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Basking Ridge Cyclist Continues Riding for ALS

John Carpenter, riding to honor late Basking Ridge resident Tom Shea, participates in Cranford ride.

Township resident John Carpenter, who participated last month in a bicycle ride from Basking Ridge to Washington D.C. to raise funds and awareness for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), continued to ride for the group in another fundraising ride last weekend in Cranford.

About 60 people participated in the bike ride went around the north side of Cranford, which then headed to the south side of town. The ride lasted about 90 minutes.

As they rode in September from downtown Basking Ridge to the White House in Washington, D.C., the cyclists in the group of cyclists caught the attention of drivers as they passed by the riders wearing bike gear tht advertised their mission.

Some of those drivers made donations through the Facebook page for BIKE 4 ALS, said township resident and avid cyclist Carpenter, who said he was one of eight to make the entire trip to and from the nation's capitol.

Carpenter said then he had ridden partially because the brother of his brother-in-law, Basking Ridge native Tom Shea, had been lost to ALS. Carpenter said the disease is not as rare as many people believe.

The September group with members from the Liberty Cycle bike team joined up with BIKE 4 ALS founder Brian Ennesser of Cranford, his brother George Ennesser to make the four-day ride, including two days down and two days back, Carpenter said.

The organization was founded after the Ennesser brothers' mother, Lois, died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2009.

"You think it's kind of rare, but if you talk to a group of five or ten people you almost always find that one or two have a story" regarding a friend or family member who had ALS, Carpenter said.

Carpenter said he feels strongly about the organization since it run by family members without overhead, and the money donated to BIKE 4 ALS goes directly to research.

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