The ninth Annual CT Challenge Bike Ride takes place July 26-27 at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport as the event expands to a rider-optional two-day ride.

The Bike Ride is the largest annual fundraiser for the CT Challenge and the engine that powers its mission to help cancer survivors live healthier, happier, and longer lives.

"There are over 170,000 cancer survivors in CT and more than 13 million in the US. Thankfully, more than 67 percent of those diagnosed with cancer will survive, but most don't realize that managing what comes after cancer treatment can often be just as difficult, including a lifetime of late effects of treatment, risk of recurrence and other diseases," said Jeff Keith, founder of the CT Challenge and a cancer survivor himself.

Participants choose to ride distances from 10, 25, 50, 75 and 100 miles. This year, a challenge of up to 184 miles awaits those riders who sign up for the new two-day ride. The ride has something for everyone, riders of all ages and abilities, from the casual to the serious cyclist.

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Each rider who participates has a minimum amount of funds to raise, depending on the ride distance chosen. Those who register by May 1 will receive a free CT Challenge Cycling Jersey. Participants can ride as an individual or form a team.

Nine years after the inaugural ride, the CT Challenge has grown to support programs that impacted over 54,000 cancer survivors last year, throughout the region and at any stage of their cancer journey.

Other programs include the CT Challenge Center for Survivorship, which opened in Southport, CT in October 2012. Also, the CT Challenge Survivorship Network of 19 hospitals and cancer centers throughout Connecticut and community organizations like the Susan Fund that provides scholarships to help young cancer survivors attend college.

Visit http://bike.ctchallenge.org to learn more and sign up for the ride.

This year's sponsors include BMW of Bridgeport, Aetna, People's United Bank, Boehringer Ingelheim, Marshall Wace, Orthopaedic Specialty Group, and Moffly Media.