Hundreds start longest Charity Ride

Imagine going from Central Texas to Alaska under your own pedal power.

Saturday morning, the longest charity bike ride in the world got underway in Central Texas, and hundreds of cyclists took part.

Fifty-three riders will be making the entire trip to Anchorage, Alaska.

“The 53 of us have already raised $325,000 in the fight against cancer, and it’s just awesome that college students eating ramen and dirt can raise so much money,” rider Shilen Patel.

Patel is making the journey for his grandfather who died of cancer when Patel was only 9 years old. Beyond that, Patel and the 52 other riders say the Texas 4000 for Cancer is more than just a ride raising money for cancer, for those that will make the full 70 day journey, it’s about spreading a message.

“It’s so important to us to spread that message, and to empower not only the students that are riding but to empower everybody that we come in touch with. That you can control your own health and be proactive because you can save your own life,” Jamille Ruebsahm said.

Spectators also showed up to provide support for the riders and the cause.

“I’m here because my brother is one of the cyclists for Texas 4,000 for cancer and so I came to support him and make it an exciting day,” supporter Alison Deathe said.

This is the seventh year for the Texas 4000 ride. Organizers say over the years, they have raised more than $1.5 million to benefit those at the MD Cancer Center.

Cyclists are scheduled to cross the finish line in Anchorage on August 13.