When David Baldwin came to us with his idea in January 2016, the task seemed as far-fetched as the goal itself. In June he was going to set out on a 3,500 mile ride across the United States, and he wanted us to design three different opportunities for friends, family and donors to ride along with him. His goal? Raise $13 million for adults with disABILITIES.
It was a tall order, especially in just four short months. In total there would be more than 100 people joining this ride, all of whom required bikes, hotels, food and support. This in addition to the difficulties David himself was about to face. “Trying to raise $13 million in Houston when oil is $35 per barrel is one challenge,” he said. “And I’ve only done a couple of long rides in my life.”
But if there was ever anyone up for the challenge, David was the right person for the job. “As [my wife] and I started to share our dream/vision with others, our ‘peloton’ started to grow. In total there were more than 200 volunteers working to make Pursuit a huge success, and with Trek Travel’s help, we created three opportunities for people who enjoy riding to participate in the Pursuit mission as well.” After countless hours of planning and preparation, the team dipped their wheels into the Pacific Ocean on June 6 in Astoria, Oregon and began the journey west.
The route, custom designed by Trek Travel Trip Designer Amy Davison, covered 14 states and 3,362 miles. It showcased the vast and indescribable beauty our country has to offer, from iconic small towns and restored railroad depots to dramatic mountains and lush green forests. “While I had previously ‘touched down’ in all but one of the 14 states I visited with Pursuit (South Dakota being the exception), I hadn’t spent much time in any of these states. From the seat of a bicycle, without the pressure of time or interruptions or any physical barrier other than sunglasses and a helmet, I began to take in the real character and beauty of each individual state and developed a true appreciation for so many unique things across our country,” David said.
“The kindness of strangers, the physical beauty of our parks, the wide open spaces…we have something tremendous under our feet, just off the beaten path. It is truly refreshing and inspirational.”
– David Baldwin
Along the way they spotted moose in Jackson Hole, rode through the Badlands, stopped at Mount Rushmore, and cheered on the Cubs at Wrigley. They changed flats, battled winds and climbed mountains. And on August 3rd, 59 days after the Pursuit began, David dipped his wheel in the Atlantic Ocean, concluding what can only be described as the ride of his life.
For us it was a custom trip unlike any we’d ever created. The chance to not only bring one man’s dream to life, but to help bring hope to a population so desperately in need of a hero. So thank you letting us be a part of your journey, David. It is one we will never forget.
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