The Chicago Tribune shares a heart-warming story about Jan Gierlach, a teen who decided to ride a crossed the country for a cause.
Rock the Ride raised money for the local organization, while entertaining attendees with live music, food and family activities.
So far, Gierlach has raised $125,000 for Ride for 3 Reasons since deciding to bike across the country. Gierlach’s overall goal is to raise $600,000.
For every $1 someone donates, $2 will be released from a matching fund of $400,000
Gierlach’s road journey takes him through the Adventure Cycling Association’s southern tier, a bike route that traverses California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and into Florida, according to the nonprofit’s website. The Adventure Cycling Association provides resources to people planning long bike rides through the country.
Gierlach will be riding for about two and a half months. That is a pretty long time for a teenage boy to be away from home, so his family is planning on meeting up with him along the way.
“I’ll be camping and staying in hotels,” Gierlach said. “All my gear is on my bike. I think it may be hard both physically and mentally getting up everyday and riding.”
To prepare for the journey, the young cyclist tries to train everyday, riding 35 to 50 miles a day. At age 10, he started competitive cycling, racing mountain bikes “all over the country,” he said.
This goes to show and inspire the idea that you can do whatever you set your mind to; especially when your heart is in the right place. This teen boy has the opportunity to see and experience so much because he opened his heart so much to care for someone or something else.
Lee is looking forward to Gierlach’s ride in early February, especially since it will be raising funds for Ride for 3 Reasons. Lee himself biked more 12,000 miles total from 2001 through 2012, raising $1.3 million for Ride for 3 Reasons.
“Jan will inspire others to make a difference in this world,” he said.