Photo: chuckmartel under a Creative Commons license.
On Sunday, a team of ten firefighters pulled out of a fire station in downtown Los Angeles, but not in a fire engine, and not in response to an emergency call. They were all on bicycles, and at the start of a very long journey. The team is biking 3,308 miles to New York City, but not just for a personal challenge. It's taking part in the first Ride for 9-11, designed to honor the victims of September 11, 2001 and to raise money for firefighter charities.The ride will take 45 days, and the riders will be spending nights in fire stations along the way. If all goes according to plan, they will arrive in New York on September 9. That will give them enough time to recuperate before taking part in memorial services on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
The Ride for 9-11 team has been working on the idea of a fundraising cross-country ride for the past four years, and the riders have spend the last year getting in shape, riding as many as 80 to 100 miles on days off.
The team encourages donations, all of which go to the Leary Firefighters Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project. You can also donate equipment, or even join the team along the route to show your support.
Long distance cycling trips, often for good causes, are very much in vogue, and that's great news for cycling in general. It means that cars are losing their grip as the go-to mode of transportation. Feeling inspired? Why not plan your own trip today?
For more stories like this, follow me on Twitter.
More long distance bike trips for social good:
Meet Ryan Stotland, Long Distance Cyclist Fighting Climate Change
300 Riders Cover 31,000 Miles in the Name of Affordable Housing
Six Bikers + 3,000 kilometers = One Huge Blow to Global Poverty