DC Bike Ride is off this year, but organizers still want you to pedal for a purpose

Every year, the District shuts down some of its busiest streets for a few hours so bicyclists can pedal around the city without worrying about traffic. But this year, because of the pandemic, the DC Bike Ride has been called off.

Organizers still want you to get on your bike, though. They started with a virtual ride earlier this month, and now there’s a fundraising effort called Pedal For A Purpose: Giving Thanks 2020, where even pedaling for one quick mile can go a long way.

“This is a completely new program for us,” said Chris Browne, the managing director of the DC Bike Ride.

The organization has teamed up with CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield for the event, which runs between Monday, Nov. 23, and Monday, Nov. 30.

The program is “simple, but it’s very impactful,” Browne told WTOP.

“Our partners at CareFirst will make a donation of $25 for each ride taken on your behalf to an organization called Dreaming Out Loud,” he added.

The D.C.-based nonprofit supports community food programs that fight hunger and provide access to healthy foods, while also offering youth and adults workforce skills.

Those who participate will also be encouraged to make a $25 donation.

“Food insecurity is projected to rise by about 60% in the District of Columbia alone,” Browne said, adding that a $25 donation will get fresh produce for a family of four or prepared meals for a home-bound senior. “These are meaningful funding sources for that organization.”

Every bike ride of at least one mile qualifies for a donation. And that’s whether you ride outside or indoors on a stationary bike.

There are two ways to log your rides. You can download the Ride Spot app and record the miles that way. You can also use the hashtag #pedal4purpose2020. You can record up to four rides each day.

Each day will feature a special “double donation” — a special route will be published that results in double the donation for every ride along that route.

“Some will be in the District; we’ll also have Virginia and Maryland,” said Browne. “We’ll also have different themes, including parks and recreation sites, perhaps a museum route.”

But ultimately, with this program, you can ride anywhere at any time that’s convenient for you.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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