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LeMond and Gaimon headline Everyone Rides fundraiser in Florida

Everyone Rides is a charity event, held the first week in December, that supports the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lee County, Florida

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Southern Florida, to most, lacks the appeal of a cycling mecca, but to Matt McCain and those behind the Everyone Rides charity weekend, the steamy part of the country serves as the ideal place to organize a ride to benefit the young people of Lee County.

Now in its 11th year, Everyone Rides is a charity ride that works to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lee County, Florida, which provide stable after-school programs for local kids. With the help and support of Tour de France champion Greg LeMond, WorldTour riders Tom Danielson and Phil Gaimon (Garmin-Sharp), and many other prominent cycling personalities, Everyone Rides is now a sizable event that brings massive financial support to the cause.

“When we first started the program, we provided the kids of the Boys and Girls Clubs with bikes, but now that the program has been so successful, all of the kids have bikes!” said Matt McCain. “Our focus now is putting funds toward improving the facilities, programs, or whatever the kids need at the clubs.”

Since the addition of riders like Danielson, Gaimon, LeMond, Frankie Andreu, and others, Everyone Rides has seen a huge boost in both participation and financial support.

“Having these riders come to the event has been great for us,” said McCain. “Just two years ago, when these guys really first started coming, we were able to raise enough money to prevent shutting down one of the Boys and Girls Clubs that would have otherwise closed. Funding for the clubs is really done at the local level and that’s why building this event is just so important to maintaining the well-being of these young people.”

Citing the importance of cycling in his own life, McCain hopes to not only promote the sport, but activity in general for kids, in order to prevent them from making mistakes.

“The Boys and Girls Clubs provide a safe place for kids to go after school. It is a positive environment with the resources and support to help them with their schoolwork and teach them valuable life skills,” said McCain. “At the end of the day, it’s not bad kids who get in trouble, but bored ones. If we can provide these young people with a positive outlet or one more opportunity, that they wouldn’t get otherwise, then that one opportunity might be the difference for keeping them out of trouble.”

The Everyone Rides charity weekend is December 6-7, with a conversational VIP ride on Saturday, that allows guests to ride easy with some of cycling’s biggest names. Sunday is the main event, with four ride options: 15 miles, 30 miles, 62 miles, and 100 miles. There will also be a half-marathon and 5k run on Sunday. All events and festivities start and finish at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.