Pedals for Pets Charity Ride under way
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Twenty-six bicyclists departed from Senoia bright and early Thursday. They were on their way to Savannah for the fourth annual Pedal for Pets Charity ride.
Riders range in ages from 16 to 73, said Wendy Maguire, founder of the three-day ride, which raises money to spay and neuter animals.
The riders are set to arrive in Savannah sometime today. On Thursday, they had lunch in Barnesville and spent the night in Macon. Friday, they bicycled to Swainsboro.
The first year, the ride consisted of two people – Maguire and her son, Robbie. The first ride was more than just a fundraising adventure. It was a time to bond with Robbie before he headed off to college. That first year, they camped each night. These days, everybody stays in hotels, and Maguire has worked out agreements with restaurants along the way.
The ride has grown each year. Last year, there were 13 to 15 riders at any one time. Some folks shared riding and driving the support vehicles, Maguire said.
“Butr, this year, all 26 are riding,” she said. “Can you believe I have 26 riders? It’s crazy, awesome, and stressful all at the same time.”
Maguire has always loved animals, and always loved bike riding. One day, she was on a ride when something “hit me like a ton of lead. I had to do something for the animals and I had to do something with my bike riding that is bigger than myself,” Maguire said in 2011. “If I can find time to ride my bike, then I can find the time to make a difference.”
Since then, the organization has grown and holds several fundraisers, including shorter bike rides in the Coweta area and the annual Foodies for Fido tasting event.
The organization has raised more than $100,000 and helped spay and neuter more than 1,400 pets.