One of the longest operating cross-country charity bike tours is undergoing changes that puts it in private hands.
The American Lung Association’s Big Ride Across America will be owned and operated by Bicycle Bliss, LLC, a bike touring company owned by Charlton DuRant and Lynn Petrotte.
The two have been ride directors for Big Ride Across America for the past three years, as well as operating tours on the Natchez Trace and the Blue Ridge and Skyline Drive parkways.
Laura M. Sanford, development director for the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific, said DuRant and Petrotte will donate a portion of the proceeds from the 2014 Big Ride Across America to American Lung Association.
As the new owners, they’re fully responsible for the event from now on.
The Big Bike Ride Across America has been a fund-raiser for American Lung Association since the 1980s. It leaves from Seattle and rolls east for 3,300 miles to Washington DC in 48 days.
In recent years, the bike tour has taken a maximum 40 cyclists on the cross-continental journey. Back in 1998, in comparison, 730 cyclists rolled out from Seattle for the cross-country tour, which was sponsored by GTE.
Last summer, I crossed paths with the riders at Marymoor Park in Redmond and was told that 14 cyclists were riding the entire length of the tour. That 2013 charity ride has raised $110,000 so far for the American Lung Association. Individual riders are asked to raise a minimum $6,500 for the ride.
Also, you can find other cross-country charity bike rides at my Cross Country Bike Tours page.