By Matthew Jukes
After a fleet of more than 120 cyclists of different nationalities took to the hills around Bohai township and Mutianyu, Huairou district, on Sunday, the organizers of the charity bike ride announced Tuesday that 21,190 yuan ($3,238.70) had been raised for the elderly of Bohai township.
The money raised in the second annual "Bohai or Bust" ride, organized by the Schoolhouse restaurant and resort at Mutianyu, will be donated to the elderly, who are increasingly left behind in the Bohai area as young people migrate to cities.
Last year, over 25,000 yuan was raised for the charity and presented directly to the elderly of Bohai on Elders Day, on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, which falls on October 5 this year.
Cyclists paid a small fee to participate in the ride, which included routes around Mutianyu stretching for 10 to 100 kilometers.
Beijing businesses also contributed to a charity auction and raffle, giving away prizes from bike shop Trek and local restaurants like Capital M and artisinal baker Boulangerie Nanda.
Several of this year's riders were returnees.
"Last year was such a binding experience with the people we rode with, and it felt great to be helping the locals and elders of Bohai," said Dave Cooper, who rode 60 kilometers both this year and last.
"It felt good to ride all that way, and the weather was absolutely extraordinary. The beauty around Bohai is amazing, the sky was crystal clear and the hills seemed to have been shot with blossoms," he added.
Organizers were optimistic after the 2011 ride.
"We got a lot of good feedback, and this was intended to be an annual event. We are definitely hoping to do it again," said Leslie Forman, events co-coordinator for the Schoolhouse.