Warm weather has arrived, and with it some awesome ways to stay active, feel good, and do good. Today we’re talking about something we can all relate to; breathing. Whether you are a cyclist, hiker, or climber, we know you value your ability to use your lungs while you play. The 12th annual Cycle the Seacoast funds the American Lung Association’s work to keep our air healthy along with many other lung related causes, including ending COVID-19 and defending against future respiratory virus pandemics.

As the official bike shop sponsor of Cycle the Seacoast (prep tips here), we recently had the pleasure of (virtually) sitting down with Melissa Walden, Development Manager of the event to get the 411. Let’s do this!

Melissa! Thanks for chatting today. Can you explain Cycle the Seacoast to readers who may not be familiar with the event?

Yes, I’d love to! Cycle the Seacoast is normally a one day event the first Sunday of May in Portsmouth, NH. This year, due to the pandemic, our event has gone fully virtual through the end of June! What that means for you, is you can participate in this event from anywhere and anytime (before June 30th) AND on any type of bike!

Sign me up! Can you give us the registration breakdown and what the event entails?

We’re asking everyone that signs up to choose from a 25, 50 or 100 mile (or more!) goal to complete before June 30th. Some people are doing their miles all in one day, others are breaking their miles up for weeks or even months. You can track your miles (or not) however you’d like! We have a Strava club and a new Cycle for Air app that many of our participants use to track their miles. They are interconnected and can also pair with your GPS devices! Ride any type of bike you want; road, mountain, indoor etc. You can register at CycletheSeacoast.org.

Cycle for Air App.

Awesome. Is there community support? Incentives?

We have an active Facebook group where our participants are able to feel that sense of community by posting photos of themselves and their routes, commenting on fellow participant posts and encouraging each other! There are weekly mileage challenges with fun prizes including EMS swag! Everyone that raises $200 by June 30th will receive an event t-shirt and medal. There are additional incentives the more you raise like an awesome Cycling kit! We have a number of fundraising tools to make it easy and fun to achieve your goals!

We’re in. Do you ride?

Yes, I am participating in this year’s Cycle the Seacoast virtually. I personally love to mountain bike, so I’m getting my miles in a little at a time (5-10 miles each ride). I know I’ll surpass 100 miles before the end of June, but I figured why not just keep increasing my mileage goal?! I was able to easily achieve my $400 fundraising goal by setting up a Facebook Fundraiser.

*For those not interested in biking but hoping to support the event, you can register as a Cycle Your Way participant and utilize the fundraising tools to earn incentives without biking, or you can simply donate to the event– every bit counts! Learn more at CycletheSeacoast.org. Throw any questions or comments below and feel free to email Melissa at [email protected].