The Ride on Washington fundraiser, in support of Bikes Belong and led by cyclocross superstar Tim Johnson, is gaining momentum, thanks to growing support both by individual donors and sponsors. Go back and check out last week’s CXM interview with Johnson about the project, stay tuned for our exclusive follow-up for his 2011/2012 season plans, and read the update on the Ride’s progress via press release below:

Firefly Bicycles Offers First Edition Bike to Raise Funds for Bike Advocacy

The bicycle industry has rallied to support Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington, leaving Boston this Friday for a 500-mile pedaling crusade towards the finish Tuesday, March 8th, at the National Bike Summit, in Washington, D.C.

“This has been an unbelievable groundswell of support,” said Tim Johnson, a six-time national champion and cycling superstar who is leading the ride to develop both financial support and awareness for the Bikes Belong Foundation. “We did not even have to ask. Once the marketing directors found out about this ride, companies of all sizes just started to offer us all sorts of help.”

“One company is underwriting our lodging in Hartford. Their competitor is springing for dinner one night. Another company has paid for our public relations campaign. And another is paying mechanics to follow us the entire route,” said Richard Fries, development advisor for Bikes Belong and one of the event organizers. “We are getting equipment, supplies, clothing and services like I never expected on such short notice.”

“Cannondale is excited to be supporting our homeboy Tim Johnson and our good friend Richard Fries with Bikes Belong as they travel from Boston to Washington DC,” said Frank Hwang, director of global marketing at Cannondale. “This ride, and the cause behind it, directly impacts the health of everyone. Helping to create awareness around bike funding helps all of us to fulfill Cannondale’s promise of creating the perfect ride.”

“These companies get it. This is not charity; this is an investment,” said Johnson.

Even before the recently-launched Firefly Bicycles made a single bike frame, the company came on board as a sponsor. Firefly Bicycles and Enve Composites are teaming up to help raise even more money for the ride and Bikes Belong by donating a fully custom, Columbus XCr stainless steel Firefly frame and matching Enve 2.0 carbon fork, worth $3,750 total, to one lucky donor.

The rules are simple: after the National Bike Summit ends on March 10th, 2011, organizers will total each individual’s donations to the ride. All donations to the ride count, including donations to, receptions before and during the ride, and any other donations given directly to ride fund raisers. Every $50 you donate gets you one raffle ticket. The winning ticket will win this world-class frameset, made just for the winner.

“Firefly Bicycles is proud to support Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington and Bikes Belong. As a brand new company, giving away a Columbus XCr frame is no small decision, but we believe it is the right one. Our donation reflects our commitment to improving the cycling experience, not only for our customers but for everyone who rides a bike,” says Tyler Evans, co-founder of Firefly.

“And the Firefly, which promises to be a collector’s item, is just the grand prize. We will have multiple prizes for that super raffle after the ride and great prizes for the raffles held at the receptions every night along the way,” added Fries.

Kick Off Party at the Ride Studio Cafe!

On Thursday, March 3rd from 6:30-9:30 pm The Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington will have a fundraising event to kick off Tim Johnson’s Ride On Washington. Tim and many of the riders who will be taking part on this journey will be on hand to support Bikes Belong! The night will be both a fundraiser and a celebration of cycling. Items from the ride’s many sponsors and supporters will be raffled off over the course of the evening to raise funds for Bikes Belong. Raffle tickets are available on the night of the event for $10 each. The more you purchase, the better your odds of winning great gear from the sponsors: Ride Studio Café, Rapha Performance Roadwear, David Chiu, Light and Motion, Embrocation Cycling Journal, Cannondale, Mad Alchemy, Pedros, Mavic and Firefly Bicycles

Event Sponsors: Thank you to the Bikes Belong Foundation, Red Bull,,, SRAM, Cannondale, Specialized, Thule, The Ride Studio Café, Rapha, Embrocation Journal Magazine, Light and Motion, Mad alchemy, Kenda, Mavic, and Firefly Bicycles.

The ride is also receiving support from Starwood Hotels, the Morgan Group’s Hudson Hotel, The Ride Studio Café in Lexington, Mass; Harpoon Brewery in Boston; Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Triumph Brewing in Philadelphia; Twenty 20 Cycling in Baltimore; and the finish venue at the Urban Press Camp being promoted by Lifeboat Events at the House of Sweden in Washington DC.