Two months ago, Steve Koch, chairman of the board at Mount Sinai Health System in Chicago, sat down on his bike in San Diego and started riding toward the ocean. Not the Pacific Ocean—the Atlantic.
Outliers: From sea to shining sea for Mount Sinai on bikes
By the time you read this, Steve and his son Jacob and a coterie of supporters are scheduled to have cycled into America's oldest city, St. Augustine, Fla., to finally enjoy a well-earned break from their charity bike ride after pedaling 3,100 miles through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and, finally, the Sunshine State. They started on Sept. 6 and were scheduled to dismount on Halloween.
They documented their trip along the "Southern tier"—a route promoted for its difficult and diverse terrain by the Adventure Cycling Association—through their website, cyclingforsinai.com. They traversed deserts, bayous, forests, rural highways, small towns and mountain ranges, including one pass that topped out at an altitude of 8,228 feet above the beachfront cabana in St. Augustine where Outliers figures the Kochs may imbibe a beverage or three.
The Kochs and their supporters and co-riders have been using the trek to raise donations and awareness for building a new ambulatory-care center at Chicago's well-used and careworn Mount Sinai Hospital, which Steve Koch's grandfather helped establish with a philanthropic gift in 1919.
As of Outliers' deadline, the ride had raised $296,890 from 213 donors; proceeds will go toward the ongoing Sinai Tomorrow fundraiser, which has raised a total of $3.6 million toward its $20 million goal.
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