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Laurel Side by Side holds inaugural bike ride

Side by Side of Laurel a faith-based nonprofit involved in Prince George's County elementary public schools, is holding its first Side by Side Ride on Saturday, April 27.

The bicycle rides — 40-mile, 20-mile and 10-mile — will start at Bethany Community Church, 15720 Riding Stable Road in West Laurel.

The 40-mile ride will begin at 8 a.m. for "serious riders," according to the Side by Side website, and cyclists will go from the church to Brighton Dam and return. The 20-mile ride, for teen and adult cyclists, will leave at 9 a.m., and cyclists will ride to Savage Mill and return. The 10-mile ride, for children and accompanying adults, will begin at 10 a.m., and will go through West Laurel.

A light breakfast will be served at the church between 7:30 and 10 a.m., and a lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to noon. Registration is $10, and space is limited. To register, visit Spots are still available for each ride.

Helmets are required for all cyclists, and children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

The rides are to raise money for Side by Side.

"This is a fun event to support a great cause, which is strengthening our local elementary schools," said Joe Murchison, founder of Side by Side. "We provide workshops for the parents of elementary school students on how they can help their children. We think that's the best way to strengthen our schools — by strengthening the parents and families."

Adults are asked to send at least 20 emails to solicit sponsorship donations, with a goal of raising $448 — the number of students and parents Side by Side served in the 2011-12 school year. Children are asked to attempt to raise $44 or more in pledges.

The event is sponsored by the Laurel Bicycle Center, Academy Ford, Main Street Pharmacy and the Laurel Target. Rain date for the ride is May 4.

For more information, contact Murchison at

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