3,360 miles – Seattle, Washington, to Washington DC. Nearly $30,000 raised to support the American Lung Association. Stronger legs and lungs. And a lifetime of memories proving what one of my early donors promised I would learn: “That America IS beautiful.”
My Big Ride Across America is finished. I’m back in Anchorage now, glad to be home and even gladder to report a success on all fronts.
I began this project in June of 2011, when I got on my bike to join my friend Ivan Moore’s team for a fall MS Society fund-raiser. Training lasted all summer, and it got me excited about riding again. I kept on training – mostly indoors – through fall, winter and spring. And this June 18 I took off from Seattle with 16 other riders to cross America by bicycle. We landed triumphantly in Washington DC on August 4.
Those are the bare facts. The experience was so much richer than that. Crossing the country at 14 miles per hour gives you a sense of scale you cannot know in an airplane or even a car. Every mile took effort, and we earned them all. If you’re interested in a longer account of how we did it, keep on reading to the bottom of this blog.
Now I have three more messages:
First, a final appeal: This trip was a mission to support the American Lung Association. If you were waiting to learn whether I would complete the journey before making a gift, I’ve done it – and there’s still time. Here is the link to my fund-raising page online, and I will be grateful for anything you may give:
Second, an invitation: Each year Patty and I organize a backyard potluck barbecue to gather friends and celebrate the Alaska summer. Please come to our place on Sunday, August 26, from 3-7 PM, to enliven the gathering. We’ll provide the burgers, the hot dogs, and the drinks – and hope you’ll bring yourself and other goodies. Watch for more information over the next couple weeks.
And finally, a big thank-you: My Big Ride was only possible through the help and support of literally hundreds of others. If you rode with me, if you sent your encouragement, if you gave to the cause, if you helped me find equipment, if you followed my blog, if you shared your knowledge or gave a bit of advice, THANK YOU! This project was a success because of you, and I hope you’ll take some satisfaction from that.
For me, this was a big item to check off the bucket list – and I am hugely grateful that so many friends and loved ones were there to make it possible. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.