James Munsch, the Brainerd man who's pedaling his bike around the nation to raise money for cancer research, set out with a goal to raise $5 million. Today, with his trip about half over, he's managed to raise $400. It appears he will fall considerably short of his goal.
But there's hope for a financial boost down the road. Munsch is organizing the first annual Halfway to Headwaters Ride. The name comes from the distance the ride will cover, from St. Paul to Brainerd, about halfway to the headwaters of the Mississippi River. The ride will take place Aug. 4-5. Participants can choose to pedal the entire distance in one day, or make it a two-day ride with a night spent in St. Cloud.
The cost to participate is expected to be about $70 for adults and $35 for kids. Each rider will raise money by getting pledges from friends and family. Munsch will try to get several businesses to support the cause as well. He hasn't set a goal for the amount of money he wants the ride to raise, but he knows already that half will go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the other half to the Bike To Life Fund, based at Brainerd Community Action.
Munsch said he hopes to get a base group of about 25 riders signed up soon. From there, he hopes the event will gain its own momentum and turn into something big.
To learn more about the ride, go to www.biketolife.org and click on the Halfway to Headwaters link. Munsch gets e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. His cell phone number is (218) 821-4887.
When I talked to Munsch on Monday, he was preparing to leave his uncle's house in Austin, Texas, and head for Jacksonville, Fla., where he'll meet with a distant relative who plans to ride with him a ways. He expects to be back in Minnesota by the end of May, giving him plenty of time to organize the Halfway to Headwaters ride.
"If you know someone who would be interested in riding, let them know," Munsch said. "Anybody who can help would really be appreciated."
VINCE MEYER, outdoors editor, can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5862.
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