Man biking across America makes a stop in Idaho Falls
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IDAHO FALLS — A little over a month ago, Ron Storms and his dog, Onyx, set out on a 3,400-mile bike ride across America.
The trip stretches from his home city of Lincoln, Oregon, to Cochranville, Pennsylvania.
Storms was in Idaho Falls last week on his 800-mile leg of the journey. He tells EastIdahoNews.com the purpose of the trip is to raise $30,000 for an organization called Canine Partners for Life, a nonprofit that provides service dogs to those who need them.
“I’ve always wanted to do something different to raise money for an organization like this,” Storms says.
Joining him on the journey — by pickup — is Meghan Schreiner, his girlfriend, who documents the trip.
Storms grew up in Pennsylvania with his mother, grandmother and aunt Jane. His relationship with Jane, who has disabilities, gave him strong compassion for those with physical challenges. He also has a love for dogs.
Around 2010, he learned about Canine Partners for Life. Its building was only a half-hour from his house, and he wanted to help the organization. His efforts were cut short, however, when life-altering events landed him on the West Coast.
While getting a fresh start in Oregon, he volunteered at the White Wolf Sanctuary, where he lived on site and helped take care of the wolves.
Eventually, he relocated to Lincoln City, Oregon, where he met Onyx.
He still had a desire to do something for Canine Partners for Life in Pennsylvania and began to brainstorm how he could help from so far away.
Now he’s helping while riding his bike and raising awareness of the cause, and he’s using his own money to do it.
Averaging about 60 miles a day on his bike with 85 pounds of dog in tow, the trip is physically demanding, but Storms says he’s determined to get to Pennsylvania one pedal at a time.
“I’m willing to die out there to get from one side to the other. I’m getting there even if I have to crawl. The only way I’m not going to make it is if I’m dead,” says Storms.
The thing that makes the trip worth it to Storms is the people he meets along the way.
“In Burns, Oregon, I went into Dairy Queen and bought a milkshake. A family came in with their son, who was paralyzed in a wheelchair. He started having a seizure. Because my aunt had seizures, seeing that was moving to me,” says Storms. “I’ve got two arms, two legs, I’m eating every day. It motivates me to know I can do something for somebody.”
Every once in a while someone will do something nice for Storms on his journey, like pay for his dinner. Since Storms is relying on his own savings to get him to his destination, Storms says the kindness of others is much appreciated.
“It’s a great cause. We’ve met so many great people. We’re just trying to reach as many people as we can.”
As of Tuesday morning, Storms had left Dubois, Wyoming. His route will mostly follow U.S. Highway 20. He’s hoping to end up in Pennsylvania by the end of the summer.
Storms had raised about $3,700 of his $30,000 goal as of last week. If you’d like to contribute to his cause, you can make a donation through his website.
You can follow Storms and Onyx on their journey at Facebook.com/TeamRonyx.