We all have our own reasons for bicycle riding. It's great exercise and a good opportunity to get outside and clear our heads from the stress of our lives. Sometimes it's the only time we can get to ourselves! If you're going to go biking, why not do it for a good cause? Here are some charity events where you can do just that.
- Bike to the Beach. This 100-mile annual event starts in Washington, DC and takes riders to the Delaware beaches, NYC and ends in the Hamptons. B2B is partnered with Autism Speaks, the world's largest charity group devoted to the study and treatment of autism and autism-spectrum disorders. It's usually in late July-early August, so be prepared for the heat. You can learn more at http://www.biketothebeach.org/.
- Pedal For The House. This event takes place at Tollefson Park in Madison, Wisconsin. There are several different trails to choose from-20, 40, 60-mile routes for the advanced cyclists, a 5-mile route for families and younger cyclists, and a quarter-mile 'fun loop' around the park for walkers and strollers. Various local sponsors donate the proceeds of the event to Ronald McDonald House Charities, a group that gives families a place to stay while their children undergo medical treatment away from home. You can learn more and register for future events at http://pedalforthehouse.org/index.html.
- The New England Parkinson's Ride. This event takes place in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. To cater to riders of various levels, the trails it offers are 10, 30, 50 and 100 miles long. The proceeds of the ride go to benefit the Michael J. Fox foundation for Parkinson's Disease treatment and research. You can learn more and register for future events at http://www.neparkinsonsride.com/welcome.html. Be sure to check out the 'Who We Are' page for an interesting back-story for the event.
- Positive Spin For ALS. The fees for this Wayland, MA
event go to benefit the ALS Association, the only national
organization focused specifically on finding a cure for ALS, also
known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The event features 10-, 25-, 50- and
70-mile rides. The website for this annual event is
with the stories behind each of the races on the 'About The Ride'
- Friends For Life Bike Rally. This six-day, 400 km
event takes riders on a journey from Toronto to Montreal to raise
money for groups that provide services for people living with
HIV/AIDS. You can learn more or register at
- New England- http://charitybicycleride.com/index.htm.
- California- http://cyclecalifornia.com/centuries.html
- South (NC, SC, VA)- http://www.weeklyrides.com/
These events (among many others) are done on an annual basis, although many communities also run 'one-time' charity races. In the end it doesn't matter whether you ride every year or just once; the point is to raise money for a good cause. Have fun, and know you're making a difference.