BANGOR — The American Lung Association isn’t pumping the brakes for its 37th annual Trek Across Maine fundraising event.
This year it’s virtual, but the goal remains the same: to raise $1 million to support their mission.
“With the addition of COVID-19, we’ve certainly put a lot of focus, time, energy and money on researching respiratory viruses,” said Kim Chamard, senior development manager for the American Lung Association.
Since 1985, the event has raised nearly $30 million for lung health. This year, the funds will go toward the American Lung Association’s efforts to end COVID-19.
“It’s really amazing what a group of inspired and dedicated people can do,” said Chamard.
One of those dedicated people is Jason Neal. He’s been participating in Trek Across Maine for 23 years.
He is inviting people to join his team to get in those miles for the trek. He holds weekly classes with their own virtual ride technology.
“We do Saturday mornings, we do a ride on Thursday nights, and sometimes Sunday afternoons as well,” said Neal, co-owner of Slipping Gears Cycling.
You can download the app Zwift. That app will track your mileage and then you can use it for Trek Across Maine.
“If you’re going to do 180 miles in three days, it’ll track it right there,” Neal said.
With the event going virtual, people can use their indoor spin bikes. Chamard said the event always brings a sense of community that the organization is hoping to keep.
This year, the community includes people across Maine and the country.
“They’re avatar, which is them riding the bike, will ride right up with us,” Neal explained. “My wife will ride from Enfield and I’ll ride here, and it’s like she’s riding right beside me.”
To register for Trek Across Maine, visit their website. If you’re interested in joining Neal’s Slipping Gears team, he said you can call the store and he’ll help you set up and join.