BOSTON (WHDH) - After pumping the brakes for the pandemic, the Best Buddies Challenge returned Saturday for its 22nd ride, with riders pedaling from Boston to Hyannis to raise money for a great cause.

7NEWS is a proud partner of the Best Buddies ride.

Riders traveled either 20, 55, or 100 miles to Hyannis Port depending on which route they chose to take. The 7NEWS Today in New England Team began their 55-mile journey from Carver to Hyannis around 9:30 a.m.

Riders are raising money for the organization that enhances the lives of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities – through employment and friendship.

Ryan Chapman is a Buddy who has been working at Davio’s in Boston for years.

“If it wasn’t for them, I would not have been working at Davio’s here today,” Chapman said. “If it wasn’t for that beautiful organization of Best Buddies.”

Anthony Shriver started Best Buddies more than 30 years ago in his college dorm room. Today it’s gone global.

Best Buddies now serves over one million people across the globe, in 52 countries, all 50 states. The organization also creates jobs for people with special abilities in Boston.

“After a year off and no events last year, I’m glad to be back and celebrating Best Buddies Challenge Hyannis,” Shriver said on Saturday morning. “It’s all about the buddies […]I’m grateful to be making money for a great cause.”

To kick off the big weekend, celebrity chef Guy Fieri hosted a food festival at the Encore Boston Harbor casino on Friday night.

“When you have everybody focused on this event, and coming together and having a good time, all that does is it just breeds momentum,” Fieri said.

Best Buddies worked with health experts to put strict COVID-19 guidelines in place to keep everyone participating safe. All riders were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test, according to event officials.

So far, riders have collectively raised approximately four million dollars for the organization.

To make a donation to the 7NEWS team or to learn more about the event, click here.

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