Tennessee women’s basketball assistant coaches Holly Warlick and Nikki Caldwell are all revved up for the Vols’ football opener.
At least, they’d better be: The pair are riding their motorcycles back across the country from Berkeley, Calif., on Sept. 2, the day after UT plays California.
The ride will take place in an effort to raise the awareness level on breast cancer, which is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after lung caner. According to the American Cancer Society, about 178,480 women in the U.S. will be found to have invasive breast cancer this year, and another 40,460 will die from it.
There are more than 2 million women living in the U.S. who have been treated for breast cancer. Women have a 1-in-8 chance of getting breast cancer during their lifetime.
Warlick said she has had relatives and friends stricken with the disease, and so she takes a special interest in helping the cause.
“I’ve always wanted to ride across the country, and I thought I might as well do it for a reason,’’ said Warlick, who has been riding a motorcycle since being presented one as a gift after being inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in June of 2001. “We’re going to try to make this an annual event to get the awareness out there.’’
Warlick said she and Caldwell will be accompanied by a travel party of about eight, with a motorhome trailing the motorcycle formation.
The group will make stops in Las Vegas, Albuquerque, N.M., Dallas, Little Rock, Ark., Memphis and Nashville before arriving back at Knoxville’s Market Square.
Rallies of about one hour will be held in each city, with breast cancer information being made available.
Warlick said both she and Caldwell will keep fans updated with a blog at volunteerscruisin.com.
. “The farthest I’ve ever ridden in a day is 200 miles, and the first day of this trip is over 400 miles,’’ Warlick said. “Nikki and I will need to get ourselves conditioned for this.’’