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