A group called the Bikes Belong Coalition has come out with a study that shows what PMCers have always know – bike-a-thons are a growing and powerful way to support a cause.
The study looked at 2008 rides, including the Pan-Mass Challenge, and found that last year bike rides for a cause raised $195 million.
It also found that:
More than 1,700 U.S. recreational road riding events were held in 2008
More than 1 million Americans participated in these events
Two-thirds of the events were tied to a cause
The study highlighted the so-called "Big Nine" cycling fundraisers held annually including: the PMC, Team in Training, Tour de Cure, AIDS Lifecycle and the LIVESTRONG Challenge.
These nine programs (some include multiple events in many cities) made up more than 92 percent of all of the money raised for charity through cycling in the U.S.
The "Big Nine" are the best of best when it comes to charity cycling events. The nine rides collectively involved some 178,000 participants who raised more than $180 million in 2008. The PMC, which caps its number of riders, raised $35 million in 2008, and is the largest single athletic fundraising event in the country.
Read the full study here.