Riding across this great big land for a worldly cause

Brian D’Apice stayed at my good friend Jim McKeever’s house through the Memorial Day Weekend.

Anybody who’s read Jim’s passionate Irish Investigations blog know how he’s one to advance the good cause any way possible.

And the work of D’Apice, this project he’s calling Bicycle Around America is a great cause.

Now that's a logo.

Now that’s a logo.

D’Apice’s pedal pushing began May 4 in New York City, will wind through Seattle, and will end next spring back in New York City. The journey is designed to raise money and awareness for two charities, Pencils of Promise and Connecting Families, both set up to help the poor of third world nations.

D’Apice related to people needing this aid while serving in the U.S. Army, in Iraq and Indonesia. He talked of these trips to a class this week at Jamesville-DeWitt High School just outside of Syracuse. I wrote about his presentation for my weekly Mark It Up community blog for Syracuse Public Media site waer.org. You can read the column and see more of my pictures by clicking the link below.

http://waer.org/post/brian-dapice-pedals-hard-spread-his-message-help-and-inspiration

D’Apice was here because his younger brother was a close friend of Jim’s son Chuck. They attended Ohio State together. Chuck told his dad about Brian’s project. Brian’s brother told him about the McKeever family’s offer. J-D English teacher Kristin Hardy went to school with Chuck and heard about the whole affair, and she invited Brian to speak at her high school.

If that’s not a community in action, I don’t know one when I see it.

Kristin Clark and Brian D'Apice prepare for the students to arrive.

Kristin Hardy and Brian D’Apice prepare for the students to arrive.

Principal Paul Gasparini came into the classroom beforehand to welcome D’Apice, the full collection of students, a handful of interested teachers, and even me.

We all listened intently as D’Apice explained why, showed what and emphasized how. His tale included 9/11, spanned two decades and brought him to Iraq, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Buddha on a bike.

Buddha on a bike.

“If you believe you can do something you can. The only thing I have that other people don’t is grit. I can even fly,” he concluded to the students,” showing them a slide of himself diving off a cliff in Hawaii.

They clapped.

He quickly told them how he raised funds by talking in schools, churches and camps, and how people could click sites and pledge money, beating the buzzer to end the class.

Teachers surrounded him and asked about the T-shirt he was wearing. He said they were for sale — five different versions using the same logo, in fact — but the company needed guaranteed sales of 20 at a time, so he’d closed requests until he knew that many would be purchased. They all told him to open it up again because they knew a friend who knew a friend who knew a friend …

(Postcript on Friday afternoon: Brian just sent me this link now reopened for shirt sales.

He reiterated how he was making this happen on $6 per day, mostly for food, and giving every cent raised to the charities.

When he handed me his card it said:

1 man, 10,000 miles, 32 states, 1 year, 2 charities = $100,000 raised

It added:

Bringing Education and Healthcare to Children and Families in Need

And:

Offering public speaking about:
Appreciation β€’ Strength β€’ Compassion

Here’s that link to find the clicks to donate again:

http://www.bicyclearoundamerica.com/charities.html

Here’s an email address if you want to contact him:

BicycleAroundAmerica@gmail.com

How far could you ride your bicycle? How many states and countries have you visited? What would be the charity you’d represent?

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44 thoughts on “Riding across this great big land for a worldly cause

  1. Awesome Mark. Great that you are helping to promote his charitable endeavor. Well done. As an aside, i have trucked in all 48 contiguous states. ha! I was laid over in Kennebunkport Me one day when i was trucking. I had a girlfriend there and we went out to the pub one evening with a group of her friends. we sat at a big table (there were about 8 of us) and they decided to play a drinking game. Someone said we should all list the number of states we knew and whoever got the most had their beer paid for the rest of the evening. They said I could play if I didn’t mind losing – after all I was Canadian and none of them knew more than 3 provinces. Bwahahaha! Not only did i list all 52 states – as I had been in 48 of them – I did it so quickly that I had time to draw a rough map and put them all in the correct place. They weren’t paying any attention and so when they were done and everyone turned in their list they realized that the most any American had gotten was 32 states – but the Canadian drank free beer all night. They said i cheated, but i had not suggested the game – just agreed when they suggested it. ha! Chalk one up for the Canadian. Bwahahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re such a peach that you gave them two extra states for good measure, Paul! I’m glad you fleeced my country mates with your exhaustive list and drank free all night. I’m ashamed that the best any of them could do was 32 of our 50 states. Of course you have trucked through all 48 in our continent. Your lively tales of the road prove you wrung all you could from the experience.

      As for me, I’ve done the whole east coast: New York and up to Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine, and down to New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. ( I strayed wisely to include your cities Toronto, Montreal, St. John and Halifax.) I’ve ventured westward to Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. In July MDW Karen and I are going to Colorado. Yay for another state. So that gives me 25. Soon to move across the halfway point! I think I’m at three for provinces. Correct me if I’m wrong. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s very cool that A’pice is doing this, Mark! I like the line, “And I can even fly.” I wish him much success on his fundraising goal and also the inspiring of thousands through his speaking engagements. Thanks for covering this and sharing it Mark. ❀
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an inspiration he is. It warms my heart to know that there are young people out there willing to commit to this kind of energy and sacrifice. Godspeed to Brian, and thanks to you, Mark, for showcasing him and his cause. ❀️ Van

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on radicalrumblings and commented:
    Every once in a while you read something that, no matter how hard you try to stop it, makes the back of your eyes prickle with tears. Reading Mark’s blog was one of those occasions, as was the time when I first came across Brian’s cycling venture in Jim’s blog – you can access them by following the links in Mark’s blog. Do click on the links and find out what it’s all about, especially http://www.bicyclearoundamerica.com/charities.html

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve read about this famous ride before bro. Mark, and find it very inspiring. When I was very young I could ride bicycles, but now I do well to even stand long enough to take a few steps. Wish I could still ride though. It was fun, even when I would pull out in front of cars and have to listen to my mom scream and lecture for months after the incident.
    My charity, of course, would be MS support, or even trying to find a cure. Or helping people who have MS and need the basics in life just to survive get what they need to keep on another month. I’m one of that group, so I know it well. Always the fear that the money will run out before the meds are paid for, or the choice of food or meds. I guess it really burns me when people donate to foreign countries while there are so many here in our own country in as much need. And yet, at one time I did that also. Now my donations go to MS related charities, when I have a few dollars left over at the end of the month.

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  6. Pingback: Bicycle Around America: It’s all about gratitude and compassion | Irish Investigations

  7. this is stunning and a beautiful idea and cause. how wonderful. i’m not a good bike rider, so i could go around the neighborhood, maybe. i’d support children’s cancer research in memory of my nephew and all the little ones who suffer from this horrible disease.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Go, Brian, go! I am so impressed that he noticed his local environment while in the military. I have met many soldiers who stayed on base and did not bother to ‘know’ their culture where they were. My one ex-husband joined a theater group and played the “token American” while in Japan. My friend, Melvin, always the comedian, told me he visited every bar in Germany. He did get to know the craftsmen and women artisans and purchased items from every town he visited. Thank God for people like Brian who want to make a difference in the world. Great projects: education and healthcare. Wow!

    Like

  9. My Dave is a cyclist and we would offer our home to Brian in a heartbeat! But he is riding through Tucson, not Phoenix. Great adventure, great cause, great post ❀

    Like

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