70-year-old Sun City Huntley resident to cycle 270 miles over three days for ALS research

  • Bob Higgins of Sun City Huntley riding in the 2021 Tri-State Trek. He is planning his eighth consecutive annual 270-mile bicycle excursion from Boston to New York in late June.

    Bob Higgins of Sun City Huntley riding in the 2021 Tri-State Trek. He is planning his eighth consecutive annual 270-mile bicycle excursion from Boston to New York in late June. Courtesy of Carol Hamilthon

 
 
Updated 5/5/2022 4:43 PM

Sun City Huntley resident Bob Higgins, 70, plans to make his eighth consecutive annual 270-mile bicycle excursion from Boston to New York in late June to raise awareness and donations for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) research.

The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), the world's foremost drug discovery lab focused solely on finding treatments for ALS, will host the 20th annual Tri-State Trek from June 24-26. Hundreds of cyclists will take part in the three-day journey to raise awareness and funds for cutting-edge ALS research.

 

The Tri-State Trek began in 2003 with 16 cyclists. Now, in its 20th year, the event includes over 400 riders who will embark on this strenuous challenge to bring together the ALS community and raise much-needed funds.

The event has raised over $9 million to date for research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute, and 2022 could be the year that fundraising passes the $10 million mark.

To help them reach this goal, ALS TDI has received a $100,000 match for all donations made to the Trek through the month of May.

Many participants have a direct connection to the disease and are riding for loved ones who are currently battling or have passed away due to ALS - some riders are even living with the disease themselves. Molly Conners-Noe lost her mother to ALS in 2020 and this will be her second year riding in the Trek and fundraising for ALS research.

Higgins, a full time commercial real estate attorney and an avid amateur cyclist, welcomes the challenge that the undulating terrain through Massachusetts and Connecticut provides: "I love the Tri-State Trek and the cause it supports. Although I have never had a loved one diagnosed with ALS, I have connected with many victims and caregivers through the Trek. These living saints are truly inspiring. It is a distinct privilege to ride for such dedicated people."

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The Tri-State Trek offers varying course options to support rider abilities and fundraising levels. The ride has three starting point options from Boston, MA; Storrs, CT; and West Haven, CT, enabling riders to do a one, two, or three-day ride.

Higgins, as he has done in the past, will ride the entire course with the 15 other members of his team - Team Bannon - Crush ALS. Team Bannon, perennially the largest fundraising team in the Trek, has raised over $1 million in donations over its 11-year history.

Contributions to Higgins and Team Bannon can be made at tst.als.net/roberthiggins.

As the Drug Discovery Engine for ALS, the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) discovers and invents ALS treatments and partners to advance them into clinical trials. It is the first and largest nonprofit biotech focused 100% on ALS research. ALS TDI incorporates all aspects of drug discovery under one roof to find treatments as quickly as possible.

Based in Watertown, Mass., ALS TDI employs a team of industry trained, drug development experts with more than 300 years of combined experience. ALS TDI is internationally recognized as a leader in preclinical and translational ALS research, and partners with pharmaceutical companies and biotech organizations all around the world. Rated a four-star nonprofit on Charity Navigator, ALS TDI spends 87 cents of every dollar raised on finding effective treatments and cures for ALS. Visit www.als.net for more information.

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