Adventure cyclist David Miller made his way over the Virginia City hill Monday and passed through Ennis on his way to completing an epic journey, visiting all 50 states by bicycle and raising money for charity along the way.
Originally from Buffalo, NY, Miller and his dog Max set out on their adventure from San Diego, Calif. on October 31, 2011, a day after his 50th birthday. He first rode through the southern states to Sarasota, Fla., before turning around in North Carolina and coming back to California by way of Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. From Los Angeles he rode through San Francisco to Portland and on to Seattle, where he hopped a ferry to Homer, Alaska. Once in Alaska he took nine days to ride from Homer to Anchorage before flying back to Seattle to pick up Max before making their way back through the Northwest. This summer Miller plans to work his way back east to New England through the northern states.
“I realized that there are so many states that I had never seen,” he said of his inspiration for the trip. “I was turning 50, and I needed to take some time off to go on an adventure.”
Miller has a background in fitness and originally began cycling as a triathlete. He decided to use the year-long trip as an avenue to raise money for charities including the American Heart Association, the Cancer Research Institute, Kadima and The Nature Conservancy. It’s a way to pay tribute to his father Robert, who overcame a heart condition, and his mother Sharon, a cancer survivor.
“If I get to do this, I should probably do it for something or someone,” he said.
At times the road has been long and difficult for Miller as he encounters the spectrum of summer weather in Montana, fighting the wind and taking roadside shelter from the rain. But through it all Miller and Max maintain nothing but positive attitude as he continues down the trail.
“What’s been truly memorable are what my sister calls the ‘random acts of kindness,’” he said. “There are all those people that do stop to say hello, to ask you what you’re doing, to offer you water and ice and a coke or whatever.”
“It’s amazing how often that happens, and that is what has made this trip exceptional.”
For more information about Miller’s trip and how to make a contribution visit www.bike50at50.com.