My name is Ian Andersen and I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Southern California in 2015. During my time at USC, I studied in Barcelona, Spain for 4 months and became conversational in Spanish. I’m only a casual cyclist but I plan to prove that with a little willpower and a good cause, any normal healthy person can do what I’m doing.
On approximately August 15th, 2016, beginning in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, I will embark on a 17,500 mile bicycle trek that will end in Ushuaia, Argentina. The purpose of the trip is to raise awareness for spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and the impact these have on American families.
In September of 2013, my best friend, Natalie, 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 past two years have been difficult for her and everyone who cares about her, but the United Spinal Association has helped her and hundreds of others who experience sudden, life-changing injuries to their spine. With your help, the USA will be able to strengthen their robust support network, help veterans injured overseas, and influence wheelchair accessibility legislation (ADA). My goal is to raise over $1.00 for each mile I ride - or about $20,000. 100% of what I raise will go directly to the United Spinal Association.
I want this ride to not only raise funds for this organization, but to raise spinal cord injury and disability awareness. I will do this by making frequent stops along the way at rehabilitation centers, fundraising events, town centers, and landmarks - using the opportunity to talk to others about SCIs and SCDs.
So when I get to your city, come out and say hey! You can even help spread the word yourself by clocking a few miles alongside me. The best way to make a difference is to become an advocate yourself.
If you want to see what's like to cycle across two continents follow my instagram at instagram.com/ridewithian - I'm posting one photo each day! (links are down at the bottom of this page)
With warm regards,