August 2020 Top Talk -Portland Bicycling Club

August 2020 Top Talk

Although we are not conducting club rides, it turns out we can ride as a group – even if riding as a group means we ride solo! You say that doesn’t make sense, so I’ll explain; but first, let me provide some background. For 30 years the American Lung Association (ALA) has promoted the Reach the Beach (RTB) ride as a major annual fundraiser in support of their mission. That mission is “to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy.” The ALA was first organized in 1904 as the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis. As a response to the pandemic, the national organization is shifting $8 million of their existing funds to COVID-19 research and created the ‘’Covid-19 Action Initiative” to raise $25 million for COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research.

It is sad and perhaps ironic that a lung infection, COVID-19, has led to a major disruption in ALA’s annual Cycle for Air fundraisers, which includes Oregon’s Reach the Beach ride. On the local level, the RTB ride in Oregon has so far generated only one-third of this year’s goal! Their need has never been greater! Our reasons for supporting them in this goal have also never been greater.

As I said, although not riding as a group, we can still work and ride as a group in support of the RTB – even as we ride solo. This statement, although seemingly paradoxical, is because Strava has enabled the RTB to become virtual for riders who would rather not participate in a group event. You now have your choice: either 1) virtual before or 2) real-time on Sunday, October 11. If riding virtually, the number of miles you ride is up to you! The route(s) and dates you ride are up to you! And, if you elect to ride virtually, your registration fee of $65 is waived since you won’t require road support on the day of the event (October 11)! Your donation goal is the same as real-time participants, however, i.e., $130.

I encourage you to join the team as a virtual or real-time team participant and follow Ann Morrow and Dick Weber’s ride suggestions (see more in this newsletter), or donate to our riders so that they can meet their $130 minimum at the PBC RTB team website.

You can also learn more by registering at for the Cycle for Air virtual kickoff party on Thursday, July 30. One of the speakers is ALA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Albert Rizzo, who will talk about the COVID-19 Action Initiative. Also, volunteers and staff from the Washington (9/26), Oregon (10/11) and Alaska (9/19) events will talk about why they ride and the importance of fundraising during the pandemic. There will be state-specific breakouts with details about routes and logistics and the opportunity to ask questions.

Stay well, stay safe!