“Bike4Chai brings out the best in people,” said Yoel Margolese, director of Bike4Chai. “It gives participants the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of people living with illness, while also taking part in a world class cycling experience.”
The event begins in Princeton, NJ, on the morning of August 14. Cyclists will spend the next day and a half riding along scenic routes in New Jersey and the Pocono mountains until they reach The World’s Greatest Finish Line, the entrance to Camp Simcha Special, Chai Lifeline’s overnight camp for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities in Glen Spey, NY. There, the cyclists will be greeted by campers, many of whom require wheelchairs, respirators, or other medical equipment to survive, as well as hundreds of family and staff members, who will celebrate along with them.
Joining the cyclists are 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans; 17-time Tour de France competitor George Hincapie, retired American professional cyclist Christian Vande Velde, Super Bowl-winning New York Giant Amani Toomer, Stanley Cup-winning New York Rangers Mike Richter and Adam Graves, actor Sean Ringgold, sports commentator and former professional cyclist Bob Roll, and members of Israel’s professional cycling team, Israel Cycling Academy.
“The power of Bike4Chai emanates from the cyclists,” said Rabbi Sruli Fried, director of Chai Lifeline NJ and executive director of Bike4Chai. “Their dedication to the cause is reflected in the unity and camaraderie of the group throughout the ride.”
Bike4Chai benefits Chai Lifeline’s more than two dozen year-round programs and services, including professional case management; counseling; meal delivery to hospitals and homes; transportation to medical appointments; the summer experience of a lifetime for children with cancer and chronic illnesses at Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special; Project Chai crisis intervention, trauma and bereavement workshops for families, schools and communities; insurance advocacy; family retreats and respite; i-Shine afterschool national programs for children living with illness or loss in their homes; and more.
Bike4Chai follows on the success of its sister ride, Tour de Simcha, an all-women’s ride which took place on July 16.
“These cyclists serve as an inspiration to all of us,” said Rabbi Simcha Scholar, CEO of Chai Lifeline. “With every mile they ride and every dollar they raise, they show our children and families that they care and that they are not alone in their battle against pediatric illness.”