(May 10, 2013) The annual Ride for the Feast — a two-day, 140-mile biking event through Maryland — will begin in Ocean City again this year.
Bicyclists helping to raise money for Moveable Feast, a nonprofit organization that provides free, nutritious meals to people living with HIV/AIDS or breast cancer, will start their weekend journey in the resort and head toward Baltimore. This is the third consecutive year the ride will kick off in Ocean City.
“The ride is hard, but we make it fun and we have a good time,” said Ted Blankenship, director of development for Moveable Feast.
As a Maryland-based organization, Moveable Feast serves clients in Baltimore and its five surrounding counties, as well as areas along the Eastern Shore, including Ocean City. The 140 miles represent the farthest distance the organization travels to serve its clients.
Riders are asked to raise a minimum of $1,300, which is the cost of feeding one client for a full year. One hundred percent of what riders contribute will go directly to client services.
A record 200 riders participated in 2012, helping to raise $500,000 for the organization.
The participation record has been broken this year as 235 riders signed up for the 11th annual ride, set for Saturday. Of that number, 150 riders have participated before.
“It’s grown every year. We’re very fortunate people support us so much,” Blankenship said. “People do it for Moveable Feast. They love our mission and they love the work we do.”
Blankenship said the goal this year is to raise $500,000. As of Tuesday, the amount of donations totaled more than 446,000, according to the event Web site, www.rideforthefeast.org.
“When it’s all done, we expect to go over $500,000,” Blankenship said. “We’re just excited and we’re hoping for good weather.”
Riders, led by a police escort, will leave at 7:30 a.m. Saturday from Third Street and the Boardwalk, head across the Route 50 bridge and out of Ocean City. They will travel 100 miles, cycling along the country roads of the Eastern Shore and ending at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills. Riders will have maps with turn-by-turn directions and the roads are also marked with arrows to help lead the way.
Pit stops with food, beverages, medical assistance and bike technical support will be located every 15-20 miles.
On Sunday morning, the group will be bused across the Bay Bridge before they get on their bikes again for a 40-mile ride from Annapolis back to Moveable Feast’s headquarters in downtown Baltimore. There, a celebration and an awards ceremony will take place.
In 2012, Moveable Feast delivered 574,445 meals to 978 sick neighbors in their homes, 2,311 people in shelters or drop-in centers and 121 dependent children (18 and younger). All of the meals, which cater to clients’ dietary needs, are prepared fresh in the organization’s kitchen.
Moveable Feast also provides groceries and nutritional counseling as well as a transportation service for clients to attend their medical appointments.
The organization provided 2,150 nutritional counseling sessions for 471 chronically ill people, 4,826 door-to-door trips to medical appointments for 127 Baltimore City residents living with HIV/AIDS and two 12-week culinary training sessions for 18 underemployed neighbors. In total, 3,434 men and women were served last year.
For additional information about the 11th annual Ride for the Feast, visit www.rideforthefeast.org.