If there is a “season” for charity bicycle rides, mid to late summer is it. This list is long…but just to highlight a few local upcoming events:
On Sunday local cycling legend Glenn Erickson is hosting a Pedaling for Parkinson’s ride starting at Perrigo Park in Redmond to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease.
Glenn is a nationally-recognized road and track racer, a master frame builder and, for the past six years, a person living with Parkinson’s. Cycling has been found to be an effective way of alleviating the symptoms of this disease.
This is the fourth year of the Wounded Warrior Project‘s Soldier Ride. Read this post about last year’s event here in the Seattle area. Find out more about the Seattle chapter of the Wounded Warrior Project here.
At the international level, Seattle category 2 racer Heidi Wood has been selected to participate in a high-profile all-women’s team riding to benefit World Bicycle Relief at the 2014 Trois Etapes in the French Pyrenees.
The Trois Etapes is a three-day pro-am charity stage race with 13 teams, each with 7 riders and 1 pro. Heidi’s “World Relief Orange” teammates include Evelyn “Evie” Stevens, Four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington, and Founder and President of the Women’s Cycling Association (WCA) Robin Farina. Given that this is the first year for an all-women’s team, it looks like the event organizers have looked the other way at the fact that Orange team is stacked with three pros!
The Orange team’s objectives are to highlight the missions of both World Bicycle Relief and the Women’s Cycling Association by:
**Raising funds to mobilize women and girl students in rural Africa through World Bicycle Relief’s programming.
**Growing women’s cycling by being the first-ever all-female team at Trois Etapes.
**Creating change through the Power of Bicycles.
**Promoting the advancement of women’s cycling around the world.
Heidi did the event last year with her husband Jim also as part of a World Bicycle Relief team. They are strong supporters of World Bicycle Relief and also participate in the Cascade Bicycle Club’s Red-Bell 100.
Among the most important benefits of providing equitable access to bicycles is that they make it much easier for kids to get to school, farmers get food to market, and doctors to see patients. It is well-documented that the way out of poverty for girls is education, so providing them with bicycles reduces any obstacles that may exist because of commute time to school.
The Women’s Cycling Association is committed to developing and advancing the state of women’s cycling in the United States. The WCA seeks to unify and represent women cyclists and advocate on their behalf: to sporting governing bodies, race organizers, and team management.
Although the Trois Etape is a charity event, it is also competitive. Each day a member of each team is selected as the person who wears the timing chip, and whose finish time counts for the entire team. This format provides incentive for each team to ride together in support of the person wearing the timing chip. To keep things safe, only the climbs are timed.
Donations can be made at any time to World Bicycle Relief.