By Matthew Taub
Special to Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn Brief
A 3,000-mile charitable bike ride from Los Angeles to New York City made its final stop in Brighton Beach Sunday afternoon. Participants of the Investors Bank Bike 4 Friendship Tour were raising money for special needs children as they began their journey out west nearly 40 days ago. In the process, they’ve raised more than $150,000 for Friendship Circle International, an organization which joins teenage volunteers with children and teens who have special needs.
An incredible journey on its own, some of the team members are also Brooklyn natives with their own unique personal stories. Yitzy Smith has now completed the trip twice, which is almost unheard of, even in the world of competitive cycling. Aaron Black is one of the youngest riders ever, at age 17. And Mendy Rapoport came all the way from Israel to participate.
This year’s riders were also joined by nine cross-country cyclists, who made the passage in previous summers. Known as the Legends Team, they joined with the current group of transcontinental cyclists, and together all pedaled the last 50-mile leg of the journey from Livingston, N.J. to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.
The current cycling team, which averaged 80 miles or more per day, rode over challenging terrain that included deserts and mountains. At the conclusion, the cyclists were greeted by a jubilant crowd. They follow up their celebration by meeting Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Wednesday.