Cycling Challenge Benefits Boys & Girls Club - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cycling Challenge Benefits Boys & Girls Club

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More than 400 cyclists raced through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains Sunday, going the distance for kids in our community. The crisp sunny morning at the Old Trail Swim Club was a perfect backdrop for racers. Pleasure riders, weekend warriors and pro cyclists gathered for a great cause -- boys and girls.

"I love seeing how the communities coming together to support this cause," said cyclist Caroline Bertrand.

They scurried to the start line for the eighth annual Boys and Girls Club Cycling Challenge. The organization's mission is to provide a fun and safe place for kids to grow and learn after school and during the summer.

"The Boys and Girls Club serves over 1,800 youths in our community," said Sarah Gran, the challenge director.

Some of those youths trained for and entered Sunday's race. Cyclists traversed three courses that stretch through the Blue Ridge Mountains in Crozet

"There are different route distances. We have up to 100 miles. It ranges from 25 to 100 miles. There is an eight mile family ride as well," Gran said.

Ben King, an honorary professional cyclist from central Virginia, was also in attendance.

"It's humbling. I started cycling just like these younger boys and girls, just riding with my family and just steadily progressed. Who knows what they could be doing in a couple of years," he said.

The race generated over one $120,000 dollars.

"The funds are directed to our program to build self-esteem character and just youth development in general," Gran said.

About a dozen riders are members of the Boys and Girls Club. For many of these kids, the event may be a first step toward a lifetime of cycling.

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