Lakewood Ranch's Dawn Zielinski joined 280 women in Lakewood Ranch Nov. 14 to cycle 40 miles or more.
The ride wasn't her usual trek with the Lakewood Ranch-based Village Idiots Bike Club. She was riding with a purpose.
Zielinski, who is the president of the Village Idiots Bike Club, and the women riders from across the state were riding in the Women on Wheels' annual charity ride to benefit Selah Freedom, a Sarasota nonprofit working to end sex trafficking in Florida.
"It's wonderful, and it's so great to see the enthusiasm of all the ladies and the togetherness," Zielinski said. "I've never seen so many smiles from people on bikes from any other event. It was a wonderful day."
Zielinski rode along with fellow members of Women on Wheels, which is a club within the Village Idiots Bike Club. The women rode either 40 miles or 62 miles throughout Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Zielinski said she loves meeting other cyclists from around the state.
"I just go and meet a whole new group of friends going to these events," she said. "The camaraderie that comes out of it, awareness of each other and support for each other is wonderful."