Aug 20, 2014
08:53 AMHealth & Science
UConn Medical Students Cycle for Leukemia Research; Raise $30,000
Greg Kirby of Madison and Jonathan Kobles of Farmington set out for the cross-country ride, “Coast to Coast for a Cure,” on June 18 from San Francisco. The pair is the ninth team to tackle the annual UConn tradition, which began in 2006.
Kirby explained that they traveled across the country in 54 days, cycling up to 80 miles per day. Prior to hitting the road on that first day, Kirby had never taken a trip that far.
“The longest training trip was 50 miles with no gear before I had to ship the bike to San Francisco,” says Kirby, who is a graduate of Boston College. On the first day he had already surpassed his record.
The two friends traveled through the redwood forests of California, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming among others. They cycled through Idaho, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states. Kirby’s favorite section of the trip was the beginning along the California coast and through the redwood forests.
“It was so much more than I thought it would be,” he says.
The pair (below) posted updates and photos from their trip on their blog. Click here to see the ride through their eyes.
The two arrived back in Connecticut at the UConn Health Campus on August 11, greeted by a cheering group of family and friends.
“It’s finally just starting to hit how many miles we actually put in, but we can feel it,” Kobles, a graduate of UConn, said at the time. “You think of your destination, you think of why you’re doing it, you think of just how much longer you push through it until you can finally reach comfort and how rewarding it will feel when you finally are able to do that much.”
Their ride will officially end this Saturday when they complete the final 40 miles from the Health Campus to Hammonasset Beach State Park where they will dip their tires in the Long Island Sound symbolizing the end of their trip. They dipped their tires in the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco at the start.
Anyone can join them on this final leg. Kirby and Kobles will leave the Health Campus around 8 a.m. A party at Malone’s in Madison will follow the ride.
Through fundraising, the two students were able to raise approximately $30,000 for Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research, the philanthropic partner of UConn Health’s Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Anyone interested in donating to the cause can find the “Coast to Coast” box at leasfoundation.org/events and click Donate.