45 Five Towns cyclists will take part in an annual charity bike ride.

As the country reopens following more than a year of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, people are ready to hit the road… for a good cause. On July 29, a record 600 cyclists will ride close to 60,000 miles to support children with serious illnesses as part of Bike4Chai. Now in its 12th year, the annual cycling event raises funds for Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health support network which provides social, practical, and financial assistance to children with life-threatening and lifelong illnesses and their families.

Alex Berger of Cedarhurst will join 45 riders from Five Towns taking part in Bike4Chai 2021.

“Chai Lifeline gives kids who have gone through so much a well-needed break,” said Berger. “The riders do the pedaling and shvitzing, all you have to do is swipe for a good cause.”

This year’s one-day ride will feature two scenic but challenging route options of 85 or 108 miles. Cyclists will depart from Minerals Resort in Vernon, NJ, stopping at the gates of Camp Simcha Special, Chai Lifeline’s summer camp for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities in Glen Spey, NY. There, the riders will be greeted by the campers, many of whom require wheelchairs, respirators, or other medical equipment to survive, before returning to Vernon for a finish line celebratory barbecue.

“With every mile they ride and every dollar they raise, our cyclists impact the lives of thousands of children and families living with pediatric illness,” said Yoel Margolese, director of Bike4Chai. “Thanks to their dedication, as well as the overwhelming support of our community, Bike4Chai continues to be, not only a world-class cycling event, but one of the largest experiential fundraisers in the world.”

Bike4Chai benefits Chai Lifeline’s more than two dozen year-round programs and services, including professional case management and counseling, meal delivery to hospitals and homes, transportation to medical appointments, emergency financial assistance, Project Chai crisis intervention, insurance advocacy, i-Shine afterschool programming for children living with illness or loss in their families, Camp Simcha/Special summer programming, and more.

To learn more, visit www.bike4chai.com.

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