Cyclists pedal through Florida to raise money for people with developmental disabilities

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 3:49 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Clients with the Arc of Alachua couldn’t hold their excitement as a group of cyclists made their way.

25 cyclists with ‘The Ability Experience’ are halfway through their 1,000-mile trip from Homestead to Tallahassee but stopped to see their friends along the way.

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“You definitely fight a lot of mental battles every day,” said Jonathan Lewellyn, project manager. “Having all these lovely people come cheer us on really motivates these guys to push through those miles and get to their destination.”

The “Gear up florida” event helps raise money and shed light on organizations that help those with developmental disabilities.

“I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be able to give,” cyclist Jose De La Vega. “We see the direct impact that we’re making with, not only our dollars but our time energy with these people, just being able to spend time with them, talk to them, .”

And for Alan Lyerly, that’s his favorite part about the visits. “I’ve been here 16 years, just having lunch with them is very fun.”

Besides the big entrance with an escort by the Santa Fe College Police Department, they enjoyed food, autographed shirts, and a dance party.

The cyclists will stop in Jacksonville and Live Oak before heading to the capital.

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