Tom Peled and his teammates taking part in Bike for the Fight are spinning their wheels at local stops as the Israeli group targets the mid-Atlantic states for its charitable mission to raise funds and awareness in the ongoing battle against cancer.
The Israel Cancer Research Fund, a North American organization that gives grants to top Israeli cancer researchers, is the beneficiary of its tour. The event, now in its second year, raised $100,000 last year.
It all started as a very personal matter for Peled, 26, currently a student at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel. "This story started when my father's own story ended," he relates of his dad, Ramy, losing an eight-year battle with cancer in 2011.
"I decided to take a 'few minuites off' and 'ran away' to Europe," where his dream of taking a long-distance bike ride took root. That long-distance ride lasted three months, during which, says the bicyclist, "it helped me heal myself."
He decided such sojourns could benefit charity as well, which is why Peled came up with the Bike for the Fight ride. As he and his fellow college students were riding up and down the East Coast this summer, it became almost surreal: "It's like a rock band on tour," he says of the hoopla greeting them.
Stopoffs include the Israel consulate in Philadelphia on Sept. 17, followed later that day by a spinning class led by Peled at AFC Fitness in Bala Cynwyd. The class , which is open to the public, is at 6 p.m., and will be followed by a reception at 7 p.m.
The last stop before the team heads to Washington, D.C., is Sept. 18, when they’ll visit the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill.
Peled has attracted such co-sponsors as EL AL Airlines, Microsoft Israel, Ybrantdigital, Hertz, Garmin, and such organizations as the JCC Association, Maccabi, Hillel, Birthright and the Israel Foreign Ministry.
For information, go to: bikeforthefight.com or visit the team on Facebook at bike for the fight.