The Anchor House Ride for Runaways has been a part of life for Adrian Glass ever since she was seven years old.
Every Anchor House ride, she, other family members and some friends would position themselves on the route the last day to cheer on the cyclists with posters, balloons and noisemakers.
Her mom, Sue Glass of Lawrence, has participated in the ride for 12 years.
Now that she is grown up, Adrian Glass has joined her mom on the ride that benefits children and young people who need shelter. For two years she worked as a support crew member, but this year she has joined her mom on two wheels. Her sister, Leanna Glass, is a support crew member for the first time.
“When we were young we used to cry when my mom left for the ride, and cry when she came back,” Adrian Glass said. “I’m happy I can be a part of it now.”
She and the other 188 cyclists on the 35th annual Ride for Runaways biked 78.7 hilly miles today, enjoying beautiful scenery along the way that included mountains, lakes and farms. One of the hills the cyclists climbed had a grade of 14 percent. The humidity was also a challenge for some of the cyclists as temperatures rose in the afternoon.
Glass, 20 and athletic, easily completed day one. She is one of several young people participating in the ride. The minimum age to participate is 18. This year there are more young people on the ride than usual, and all of them are participating because a parent or relative rides.
Riding is perhaps less challenging physically for young people, but logistically the week-long Anchor House ride can be difficult because of college and summer jobs. The cost of a good bike and cycling equipment can add up. The cyclists also have to raise a minimum of $750 in donations, which can be tough when friends are working lower-paying jobs. Glass attends Franklin and Marshall College, and has a part-time summer job.
“Other friends I know have work scheduled that would make it impossible for them to take the week off. I’m also lucky, my mom bought me all my bike gear and I’m riding her old bike,”Adrian Glass said. “The ride has been fabulous so far. I feel better than I thought I would. It’s the first time I ever biked almost 80 miles.”
Greg Plumb, 24, and his sister Jaye Plumb are riding with their mom, Joan Plumb of Yardley.
“My family has always done the ride. This will be my mom’s seventh,” he said. “This is the first year riding was possible for me. I had summer internships when I was in school. I couldn’t do the ride, because you don’t want to lose a job.”
Plumb is working a regular job now as a consultant in New York, but has taken a leave of absence to travel and take part in the ride.
“The scenery was gorgeous today, especially the first third of the day,” he said of the route that included spectacular lake views early on.
Monday the cyclists will pedal 61.3 miles from Rutland, Vt. to Glens Falls, N.Y.
Reporter Krystal Knapp is a cyclist participating in the ride July 14-20. For more information about Anchor House or to make a donation, visit www.anchorhouseride.org, where you can also make online donations in a cyclist’s name. Donations can also be sent to the Anchor House Foundation, P.O. Box 2357, Trenton, NJ 08607-2357.