It is September, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is once again holding its Will Bike 4 Food fundraiser. The COVID-19 pandemic makes it a problem to hold a group event, but it also has increased many people’s financial difficulty, and food insecurity. The Food Bank has reported serving 16% more people from March through June of 2020 than in the same months in previous years.

In order to avoid an unsafe environment, the event this year is happening separately; all riders will ride on their own, whenever during the month of September they want to. Riders get to set their own goals for how far to ride and where to do so. While I initially just thought about coming up with my own 100-mile course to ride in a day, I ended up deciding to do something different. With many places shut down, there is a lack of facilities for rest stops. So what seems like it will work better is a larger number of shorter rides. In past years, including training rides and such, I’ve typically ridden a total of 300 to 350 miles during September. So, my goal for this year is to put in a total of at least 400 miles between now and 9/30. Mainly, I expect this to take the form of 8 rides, each of which will be at least 50 miles.

My goal for fundraising is $1000, and I plan to match contributions that people make, regardless of whether that goal is met (I know many people may be unable to donate as much this year as in the past). However, if people do donate a total of $1000 by the end of September, I will go for a bonus long ride in early October. In other words, I will literally go the distance for you if you meet my goal.

To contribute, you can give online at this year’s fundraising page by clicking here. Thanks so much for the past support, and for whatever you can give this time.

I’ll post recaps of all the rides here on the blog, complete with pictures and such. Looking forward to it!