Willmar Man Pedaling Through Deserts, Over Mountains For A Cause

David either is or will be back in Willmar soon. I hope to write a follow-up story soon.

SALOME, Ariz. — It was a almost an afterthought for David Moody as he prepared for the longest bicycle ride he’d ever done.

Before leaving for San Diego to participate in the Ride for World Health, the Willmar attorney asked Rick Norsten to order a spare tire for his bike.

Norsten, of Rick’s Cycle and Sports, who helped Moody pack his bike for shipping to the West Coast, ordered the extra tire. “I’m already riding on my new spare,” Moody said during a call Monday night to the Tribune from Salome, Arizona.

He and the other cyclists rode 63 miles Monday, which was the fifth day of the fundraising ride. By the end of Monday’s ride they had covered 332 miles in total.

While Moody plans to spend 13 days with the group of mostly medical students from Ohio State University, many of the riders will continue another 30 days riding to the East Coast.

The goal of the 3,300-mile journey is to raise money for the Greif Neonatal Survival Program and Esperança, programs that target the medical needs of the underprivileged overseas.

So far riders have raised about $52,000, Moody said Monday. He’s within $600 of his personal goal of raising $3,300 — a dollar for each mile of the total journey.

The journey itself has been challenging, Moody said.

To date, Friday, the second day of the ride, involved the most climbing — more than 5,200 feet — and Sunday was the longest ride — 91 miles.

“Part of the ride today was on Interstate 10,” Moody said. “There’s no other way to do it.”

Cyclists are allowed to ride interstates in some Western states because traffic is light and, because of low population, they may be the only route available, he said.

“Part of the game of riding on an interstate is avoiding all the crap,” Moody said.

Much of the junk on the roads are tire fragments embedded with fine steel wires that can puncture bike tires.

That’s what got Moody’s tire.

So, even though he’s already riding on his spare tire, Moody said, sounding pleased, that he has had “only” two flats.

To contribute to Moody’s Ride for World Health fund online, go to r4wh.org/team-r4wh/2016-riders/david-moody/