SEATTLE and BOSTON, Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Last month, five cyclists turned their backs to the Pacific and began an epic 3-month, 5,000 mile, off-road bike ride to honor high school students across the country whose journey to a diploma is more challenging than the norm. The riders are on a road less traveled – avoiding pavement whenever possible.

“Our original route didn’t include dead-end dirt paths and forest fires,” says REAL Ride founder Cris Rothfuss. “But, we did know every day would be a challenge, and that’s proving to be an understatement.”

Heat, fire, and extremely rugged terrain have hampered the team; they have been forced to re-route and double back numerous times.  But, they have also found a heap of local kindness and mid-western generosity.

“A guy was yelling at us from a pickup truck,” said rider Perri Mertens.  “Being from the east coast, we all cringed.  Turns out, he just wanted us to know about a free lunch a block away hosted by an insurance company.  Nebraska is a wonderful state!”

The students at the five partnering schools they are riding for face heavy social and economic challenges.  As a constant reminder of why they are cycling, each rider is carrying handwritten aspirations from the students. 

“When a high school student writes, ‘I am a homeless teen and I will become something great despite where I’m from’ – you have to be prepared to go the distance for that kid.  Come on – who wouldn’t?!” said Rothfuss.

Learn more – follow their progress: 



Sept 13-16 Kansas City Area

Sept 17-21 St Louis Area


Interviews, Photo and Video Opportunities


Ride-along opportunities available for intrepid journalists ONLY!

The Schools:
Interagency Academy, Seattle, WA
Emily Griffith High School, Denver, CO
Milford Success Academy, Cincinnati, OH
CB Community School, Philadelphia, PA
Boston Day and Evening Academy, Boston, MA

Additional Photos & Materials Available

 (PRNewsfoto/The REAL Ride)

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