Jaimie is a graduate student studying Architecture at the University of Cincinnati. In the summer of 2011 she is riding with a group of college students on a 70 day, 4000 mile bike ride from Baltimore to San Francisco. Money raised by our riders goes to support 4K for Cancer's mission of spreading awareness, fostering hope and uniting communities across the county in the fight against cancer. We do this through cancer education programs, health screenings and by visiting cancer patients at hospitals, cancer centers and hospices each day during the ride. 4K also gives financial support to local, cancer centric non-profits in the communities we bike through.
I have never biked more than 20 miles at one time. So why would I choose to bike more than that every day for more than 60 days? Although my parents and most of my friends would probably say ‘because she’s crazy’, there are two things influencing my decision.
A few years ago I watched the Brazilian film, ‘The Middle of the World’, which follows a family as they ride their bikes across Brazil. The photography, landscape, and the experience as a whole made such an impression on me and had me dreaming of one day partaking in such a trip. Then a few months ago my uncle recommended the novel ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’. On one of the first pages Pirsig managed to summarize for me my why a trip like this is so appealing. “In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame." Though trips by automobile in no way bore me, I’d love to play a more involved role in my travels. I’ve been blessed with parents that appreciate and try to feed my insatiable desire to travel, but I’ve never been able to experience the United States in such a hands-on way. So when I found out that I had a summer off from school (my first in three years) I began researching bicycle trips.
As a student in Ohio, 4K for Cancer never visited my university. However, the first time I saw 4K’s website I knew that this was the trip I wanted and my second reason for biking 4,000 miles. Breast cancer has been prominent on both sides of my family. Several of my aunts have been diagnosed over the years and one in particular, Barbara Roudebush, is very active in raising funds and awareness to help fight breast cancer in the San Francisco area. I want to complete this trip for all of those who have suffered from cancer, for my aunts and others that I know who have been affected, but mostly for my Aunt Barb. I’m excited to be able to challenge myself in a new way this summer and to finish the trip knowing that my aunt will be there waiting for me.