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Journey expands cyclist's horizons

By Critical_Conformity     Feb 21, 2007 in Health
Bicyclist rides 19,500 miles from northern tip of Alaska to southern tip of Argentina to raise awareness for macular degeneration. Turns out he's An Inspiration to Humanity.
This is a story of Quinn Baumberge who (inspired by his Grand Father) started off last may on his cycling tour to raise money for a disease that slowly blinded his maternal grandfather, Joe Ludwig. He is close to acheiving his goal of raising $19,500 for macular degeneration research, $1 for each mile covered.
It's been a trip that not only has helped his grandfather but he's feeling very rewarded himself.
He's found that he has been re-awakened in humanity. Over Thousands of miles he's thankful to have been exposed to different cultures, landscapes, extremes of poverty and generosity, decay and beauty. The miles and late nights shared with strangers and the generosity Baumberger found among the poorest people really moved him and inspired him.
"It's been a bipolar trip," he said. "I've had the best, best times of my life over and overagain , and I've also had the worst." It was days filled with illness, stifling heat, freezing cold, rain, doubt and loneliness that made it his worst days.
Over the journey of his ride, he has had and fixed at least 50 flat tires, replaced nearly every part of his bike, been robbed twice, carried more than 100 pounds of gear, eaten little but rice and pasta for weeks, and replaced his worn shirts with those he has found on the road.
But it was times like when he was In Mexico, after a poor family with five children living in a hut made of reeds, who still managed to feed him and gave him shelter, was what touched and motivated him to keep going.
They shared their meager supply of rice, not even able to understand his language. They had nothing but still managed to give.
Baumberger, 23 and who is from California, is nearing his end of the journey he started. In Argentina this weekend, God willing he will have a reunion with his parents, Brad and Rose, and his brother, Jeff who have been covering the Journey of this remarkable younge man.
He sayshe has relished every challenge as much as every triumph. It has helped him see what he has come to truly value in life: experiences, friends and family.
"It's more insane to me working at some place only for money and not because you feel it's improving your person or someone else's, than to be thrifty for 10 months in order to do what you love," Baumberger explained on his Web site,
Way to go Quinn you are an example for people to follow. An Inspiration to us all.
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