Racing Across the USA While Helping to End Polio
This summer, I will be racing in Bike Nonstop US, a 3,500 mile self-supported bicycle race from Portland, Oregon to Washington D.C. After my first bike tour last summer, I was eager to do something bigger and have an opportunity to improve some of the aspects of last year's trip. The route of Bike Nonstop initially stood out to me, with the focus on less traveled roads, and taking advantage of rail trails where available.
Fundraising to Help End Polio
As part of doing something bigger for myself, I also want to do something for others. That is why I will be using the race to raise funds to help end polio. Polio is a virus that attacks the nervous system, causing paralysis and sometimes death. Commonly spread through contaminated drinking water, polio mostly affects children under 5 years old.
I am fundraising through Rotary, who has been working to end polio for 35 years. Rotary has reduced polio cases by 99.9%, and the virus only remains today in Afghanistan and Pakistan. My Dad has been a part of Rotary for as long as I can remember. While stopping by a Rotary convention as a child with my Dad, I can recall seeing an iron lung for the first time and being amazed that anyone would have to spend time in it. Thanks to the eradication of polio so far and advances in treatment, iron lungs are largely obsolete today, although that image from my childhood is still in my memory today as a symbol of the virus.
How to Donate
My goal is to raise $1 for every mile of the race: $3,500 total. Please consider donating to my fundraiser to help end polio. Donations can be given on my fundraising page on the Raise for Rotary website.
Bike Nonstop US is a self-supported bicycle race, meaning there will be no support crew following me with food and water. The racers are each responsible for themselves, using only what they pack on their bike or what is available commercially (hotels, restaurants, gas stations). The route incorporates a mix of asphalt roads, gravel roads, and rail trails.
Closer to the start of the race, I will create another post with more details about how to follow along. For now, please consider learning more about polio and donating to my fundraiser.