Today, a wave of cyclists will pass through the streets of Portsmouth as they make their way toward raising awareness about autism.
Participants will be riding in the Bike to the Beach event, a 100-mile ride aimed at raising funds for autism research. The event kicks off Friday, Aug. 31, in Boston and ends in Newport to benefit Autism Speaks.
Riders took to the starting line at 4:30 a.m. Friday. It is the first time the ride is taking place in New England, following successful rides in Washington, D.C. and New York City. took cyclists from downtown Manhatten to Westhampton Beach.
The New England route, likewise, will take cyclists through Canton, Stoughton, Easton, Milton, Boston, Warren, Bristol, Portsmouth and eventually finish in Newport.
The ride was launched in 2010, with 25 riders participating and is modeled after a similar bike charity event that has been held since 2007 in Washington, D.C. Last year, there were 65 riders and $70,000 was raised. So far, the event has raised $50,000 for Autism charity.
Funds raised benefit Autism Speaks, which helps educate and raise awareness about autism. The program has become the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
To donate, visit the Bike-to-the-Beach website.