College Students Take On 3,400-Mile Cycling Trek To Battle Global Water Crisis

College Students Take On 3,400-Mile Cycling Trek To Battle Global Water Crisis

With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, millions of Americans are celebrating the unofficial start of summer — but for one exceptionally motivated group of college-age cycling enthusiasts, the excitement of the season is already well under way.

2019 marks year seven of the annual Ride for Water — a cross-country cycling trek to raise money for charity: water, and its goal to end the global water crisis. This year, a team of 10 co-eds — six cyclists, three drivers and a support specialist — are looking to raise $80,000 from 700 donors this summer. To date, Ride for Water teams have raised more than $358,000 since the maiden ride in 2013.

“The craziest thing we can do is nothing,” their FAQ page states, just beyond a header detailing their 3,437-mile, 51-day route, from San Francisco to the organization’s headquarters in New York City.

As most Americans recouperate from a three-day weekend, the Ride for Water team is strapping in for Day 8 of their adventure, with a scheduled ride today (May 28) from Austin, NV, to Eureka, NV.

“Hey guys — in honor of Memorial Day, we want to send a shoutout to all the service members for our country,” team member Daniel Burroughs said Monday morning, through the @RideForWater Instagram Story. “We want to thank you for your sacrifice for our freedom; we want to dedicate today’s ride to you guys, so, we want to send you guys all the love and support; all of our thoughts and prayers to you guys and all the families of service members who have died for our country. So, thank you.”

A summertime ride might seem intimidating due to hot weather, but ironically, the weather has been rather cool across Nevada. Temperatures in the 50s have been a welcome improvement for the cycling team, who battled through snow in eastern California and western Nevada during their first week; alas, warmer conditions are sure to soon meet the team, whose quest ends July 10 in Tribeca.

Team member Kara Ingersoll shared several images of frigid temperatures from Carson Pass, CA, and Lake Tahoe, CA, on her Instagram Stories, with the caption “Rode through a Winter Wonderland today.”

While the Ride for Water team is using social media to convey stories from the pavement, their website details the best way to keep up with them: in person.

“Are we cycling within 30 miles of your home or someone you know? Interested in hosting us? We’d love to meet you!,” their website reads, with a link to a contact us button.

After Nevada, the cross-country route will bring the co-ed group across lengthy stretches of Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and rural Illinois, before crossing into Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and, finally, New York. Internet connections may be sparse at upcoming stops like Guthrie Center, IA; Lyman, WY, and Aragonite, UT — described by Wikipedia as an uninhabited ghost town, to the southwest of the Great Salt Lake.

On an upcoming ‘rest day,’ the 10-person team will represent more than 1% of the total population of rural Minatare, NE (pop. 803).

A visit to Minatare — with a land area of 0.38 square miles — almost seems fitting for the Ride for Water team. Minatare is named after a Sioux Indian tribe called “Minataree” — an Indian word meaning “clean water.”

And blisters, sunburn and chafing aside, the 2019 Ride for Water team pushes on in relentless pursuit of clean water for 663 million people worldwide. Donations — 100% of which go directly to clean water projects worldwide.

May 28th, 2019 – – by Chris Strub