Cross-country charity bike ride goes private for 2014

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One of the longest operating cross-country charity bike tours is undergoing changes that puts it in private hands.

2013 Big Ride Across America in Redmond

2013 Big Ride Across America in Redmond

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.

If you’re interested in participating in the Big Ride Across America, you can check out the website or Facebook page for more information.

Also, you can find other cross-country charity bike rides at my Cross Country Bike Tours page.

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  1. Hi Gene,

    Thanks for putting the word out about the 2014 Big Ride Across America. We are excited to continue the ALA Big Ride tradition. Part of our efforts include personalized pre-ride coaching and preparation assistance to ensure the success of all Big Riders.

    Bicycle Bliss LLC is the umbrella for our fundraiser event, Big Ride Across America, and our business,

    We look forward to seeing you this summer!

    Lynn & Charlton

    • Mark on July 20, 2015 at 9:29 am
    • Reply

    For each of the past years, what percentage of all monies received for these events has the American Lung Association actually netted?

    I rode in the huge original ride and rumor was 0% because organizers got all $8 million. This, and the actial fact that nothing to the contrary is publicly available to date, has ended my desire to participate in even local bike events.

    Tide detergent was also an original paying sponsor but dropped out for undisclosed reasons.

    Please publish the net in clear terms for everyone to understand.


    Former GTE Big Rider

    • Alan on August 30, 2015 at 11:36 am
    • Reply

    Watching the Big Ride’s gradual demise is disconcerting to those of us who have our heats in it for so long. It was the best time of our lives. Jeff had a great idea to revamp it in 2003 and it seemed to work for a while. Sure it was a smaller ride but the same connections were made.. The 2006 group is still a very tight community and still tries to get together whenever possible. How can we recover this wonderful event?

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