Last year, Rica Mendes accepted a dare to bike 200 miles in one day.

"I only ended up doing 143 of the 200 miles," said the South Salem, N.Y., resident. "As I was passing through New Canaan I realized I'm in a lot of pain, I'm suffering and I'm doing it for what?"

This year, Mendes will ride for a purpose. She's launching Rock the Ride and Run, a 5K run through Pound Ridge, N.Y., and a set of bicycle rides beginning at Scotts Corner Market to benefit cancer research and care through the Lance Armstrong Foundation. She's kicking off the event, scheduled for noon on Sunday, April 25, in hopes that it will become an annual fitness fundraiser.

A 5K loop will be set up for runners, who can choose to run the loop as many times as they like.

Cyclists will have their choice of a 20K, 40K or 60K route that will weave from Westchester County into Fairfield County.

"Places like Scotts Corner in New Canaan will be really pleasant for bikers to stop at and it provides a really nice rural route," she said.

The bike route will pass through New Canaan via Route 124 and is suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders, Mendes said.

"These are leisurely rides with the purpose of having fun and raising money for a great cause," Mendes said.

All registered participants are requested to raise $180 or more in donations, in addition to the $36 registration fee. Routes will be made available in advance to registered riders only for training purposes. Training rides will be posted at for cyclists interested in getting to know fellow participants.

For more information or to register for Rock the Ride and Run, visit