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June 27, 2013

Ride United raises funds for United Way

By Alexandra Murray


Ride United

Ride United and their founding sponsor Kaiser Permanente headed to Cleveland for their third annual bicycle tour in an effort to raise money for the nonprofit organization, United Way of America.

Cleveland State University was the chosen starting point for their several route excursion, which ended at The University of Akron’s Recreation and Wellness Center. The event started Sunday, June 23 at 6:30 a.m. at the lower level parking garage beneath the Cleveland State University Student Center.

Before the race, Ride United served hundreds of participants breakfast as a sign of gratitude before they embarked on their journey to Akron.

Ride United is a completely supported ride, featuring numerous nourishment and medical stops. It has been described as “every rider’s dream” due to its overall design, specially crafted with every cyclist in mind. The various routes range from a 12-mile ride all the way up to the 100-mile Century ride.

Ride United described this as one of the largest bicycle tours they’ve ever seen. Thanks to a record 500 cyclists who participated in this year’s race they were able to raise $66,178, which will help the United Way of Greater Cleveland and United Way of Summit County.

Faculty member Ned Hill, dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, was the captain for Team Levin, which was organized by Maria C. Agosto, a current student of Cleveland State.

“Hill is the one who came up with the idea for this event and we are happy he brought it to us,” said Bill Kitson, CEO of United Way of Greater Cleveland.

The day after the event many participants took to Facebook in order to share with the public their experiences. One participant, Betsy Ferrer, gushed about how much fun she had while helping such a worthy cause.

“It was a really hot day, but it was worth it!!! I had a blast, will for sure join again next year, but this time I will form a team,” Ferrer wrote.

Despite the long journey and draining humidity many cyclists continue to enter the event each year, not only because of their love for cycling but also because of their desire to aid others in need. Returning cyclists also bring in new recruits such as Rob Kinsey, who was encouraged to participate by a friend who rode in last year’s Ride United.

“Being able to bike the Towpath while raising money for United Way seemed like a great way to spend a Saturday,” Kinsey said. “Thanks to my friends and family I was able to raise $200 to support United Way.”