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I have one big question: who ran the ride? If this was an event directly run by a charity, I think you can make a case for your reasonable travel expenses. If it was, as many of these things are, run by a commercial enterprise with the proceeds after expenses going to the charity, I think you're out of luck.

The ride was sponsored/coordinated directly by the National MS Society, the benefitting charity. It was cosponsored by Anheuser-Busch (yes, they provided free beer for the riders), local bike stores (free labor for mechanical problems en route), and a few others...

-- Laura
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