Cyclists Riding Across North America Raise $1.8 Million to Fight Global Poverty

(Photo: Sea to Sea 2013)

More than 120 cyclists who have raised $1.8 million so far to fight global poverty by riding their bicycles across the U.S and Canada are scheduled to go through New York this week, ending their tour on Saturday in Staten Island.

The Sea to Sea 2013 Bike Tour is a nine-week, 3,900-mile cycling trek across North America designed to raise awareness and funds in support of those living in poverty around the world. The tour is sponsored by the Reformed Church in America, Partners Worldwide, and World Renew – the disaster relief arm of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

The money raised benefits local, national and international agencies fighting poverty.

"We have been able to make a difference in fighting poverty, locally and abroad, before. But there is so much more to do. The needs today are greater," said Claire Elgersma, chair of the tour's steering committee.

The cyclists crossed the border back into the United States on Monday, and arrived in Ausable Chasm, N.Y. On Tuesday, they are scheduled to bike 81.6 mi/131.3 km to Whitehall and will spend the night on the grounds of the Whitehall Marina.

The other stops on the tour, which began June 24 in Los Angeles, include Albany, Hyde Park, New City, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

The challenge included nine weeks on the road, cycling an average of 68 miles per day, and resting only on Sundays. Each full distance rider is also required to raise at least $10,000 toward the cause.

Funds generated through the tour will be used to support the sponsoring agencies in their new or ongoing initiatives in the areas of business and community development, and will provide people around the world with access to clean water, immunizations, and other vital medical services. Additionally, 35 percent of the tour proceeds will be distributed to local programs that assist the poor.

The Sea to Sea 2013 Bike Tour follows the shape and format of similar cycling projects hosted by the Christian Reformed Church in 2005 and 2008. In 2005, the tour raised almost $1 million, and in 2008, the tour raised over $2.5 million before costs and sent over $1.5 million to local, national and international agencies fighting poverty.

On the Web,