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7 Great Causes You and Your Bicycle Can Get Behind

Posted Jul 22 2012 7:18am

Cycling is an excellent way to get a really good workout and do great things for your body while being outside and enjoying the scenery around you and all of the amazing fresh air. Burning approximately 400 calories in an hour, there really is no better workout, and biking is a great way to explore your surroundings as well.

There are an abundance of charities and groups that are using cycling and its enthusiasts as a way to raise money and awareness for their respective causes. By giving their participants ample motivation and cashing in on their philanthropic desires, they combine physical challenge and service opportunities, making a healthy and worthwhile combination for all who chose to partake of the experience.

Here is a look at 7 of the most popular rides hosted for a good cause:

American Lung Association

The Big Ride across America is a seven week, cross country bike ride hosted by the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific Region. This non-profit organization requires riders to raise a minimum of $6,000 and also charges them a $150 registration fee. Once the cyclists are registered, they gear up to make the cross country trip from Seattle, Washington to Washington D.C. Over the course of the seven weeks, riders travel approximately 3,300 miles from beginning to end.

Parkinson’s Disease

This ride hosted in Maine annually, was started by a man named Chris Woods after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. This ride is particularly interesting because studies have shown that tandem bike riding can actually help to ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The ride offers a variety of mileage options, allowing for any level of cyclist to participate. Participants must raise an minimum of $100 to participate and all proceeds go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

The American Diabetes Foundation

The American Diabetes Foundation is perhaps one of the foundations with the greatest amount of rides being hosted for its cause, these are individually as a Tour de Cure. There are annual rides in 43 states that allow for riders at any skill level to participate and help raise money and awareness for the foundation. It is essential to raise awareness for this cause as diabetes is a disease that affects people of all ages and it can be prevented in a lot of cases. These rides have hundreds of participants each and most of those participating either suffer from diabetes themselves or know someone who does.

Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation

The Livestrong Challenge is an annual event held one day a year in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Austin, Texas to raise money for cancer research. There are varying distances offered for riders to accommodate any skill level. All participants must raise a minimum of $250 and pay a registration fee of $50. Austin hosts a special event called the Ride for Roses which allows any of the cyclists who raise over $10,000 to participate and at the finish line all of the cancer survivors are presented with a yellow rose.

Arthritis Foundation

The Amgen California Coast Classic is a weeklong bike ride hosted by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote awareness for their cause. The ride is for cyclist of all strengths and is promoted as a week for these bikers to celebrate the sport while getting to know one another and enjoying the great outdoors. The route for the ride is from San Francisco to Los Angeles annually and many of the bikers that participate in the ride end up enjoying themselves and having such a great time that they return year after year to participate and help a great cause.

Multiple Sclerosis

If you are interested in biking for this cause, you should look up all the possible events being hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Annually they host a wide variety of events nationwide in order to raise money for their foundation. Their particular events are a great option for anyone looking to bike for good because they put together events that cater to cyclist at all skill levels. Depending on your location, you may have the opportunity to participate in half day, day or multiple day trips, whatever suits your personal level of comfortability.

San Diego Center for the Blind

The San Diego Center for the Blind hosts the annual Cycling for Sight, which is a 200 mile ride through southern California that benefits the Center for the Blind. What makes this ride particularly emotional is that there are a great number of tandem bikes that participate in the ride and those bikes generally have a blind person in back and a seeing person leading from the front. Participants are required to raise a minimum of between $100 and $1600.

Hillary Rose is a writer and bicyclist. She works with Racor to find storage solutions for bicycles. When not working you can find her out on the road with her weekly cycling crew.

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