Rider at mile 70. This Rider was a cancer survivor who had rung the bell just months earlier and had never attempted a century ride before. Chris was inspired by his determination and strength, and the encounter reminded him of why he was riding in the first place.
Chris signed up for BellRinger for two reasons. First, for the personal challenge of getting back out on his bike and using it for a good cause. But reason number two hit closer to home. William Prince was just 13 years old when he lost his battle with cancer. Will was a very special young boy who meant the world to Chris and his wife — so much that they named their firstborn son in honor of Will. Chris rode his 100 miles with #RidingForWill on his badge, keeping his inspiration to push forward clipped onto his jersey the entire time. After the Ride, Chris visited Will to pay respects to a life that was gone too soon, and a life that he will forever hold close to his heart.
Chris is already gearing up for BellRinger 2023! As he is still deciding whether he will be Riding 100 miles or if he will take the weekend on as a volunteer, he’s realized there is no “best way” to be involved. Either way he participates in BellRinger will provide him with another memorable weekend fighting with thousands of people committed to see an end to cancer.