Vancleave, MS to Dauphin Island, AL – “Today we rode through some beautiful farmland and bayous under a mostly clear fall sky. We rode another long day of 71 miles but mostly flat terrain. We crossed over into Alabama and have now been through CA, AZ, NM, TX, LA, MS. We will soon be in FL which means we are close to the end of our ride. We have about 12 more riding days and one layover day. It is very hard to believe that we have come so far!
The Tribune reported back in August, Buster Brown of Asheville was getting ready to spend 53 days on a bicycle for charity. Brown planned to, and is riding from San Diego, Calif. to St. Augustine, Fla. raising money for four Asheville charities. The charities include Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, Arts for Life, Asheville Pregnancy Support Service and Sports Outreach, a ministry for high school and college athletes, as “For Life” organizations. He said the ride itself will help promote the charities by simply getting the word out. He is also asking for sponsors to pledge an amount per mile that he rides.
These are great charities with great values,” said Brown. “It’s an honor to ride for them.” The ride will be a total of 3200 miles and will take a total of 62 days which includes nine days of rest and 53 days on the bike. Brown will ride with 14 other cyclist as part of a Venture Cycling Association ride. He describes the ride as “fully self-supported” meaning they will carry everything they need on the bicycles with no support vehicles. The bikers are from across the US and England. Brown said he was inspired to take the ride across the country years ago when he met a man in his 60’s on a Vermont bicycle tour who had recently completed a cross- country ride. Brown said he decided then and there he wanted to try it too. “It’s kind of been on my bucket list,” said Brown, who is himself, 61 years old and completed week long tours of Vermont, Montana and Utah. He added that other reasons for taking on the ride include the physical challenge, seeing the country, meeting other people and the simplicity of being on two wheels peddling every day. “We’ll be going from zero elevation [in San Diego] to 8,000 feet [in the Rockies],” he said. Brown also wanted to thank Craig Friedrich of Ski Country Sports in Asheville for providing the bicycle for the ride. Ski Country Sports shipped the bike to San Diego where Brown began the ride on September 15 and, providing all goes as planned, arrive in St. Augustine on November 18. He has been posting updates on his facebook page, Buster’s Bike for Life and will be sending email updates to anyone who joins his email list. Anyone interested in pledging or donating can check the facebook page or go to the charities’ web sites, Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care – somsc.org/mercy, Arts for Life – aflnc.org, Asheville Pregnancy Support Service – myapss.com, Sports Outreach – sportsoutreachnc.org.