(Bloomberg) -- It took two bicycles to get the New York Stock Exchange’s chief operating officer across the finish line of the trading industry’s fall ride for autism research. 

“I came in dead last, but was still greeted with smiles,” said Michael Blaugrund, whose chain snapped on his first bike at mile seven, prompting the event to send a “rescue vehicle” that brought him to a replacement. “Even in the face of a torrential downpour, the Wall Street community came out to support people in need,” he said.

More than 100 hundred participants from high-speed trading firms, exchange operators and crypto companies braved the rain Saturday for Wall Street Rides for Autism Research. The annual event went on, though modified, as remnants of Hurricane Ian passed through the area. 

With a range of distances to choose from, organizers had to cancel the 62- and 30-mile courses for riders’ safety. The longest course would have spanned over 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) of elevation through the towns of White Plains, Harrison, Rye Brook, New Castle, Bedford and Port Chester as well as Stamford and Greenwich in Connecticut. The rides all start and end at a park in Mamaroneck, a suburb of New York City. 

“I’m disappointed it was cut but you can’t control the weather,” said Adam Fox, a quantitative strategist at trading firm Virtu Financial who planned for the longer course. He and his father biked 20 miles instead. “I don’t get put off by rain,” Fox said.

Riders faced gusts of wind and rain, though there were periods when just a gentle mist offered a bit of a respite from the weather. Those brave enough to tackle the wet streets took on routes of either 20, 12 or four miles, or could choose a five-kilometer trail walk. Some opted for bikes with thicker tires to avoid accidents. Others skipped out entirely, huddling under the protection of tents with hot chocolate and croissants.

“Given how bad the weather was when we woke up, we gave people the choice to ride -- You don’t have to do this or be here,” Bryan Harkins, co-founder of the event and Trumid Financial’s chief revenue officer, said. “But people showed up because they care about the cause.”

Now in its eighth year, Wall Street Rides FAR has raised more than $3 million for the Autism Science Foundation. The fundraiser was the brainchild of Harkins, a former Cboe Global Markets executive, and his wife Melissa Moo Harkins, sales director at crypto company Blockdaemon and founder of the women’s triathlon apparel brand MooMotion. Some of their own extended family members were diagnosed with autism.

This year’s event brought in more than $1 million. Sponsors span traditional players such as trading firms Citadel Securities and GTS, banks including Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and exchange operators Cboe, IEX Group Inc. and the New York Stock Exchange. Crypto firms are also in the mix, including FTX and the Block. 

“This is one place where competing firms come together and just ride,” Paul O’Donnell, who works in business development at Hudson River Trading, said. In his eighth year of riding, the veteran says it’s a surprisingly hilly course. “I rode with someone at a clearing firm and another from a competing firm I didn’t previously know, which was great,” he said.

Talos Trading, the crypto company for buy-side institutions, uses the event as a team-building exercise. The firm flew in employees from Chicago and London to participate. “The rain helped us bond. We now have a good story to tell,” co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Ethan Feldman said. “Plus it’s a who’s who of fintech and crypto.” 

Trumid Financial co-Chief Executive Officer Mike Sobel was a first-time rider. His group missed a sign and got lost on the course, adding on an extra mile or two. “Part of the adventure is good team building,” he said. “Grabbing a beer after work is great, but being out on a ride in the rain breaking a sweat is way better.”

The mix of participants is what brings NYSE’s Blaugrund back. “You get to see a side of people that is mostly guarded,” he said. “Some are still talking shop, but ultimately you’re getting people out of the office and into a pair of bike shorts.” 

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