It’s quite a journey from Ohio to the Pacific Ocean – especially on a bicycle.
Chasen Poole, a 20-year-old college student who graduated from Graham High School, is on a quest to help the Shriners’ Hospitals.
An avid golfer, Poole played at Johnson and Wales University for two years. Soon he will be transferring to Blue Mountain College in Mississippi.
But this athletic endeavor of endurance on two wheels has left an indelible impression on his soul.
On April 25, he started a quest that he said would “forever change my life and hopefully many others as well.”
“I rode my bike from Springfield, Ohio to Florence, Oregon following the trans American cycling route,” said Poole. “The trip was 45 days in total and just over 3,500 miles. Two weeks into my trip I decided I wanted to help children who aren’t as fortunate as me and who are unable to physically complete something like this. I am really fortunate and I take a lot for granted like walking and riding my bike, so I decided to raise money for the Shriners Hospitals for Children.”
Shriners Hospitals for Children provides care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate regardless of the families’ ability to pay. There are 22 locations throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.
“So far, we have raised over $3,502 for those children and I would love to raise more for them,” said Poole. He started a new goal of $5,000.
Poole discussed the hardest parts of his trip.
“The wind was so defeating. The wind was blowing 20 miles per hour and I had to keep going,” said Poole. “I was a little nervous at the beginning, I hadn’t really ridden on the road before this trip, so I was nervous with the cars. I only had a few close calls.”
He listed several reasons why this trip was exciting.
“It was pretty exciting being able to know I helped out the kids that are in need,” said Poole. “I met a lot of people on the way, bikers and people in the small towns I was going through. I saw a lot of places I had never seen before.
“The world we live in is so fast-paced,” said Poole. “Being out here really slowed things down. I got to see things from a different perspective and that was really awesome.”
To donate to Poole’s Cycling Across America Fundraiser, visit donate.lovetotherescue.org/fundraiser/3257262.
Reach Anna Gaertner at [email protected]