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Bike touring continues to be a successful way to raise money for charity

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Bicycle touring is often associated with raising money for charity. People decide to set off on long trips where they're able to cover plenty of ground and receive a more intimate, friendly welcome from many communities and citizens than they would in a car. They spread word of the organization as they ride, sometimes collecting money as well. 

Riding for charity also allows people who donate to invest in something they can watch and follow. Rather than donating to the Red Cross or another major institution, people can read a blog or interact with the cyclist who's riding for charity. And further, by riding, people are physically showing their effort and passion for the cause. 

There are many other reasons why people have ridden for charity, and even more charities that have been ridden for. Here are a few notable stories from around the country about people who have or are planning to help various charities from atop their saddles. 

Riding to every Shriners hospital in the US
Shriners Hospitals for Children are a group of medical facilities throughout the U.S. that focus on providing care for children with burn injuries, physical deformities and other medical conditions, often without cost. John Nightingale, a resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is riding to every one of these hospitals in the mainland U.S. to raise money for the organization, the Olean Times Herald reported. 

Nightingale's 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with infantile idiopathic scoliosis in 2013 and treated at a Shriners Hospital for Children in South Carolina, the newspaper explained. In order to repay them, Nightingale set out to visit all of the hospitals, raising money along the way and awareness about his daughter's condition. His ride is called "Pedal for Pennies" and had raised about $12,000 as of Sept. 27. The total ride is expected to be 1,900 miles. 

Teen's cross-country trip for literacy 
Over the summer of 2014, 16-year-old Brandon Hass rode 3,181 miles from Charleston, South Carolina, to Los Angeles, California, in 45 days, The Palm Beach Post reported. His touring trip was sponsored by Overland Summers and allowed him to raise money for an organization he cared about. Although falling short of his $10,000 goal, the local newspaper explained that Hass was able to raise $8,465 for the Boynton Beach-based Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County. 

The 27th Annual Hope Ride 
In rural Indiana, the Hope Ride is an annual biking tradition that makes serious money, Columbus, Indiana's The Republic explained. This short tour offers riders the chance to ride 25, 50 or 100 miles on changing routes that go through scenic and historic sections of Indiana. The newspaper explained that Hope's population grows significantly when the race attracts its riders from all over the U.S. 

Held on the third Saturday each September, the scenic country landscape is a significant appeal to many riders, as is raising money. Last year, the event raised $50,000 for charities. Some went to operating costs, The Republic explained, but $30,000 was given directly to charities. 

The 19th Annual MM&B Bergen Bike Tour 
Like the Hope Ride, cyclists in New Jersey turned to a shorter, community-based ride to raise money for Tomorrow's Children's Fund. NorthJersey.com reported that this year the event raised $125,000 for charities, bringing its all-time total to about $1.5 million. Some people only ride about 10 miles, but regardless of distance, a minimum donation collected is about $100. Many raised much more, with some groups bringing in thousands of dollars. 

The online news source pointed to 26-year-old Ari Schwartz, who rode in the event this year. When he was a teenager, Schwartz was diagnosed with leukemia and got support from Tomorrows Children's Fund. As an adult, he wanted to give back through his riding and fundraising, the news source explained. 

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About Stephane Marchiori

Owner of Cyclocamping.com
Bike touring since 2003, including:
a 5-Year Bicycle Journey Around The World!

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