County cyclists to pedal from
Maine to California for charity
four men hope to educate others along the way
Helen E. McKinney
(February 2007) Although they may be a bit
older than well-known cyclist Lance Armstrong, four Oldham County senior
citizens will be making headlines as they bicycle across the United
States to aid different charities and organizations. But their hearts
will be in the right place as they pedal 60 to 80 miles per day cross-country.
left to right: Jim Powell,
Larry Wooldridge, John Luken and
Ed Kalmey will cycle 80 miles a day on
their ride from San Diego to Caribou, Maine.
For approximately two months, Jim Powell, 67, of La Grange
will join four other locals Ed Kalmey, 67, Larry Wooldridge,
64, and John Luken, 62.
The men will drive to San Diego, from where they will ride their bicycles
to Caribou, Maine. They will leave Kentucky on March 25 and hope
to be back in Louisville in two months, said Powell.
We estimate about 3,500 miles for the actual bike ride,
Powell said. It will probably be 7,000 to 8,000 miles by
the time we drive to San Diego, bike to the most northern point in Maine
and then drive back to Louisville. We are going to have a website, and
you will be able to keep up with us as we will update it almost daily.
Originally, Powell was the only one scheduled for the trek. But the
other men said they would like to join him, and they have been meeting
every other week to plan their trip.
Powell said this is something he would just like to do, to gain
a different perspective on seeing what a great country we have.
Most people dont enjoy scenic views while flying down an interstate,
he said, and this will afford him the opportunity to slow down and relish
the United States beautiful landscape.
Born in Powell County, Ky., Powell is a retired United Methodist pastor.
He served in the Kentucky Annual Conference for 41 years as
a law enforcement chaplain for 26 years and has been the Kentucky State
Representative for the International Conference of Police Chaplains
since 1994. Powell is now chaplain for the Oldham County Police Department.
Powell said he hopes to raise more than $35,000 to benefit the police
chaplains organization on this trek. This is not the first time
he has set out to accomplish such a feat. In 2003 he walked from Seattle
to Miami with Oldham Countian David Stoess.
I touched the Space Needle and started walking until reaching
the Orange Bowl in Miami, said Powell. Stoess ended his walk in Key
West, Fla. Powell raised $35,000 for the police chaplains on the 2003
Powell and Stoess had to sleep in tents, but for this bicycle ride,
sleeping at night will be a bit more comfortable. The ride is sponsored
by Sam Swope BMW and Tom Stinnett R.V., the later of which has given
the four men the use of a 38-foot motor home and gas for four months.
Powell has not trained in any special way for this ride, but he does
stay in shape by running three to five miles several times a week.
Luken used to be a runner as well. Luken said he has stepped up his
fitness regime to include spinning, a workout in which he exercises
twice a week on a stationary bike. By using various exercises, he hopes
to build up different muscles that will increase his endurance.
Ive always been interested in exercise, said Luken,
who has lived in Oldham County for 30 years. Any money raised by Luken
will benefit Special Olympics programs.
The Special Olympics have been a major part of my daughter, Jennys,
life, said Luken. He has been active with Special Olympic Programs
for 20 years, having served on the Kentucky Board in 2002. His wife,
Sandy, is also active as a swim coach.
Luken said he hopes to raise $5,000 for Special Olympics. He is thankful
to have been blessed with a healthy body to be able to face the challenges
of this ride. His concern is not with his physical capabilities, but
rather with the mental aspect of the ride.
He will be apart from his family for at least two months, although they
may meet him along the way at different places. Through achievement,
you can strengthen yourself mentally, said Luken.
This is a perspective he tries to implement to his clients in his job
as a psychologist. Luken has his own private practice and took up exercising
regularly in 1985 as a way to combat the day-to-day stress of his job.
Although hes never tackled anything like this bicycle ride before,
his love for small towns spurs him on.
I find people very interesting. I have an interest and a passion
for small towns, said Luken.
Of the 12 goals he has set forward for his life, writing a book titled,
Cooks, Characters and Courthouses in Kentucky, is one of
them. He had intended to visit every Kentucky county seeking out those
people who were the best cooks according to the locals and publish their
stories in book form. While he realizes that he may not reach this goal,
this trip is one way to come close to his original goal.
Kalmey has spent 35 years in sales with Kraft Foods. Kalmey is involved
in the Rotary Club and is riding to benefit Safe Drinking Water Worldwide.
Wooldridge is a retired Louisville YMCA executive. He created YMCA
Shelter House for Runaways in 1974 and the nationally recognized
YMCA Project Safe Place in 1984. He is riding to support
YMCA Project Safe Place.
Powell said he hopes the men will be able to speak to different social
and civic groups to spread word of their trek, in addition to mailing
out brochures to Oldham County residents.
For more information, contact Jim Powell
at (502) 939-3616 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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