With the national monuments as his backdrop, Brian D’Apice took his year-long journey, and his message, to Washington this week.
“The Appalachians are steep, but the Rockies are tall.”
Brian has been riding his bike around America—literally AROUND the entire United States—to raise money and awareness for something close to his heart: military families and kids.
Brian joined the Army after high school and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. He did two tours in Iraq, including 15 months in Baghdad.
“I was lucky to be single, but I saw [my fellow soldiers] struggle,” Brian said. “They had really hard times with their spouses and their kids, especially when they were coming home and adjusting back to life with their families.”
Brian is single himself, but jokes that Siri (iPhone’s virtual companion) is his girlfriend. Siri helped him navigate rough terrains, find places to stay, and contact potential donors and schools along the way.
His three-part message is simple, yet powerful: Appreciation, Purpose, and Mission.
“We are so lucky to be in this country. Living overseas infused my passion and appreciation for America. My purpose is to help others and I want to let people—especially kids—know you can do anything you put your mind to.”
How does someone even come up with the idea to ride a bike around the U.S.?
“I just woke up one day and decided this is what I wanted to do—so I did it.” If you met Brian in person, you’d understand. He’s full of energy and passion, lights up a room with his enthusiasm and immediately makes you feel like his new best friend—which made sleeping on strangers’ couches a little easier.
“I was in upstate New York and I parked my bike and knocked on this random door and asked if I could camp under her pine trees. This 80 year old woman looked at me and said ‘Are you kidding? It’s cold outside. Come on in!’”
Brian has traveled nearly 12,000 miles since May 4, 2015 and will end his journey April 30 right where it began, in Times Square. That means he’s 94% of the way there!
Brian is a self-proclaimed Excel spreadsheet-junkie who tracks everything. Like, he…
- Travels about 70 miles a day
- Eats a tenth of a pound of peanut butter per day
- Crosses a state line every 10.5 days
- Spends about $12.50/day on food and housing
- Rides his bike for 23.7 hours a week and spends the rest of his time making connections, speaking to schools and donors, and keeping up with his social media following
You can cheer him on at BicycleAroundAmerica.com.
Brian has already raised more than $40,000 for the National Military Family Association and Pencils for Promise. What’s next?
“There might be a book someday. Or I might take one of the suggestions I got from the kids and go swim around America next time.”
He’s kidding… but with Brian, you never know.
Posted by Besa Pinchotti, Communications Director