Rod and Linda Hampton are shown on their bike trip across the United States to raise money for the American Institute for Cancer Research. PHOTO BY SHILOH APPEL/PLAINSMAN
On June 7 Rod and Linda Hampton began a journey that would take them across America battling both below freezing weather and grueling heat, steep mountains and long empty stretches of pavement on a quest to save lives.
The Hamptons have both lost family members to cancer. Rod lost his younger sister, and Linda her mother. Through this trip the Hamptons are raising money for the American Institute for Cancer Research with hopes to save others from the disease.
Their goal is to raise $20,000 for cancer research. They have currently raised a little over $10,000.
The Hampton’s, both in their 60s, have learned to be prepared for almost anything. Weather-wise, they have faced both a low of 29 degrees and a high of 102 during the trip. However, the weather is only one of the many challenges the Hamptons have faced during the trip.
“The Teton Pass was our biggest challenge,” said Linda. “It was 13 miles to get up a 10 to 11 percent grade.” They passed the Tetons the third week of June.
With five to seven hours a day spent biking, the Hamptons cover 70-80 miles every day, and go through five to six bottles of water. On their longest day they covered 122 miles, traveling from Riverton, Wyo., to Casper, Wyo.
Meanwhile, Linda’s sister and husband serve as Rod and Linda’s support and gear (SAG) crew during the long hours of biking.
“There’ve been days when there was nothing between point ‘A’ and point ‘B’,” said Rod. “They have been a huge support.”
The distance the Hamptons plan to cover spans approximately 3,800 miles. They started the trip in Astoria, Ore.,and plan to end in Portsmouth, N.H., in August, crossing the northern U.S. from “sea to shining sea.”
“The scenery has just been awesome so far,” said Linda. “We met a lot of bikers and interesting people. It’s really been quite the adventure.”
Along the way, the Hamptons have had the chance to visit friends and relatives.
“We do know some people along the route, and we encourage them to come see us because we are on bikes and they have cars,” said Linda. “Our two boys live in Wisconsin, so we will get to see them.”
The Hamptons have no doubts they will finish the journey strong.
“My wife trained really hard during the winter months,” said Rod. She covered more than 3,000 miles on a trainer bike before the first signs of spring.
As they continue on their journey, they commemorate those who have had cancer.
“We would like to dedicate our ride to all those that have been victimized by the disease,” said Linda.
To support Rod and Linda visit www.aicr.org/RodandLinda.
For the complete article see the 07-14-2013 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 07-14-2013 paper.