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Cycling events benefit McKeesport area's trails, causes

| Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, 1:16 a.m.

3-2-1 Ride

Sunday's ride will benefit the Woiner Foundation, which aims to end melanoma and pancreatic cancer.

It will welcome cyclists of all skill levels to start from Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh on either a 7-mile family trail ride, Rita's Ride; a 25-mile trail/road ride, Tim's Tour; or a 62-mile “Metric Century” trek along the Great Allegheny Passage.

“It was important to us to include the Great Allegheny Passage in our event planning,” 3-2-1 Ride executive director Jessica Fera said. “It's such a unique and beautiful asset to Western Pennsylvania.”

Rita's Ride along the Allegheny River to Millvale honors Fera's mother, Rita Woiner, who suffers from metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Tim's Tour honors the memory of Fera's father, Tim Woiner, who died in 2010 at age 59 of melanoma. It rolls through Pittsburgh to the Wheel Mill indoor bike park in Homewood.

The Metric Century trip is limited to 200 adults who can take a shuttle to Connellsville from Carnegie Science Center for $75 or spend $50 and find their own way to Connellsville. The bicycle ride begins at Yough River Park in Connellsville and continues to rest stops in Cedar Creek Park and McKeesport, then back to Carnegie Science Center.

“Our Metric Century route has been our most popular route since we opened registration for the event in May,” Fera said.

Other family-friendly activities include a tour of the Science Center's cycling exhibit, “BIKES: Science on Two Wheels,” along with music and refreshments.

More details are available at 321ride.org.

Live Like Lou Bike Ride

Munhall's Pump House is the starting point for the second annual 52-mile, ride on Oct. 19 at 7 a.m.

It calls attention to the disease that brought down New York Yankee slugger Lou Gehrig, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

The Live Like Lou campaign was developed by Allegheny Valley residents Neil and Suzanne Alexander after Neil was diagnosed with ALS.

Suzanne Alexander chronicles her husband's struggle and its impact on their family in a blog on the livelikelou.myupsite.com website.

“To date we have raised just over $500,000 in support of this cause and have been able to direct $70,000 of those funds to other ALS families and research efforts focused on finding a cure,” Suzanne wrote in June.

“Despite the ravages of ALS on his body, Neil feels so empowered to do valuable work in the mighty name of Lou Gehrig. It is therapeutic for all of us to channel whatever negative energy we may feel because of Neil's disease and turn it into a positive for him, for the kids, for our family and community.”

A lunch is planned at the half-way point on the journey.

The first Live Like Lou raised more than $14,000. More details are on the Live Like Lou website.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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