Charity Bike Rides: Causes Worth Riding For

Charity ride

If you’re looking for a great reason to get out and bike, many charitable organizations are now using group bicycle rides as fundraisers for public health research on issues like cancer and diabetes. These rides are a great way to have fun, get some phenomenal exercise, and raise money for a good cause.

These rides are also an opportunity to engage your community around certain issues. Usually these rides are done with family, friends, community members, and employers “sponsoring” riders by pledging donations to the charity at hand. In order to secure these donations, a rider has to reach out, sharing information about the cause at hand, why it is meaningful to them, and what support they are asking for.

Many people also chose to ride in charity rides as a way to honor and support a loved one or friend who is struggling with a debilitating illness. Many people find that this is a very meaningful way to put effort towards helping a friend or loved one who is struggling with a disease that they otherwise cannot help with. A benefit ride can be a great way to stop feeling helpless and start helping.

Charity rides are generally accessible to anyone, provided they can find enough sponsors to get them in the door (some rides ask participants to raise a certain minimum amount). Most rides have multiple length options, with 25, 50, and 100 miles being common lengths.

Here is a list of some of the biggest charity rides around the United States:

American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure

Tour de Cure

The Tour de Cure is a widespread series of charity rides held in states across the country. In 2015, the Tour de Cure will be held in dozens of states, with many states holding multiple events. The rides mostly take place in the Spring and Summer. To learn about rides in your area, visit the Tour de Cure website and enter your location into the search bar.

American Lung Association charity rides

Many chapters of the American Lung Association host charity rides in their home states as a way to raise funds for the organization. In 2015, events are being held in Washington, Oregon, and Massachusetts, among other states. To learn more about American Lung Association rides in your area, visit the Association's community page.

Climate Ride

We all know that cycling is a great way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions compared to riding a car, but what if you want to take things to the next level? Well, maybe you should check out the Climate Ride: a series of benefit rides with proceeds supporting renewable energy and environmental education projects. Participants will also be joined by expert speakers to share knowledge about climate change and how to take action. Learn more at climateride.org.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Ride to Cure Diabetes

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation works to raise money for Type 1 diabetes research. The organization holds a number of charity rides each year. In 2015, they are scheduled for Vermont, Wisconsin, Tennessee, California, Arizona, and South Carolina. To learn more and register, visit the JDRF ride page.

MS Bike Rides

Bike MS

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society sponsors dozens of bike tours in the US each year. These rides take place in nearly every state and seem to average something around 125 miles in length. To learn more about the 2015 rides, visit Bike MS. Proceeds from the rides go to the Society to support research into curing MS.

AIDS Lifecycle

The annual AIDS Lifecycle ride is put on by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and is one of the longer rides on this list: 545 miles along the California coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Participants are required to raise at least $3,000 to take part and are coached and supported throughout the ride. This ride has been happening for nearly 15 years, and will take place May 31st to June 6th this year. Learn more at the Aids Lifecycle website.

CHaFE 150

The CHaFE 150 is an annual 150- or 80-mile bike ride that takes place in northern Idaho and western Montana. The ride is limited to 500 cyclists and raises money for children with autism in the Lake Pend Orielle School District. The beautiful ride winds through the river valleys of the Cabinet Mountains. Learn more at CHaFE150.org.

Best Buddies Challenge

The Best Buddies Challenge is a series of benefit rides that helps support Best Buddies International, an organization that works with volunteers to develop one-on-one relationships with people who have mental disabilities for their benefit. The rides are split into 20-, 50-, and 100- mile options, and runners and walkers are also able to participate. In 2015, the rides are taking place in Massachusetts, California, Virginia, and Florida. More information and registration details at the Best Buddies Challenge site.

Benefit rides can be a great way to contribute to causes that you care about, and can help you to engage your community, as well. Plus they’re a whole bunch of fun! If you’re interested in finding more charity rides in your area, check out bikeride.com, which maintains huge listing of cycling events.

What are some causes you've ridden for? Spread the word in the comments below!