|@St. Norbert July 2008 - Pedaling towards the Fourth of July||St. Norbert College|
Dan Altenburg ’93 at the Georgia state line
Pedal power fuels a trans-American dream
A crowd of surfers broke into cheers as Dan Altenburg ’93 crossed the sand to dip his bike tires into the Pacific Ocean. His arrival at Ocean Beach in San Diego marked the end of an epic journey.
He and his bicycle have crossed the United States and, in the effort, are supporting communities in Uganda that will benefit from four clean water systems.
Altenburg’s blog gives a day-by-day account of his trip from St. Augustine, Fla., to San Diego, Calif. The blog offers insights, too, into his motivation for giving up his day job and undertaking this adventure.
“Life had thrown some strange curve balls my way, and I had enough,” Altenburg writes. “Either I lived the same life and expected the same things to come my way, or I lived differently for a while under my own terms and conditions.
“I chose to pick up a dream that I had abandoned a few years back: traveling across the country by bicycle. I bought the tour bike a few years ago, but I never toured with it. Now was the time.”
He says his 2,300-mile ride combines the free spirit he encountered among the Europeans he met on previous travels with the do-it-yourself approach to life he has used in projects at home. “Except this time I am the target for improvement. Instead of discovering hardwood floors under the nasty carpet, there is no telling what else lies beneath the once-successful technology sales account manager.”
Altenburg says he always intended to make this cross-country trip one day, but once he had purchased all his gear and was ready to go, he thought it would be smart to use the ride to raise awareness and funds for a good cause.
Charity: water installs and maintains wells that provide clean water to communities in some of the world's poorest nations.
Altenburg hopes to raise $23,780 through his trip—enough to bring clean water to 2,500 people in need. He began his ride by dipping his bike tires in the Atlantic Ocean and will dip them in the Pacific Ocean Friday. On the miles in between, he calculates he will have consumed no less than 120 gallons of clean water.
Supporters who would like to contribute can still make donations at www.charitywater.org/getinvolved/promos/dan_altenburg.