*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
BICYCLING FROM ALASKA TO ARGENTINA FOR SPINAL CORD INJURIES AND DISABILITIES
THE RIDE WITH IAN PROJECT
On August 23rd, 2016, beginning in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, Ian Andersen will embark on a 17,500 mile bicycle trip that will end in Ushuaia, Argentina.
The purpose of the trip is to raise awareness for spinal cord injuries and disabilities (SCI/Ds) and the impact these have on American families. In September of 2013, Ian’s best friend, Natalie Fung, was involved in a two car collision with a drunk driver. She survived, but due to a spinal cord injury, became paralyzed from the chest down. On this night, her life was turned upside down. With 12,500 new spinal cord injuries every year, she isn't alone.
The project goals include raising over $1.00 for each mile ridden or about $20,000 for the nonprofit United Spinal Association (USA). USA supports the many people like Natalie who suffer from spinal cord injuries and diseases through research, resource centers and legislation advocacy. Ian’s goal is to give these issues mainstream exposure and help work toward permanent scientific solutions. He will be stopping at rehabilitation centers, media events, town centres, and landmarks along the route to promote the cause.
The trip will take Ian through 14 countries and take about 10 months to complete. Beginning at the Arctic Ocean at the top of Alaska, Ian will travel South on Highway 1 through Canada and the Western coast of the United States. In Mexico he will join the Panamerican Highway passing through Central America. He will cross the Darien Gap jungle from Panama into Colombia by foot and boat and then cycle on through Ecuador, Peru, Chile and finally to Ushuaia, Argentina commonly referred to as, “The End of the World”. His trip is entirely selfsupported with everything needed, including supplies, camping equipment and tools, to be carried on the bike.
Through news interviews, blog posts, and a social media campaign, Ian will also publicize images and videos along the entire route. He will focus on the positive aspects of the different cultures, beauty of the natural landscape, and friendliness of the people. Ian is 23 years old and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is an experienced designer with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Southern California. While in school, he had the opportunity to study at La Salle University in Barcelona, Spain, where he learned spanish. Ian gains added inspiration and expert advice from his uncle and other members of the team that set a Guinness World Record for the longest continuous bike trip following the same route in 1986.
To stay up to date on his progress throughout the journey, Ian is encouraging everyone to follow him on Instagram at www.instagram.com/ridewithian where he’ll be posting one photo each day.
Ian Andersen, LEED G.A.
b.Arch USC '15