We often hear about people biking great distances and doing so for a charity. And almost always, with but rare exception, the cause was picked *after* they made their decision to do their ride of choice. One unsung hero in this regard is Paul Guttenberg, a pilot, who rode across America in 33 days for the 33 airline industry victims of the 911 tragedy. 100- 150 miles a day, with no rest days, Paul was motivated.
A 50-year old mother of four in Lumberton, NC, feels the same passion to speak to the helplessness she feels. Her sister, a near twin, only ten months older, was diagnosed last year with terminal brain cancer. As such, she is doing the biggest thing she can to help. Maria Parker, of Cruz Bike, is riding one of her company's front wheel drive recumbents across the USA in what Outside Magazine calls “the toughest test of endurance in the world”, the Race Across America.
The fear Maria feels for the challenge of pedaling at speed for 3000 miles to raise a million dollars to research a possible cures for her sister's near certain death blow, is humbling. She leaves Oceanside, CA, for Anapolis, MD June 15. Details as they emerge. In the interim. HERE is the Facebook page for how you can help Maria fund brain cancer research.
From the above Facebook web:
Compared to the Tour de France, RAAM is 1000 miles longer, has 50% more climbing, and *drafting off other racers and vehicles is prohibited*. Moreover, the top finishers cover the distance in less than half the time as the Tour de France.
Only one woman has ever completed RAAM on a recumbent bicycle: Barbara Buatois, the French holder of the world speed record (75.5 mph on a streamlined recumbent in 2009), finished RAAM in 11 days 19 hours and 48 minutes in 2010 at the age of 34.