An Ohio man pedaled his way through Huntington County on June 4, bound for Oregon. His goal, to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Disease research.
The man, Carl Foote, left Oakland, N.J., on May 21. His goal is to arrive at Crater Lake Lodge in Oregon on July 9, where he will meet up with his wife.
“I’ve got to hit that date,” he joked. “Reservations have been made.”
While in Huntington County Foote stopped in Markle where, he said, “I enjoyed a great meal at The Pickle.”
This is actually the second time he has bicycled across the country. He made a similar trip 50 years ago.
“A teenage friend thought it would be a (fun) thing,” Foote said. “We trained and prepared, and then he changed his mind.”
A lot has changed since that first trip, not the least of which is his age. Foote was in his early 20s when that first trip took place. He will turn 70 on June 20.
There are many other differences, as well.
“I averaged 100 miles per day then,” he said, noting that he was hoping to average 66 miles per day, but has only been getting 40 to 50 miles, so far. “I did have an 81 mile day when I hit western Ohio.”
Other differences, include “cell phones, windmills and many different nationalities and ethnicities,” he said. “Trucks also seem bigger.”
But just as some things change, other things remain the same.
“What hasn’t changed is the hard work of our farmers as they feed the world with the vast acreage I see. I live in eastern Ohio and just marvel at all the farmland.”
Foote has been planning this trip, dubbed the Magical Memory Tour 2022, for about two years.
“The name Magical Memory Tour 2022 has multiple meanings,” he said, noting those include “my memories, preserving memories and adding to my memories.”
Foote is making the trip by himself, but believes he is gaining support from the many people he has met along the way, as well as from a higher power.
“I have lots of faith that prayers are being answered and God is actually supporting the trip,” he said.
He said that comes in many forms, such as “rain shelters showing up today, just as the rain got bad in the middle of nowhere.”
One shelter, he said, was a huge farm equipment building under construction, while another was a shelter in the Gilman community park “just as it got bad again.”
Another sign, he said, was a “flat tire right at my planned hotel stop in Pennsylvania, after pushing my bike uphill and descending at 30 miles per hour. A flat at any other time would have been a serious problem.
His goal of raising funds for Alzheimer’s research is personal to him.
“My father-in-law lived his last seven years with us as the disease progressed,” Foote said. “There are 500,000 cases a year. Everyone I tell about my ride has told me of a relative who had it.”
He hopes to raise $3 million for research, all of which would go for Alzheimer’s research.
“An audacious ask requires an audacious task,” he said. “But I truly believe these specific donations will lead to the cure.
“The Cure Alzheimer’s fund has never had a ‘hero’ even try for that much.”
Anyone wishing to donate to his effort may do so at www.curealz.org.