BRAWLEY â€“ The Bike 4 Friendship bike team cruisedÂ into Brawley Monday, July 18.Â The cross-country ride, consisting of nine riders and support staff, stopped locally on their way to Atlantic City from San Diego at the end of the second day of the ride.
Schneur Scop, part of the support staff, explained the ride and the organization.
â€œBike 4 Friendship is a cross-country ride sponsored by Friendship Circle,â€ said Scop. â€œFriendship Circle is an international non-profit organization that helps and supports children and families that have special needs kids. We take it for granted that we have friends and social circles, but some of these special needs kids end up isolated. They pair teenage volunteers with special needs children to give them a friend and a mentor.”
â€œWe do this ride to raise awareness about special needs kids and the stigma that goes along with it,â€ continued Scop. â€œWeâ€™d like to think a big ride like this would get peopleâ€™s attention. We see and visit many people on this ride and let them know about what we do. Hopefully, we can change the views people have, get them to help others, and be a part of something special. We are spreading the awareness of friendship and inclusion of everybody.â€
The riders bike at an average of 17 miles per hour. They take pit stops about every 20 miles and try to average 90 miles per day. The daily rides begin at 2 a.m. and finish mid-morning to avoid the heat of the day. Target date of arrival in Atlantic City is August 28.
Cynthia and Wayne Harvie have offered their home to the Bike 4 Friendship riders for the past four years.
â€œWe love this group,â€ said Mrs. Harvie. â€œThey can swim and rest here. Itâ€™s so hot and we have plenty of room. They stopped in Borrego Springs the night before. We provide them with kosher food and goodies, but they also bring all of their own kosher food.”
The next leg of the adventure ride will take them to Blythe.