Walton's Bike for Humanity ride to support wildfire relief

·1 min read

SAN DIEGO — Basketball Hall of Famer and noted cyclist Bill Walton is bringing back his Bike for Humanity global initiative on Saturday to raise money for wildfire relief efforts in California and Oregon.

Cyclists can sign up for the Halloween Ride at bikeforhumanity.com. Participation is free, but riders are asked to make a donation.

Cyclists can participate anywhere around the world. They are encouraged to ride their bikes for as long as they like in an area where they can practice social distancing. Bike for Humanity officials stress that it is not a group ride and riding in clusters is prohibited due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The primary beneficiaries are the California Fire Foundation and the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund, facilitated through Oregon Community Foundation.

Wildfires have devastated large swaths of the West Coast this year. In California, more than 8,000 wildfires have burned more than 4 million acres, killed 31 people and destroyed nearly 8,700 buildings. In Oregon, more than 1 million acres have burned and nearly 40,000 people have dealt with evacuations.

Bike for Humanity hosted events on April 25 and July 25. More than 3,500 people signed up to ride, helping to raise more than $175,000.

Beset by injuries during his NBA career, Walton has found an outlet by cycling. His custom bike has a Grateful Dead paint job and the former UCLA great can often be seen riding around San Diego. He has ridden in various stages of the Tour of California.

Walton played for the Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego-Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics.

The Associated Press