Bicycle Around America: It’s all about gratitude and compassion

Brian D'Apice

Brian D’Apice

Brian D’Apice is more than 800 miles into his 10,000-mile Bicycle Around America, a solo journey around the perimeter of the lower 48 United States.

Gratitude and compassion are the driving forces behind Brian’s ride, which is helping two international charities. After two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army, Brian earned a college degree and then spent almost three years in Southeast Asia, teaching and working.

He saw extreme poverty. Lots of it. And he wanted to do something about it.

Brian D'Apice speaking to high school students.

Brian D’Apice speaking to high school students in Central New York this week.

He woke up one morning in Vietnam with an idea, and Bicycle Around America was born. The journey began May 4 in New York City. Brian, 30, will make it back there in about 11 months, after what he hopes is a successful trek that will raise $100,000 — and a lot of gratitude and compassion.

Michelle and I had the pleasure of hosting Brian this week, when he took a break from his grueling riding schedule to speak to students and meet fellow veterans in Central New York. (He’s looking for more speaking engagements along the way).

Others who had never met Brian embraced his cause, put him up for the night, fed him, took him shopping, donated to Pencils of Promise and Connecting Families.

He’s encountered plenty of good will throughout New England and New York State.

PJ and family, one of the many who have reached out to help Brian -- and feed him -- during his 10,000-mile bicycle ride.

PJ Zoccolillo, one of the many people who have reached out to help Brian during his 10,000-mile bicycle ride. PJ hosted Brian at a barbecue, and gave him a care package for the road, including a Syracuse University T-shirt.

“The generosity of the people I’ve met on this trip has been astonishing,” Brian wrote in his Bicycle Around America blog this week. “I’ve found that people genuinely want to help a good cause. I’ve seen it time and time again and I’m not even 10% of the way through the ride!”

I’ll be updating Brian’s progress throughout the year, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BikeAroundUSA) or on the Bicycle Around America Facebook page.

Brian will soon ride through western New York, Ohio, deeper into the Midwest, across the Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest … down the coast to San Diego, across Texas  … to Florida, and up the coast.

It’s an incredibly challenging trip, but Brian is more than prepared and more than capable. Besides a steady tail wind, he could use some help along the way. So if you’re anywhere near where his route takes him (the map is on his website), he would be grateful for a comfortable bed and a hearty meal. He’ll even do the dishes, as he did time and again at our house.

You won’t regret meeting this young man.

Here’s a two-minute newscast and interview with Brian on a Syracuse television station, a writeup about him by my blogging buddy Mark Bialczak, and an Irish Investigations post before he set out from Times Square.


About Jim McKeever

Writer, father, runner, advocate based in Central New York.
This entry was posted in Irish Investigations, role models and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Bicycle Around America: It’s all about gratitude and compassion

  1. markbialczak says:

    Spending time in the classroom with Brian brightened my day, Jim. He’s simply amazing to experience. Thanks for bringing attention to his special journey. Go, Brian. The world is a better place because of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. reocochran says:

    Jim, this caught my past teacher self and my wishful dreamer teenager’s attention. I always wanted to join the Peace Corps, but choices changed during college. Brian’s story is amazing and so glad he noticed his environment while in the military and cared to make a difference! Wow! I am like Mark, “Go, Brian, go!”


  3. I love what he’s doing and how you and Mark are helping him out along the way Jim! ❤
    Diana xo


  4. A great example of action speaking louder than words. Very admirable.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy says:

    Pretty amazing. I have trouble biking 20 miles haha. What a great cause.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw “Ohio” and headed to the map!!!! 😦 I’m too far away to host him. But I’ll be watching him for his updates. I so admire (and am a bit jealous) of this!!!! Go Brian!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Angie Mc says:

    I checked the map and he’ll ride through Tucson, not Phoenix. My husband is a cyclist and we would so welcome him to our home if helpful. Awesome post, Jim ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim what an amazing and inspirational man.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Amy says:

    What an adventure for such a great cause!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amy says:

    Jim, thank you for sharing about this. I will be following his progress as he makes his way around the US for such a wonderful cause.


  11. Jim McKeever says:

    Great, Amy, thanks! He’s approaching Ohio and should be in Cleveland later this week.


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