(May 9, 2014) Hundreds donning helmets and gloves will gather Saturday morning on the Boardwalk, the starting point for a two-day journey by bike from Ocean City to Baltimore for the 12th Annual Ride for the Feast.
Almost 300 riders are registered for the 140-mile trip to benefit Moveable Feast, which provides free meals for people living with HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and other life-threatening conditions in Baltimore, the surrounding counties and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
“We ride 140 miles because that is the exact distance a Moveable Feast driver must go to deliver to our farthest client,” said Ted Blankenship, Development Director of Moveable Feast.
The ride is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser and pulled $585,000 to feed those in need in 2013. With ridership up 30 percent for the 2014 ride, Moveable Feast hopes to raise $650,000 during this weekend’s event, Blankenship said, and by press time the event had already surpassed the 75 percent mark for that goal.
Each participant pledged to raise a minimum of $1,500, which represents the cost for Moveable Feast to feed one client for a full year. Ranging in age from 10 to 60 years old, many have lost friends or family to disease and several riders are HIV positive themselves.
The idea behind the ride started more then a decade ago with a Rehoboth Beach, Del.,-to-Baltimore ride.
Then, five years ago, organizers moved the starting point to Ocean City “to make it an all-Maryland ride,” Blankenship said.
“We serve clients all the way down to Ocean City,” he said. “We have clients in various places across Maryland.”
The 12th Annual Ride for the Feast launches at tomorrow 7 a.m. from Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk at Third Street. Riders will travel across the Route 50 bridge with a police escort then take to 100 miles of Maryland’s back roads, landing at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills Saturday night.
On Sunday, the ride continues by bus over the Bay Bridge — bikes aren’t allowed — and then from Annapolis to the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore.
Riders will gather about three miles from their journey’s end at Moveable Feast’s headquarters, then take a police escorted ride through Baltimore City to their final stop, where about 500 will be waiting for a finish line luncheon to celebrate the journey’s end.
Last year, Moveable Feast served meals to 34,000 residents across Maryland, Blankenship said. Most get a weekly delivery of meals, which provide them with food until the next week’s visit.
“The ride is our biggest fundraiser and just gives us the funds to provide those meals,” he said.
For more information about Ride for the Feast, call 410-327-3420 or visit www.rideforthefeast.org. Learn more about Moveable Feast at www.mfeast.org.