Find and Enter a Charity Ride
READY Charity rides are ubiquitous this time of year, drawing big crowds by welcoming everyone from families out for a few miles to best friends pushing it for seven straight days in honor of someone or something they believe in. And that’s the idea: Through entry fees and fund-raising, these events benefit cancer research, children’s hospitals, humane societies, and more. Unlike a race, for which solid fitness and pack-riding skills are a must, bike rides for a cause are pleasantly noncompetitive. For many, signing up is great motivation simply to enjoy time on the bike, both during the event and on conditioning rides leading up to it.
SET Plan to ride with at least one other person. Friends mean training partners, race-day camaraderie and support, and collective fund-raising efforts (a raffle, yard sale, or potluck with a monetary donation). “Riding with a friend helps you overcome fears,” said Richard Fries, development advisor for Audi Best Buddies Challenge. “New riders might worry about getting a flat or how they look in spandex,” he says. A buddy can provide moral support or be a sounding board for concerns. As for which event to pursue, ideally you want to choose a charity that you feel personally connected to. But before you make a decision, consider how the beneficiary spends your donation. Check out charitynavigator.org, which evaluates the financial health of more than 5,500 organizations. For more fund-raising advice, see “Riding for a Cause.”
GO Rides vary in days and distance. Depending on what your goal is, you may need a little extra training. Bicycling Magazine has a basic 10-week plan for 100 miles. Choose an event that allows you sufficient time to raise the necessary funds. Once you make your choice, sign up before hesitation sets in. Worst case: If you bail, your registration fee will still go toward the cause.—Alan Coté
LOCAL CHARITY RIDES
5/17-6/10/2012 - Ride Upstate for Upstate, Syracuse, NY. An appeal for 25 riders (or teams) to ride a cumulative 25,000 miles over 25 days and raise $25,000 for the new Upstate Cancer Center. Organized by local cyclist John Hartnett, this is fun and unique way to make your daily ride benefit a great organization. Email John Hartnett
6/2/12 – Ride for Dignity, Henderson Harbor, NY. 50-mile and 25 mile-rides to benefit Shelter Box USA, an international relief organization that provides shelter, warmth and dignity to people in crisis around the world.
6/3/12 – Tour de Cure, Verona Beach State Park. Ride distances include 15-, 28-, 40-, 62-, and 100-miles routes near and around Oneida Lake. The Tour is a ride, not a race, with routes designed for everyone from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist. Whether you ride 15 miles or 100 miles, you will travel a route supported from start to finish with rest stops, food to fuel the journey and fans to cheer you on. Benefits the American Diabetes Association.
6/10/12 – b.i.k.e. Syracuse Cycle d’Cuse Swinburne Memorial Ride, Burnet Park, Syracuse. 10-mile, 25-mile, and 45-mile rides to benefit b.i.k.e. Syracuse, a youth cycling program for disadvantaged children ages 8-14 designed to teach personal responsibility, achievement, and confidence through adventure, specifically biking.
6/19-6/23/12 – Pedaling4Paws, a 500-mile, 5-day charity ride through PA and NY to raise money for animal rescue. Opportunities to ride the entire route or just a portion.
6/30/12 – Ride For The Rescue, Longbranch Park. Six different routes: the short Family Fun Ride, 10 miles, 20 miles, 40 miles, 62 miles or our 125K “Anniversary Ride” (77 miles). Benefits the Rescue Mission, a local organization serving the homeless and less fortunate of Central New York since 1887.
7/14/12 – Ride for Alive! 100-mile fundraising bike ride that will start in Skaneateles and take cyclists around Otisco, Skaneateles and Owasco lakes. The “Ride for Alive!” also will include shorter distances of 10, 25 and 50 miles. Benefits the Alive! Foundation to fund exercise, nutrition and other programs that can help cancer survivors maintain healthy lifestyles.
7/14-7/15/12 – Wanderers’ Rides, Madison County. An entire weekend of cycling events & festivities to benefit the Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association. The Madison Meander – This two-day ride covers 45 miles each day. It will begin in Chittenango at 9:00 on Saturday, stop for lunch at the Cazenovia Country Club and end by 4:00 at the Hamilton Village Green. After an overnight at Colgate University and breakfast on campus, riders will depart Hamilton at 9:00 on Sunday. After lunch in Peterboro, home to abolitionist Gerrit Smith and a stop on the underground railroad, the ride returns to Chittenango along the Erie Canal. The Tri-City Ramble – this leisurely 16-mile course will tour the “cities” of Hamilton, Poolville, Earlville and the gentle landscape south of Hamilton. It will start at 2:00 on Saturday at the Hamilton Village Green. The Hamilton Classic – this non-sanctioned 26-mile citizen’s race will start at 3:00 on Saturday at the Hamilton Village Green and, after two challenging laps in the beautiful, countryside east of Hamilton, will end at the Hamilton Village Green. A Party at the Hamilton Village Green for all participants from 4:00 – 6:00 will feature a fabulous BBQ dinner and entertainment.
7/28/12 – ARISE and Ride at the Farm, Chittenango. 25- and 10-mile cycle rides in the morning through the Chittenango countryside and a Farm Festival in the afternoon featuring horseback riding, a high ropes course, hay rides, face painting, and much more. Benefits ARISE at the Farm is a 77-acre working horse farm in Chittenango, NY that offers year-round recreation for people of all abilities. From therapeutic horseback riding, horse cart driving, adaptive cycling, fishing, to a high ropes course, ARISE at the Farm offers the opportunity for everyone to participate.ment by Tommy Hoe and the Barncats. Each rider will receive a t-shirt and there will be prizes for the highest fund raisers.
8/18/12 – Syracuse Bicycle Point to Pint – Ride from Empire Brewery in Syracuse to Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY. Benefits the Two Smiles, One Hope Foundation, a Syracuse-based not-for-profit foundation charged with raising research funding for treatment alternatives and increasing community awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
9/16/12 – Cazenovia Hillbender Fall Classic, Chittenango Falls State Park. Three different tour lengths offer all competition levels a day of riding that won’t soon be forgotten. The courses tour the outlying areas of Cazenovia, New York taking advantage of its scenic splendors and geographic diversity. Benefits the Two Smiles, One Hope Foundation, a Syracuse-based not-for-profit foundation charged with raising research funding for treatment alternatives and increasing community awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
9/28/12 – Ride for Missing Children, Syracuse. Sponsored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children/New York (NCMEC/NY), the Syracuse Ride for Missing Children is a 100-mile ride made by bicycle riders or “Friends of Missing Children” that raises funds to support prevention education programs and to remember all missing children. A unique 100-mile event where cyclists ride two-by-two the entire distance with a police escort, stopping at local schools along the way to promote awareness for missing and exploited children.
10/6/12 – Syracuse Bicycle/Trek Women Breast Cancer Awareness Ride, Green Lakes State Park. Featuring 10- and 25-mile family-friendly group rides, the event donates registration fees directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Join the largest ride in the country of all participating Trek retailers and receive a goody bag, opportunity to win great door prizes, and a post-ride party with live music and food courtesy of Angotti’s Family Restaurant. Registration opens July 2012.