BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Professional cyclist Tim Johnson is once again leading a long group road ride to benefit PeopleForBikes and increase awareness of bike advocacy efforts.
Johnson led the first Ride on Washington in 2011. Last year, the ride moved to the Midwest with a route from Kansas City to Chicago. This year, the ride will go from Minneapolis to Chicago, from June 2-6, requiring the group to cover 85-110 miles each day. Current sponsors include Volkswagen, Whole Foods and Skratch Labs.
Johnson said he hopes the event will once again raise $100,000 for PeopleForBikes. The ride is invitation-only for its core group of about 25 riders, but limited one-day options are available, and the public is invited to join the group for each day's departure, and for its final miles into Chicago.
Johnson said he's looking for a special kind of influential rider to join this year.
"My ideal invited rider is actually a voting Republican who rides/races and maybe owns their own or runs a company from states with a poor record of support for transportation funding. Lots of the friction that these bills have in the House or Senate are due to just a few states that don't have an eye on the future of anything — just cutting spending. We're lucky that a pared-down bill somewhat in our favor was passed a few years back, but we can't let it go much lower."
The first editions of the Ride on Washington was from Boston to the nation's capital to attend the National Bike Summit, which was held last week. Johnson chose other means to get to the Summit this year.
"After attending the National Bike Summit last week, I was reminded that we need to turn bike riders into bike advocates without them knowing it. The amount of work going on around the country to make both pedestrian and bicycling safer is incredible - those of us that ride nearly every day or race throughout the year on road, MTB or CX bikes (yes, even fat bikes can count in this case) need to lend our support," he said.