So it began as a, “I really want to ride to Florida on my bike for my 50th birthday.” Riding from Pennsylvania to Florida has always been on my bucket list. Though RAAM seemed kind of fun and crazy, with reality check, Florida looked a bit more logical. Afterall, looking at a map ... it's all downhill (right?).
I know I am 10-years past “mid-life” crisis, but that’s if you only live to be 80. Let’s work on the assumption I am shooting to have my birthday someday announced by Willard Scott’s successor. In that case, “50” IS mid-life!
Doing one of these ‘riding many miles’ things isn’t really a new concept. Phil Keoghan rode from LA to NYC in 2009. It was after having joined his group for about 25-miles of the Phila to NYC leg that my wheels started spinning.
Now mind you, I should have begun the planning back when my brain started to spin, but I didn’t. I started in September of 2010 with a goal of an April 2011 ride. Though I knew the planning wouldn’t be “cake” … I didn’t think it’d be “fruit cake”.
My first ride concept was a bit simpler “logistically”. Me, bike, lightweight backpack with essentials and the open road. Hey … when I was in my twenties, it worked out when I was stationed as a paratrooper in Northern Italy and touring on bike during a weeks R&R. So what's the big deal?
Flash forward 20+ years with a (lovely) wife and kids, “No… you’re not riding alone.” So the gears started turning again. Ok, more effort, more planning, a support vehicle. Let’s turn this personal challenge into a fundraising endeavor.
What began as a 'solo ride desire' to Florida is, simply based on need, growing to a four cyclist ride from Pennsylvania to Florida to raise money for a children's home in Mexico.
Aside from the struggles and challenges of finding interested supporters and sponsors, I am finding it somewhat challenging to find “like minded” individuals who'd like to bike to Florida. Are you that "like minded" person?
I am seeking a few more riders who, not unlike me, may share a similar desire to step outside of the box and do something a bit different—on a bike.
WHAT: Approximately 1150-miles over an 11-day period. Each day is a ‘century-plus’ ride, with evenings at hotels/motels
WHERE: Depart Bucks Co., PA – Arrive (outside) Orlando, FL
WHEN: Was April … but now looking at May/June
WHY: Raising money for ‘Casa Hogar’ – a children’s home in Mexico
I’ve been working on the mapping for the ride. I have a broad route, but have been working on each days leg. Up to #6 so far. Are they proven routes? No, not exactly. But, using various online mapping programs I believe I am working it out.
There will be a support vehicle (donated) for spare bike(s), equipment, luggage, water, food, etc. It’ll also server as our return vehicle to PA.
At this point the ride is self-funded by those who ride, splitting certain things 4 ways. I am still working on gaining support and sponsors who’ll hopefully assist with offsetting certain needs. Participating riders would need to help me get the word out there, assisting in the ultimate goal—raising money for the children’s home. Will conduct local training rides before the ride.
So … curious … interested? Wondering about the 'how much' ... I have some budget estimate. Please contact me if you are serious.