On June 15, seven Boy Scouts embarked on an epic bike journey from the Pacific seaside town of Florence, Oregon. Their destination, 66 days and 3,900 miles over the horizon, is Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina-their mission, to honor a schoolmate they lost to cancer and to raise awareness and funds for teen cancer programs.
The extreme cyclists, high school students in Chapel Hill, have now traveled almost 3,000 miles along the Trans-America Trail, successfully navigating the Cascades and Rockies, crossing the Continental Divide, descending into the Great Plains. Ahead, the Appalachian Mountains roll into North Carolina’s Piedmont and the coast, the entire trip without vehicle support.
The trip, labeled Bike Loud, is slated to end on August 18 with a ceremony and a celebration at Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach. The trip will close in the same manner that it began in Oregon, with a synchronized dip of bicycle wheels into the ocean. The public is invited to attend.
“I’m excited to bike across the country because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to challenge myself in a unique way,” said biker Max Morgan. “I’m also really glad that we will be raising awareness across the country for the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation.”
Sophie Steiner, who was diagnosed with germ-cell cancer in November 2012, died nine months later at age 15. Before her passing, Sophie expressed a strong desire to help other teens facing an overwhelming cancer diagnosis with non-clinical needs. Sophie’s wish led to the creation of the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, which supports teen cancer programs at University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals.
The Boy Scouts have seen many acts of kindness and generosity on their journey, including meals, overnight accommodations, refreshing swimming pools and contributions to the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation. “This is the generosity we continuously encounter,” said biker Andrew de Figueiredo.
For more information, visit www.bikeloud.org/landing.