A sports enthusiast and journalist, Jacob Conley has spent over 20 years writing about local sports, including as a sports editor for his college newspaper. In 2010, he took his passion to the pavement in his first Cycle to the Sea — an epic 180-mile ride from Monroe, NC, to North Myrtle Beach, SC. Jacob has participated in the event ever since, handcycling to raise awareness and funds for the Adaptive Sports & Adventures Program (ASAP) at Atrium Health Carolinas Rehabilitation. 

ASAP helps hundreds of adults and children across the Southeast participate in adaptive sports, providing competitive and recreational opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities. The community-based program relies on philanthropic support from generous donors and fundraising events like Cycle to the Sea.  

The event has provided numerous health benefits for Jacob, who was born with cerebral palsy. “Riding gives me motivation to stay active, and ASAP focuses on my abilities rather than my disabilities,” he said. “Plus, I have met and become friends with many wonderful people over the years.” 

In October 2023, Jacob completed his 14th ride alongside fellow adaptive cyclists, helping to raise nearly $50,000 for ASAP. “It was a great ride one of the best during my past 14 years,” he said. We had a very tight-knit group, and we were able to overcome any challenges, including flat tires and riding in the rain, together. And together, this dedicated group of athletes continues to inspire others while giving back to a community that means so much to them.