Seatlle to San Diego
O&S: Can you give some backstory about how this ride came about?
EH: I am not one to create bucket list. If I think of an idea to do something physically challenging, I give myself 6 months to get it done, or I push it to the back-burner. In the last year, I climbed Kilimanjaro, hiked to Machu Picchu, and completed the Tour Du Mont Blonc. All Ideas, thought of just a couple months prior to leaving. Most of my endeavors thus far have been on foot. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and do something much longer and in a different fashion than I have before. Seattle to San Diego seemed difficult, but doable.
O&S: But you're fairly new to cycling right? What influenced you to take the leap and commit to such a long ride?
EH: Growing up, we always used to bike around the neighborhood as kids, but since getting my license, ten years ago, I hadn’t touched a bike. I wanted to do something that was going to challenge me but also give me a new way to explore the West Coast. Riding gives you the ability to take your time, soak in the views of the coast and pop in and out of small towns. It allows you to truly be present. Move slow and move far.
O&S: Was there anything in particular that made you want to partner with Movmember for this ride or was the Movember movement a driving force for you to embark on this journey?
EH: I started raising money for Movember a couple of years ago when my dad came home with a gnarly mustache telling me that each of the Chiefs at the fire department was doing no Shave November and donating money at the end of the month to the organization. I became intrigued by the mission and the widespread audience that it was able to reach. As a Resident Advisor in college, I learned how many young men struggle with mental health issues. Ranging from school stress to suicidal ideation, students would approach me with some very difficult topics. I then began to realize how limited mental health resources are in general, and especially for men. Movember is the leading charity supporting mens health. Movember focuses on mens mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. It just made sense to start supporting Movember by strutting a mustache every November and doing this ride to further support and bring awareness to the organization. I wanted to be part of a movement bigger than a solo bike ride. I wanted to get people involved and make a change in the lives of young men and this was a perfect story to begin that journey. I reached out to the organization and they showed nothing but love and support for my effort!
O&S: As of now, the plan for this ride seems pretty flexible! Are you expecting to make some stops at any particular spots? Are there any destinations that are a must-visit for you?
EH: Most of my stops, I expect, will be game-day decisions, but ideally, the road will take me through some of the most beautiful landscapes and little towns, this side of the Mississippi. Cities like Cannon Beach, Crescent City, and Huntington Beach will provide beautiful ocean views and welcoming locals, while the Redwoods and the Golden Gate Bridge will take my breath away. I think one of the driving factors is that I am open to suggestions. From friends, strangers, and the little book to help guide the way, I plan to take all ideas into consideration when picking my stops.
O&S: As far as your personal journey goes, are there any particular challenges that you are expecting, or worried about? A lot can happen on a 1600 mile ride!
EH: Cars... My greatest fear are the factors I can’t control. Semi trucks whipping past me at 50+ miles an hour are kinda scary and I’m going to have to contain composure and pray I don’t get clipped. I’m sure I’ll blow a tire, fall off the bike, or run out of water, those things I can prepare for with proper gear. Any other challenges I welcome with open arms as they are all just bumps in the road (for a lack of better terms). Weather delays may also play a factor in breaks or timing that may prevent me from making my deadline.