This is a journey that has been on mind my since I was in college. What better way to see America than to cycle through the vast expanse of the country that we call home. When I knew that I would officially be separating from the U.S. Navy I made the call and set the wheels in motion to make this trip a reality.
In November of 2019 I sold my car, trading the creature comforts of the sedan for the open air of my Trek. It was a decision that left me with many questions in the months that followed. I asked myself if this was something I truly capable of doing and if the extremes of the two wheel lifestyle were worth the pain. Ultimately, the answers to all of my questions were clear.
In February of 2020 I reached out to Richard Casper, co-founder and Executive Director of CreatiVets, to ask for approval to make this trip into a charity ride for his nonprofit. I had the pleasure of meeting Richard during my time in Newport, RI where I learned about his time as a Marine and the organization that he co-founded after leaving the service.
After an in-depth conversation about the journey, Richard gave me the go-ahead and I began the process of raising funds for CreatiVets. Ultimately, the goal of this trip is to help close the gap on the nearly $30K in anticipated donations that were lost due to the cancellation of multiple fundraising events during the onset of COVID-19. In these unprecedented times, nonprofits face potential losses of 15% from individual donors and upwards of 50% from corporate sponsorships.
Given the recent events that we have experienced as a nation, it’s more important than ever to support nonprofits like CreatiVets. They have done an amazing job migrating all of their programs and services online. Each day they live stream daily art and music programs on all major streaming platforms, giving Veterans an opportunity to participate from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
If you have the means to support, I kindly ask that you follow the link at the top of the page to make a donation. As always, no contribution is too small!
To learn more about CreatiVets please read below or click here: CreatiVets
CreatiVets’ mission is to empower wounded veterans to heal through art and music. They accomplish this mission by using various forms of art, including songwriting, visual arts, music and creative writing, to help disabled veterans cope with service-related trauma (i.e., post-traumatic stress, or PTS) by fostering self-expression in a way that allows them to transform their stories of trauma and struggle into an art form that can inspire and motivate continued healing.
The journey will carry me roughly 4,000 miles from San Diego, CA to New York, NY over the course of three and a half months. Major cities along the route include: Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.
I developed this route using the Adventure Cycling map network. I will utilize their maps for the majority of the trip with the exception of one section. In order to cross from the Grand Canyon into the southwest corner of Colorado, I had to develop a route through Navajo Nation. In the event that campsites remain closed due to COVID-19, I will reroute the trip north to utilize BLM dispersed camping.
The entire trip will be self-supported. All donations go directly to CreatiVets.