“I really am very passionate about trying to try to find a cure and trying to not let people go through the same thing,” he said. Geilear said his grandfather has Alzheimer’s, and currently is in a memory care facility. He said he remembers seeing his grandfather after school, playing chess and listening to his war stories. Now, Geilear said it’s difficult for him to formulate sentences. Cy Whitler, one of the riders who has been involved since 2019, said he found out about the organization through his fraternity, Gamma Delta Fiji. Whitler said his grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s.
In preparation for this ride, the students biked Sunday from Bowling Green to the Texas Roadhouse in Elizabethtown, where they had a table set up to raise awareness and money. Along the way, the students will hold events to raise money and spread awareness at various locations in the country. The goal this year to raise $100,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Justin Geilear, director of ride operations, said he became involved in the organization because the disease had affected his life. The group will drive to California and then bike May 18 from the California coast to Virginia Beach, Virginia, arriving approximately on July 28. This ride is about 3,600 miles long across around 13 states. The bikers will average about 70 miles a day.
Geilear said he was told by previous riders that no amount of training can be done to fully prepare for the entire trip. He said he’s particularly worried about the more mountainous regions of the country they’ll have to ride through. During the ride, individuals can write in people’s names on the website at bike4alz.org/dedicate-a-day. At the start of each day of the ride, Geilear said they will read off the names for motivation for who they’re riding for. Whitler said the team practices and often trains for the ride, including 20- to 30-mile rides on the weekends. He said those who are in the ride are not necessarily trained bike riders, with some even being novices.
“We were all pretty torn up about it,” Whitler said. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ride for the summer of 2020 was canceled, but the group still was able to raise money.
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- WKU students ride bicycles to E’town, raise money for Alzheimer’s trip | Local News
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