880 Miles For World Health

While he spent two weeks bicycling in a fundraising ride, David Moody said the discipline involved seemed like something else.
“This almost seemed like a military operation with focus on mission and operation,” Moody said of the time he spent with Ride for World Health.
“By 7 a.m. everyone was ready and on the road,” he said of the event. “Everybody pitched in to make sure that happened.”

David Moody, of Willmar, joined Ride for World Health cyclists as they pedaled from San Diego to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
David Moody, of Willmar, joined Ride for World Health cyclists as they pedaled from San Diego to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Moody, an attorney from Willmar, was a “partial” rider in the annual tour. He rode with the cross-country tour long enough to ride from San Diego, where the ride began March 24, to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
He said it was the longest stretch of daily rides he’s ever done, riding at least 51 miles and as much as 101 miles.
Most of the cyclists are medical students from Ohio State University who spend the summer before they begin their residencies riding to raise money to help provide needed medical services to those in need overseas.
Called “national” riders, the students and some other riders pedal all the way from San Diego, across the United States to Bethany Beach, Delaware.
This year there are 14 national riders.
Moody was one of 10 partial riders who join the group for different portions of the journey.
“I really take my hat off to those who will continue the ride,” Moody said of the people who will pedal the full 3,300-mile tour that ends May 14.
They had traveled 880 miles by the time Moody left them April 6.
One of the national riders is the group’s medical officer and cycling expert, Dr. Douglas Moody, David’s brother.
He invited David to join the ride.
Dr. Douglas Moody and medical student Alice Ji near Westmoreland, California.
Dr. Douglas Moody and fmedical student Alice Ji near Westmoreland, California.

While they both have been cyclists since growing up in Indiana, David said his brother, a physician from Cincinnati, trained with the U.S. Olympic cycling team out of college and has ridden in national competitions.
Douglas Moody helps the future doctors — far less experienced cyclists — as they ride through deserts and over mountains.
“It was extremely difficult and, for many of them, way outside their comfort zone,” David said. “They met it with good humor and resolve.”
Sometimes, though, it takes more than resolve, as David discovered riding from Phoenix to Payson, Arizona.
Phoenix, located in a basin, is at about the same elevation as Willmar — 1,100 feet.
Payson’s elevation is just shy of 5,000 feet with mountains between the two cities rising to 8,000 feet.
Ride for World Health cyclists strike a pose to commemorate their arrival in Arizona.
Ride for World Health cyclists strike a pose to commemorate their arrival in Arizona.

“It was 5 p.m. and I had one more climb,” David said of the ride to Payson.
The total climbing for that day’s ride was 8,400 feet and he had ridden about 7,000 feet.
That’s when he decided his effort for the day was “good enough” and rode the rest of the way in the SAG or support vehicle.
“What good’s a SAG if you can’t use it?” he said.
Climbing thousands of feet meant eating thousands of calories worth of food, Moody said.
“The hardest part now is not being able to eat 5,000 calories of food a day,” he said.
“You’re snacking between snacks,” Moody said, adding he’s gained about a half a pound since returning to Willmar.
Another aspect of the tour measured by the thousands is its fundraising goal.
Funds raised by the ride go to Ohio State’s Greif Neonatal Survival Program and Esperança.
Greif works to improve the lives of mothers and infants in low-income countries, through education and training to increase the capacity of countries’ health care workers.
Esperança is dedicated to improving health and providing hope for families in the world’s poorest communities through disease prevention, education and treatment.
So far, the ride has raised nearly $56,000.
Moody said he’s within a few hundred dollars of his goal and plans to accept contributions until the riders reach Bethany Beach, Delaware.