Roughly 500 cyclists expected to RIDE to End Alzheimer's
RYE — About 500 cyclists will hit the road Saturday to raise money for a cure for Alzheimer's, and it's not too late to register.
The 21st annual RIDE to End Alzheimer’s takes off at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye with four distance options including a 30-, 62- 100-mile and a 2-mile family course that run throughout the New Hampshire Seacoast and the north shore of Massachusetts.
The take off times are as follows:
100-mile riders take off: 6:30 a.m.
62-mile riders take off: 8:30 a.m.
30-mile riders take off: 10 a.m.
Family ride takes off: 11 a.m.
Online registration closed Wednesday, but those looking to register may do so Friday from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at the Packet Pick Up Event at Discover Portsmouth, at 10 Middle St., Portsmouth.
Registration also will be available the day of the event from 6-11 a.m., and participants are asked to arrive at least 45 minutes ahead of their desired start time to register.
Every year, 90 percent of the funds raised by the event are given to research restricted grants, while the remaining 10 percent goes to fund programs and services for families impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
This year's fundraising goal is $500,000, and since the event began 21 years ago, the RIDE has raised over $4 million.
Many of the riders have personal ties to Alzheimer's, like Ann Whaley-Tobin, who not only participates in the RIDE but has been a committee member for the event for eight years. Whaley-Tobin lost her mother and aunt to Alzheimer’s and said that a cousin also has been diagnosed.
Marian Hyder, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, was diagnosed in 2016 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s and primary progressive aphasia. This is Marian’s second year participating in the event on the 30-mile course, and in 2016 her team raised over $10,000. She is very active and wants to show people that you can still do things with Alzheimer’s.
Another couple traveled all the way across the country from California to participate in this event, despite having no ties to the region. Leslie Laskin Reese and her husband decided to ride for causes they believe in this year and the RIDE and a vacation to New Hampshire sounded like a great opportunity. Leslie also lost her mother to Alzheimer’s.
Jim Wessler, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association's Massachusetts and New Hampshire Chapter, has pedaled for a cure for 13 years, and this year he will ride the 100-mile course.
A post-ride celebration and barbecue will be held at Odiorne Point State Park from noon-4 p.m.