Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beneficiaries Cheer Ride for Charity

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beneficiaries Cheer Ride for Charity

Article excerpt

Joseph Murphy of Somerset used to bike as much as 100 miles a day in New Jersey before an armored personnel carrier rolled over, broke his neck and fractured his skull.

Sandra Edwards, also of Somerset, grew up in the "boondocks" of Bucks County, where the only transportation options for youngsters were "a bike or our feet."

Although their extensive health problems have prevented them from bicycling for many years, they will be cheering on the cyclists who participate in the 13th Annual River & Wind Challenge June 7.

"God bless them," said Murphy, 51, a father of eight and a former Marine combat squad leader.

"They do so much for us," said Edwards, a 62-year-old cancer survivor and former credit investigator who is raising two teenage grandchildren.

The challenge, a fundraising event sponsored by The Salvation Army-Somerset Service Center, offers two rides:

* A 62-mile scenic round-trip from Confluence to Meyersdale along the Great Allegheny Passage in southern Somerset County and

* A 22-mile round-trip along the passage from Confluence to Ohiopyle. It includes the first 9-mile segment of what was to become a 150-mile trail from the tip of Point State Park to Cumberland, Md.

Those pedaling to Meyersdale should leave at 8 a.m. and give themselves 7-8 hours to complete the ride, said Holly Beckner, director of the service center. "It will test their endurance."

The Meyersdale riders will find the Casselman River on their left, their right and again on their left as it flows under five bridges and snakes its way through the Laurel Highlands. The most spectacular span is the 1,908-foot long Salisbury Viaduct near Meyersdale.

Lunch will be served at the restored Western Maryland Railway station that overlooks the maple syrup capital of Pennsylvania.

The Ohiopyle riders will eat lunch in Confluence before setting out at noon. …

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