Peloton exercise bike riders in Greenwich and beyond will join together Friday for a 24 hour fundraising ride to benefit the relief effort in Ukraine and Poland.
Penny Echevarria, originally from Leeds in Yorkshire, England, is organized the fundraiser from her home in Greenwich. She said that on Friday, riders in her “tribe” of about 700 women will have the opportunity to hop on their exercise bikes for any period of time during the 24 hours and ride under the hashtag #4PsRide4Ukraine. In fact, she said, anyone with a Peloton bike is welcome to participate.
The ride is in conjunction with a GoFundMe (https://gofund.me/40ed76a6) campaign to raise funds for Ukraine relief.
Echvarria explained that the way Peloton works is that riders have their own user names and can ride together with a shared hashtag.
“I’m going to ride 12 hours,” Echvarria said. “My my thought is I’m leading the team. My legs will get tired and hurt, but nothing like Ukrainians. I’m a doer and I cannot just stand around and watch what’s happening.”
“Ukraine is part of Europe, and one positive thing out of this tragedy is Europe is no longer divided. Europe is one – standing together,” she said. “Poland and Germany had been divided from us in the UK. It’s wonderful to see we are all united as one.”
In fact, she said, all of Europe is united.
“It’s not about politics, but about coming together as one,” she said.
Echevarria uses the term “tribe” to describe the 700 women in her group. She said they stick together and cheer each other on, though it started with about a dozen women and grew over time.
The four P’s in their hashtag – #4PsRide4Ukraine – stand for “Positive and Progressive Peloton Plan.”
Echevarria, a personal trainer and a health coach, said every few weeks the riders in her tribe participate in “challenges.”
Echevarria said the tribe had spread from the US to the UK and Australia, and typically about 180 women participate in the challenges, working in teams, encouraging and uplifting each other.
Members of the tribe had wanted to do something to help the citizens of Ukraine, and Echevarria said a few of them researched charities before taking a vote on which charities to raise money for. From there it was decided the group would ride for the Red Cross Ukraine and Red Cross Poland.
“This way we are helping people on the ground as well as refugees in Poland, she said. Red Cross is providing lifesaving aid to those in need — both in the country and in neighboring areas.
According to the Red Cross, more than three million people have fled Ukraine to nearby countries and an estimated 18 million — a third of the country’s population — will need humanitarian assistance. As the fighting intensifies, so does the dire humanitarian situation and needs on the ground.
The challenge starts Friday at 1:00pm and runs for 24 hours.
“Anyone can ride with us. It’s for anybody to join our hashtag #4PsRide4Ukraine,” Echevarria said.
“We can high-five each other as we ride,and we’ll keep the hashtag up 24 hours,” she said, adding that the tribe created the GoFundMe page because it enables participants to have their employers make matching donations. The goal is to raise $13,000, not including matching funds.
The group’s Facebook page for anyone interested in joining the challenge is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/696071081063229/