Cyclists ride to raise money for disaster relief

Cyclists ride to raise money for disaster relief

POSTED: Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 9:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 9:04pm

A group of cyclists are pedaling from South Texas all the way to the Crescent City. The Tour du Rouge is a journey that's lasted nearly a week and it's a distance that most people wouldn't drive in their cars. NBC 33's Rachael Penton introduces us to some of the cyclists.

It's called the Tour du Rouge, and thursday the 100 cyclists participating in the 500 mile ride rode into gonzales.

"I'm hungry and my feet hurt," says cyclists Keith Sams.

But kicking off their riding shoes isn't the only thing on their minds.

"I never did used to appreciate what the Red Cross did fully until I got to see people come out in the communities," says cyclists Darrell Hayslip.

The cyclists are riding from Houston to New Orleans to raise money for Red Cross disaster relief efforts. And for some riders- like Keith Sams from Arkansas-- they're riding for their own communities.

"Of course last week Mayflower Arkansas and Vilonia Arkansas got it and it's just very personal to me and I actually kind of doubled my donations so that helped. There's just a lot of good-hearted people out there."

Much of the money raised will stay right here in South Louisiana.

"In Louisiana we know it's not a matter of when a storm is going to hit. We know it's coming. There could be a disaster tomorrow or the next day and we always have to be prepared for that," adds Nancy Malone of the Red Cross.

The cyclists will cross the finish line on Friday knowing they accomplished an enormous physical feat that will also benefit an important cause.

"There is some part of satisfaction and fulfillment. I don't really look at it as some big thing that I set out to do for recognition but it is fulfillment. It's one that said hey I wasn't really sure if I'm in good enough shape to do this and then you get through it with the help of a lot of other riders," adds Hayslip.

Organizers say they hope to raise about a half million dollars.

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