COVID-19 Forces Autumn Escape Bike Trek to Shift Gears

New virtual options will replace physical ride, launching September 21

The American Lung Association has announced the annual Autumn Escape Bike Trek fundraising ride in 2020 will be held virtually from Monday, September 21 through Sunday, September 27, due to current COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. Effective immediately, participants will be able to register for the event, and beginning on September 21, they can track their own progress to complete their Autumn Escape Bike Trek by cycling 35 or 60 miles at their own pace to raise funds for the American Lung Association before September 27, 2020.

"The Autumn Escape Bike Trek is an event that our community looks forward to every year. The health and safety of our participants, volunteers and staff remain our top priority and so we’re shifting gears and Going virtual. This ride is an important fundraiser for the American Lung Association to raise awareness of and improve lung health, we refuse to let this lung-related virus derail our work. This is an opportunity for us to come together to show our strength and our virtual options will empower people to do that," said Nicole DeVito, senior manager of development for the Autumn Escape Bike Trek.

The event aims to raise over $50,000 for the Lung Association’s mission, to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through advocacy, education and research of lung diseases, including COVID-19. Part of the funds raised will support the Lung Association’s COVID-19 Action Initiative; a $25 million initiative to end COVID-19 and prevent future respiratory virus pandemics.

The annual Autumn Escape Bike Trek was originally scheduled as a 3-day, in-person event for riders ages seven and above, departing from the Hilton Garden Inn in Plymouth, Massachusetts and involving a 160-mile route through the Cape. Organizers have developed new ways for people to participate virtually including signing up for the Strava page, where participants can track progress on the event leaderboard. Participants can also:

  • Share their miles on the Autumn Escape Bike Trek Facebook page
  • Take and share screenshots of their Strava dashboard or other similar biking apps
  • Participants can track their miles using activity trackers (Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc.)
  • Participants will be able to download images to share their personal achievements and fundraising efforts with custom images on social media
  • Volunteers and supporters of the annual event can make donations to the American Lung Association here.

For registration and fundraising information visit BikeTrekNewEngland.org. The Autumn Escape Bike Trek staff will continue to support cyclists and their fundraising goals by offering incentives and giveaways for fundraising accomplishments. 

All registrants who raise $250 by September 27 will receive a 2020 Autumn Escape Bike Trek event t-shirt and medal. Registrants who raise more than $500 will all receive an official Autumn Escape Bike Trek cycling jersey. Since the virtual ride allows people to participant from anywhere, organizers are hoping more people will register to participate and take advantage of the virtual options.

"The coronavirus has impacted many of us in several different ways. We have seen that cycling is one of the best ways to get outside, be healthy and enjoy the fresh air while following physical distancing guidelines and enjoying the cycling community. Cycling and raising money for lung research is a great combination. We also know some people may not have been able to participate if it meant traveling to Cape Cod, so now this option will allow more of our supporters to get involved," said Jeff Seyler, chief division officer for the Eastern U.S.

Editor's Note:  Interviews with participants, organizers and volunteers can be arranged by contacting Jennifer Solomon at 516-680-8927 or [email protected].  Photos also available by request.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Solomon
(516) 680-8927
[email protected]

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