YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Two best friends are on the ride of their life and Monday’s pit stop was in Youngstown.

John Bladholm and Chris Ray are bike-riding across the country for charity. It’s called the Nationwide Ride.

Starting in New York City on July 3, they pedal 85 miles a day and plan to end in Oregon on August 22, totaling 3,500 miles.

The men, who are both from Portland and in their 50s, say it’s an adventure, but the best part is the people they meet. Last night, it was the men and women of the Youngstown Fire Department.

“We stayed six out of seven nights at a fire station and I’ve learned so much about the fire department: how underfunded they are, how 80% of them are volunteers. They try to get by with so little. Last night, we had a family-style dinner inside, and literally, they made us feel like family. I’m going to miss the fire department,” said Bladholm. 

The ride benefits eight nonprofit organizations. This leg is for the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Ohio.

To donate to the Boys & Girls Club during their ride, text RIDE to 216-714-8305 or by visiting

Every dollar donated via text or online will go directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs.