Besides maybe planning a big vacation getaway this summer, you probably won’t be driving your car 500 miles in any given week.
While he’s not looking for some R&R at a distant locale, Joe Boyce is preparing to cover that amount of mileage over an upcoming eight-day period.
And he’s not going to need a car to do it.
The Levittown native is gearing up to ride his bicycle for the 44th annual Anchor House “Ride for Runaways” through several states starting on July 10.
This is Boyce’s 14th Anchor ride and the first one over the traditional multi-state course since 2019 due to the pandemic. Over that total span he’s raised close to $100,000 for this worthy cause.
The past two years he’s participated in virtual versions of the big ride, mostly on roads in and around Bucks County on this side of the Delaware River as well as country byways in central New Jersey.
Like most organized activities, the Anchor House ride feels great about seeing things get somewhat back to normal.
“It’s great to be back with the big group,’’ said Boyce. “We’re getting together as one big team. The great camaraderie that we all have makes for a great adventure.’’
More than 100 cyclists will take part in the challenging ride through several states, with stops in places such as Lancaster and Gettysburg, plus Charlottesville, Va.
Boyce, 61, started his training back in late winter and now does upwards of 75-80 miles on certain days. He gets support from members of the Bucks County Roadrunners in these workout sessions.
While the roads around here can be rather crowded with vehicular traffic at times, getting out into rural Pennsylvania passages and beyond offers a more relaxed atmosphere.
“Being out in Little Town America on the back roads and not knowing exactly where we’re at is fun,’’ Boyce said. “You’re doing it with a whole group of people for a common cause which is to help homeless and abused children. You’re doing something you love but you’re also doing something for a great cause.’’
Through sponsors and donations, the ride generates about $500,000 per year. If our math is correct, that’s about $6 million raised during Boyce’s watch. Anchor House was founded in 1978.
Getting back to the point-to-point course adds an element of excitement.
“It (the traditional layout) is the way I grew up in the ride,’’ Boyce said. “Doing it from destination to destination. So it’s kind of special to return to it.’’
Anchor House is headquartered in Trenton. The project puts a roof over the heads of abused, unwanted and homeless children. Food, clothing and shelter are also provided.
“It also provides educational opportunities for them,’’ Boyce noted. “There have been many, many success stories of people going on in their careers as lawyers and other types of professions at a high rate.’’
Many of the riders take part because of the social and physical aspect but at the end of the day (actually eight days), it’s all about Anchor House.
“Biking provides a lot of joy, getting in shape,’’ Boyce said. “When you put Anchor House in the mix, it provides more meaning to the sweat and tears you’re putting in. Especially for children who are unwanted. It gives you a good feeling, a sense of purpose. It’s a feeling like you’re not doing something for yourself, it’s helping someone who really needs it.’’
Those who wish to make a donation to Boyce’s page can visit anchorhouseride.rallybound.org/classic/Joe
In this day and age, this cause is particularly important because of the rise in poverty in the U.S. urban areas.
“This is a step up for kids who really need a helping hand,’’ Boyce said. “They haven’t had the opportunity that many of us have had.’’
Race for the Axe 5K, 10 a.m., New Hope. Contact www.runsignup.com