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Photos: Cycle for Survival 2014 in Chicago

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They came when Chicago's weather conditions were rough. They pedaled until they thought their legs might fall off. They sweat buckets and turned Equinox The Loop into one slightly stinky, but completely energized, place over the weekend of February 8 and 9.

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But these 550 people had good reason for the cycling, the sweating and the conquering of the challenge at hand. They did it for Cycle for Survival, the national indoor team cycling challenge that raises money for rare cancer research. The money raised at Cycle for Survival has funded 85 clinical trials and research studies led by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

The event, which was started in 2007 in New York by Jennifer Goodman Linn who was fighting a rare cancer herself, has come to Chicago five times. And each year, the event gets bigger with the 2014 Windy City ride spreading across two days and having three four-hour sessions where teams could ride for the cause.

In 2014, Cycle for Survival will host 41 rides in 13 cities across the country from Boston and New York to San Francisco and Seattle. That's 3,950 bikes to be ridden by roughly 16,000 people! No wonder, this year's Cycle for Survival has raised more than $12 million already--and some rides have yet to take place.

To see some of the action that happened over the weekend Cycle for Survival came through Chicago, check out the slideshow.

If you still want to ride--and really want to ditch the snow and cold Chicago's been having all winter--you might be able to join a Cycle for Survival ride in Greenwich, Conn. (Feb. 23); Seattle (Feb. 23); Bethesda, Md. (Feb. 23); the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City (Feb. 28); Long Island (Mar. 1); and the Graybar, Fifth Avenue, 50th Street and Rockefeller Center Equinox locations in New York City (Mar. 1-2). For more details, check out