Charity bike ride; any interest?

Photo courtesy of Reddit user Cpt2Slow; used with permission.

I know the weather’s been turning a bit colder lately, and not many people are thinking about climbing onto their bikes and riding in a D.C. winter (it’s possible, but given our last snowy encounter, you’d best be outfitted with these). However, it’s the perfect time to start planning for upcoming rides—once the weather evens out, the crisp spring air is a great environment to raise money for an awesome cause.

Photo © Jeff Gritchen, InsideSoCal / Long Beach Seen blog.

A simple Google search reveals several firefighter-centric charity bicycle rides, benefiting everything from multiple sclerosis to the families of those who died on September 11th.

The Chicago Fire Department’s fundraising organization, Ignite The Spirit, completed a 950-mile ride from Chicago around Lake Michigan in May of this year to benefit pediatric cancer research (WGN Radio article here).

The Fire Fighters Charity, a UK-based organization, is currently in the midst of an almost-300-mile, London-to-Paris ride that will finish on November 12th. They’ve already raised the equivalent of $16,413 USD.

Finally, the Tour de Force NY is a ride that started in 2002. Two hundred participants (both American and European, I noted) departed from the Pentagon in Arlington, VA on September 11th.

After riding through D.C., Maryland, Delware, and New Jersey, the riders arrived at Ground Zero on September 14th—a total of just over 200 miles. The route changes every year, too; in 2007, the riders cycled from Yankee Stadium to Fenway Park (flickr user moknits captured them as they were arriving in Boston).

Now, I’d love to attend one of these rides myself next year. However, I think the DC area has enough charity-conscious individuals that we could really get something going for the DC Firefighters’ Burn Foundation—I asked a few questions of the right people, and it seems that nobody’s ever done a charity bicycle ride for the organization. I think this could be a great opportunity to get a few fellow cyclists together and raise some serious money next year!

Uh, guys? I don’t think we have to actually be working while we’re riding. But I suppose it never hurts to be prepared… (Image source unknown.)

If there’s any interest/ideas that you’d like to throw my way, either email me or drop a comment below.

Besides, we could certainly make our presence known with a few custom cycling jerseys…

This was just me spitballing some ideas quickly… I’d imagine any actual jerseys might not be this diverse in the color department… we’d look like Skittles riding down the road.

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Alex Capece

Washington, D.C. Firefighter and Paramedic

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