The University of Minnesota Cycling Team’s 24 Hour Ride for Research wrapped up Saturday after 33 members pedaled to raise $2,900 in 2,000 miles.
Held behind the University Recreation Center’s front desk, cyclists rode Kinetic Road Machine trainers — a specialty indoor stationary bike — from noon on Friday until noon on Saturday. The team streamed the entire event online, where viewers were able to make donations benefitting the American Cancer Society.
The team had six machines set up, with four to six cyclists riding at all times.
Cycling Team President Ken Hum said his team felt cancer research was a great cause to support. Nearly everyone knows someone affected by the disease, he said.
“It’s something everyone can relate to,” Hum said.
It was the team’s first charity event, but senior kinesiology major and team sponsor Karl Schuchard said the hope is to make the fundraiser an annual event and a “staple of the local cycling calendar.”
“We realized we hadn’t really been doing anything besides riding our bikes for ourselves,” Schuchard said. “We wanted to do something that would help people out.”
Alex Matson, webmaster for the team, was the main organizer of the fundraiser. The senior economics major said working with the American Cancer Society was convenient and easy: Because the organization is so large, its website allows donors to set up a fundraising event electronically, which eliminates the need to meet with a representative.
“The American Cancer Society is taking care of all of our actual donation architecture,” Matson said. “They’re handling the webpage where donations and the financial transactions take place.”
Hum has never before organized a philanthropy event. He said this experience makes him want to do it again.
“Working with the American Cancer Society, putting together the whole fundraiser … it’s been a lot of fun,” he said.
Another University student group, Colleges Against Cancer, organizes philanthropic efforts benefitting the American Cancer Society. Schuchard said that he thinks cooperating with CAC in the future would be a possibility.
He added the team wants the money raised to go to a more local benefactor in the coming years.
Matson said the team initially wanted to donate to the University Masonic Cancer Center but for logistical reasons, it didn’t work out. The team hopes to work with the organization in the future, he said.
Schuchard said the team also hopes to encourage other local cycling teams to engage in philanthropies.
“There are so many other bike teams and clubs in the area. We’re hoping to get them involved, too,” he said.
Matson said the team beat both their monetary and mileage goals. They wanted to raise $2,500 and pedal 1,500 miles. Donations will still be accepted for another month.
Hum said that while the monetary aspect is extremely important, he believes that increasing public knowledge about cancer research was just as important.
“Awareness is the biggest goal.”