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Cyclists riding 525 miles to support Americans with arthritis

By Ari Lopez

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    SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, California (KSBY) — This week 200 cyclists from around the country are passing through San Luis Obispo County on their journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

The eight-day bike ride is held to raise money and awareness for the Arthritis Foundation. The 23rd annual California Coast Classic (CCC) began on Sept. 30th in San Francisco and is set to arrive in Los Angeles on Oct. 7th.

The CCC is reportedly the top annual fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, bringing over $1 million each year.

Arthritis Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Steven Taylor rode day 1 last year and planned to ride the first three days of 2023. “The CCC is like nothing I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I’m so inspired and impressed by this group’s dedication! I just had to experience it myself.”

Riders headed from Paso Robles to Cambria on Tuesday for day 4 and on Wednesday, will ride from Cambria to Oceano. Thursday, the ride will head to Los Olivos.

Organizers say one in every four Americans is living with arthritis and add that it is the number one cause of disability in the U.S.

This year, at least 80 of the approximately 200 riders have identified themselves as living with arthritis.

“I ride for myself and those who feel isolated in this shared experience,” said Kendra Laguilles referring to her experience with Lupus for more than a decade.

Caitlin West of Coatesville, Pennsylvania was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis 10 years ago. West said, “People with arthritis are warriors, boldly facing the pain, limitations and challenges the disease causes.”

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