Hundreds ride through Syracuse in Ride for Missing Children

Syracuse Ride for Missing Children rides by CNY Central on James Street

Cloudy skies failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the more than 150 cyclists who turned out for the second annual Syracuse Ride for Missing Children.

They stopped at six locations as part of the ride that aims to raise awareness about missing and exploited children. They made stops at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School, Gillette Road Middle School, Salem Hyde Elementary School, McMahon/ Ryan Child Advocacy Center, Van Duyn Elementary School, and Lemoyne Elementary School.

"Feels great. I'm a little numb (laugh) but it's a lot of fun and everyone's here for a very good cause," says Cyclist Barbara Selimovic.

At Gillette Road Middle School, riders talked with students about abduction prevention and safety skills. A fifth grade teacher at Gillette Road, Kathy Conses, took part in this yearâ??s ride.

The Syracuse Ride for Missing Children is a 100-mile ride sponsored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children of New York. The ride raises funds to support prevention education programs and to remember all missing children.

"Teaching kids safety rules is an important part of the message. We're not just about finding missing children but we are preventing children from being victimized online and also from becoming missing,â?? says Pam Weaver from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Many riders, like Erica Breckheimer, carry a picture of a missing child with them. For cyclists, it's a way to remember the thousands of children who go missing each year.

"It's amazing how many kids who are out there that are missing. It's very scary because I have a child and if something happened to my kid I don't know what I would do," says Breckheimer.

Most of the cyclists taking part in Fridayâ??s ride raised at least $300 for the Center For Missing and Exploited Children.

Hundreds turned out for the Ride for Missing Children in Oneida and Madison counties in May.