Steamboat Springs Dan Hohs pedaled and pedaled Thursday afternoon, but he stayed right where he was, in front of Slopeside Grill and the hordes of skiers and snowboarders soaking up the first day of spring on the slushy snow at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
The 27-year-old newly minted Steamboat Springs resident, riding Thursday on a stationary bike as he worked to raise funds, hopes to be making much better time when he puts rubber to road next week in San Diego at the start of a planned bike ride across the United States.
Hohs is participating in Ride for World Health, which bills itself as “a journey across the country to meet needs around the world.”
The ride will include about 20 riders on a regular basis, push them to 80 or 100 miles per day and involve plenty of stops in towns and cities along the southerly route to give participants the opportunity to speak to schools, church groups, hospitals and other organizations about health issues around the world.
Hohs participated in one 500-mile segment of the ride a year ago with a friend. He enjoyed the experience so much, he decided to commit for the whole route this year. He moved to Steamboat Springs this winter in hopes of staying active, and next Wednesday, he’ll be off, beginning a journey of more than 3,000 miles.
“I never really thought I’d be doing all this endurance stuff,” said Hohs, who learned to love biking while training for an Ironman triathlon. “It’s quite addictive.”
The days leading up to his trip have been filled with training — from the harder stuff like running to the more fun stuff like snowboarding — as well as marketing himself and his trip. It is a fundraiser, after all, raising money for a trio of organizations. Empower and Advance works to “empower members of vulnerable communities.” Heal Africa advocates for health, education, action and leadership in Africa, and Podemos is the “partnership for ongoing development, educational and medical outreach solutions.”
“We have a personal fundraising goal of $2,700 and I’ve almost reached that,” Hohs said. “I think I can raise a lot closer to $3,500 or $4,000.”
The route will run from California, through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and finally to Washington, D.C.
During a break the group will take in Ohio, Hohs hopes to catch a flight to Chicago for a solidarity ride, another leg of the fundraising efforts. He also hopes to use the trip to work with the Hope For the Day organization to kickstart a “healthy body, healthy minds” initiative.
Make no mistake, though, the ride itself also is big draw for Hohs.
“It’s just a great way to see the country,” he said. “I’m so excited to see it from my bike, from the saddle. I think it’s going to be breathtaking views, cruising down hills at 40 miles per hour and the camaraderie you have from team building, from making it together through tough headwinds.
“It’s going to be a great feeling to be out there on that bike.”
For more information and to donate to the cause, check out http://r4wh.org/ or Hohs’ own site, www.activeperformance.org.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9