NJ bike ride raises money for Alzheimer's Association

The twins are well known in the New Jersey area and the world of track and field.  The sisters from Montclair are former Olympic and World Champion sprinters. They will lead the 10-mile trek through Montclair for a third straight year. Hundreds of cyclists take part in the annual ride.

"It's so important for us to give back. Montclair is our hometown," Miki said. "We love it. It's a special place as a community. I call it 'Small town Big Love'. And every time we leave, I'm always thinking about home. So this is so near and dear to our heart."

The ride is very personal for Miki and Lisa, they lost two of their grandparents to Alzheimer's just in the last few years - both were Montclair natives.

"The Big Ride" started after a local mailman, Nadhir, who is an avid biker, encouraged Miki to ride.

The sisters say it's important to draw attention to the illness -- particularly in the African American community. According to the National Institute on aging, black Americans are roughly 1.5 to 2 times as likely to develop it and other related dementias.

For so many families across the U.S. and the world, it is often an unexpected and painful diagnosis.

"That's why we have The Big Ride," said Lisa. "Bring awareness to Alzheimer's because it affects everybody, every color, man and woman. So this is a ride for everyone. It's the ride for the community. And as time has affected me personally, my grandparents, and now I just want.. to give back and just bring more awareness to it."

The proceeds from the event will benefit the Alzheimer's Association -- where the twins serve as featured athletes. 

There's no cure for Alzheimer's, but there are treatments that may change disease progression if it's caught and diagnosed early.

"The Big Ride is on Sunday. It all starts at the Lackawanna Shopping Center, just off Grove street in Montclair..

You can learn more about the race and how to donate at The Big Ride website.