The first Tour de Pier was such a phenomenal success and, as a board-member of the Downtown Manhattan Beach Business & Professional Association (DMBBPA), I watched Jon and Heath’s amazing vision become reality. I helped by recruiting my friends at Beach Cities Orthopedics as booth sponsors and marveled at the south bay turnout, including my fellow ocean-lifeguard Craig Hummer, now a sportscaster, acting as master-of-ceremonies for the inaugural event!
Fast forward to year two: Tour de Pier honorary board-member and my DMBBPA ‘ohana Chandra Shaw, of Trilogy Spa, informed me about the new “civic” category with friendly competition featuring the MB Police and Fire Departments, and asked if I would put together a team of local lifeguards. With approval from the president of the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association (LACoLA) we formed our first team and Jason Shanks, of Nikau Kai Surf, stepped-up as our team sponsor.
In year three of the event our team grew with enthusiasm and that year I lost my father, *Paul Barry, to a very long battle with cancer…so this event became even more important and personal for me.
Year four our team got even bigger and my family had another brush with cancer…but this time it was successfully beaten with early detection and immediate action!
I’m so proud that our team has grown exponentially to include family, lifeguard alumni, full-time and seasonal-guards like myself, so this is…Why I Ride!
*Paul Barry was an acclaimed theater producer and the only American to have directed all of Shakespeare’s plays. He graced the stages of Princeton University, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and the Shakespeare Festivals of Oregon, San Francisco, New York and New Jersey. He chronicled his experiences and thoughts on the Bard’s output in the 2010 book “A Lifetime with Shakespeare.”