Charity Rides Combine Exercise Good Will 2009: Somewhere Casual

Charity rides combine exercise good will

Somewhere in between casual bike path cruising and road race hammering lies the middle ground of cycling &mdash the charity bike ride.
Charity bike rides are ubiquitous in Vermont. At last count, there were 20 such events in the state benefiting a range of charities such as Vermont CARES, the Kellogg Hubbard Library and North Country Animal League. The rides offer mileage and terrain for every kind of cyclist. First up: The Lund Family Center Mother’s Day Ride, which happens Sunday, is one of two newcomers to the circuit. Organizer Denise Vignoe said despite it being a new event, the Lund Family Center ride has already attracted 150 people. Vignoe, who is on the center’s development board, comes to the ride with event planning experience. For years she helped organize the Vermont City Marathon and knows what it takes to make a successful event. Part of what makes an event successful is understanding what people want. Vignoe understands that people want a way to give back to their community and also take part in outdoor activities and a charity bike ride is the perfect marriage of the two. “All of us here in Vermont want to use this great outdoor venue we have,” Vignoe said. Kitty Bartlett, annual giving coordinator for Lund Family Center said the organization settled on a bike ride as a way to raise money because it was a family-friendly activity. The event features a family ride on the Burlington bike path, a 30-mile ride and a 55-mile ride. They set an ambitious fundraising goal of $50,000 and Bartlett said they are likely to reach it. “We were looking to engage different groups of people and this seemed like a fun way to bring people together,” Bartlett said.
Another ride new to the circuit is the Spectrum Youth and Family Center Ride. The June 28 event is organized by board of directors president and avid cyclist David White and features 10k, 25k, 50k and 100k options.

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