With gas prices guzzling the cash in people's pockets, and the obesity rate in America tipping the scales, it's no wonder Tim Johnson is biking more than 500 miles from Boston to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about getting on two wheels.


Starting Friday on the front steps of City Hall Plaza, Johnson, a professional cyclist, will begin his trek to the county's capital with a crew of bike advocates -- stopping at several cities along the way.


The riders, part of "Tim Johnson's Ride on Washington," will connect with hundreds of supporters and roll-up on the National Bike Summit to lobby Congress for more bike share programs and funding in cities and towns across the nation.


"The biggest goal of this whole ride is try and connect the work people are already doing for bikes," said Johnson. "That freedom you had as a kid [riding a bike] shouldn't be so hard to get."


The second annual "Ride on Washington" will last five days and attempt to raise $100,000 for the Bikes Belong Foundation, he said.

The group, like last year, expects to pick up participants on its path. Supporters are welcome to ride with them in spurts as they pedal to Washington.

Local restaurateur and co-owner of Trade, Sean Griffing, will strap on his helmet for part of the five-day journey with Johnson.

"We need to create awareness not only for motorists, but cyclists as well -- and make sure both parties are versed on how we share the road," said Griffing.

Supporters can donate to the cause on the group's website at Rideonwashington.org.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear