They rode up, down, and all the way around.

In the end, a group of 68 riders logged 568 miles on their bicycles as part of the grueling Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride Against Cancer.

As of last week, the ride helped raise $202,908 to help fight cancer in the Lehigh Valley community. Of that, over 90-percent goes to the American Cancer Society and Dream Come True.

The riders began their six-day trek from Portland, Maine, to Palmerton earlier this month. The ride consisted of 568 miles, and over 42,000 feet of vertical climbing.

At the end of their ride, the group was greeted at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Palmerton with a Welcome Home Reception, followed by a dinner.

This marked the 11th time the church has hosted the ride, according to Rev. Paul Schoffstall, of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

The ride was the 30th anniversary of the original 1,000 mile ride around the perimeter of the state, said Schoffstall, who noted this year was the 16th ride overall.

The PPRAC was organized in 1983 by Bob Freed, an Allentown schoolteacher, in response to the cancer deaths of two family members and a friend.

The original PPRAC, a 10-day journey covering 1,000 miles around the border of Pennsylvania, was completed by 22 riders and raised much-needed funds for the American Cancer Society.

Since then, subsequent six-day rides have been completed every other year. Each ride covered about 500 miles by 25 to 60 riders who not only raised funds for the American Cancer Society, but also donated to Dream Come True, a support organization for terminally and seriously ill children.

Over the years, the PPRAC has raised over $1.5 million, Schoffstall said.