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Cyclists raising awareness for animal rescue

Published June 17. 2010 05:00PM

Cyclists are gearing up for the second annual Pedaling4Paws ride from West Chester, to Ogdensburg N.Y. to raise money for animal rescue.

The ride will take cyclists through seven counties in Pennsylvania, including Carbon County, and five counties in N.Y. for a total of 450 miles. It benefits SPCAs and other animal rescue organizations, including Carbon County Friends of Animals in Jim Thorpe.

On Tuesday, June 22, at 8 a.m., cyclists leave West Chester and will travel 97 miles to Lehighton, where they will stop at Country Inn and Suites to break for dinner and rest. The group will then leave Lehighton and head into Jim Thorpe, where they will stop at Carbon County Friends of Animals at 8:30 a.m., and then travel through Albrightsville, White Haven, Bear Creek Village and over to Union Dale. The group will continue traveling 88 miles on average a day until they arrive at the Canadian border in Ogdensburg on the afternoon of June 26.

The annual ride was started as an idea to ride a bike to the Canadian border. Mike Van Ryn and Viktor Ohnjec, members of the West Chester Cycling Club, cycled the same route in late June 2009. They didn't plan to make the ride a charity event but Van Ryn's brother offered to contribute $1 per mile to the Chester County SPCA. From that point forward the ride took on a life of its own. By September, the Chester County SPCA was presented with checks totaling over $2,000 from the money collected on behalf of the ride.

This year, the ride is an official event with all proceeds going directly to local SPCAs on the route.

Cyclists interested in participating in the ride can contact Ohnjec at

To donate locally to an animal rescue in the area along the route, Donations for CCFOA can only be checks. Make sure to fill in "Pedaling4Paws - Carbon County in the memo section.

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