6 Spring Charity Bike Rides to Have on Your Radar

Our picks for upcoming rides for a cause.

Penn Medicine's Million Dollar Bike Ride

Penn Medicine’s Million Dollar Bike Ride

Last week, when we posted our guide to springtime charity runs in our area, a reader asked if we had a similar guide for charity bike rides. Well, we didn’t then — but we do now. Ask and ye shall receive, friends.

Check out these Philly-area rides — all different distances, all different locations — where you can put your pedal power to good use.

Million Dollar Bike Ride
When: Saturday, May 9th.
Where: Starts and ends at the University of Pennsylvania.
Benefits: Penn Medicine Orphan Disease Center.

There are three different routes and distances to choose from for this second annual event: 12-, 35-, and 75-mile loops, all starting and ending at Penn’s campus. Cyclists are encouraged to fundraise, but it’s not required. Last year’s inaugural Million Dollar Bike Ride raised $1.4 million for rare disease research at Penn Medicine, with over 540 registered cyclists.

Phillies Charities Bike Ride
When: Sunday, May 17th.
Where: Starts and ends at Citizens Bank Park.
Benefits: Phillies Charities, Inc., which awards grants to a variety of charitable organizations each year.

This first-time event features a 25-mile ride through Philly. It’s open to participants ages 13 and up, but you need to be able to keep speed between 10 and 15 miles per hour. Police will lead the pack of riders through city streets with rolling street closures. Cyclists will get an official Phillies Charities Bike Ride cycling jersey, a voucher for four tickets to a Phillies vs. Rockies game in May, and a 20 percent discount at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park.

Cinco de Mayo Benefit Bike Ride
When: Sunday, May 3rd.
Where: Starts and ends at the Chester Valley Trail, Exton Trailhead, 140 Church Farm Lane, Exton.
Benefits: Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports, aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities through sport and recreation.

Choose from three different ride distances: an up-to-22-mile ride (you choose your max distance) on the paved Chester Valley Trail; a 25-mile, fairly hilly road route through Chester County; or a quite-hilly 50-mile road route for experienced cyclists. All rides end at a post-ride fiesta with food and music provided by Mas Mexicali Cantina.

Amy’s Ride Against Pancreatic Cancer
When: Saturday, May 16th.
Where: Quakertown.
Benefits: Pancreatic cancer research and treatment at Jefferson University Hospital.

The flat 18-mile ride is designed for families and casual cyclists, with a covered bridge crossing and miles through wooded, scenic roads looping around Lake Towhee. The 35-mile ride is for more experienced cyclists, adding a second covered bridge to the route and two category 5 climbs. Both rides end at Quakertown’s Arts Alive festival, where participants can score a free hot dog, and all cyclists are eligible to win a $500 gift certificate to the VeloShop.

Tour de Lebanon Valley
When: Saturday, May 30th.
Where: Lebanon County.
Benefits: Volunteers in Medicine Free Health Clinic and Lebanon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

Yes, this rural ride is about two hours from Philly, but it’s worth the haul. Whether you choose the 26-mile ride or the Metric Century (62 miles), you’ll cover quiet country roads flanked by Mennonite and Amish farms, plus old stone churches, buildings and cemeteries and countless farm stands where you can pull over to sample fresh produce.

ALS Express Ride
When: Saturday, May 30th.
Where: Various starting points in New Jersey; all rides end in Wildwood.
Benefits: ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter.

This non-competitive bike-a-thon is suited for people of all ages and riding abilities. It’s a one-way ride from several points in New Jersey, with decreasing distances (duh) the closer you get to the finish line in Wildwood; you can choose from a 75-, 50-, 25- or 10-mile ride. All routes end at Morey’s Piers, where participants will get free wristbands for unlimited rides at the theme park and water park, and entry to a finish line barbecue.

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