'RIDEforHOPE' to help battle against cancer

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia is presenting "RIDEforHOPE," an indoor cycling event, on March 7 to help further its mission of battling cancer.

Hosted by Tony's Fitness Group at 623 N. Westover Blvd., the ride will serve as a fundraiser for the Cancer Coalition. The "Top Gun" of Spinning, Josh Taylor, is expected to lead the program in his "Fighter Pilot: The Ride" experience, using video and music that causes riders to feel as though they are actually flying while Taylor inspires them to "turn and burn" like fighter pilots in a dogfight, coordinators say.

It is described as a virtual experience. This is the second such event the coalition has hosted.

The first Spinning event, conducted in October, raised $7,809.75. This time, the goal is to raise $10,000 -- the majority of the which is slated to go to screenings and cancer care grants, said Melissa Goodin, development manager for the Cancer Coalition.

All fitness levels are encouraged to participate in the ride. The darkened, non-competitive studio environment will allow riders to pedal at their own pace as they make the journey, coordinators say.

"Barbara Hoots (of Tony's Fitness) came to us with the idea of doing this program, and it has raised a lot of money for the community," Goodin said.

An available event schedule has check-in and bike set-up at 5:30 p.m., with lights out and the ride beginning at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m.

Fifty indoor cycling bikes are available for sponsorship, and riders must raise a minimum of $100 by March 1 to participate. The more money a participant raises, the better bike selection and placement they will earn, coordinators say.

Riders may choose to ride in honor or in memory of someone who has been impacted by cancer and acknowledgment will be incorporated into the event.

"(Participants) are encouraged to ride in memory or honor of someone because they (will be motivated) to raise more money," Goodin said. "The more money they raise, the better their ride position.

"When they register, they can create a webpage to ask friends to help reach their goal."

It is not required to have the $100 raised before signing up. After participants register, they will be set up to start raising money. Those wishing to receive a T-shirt should register by Feb. 20, and the deadline to enter is March 1.

Aside from the donations, there is no cost to participate, Goodin said.

"One hundred percent of every donation stays right here in south Georgia to fight cancer," Cancer Coalition CEO Diane Fletcher said in a news release. "We are pleased to be able to host another 'RIDEforHOPE.' This promises to be a healthy and motivating event that gives individuals a chance to recognize people they love while raising much-needed support for our local services."

To register for "RIDEforHOPE," or for more information on the event, visit www.sgacancer.org or contact Goodin at (229) 312-1700 or melissa.goodinsgacancer.org.