Pedaling for Prevention
A dream of Michael Mariani & Devin McLaughlin
Two high school students on a cross-country bicycle journey to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention.
Our mission is to make a positive impact on the world by taking on the challenge of biking across America to support suicide prevention. Nearly everyone has been personally affected by suicide or knows someone who has. It's a nation wide-crisis. We've personally experienced the pain of losing a friend and brother to suicide and we're well aware of the pain that comes with it. That's why we are making it our mission to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention to minimize the suffering felt across the nation, we hope to inspire people of all ages and show what's possible.
The ride totals out to be 3,762 miles long, spanned across the entire United States. Our journey will begin on June 14, 2020 in Yorktown, Virginia. From there we will head west on the Trans America Trail, taking in all the beautiful sights that Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas have to offer. After crossing the Midwest we'll head right into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. While trekking through the Rockies we will pass through Pueblo, Colorado, where we will transition from the Trans America Trail onto the Western Express Trail which is our last 1,588 miles of bike-friendly road and trail. The trail continues through the rest of Colorado, across Utah, Nevada, over the Sierra Nevadas and we hope to proudly finish our ride in San Francisco, California. Completing our coast to coast ride.
We're allowing 72 days to complete the ride with 10 break days to weave in when needed. We will be averaging 60 miles a day on our bikes in order to keep to our timeline. Fortunately for us, both sets of parents as well as relatives have volunteered to split up periods of time where they will be acting as a support vehicle. We will be meeting up with the them regularly for check ins and to unite with some of our gear. As far as overnight accommodations go, we will be primarily bike camping for the nights but also occasionally utilizing hotels to recuperate and make sure we're feeling our best. We've also been lucky enough to hear about a unique organization called Warmshowers. It's a community of bike enthusiasts who generously open their doors to fellow cyclists and provide meals, showers, and short stays. We will coordinate as many Warmshower stays as we can and we look forward to meeting some of the amazing people that are members of the Warmshowers organization.
We're embarking on this journey well aware of the difficulties it will pose both mentally and physically. Simply enough, our cause and desires for the trip outweigh the challenges that we will face. We feel grateful that we're even able to think of doing such a trip and that it's too great of an opportunity to miss out on. This is exactly why we're excited to take on biking across the country this coming summer, 2020. We started our training at the beginning of the new year, and now we will continue to prepare ourselves for the long road ahead.