Stoltz’s journey, which is taking him 1,700 miles from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. to Palm Beach, Fla., is to raise support for the International Alliance for Youth Sports (IAYS) organization and their “One World. One Team.” initiative.
The organization donates sporting supplies to under-privileged children around the world. Stoltz said that every penny raised will go to the cause of enhancing youth sports in the needier parts of the world.
“I wanted to be sure that if I was biking across the country in the heat of the summer, that every penny I raised would go directly towards the cause,” Stoltz said.
Stoltz will be a sophomore at the University of Wisconson and is planning to major in non-profit leadership.
“I had collected sports equipment for the organization during my junior and senior years in high school,” Stoltz said.
“I wanted to continue my involvement with the organization,” continued Stoltz. “So I thought last summer of the idea of riding a bike down to the [IAYS] headquarters in Florida. I knew if I put my mind to it and worked hard and trained that I would be able to do it and now here I am in Georgia.”
Stoltz is accompanied on his trip by his longtime friend Mitch McNaughton, who is travelling by car to carry extra gear and water. McNaughton is also helping plan the route with GPS and Google Maps.
Stoltz said that the hardest part of his trip is staying hydrated. He said that most of the trip has been well over 90 degrees.
“I have to continually hydrate,” said Stoltz, “not just while I am riding but during the evenings preceding the ride.”
Stoltz said the experience has been incredible so far. He said that before his trip he had never been further from the mid-west than Indiana.
“You see everything from the back roads to the big cities and everything in between. It’s been very unique and a lot of fun,” said Stoltz.
Along with his bike and water, Stoltz brought pamphlets from IAYS, bike tools and a guitar.
If the weather gets bad and there is lightning, Stoltz said he will stop and bunk down, but he doesn’t mind riding through the rain. He said that safety is important and that he is taking extra precaution to make sure that drivers know he is there.
Cedartown was Stoltz’s first stop in Georgia and the Silver Comet Trail was the first bike trail he has come across since Indiana.
“So far I haven’t gotten to see much [of Georgia] other than the Silver Comet Trail, but I am excited to further venture into Georgia,” said Stoltz.
Stoltz route will take him through Atlanta and then southeast towards Jacksonville, Fla. He will spend about a week in Georgia.
Click here for more information on Stoltz and his cause.