Two of the biggest — if not the biggest — charity bike rides in the nation raised a total of $62 million for cancer research this year. The checks were presented to the beneficiary medical centers in ceremonies earlier this month.
The 5,500 cyclists in the Pan-Mass Challenge led the way with raising a record $41 million for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. In the past 35 years, the charity bike ride has raised $455 million, said to be the largest sum ever contributed by an ongoing athletic event.
Cyclist in the much younger Pelotonia charity bike ride in Ohio raised $21 million during a two-day ride in August. 2014 marked the sixth year for the two-day charity bike ride that drew over 7,000 cyclists. Proceeds went to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).
The Pelotonia has raised $82 million for the cancer center in the past six years.
A lot of credit goes to the cyclists, the organizers and corporate sponsors of these events. Sponsors for the Pan-Mass Challenge, for instance, cover all the expenses of the ride so all the pledges go to cancer research.
Of course these aren’t the only charity bike rides for cancer in the nation. There are dozens more, that run that gamut from the the Obliteride in Seattle to Philadelphia’s Lemon Ride Bicycle Tour that takes its name from a front yard lemonade stand started by a cancer patient.
I’ve listed quite a few cancer rides, as well as other cause rides, at the Charity Bike Rides list, which I’ll begin updating soon for 2015.
Meanwhile, there are still some charity events for bicyclists coming up. Namely, the Cranksgiving rides in cities across the nation that collect supplies for food banks.
Below is a flyer for the Seattle Cranksgiving that’s been presented the past few years by Tom Foculoro, the blogger at Seattle Bike Blog. Search online for events in your city.