LAKE TAHOE, Calif./Nev. – With each pedal on a 4,000 mile ride, college student cyclists are raising awareness and money for cancer research. This week, they’re pedaling through South Lake Tahoe.

A group of 77 cyclists biked through Lake Tahoe on their way to Anchorage, Alaska during a 4,000 mile charity ride, this summer.

Riding through the Sierra is just one of three routes. The Rockies and the Ozarks make up the other two in a mission to go from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska. The organization, called Texas 4000 for Cancer orchestrates the event. This marks their 20th annual ride.

Angel Pittman with the organization explains the ride is two-fold in its effort against cancer, both raising awareness for the need to fund cancer research and actually physically funding it through grant making. In the 20 years, the organization has raised over $4 million, funded 20 research initiatives, and supplied multiple endowments.

“Each rider has a pretty unique story of how cancer has intersected their lives and,” Pittman says, “their motivation for riding.”

“I ride to Alaska not just for my sister Katie who battled bravely against terminal brain cancer,” rider Josh Bedingfield says, “but for everyone touched by this merciless disease. Every pedal stroke fuels our fight for cures and champions the cause of those we love and remember.”

Bedingfield and a group of 76 other cyclists left the University of Texas campus on May 25. The group travels about 60-100 miles a day by bike.

The Sierra route traverses the southwestern desert climates of West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah before heading north up the California, Oregon, and Washington coasts and into British Columbia and the Yukon before finally reaching Alaska. The route stops in large cities, small towns, and national parks along the way.

The riders are expected to stop in South Lake Tahoe, today, June 11. They’ll complete their final leg on August 2, crossing the finish line in Anchorage.

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