Seventh annual ride is ready to roll

Kelly Brush Century Ride Sept. 8

Vermont’s largest charity bike ride, the Kelly Brush Century Ride, rolls on Sept. 8 in Middlebury. The seventh annual ride benefits adaptive athletes and supports spinal cord injury prevention.

In addition to being the largest ride of its type in the state, the event is one of New England’s largest for adaptive athletes using handcycles. Bicyclists and handcyclists who participate raise funds to help adaptive athletes with spinal cord injuries experience the benefits of sports. The ride has funded grants for adaptive equipment for skiing, cycling, bowling, rowing, and even scuba diving.

“Kelly Brush Century Ride participants have made it possible for the Kelly Brush Foundation to purchase over 40 pieces of adaptive athletic equipment for adaptive athletes with financial limitations,” said Kelly Brush Foundation President Charlie Brush. “While each piece of equipment ranges from $3,500 to $6,000, the quality of life improvement for the athletes is immeasurable.”

Last year, over 700 riders and 24 handcyclists raised more than $275,000 for the Kelly Brush Foundation.

The scenic route through the Champlain Valley starts at Middlebury College and heads along the lake, winding through Charlotte and Shelburne before looping back.

Riders can choose to ride 25, 50, or 100-mile routes. New for this year is a 25-mile loop. Previous years’ 25-mile course was a point-to-point ride that required a shuttle back to the start.  Also new this year, riders earn Patagonia clothing by reaching fundraising milestones.

The ride features five fully stocked water/fuel stops including food from sponsors Hammer Nutrition and Brueggers Bagels. Riders also enjoy a post-ride BBQ and raffle.

The ride was started by the Middlebury College Ski Team as a way to raise money to buy an adaptive mono-ski for team member Kelly Brush, who was paralyzed as the result of a ski racing crash. Brush and her family later founded a non-profit, and the ride was opened to the public.

Online registration is open through midnight Wednesday, Sept. 5. Day of event registration is also available. To register online visit: www.kellybrushfoundation.org.

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