Duo rolls into Temecula on bikes for a good cause
Friday, November 1st, 2013
Issue 44, Volume 17.
They’ve braved the elements, withstood freezing cold temperatures, met with people from all different backgrounds and found themselves sleeping in some very odd places, all in an attempt to bring attention to the issue of breast cancer and raise money for its research.
The bicyclists have been receiving monetary pledges that will go through if they reach their goal of making it to Los Angeles within a 75 day time period. So far, the two have raised more than $3,000 in 65 days and are still accepting pledges before their trek across the country has finished.
Buonaiuto and Frankoski found themselves in Temecula on Monday, Oct. 28 as they made their way to their final destination, Los Angeles.
The duo, who call themselves "Bikers for Boobies," said they pinpointed Temecula as a location to stop because of its geographic proximity to San Diego (another stop along the way to Los Angeles), and because of its relatively decent population size.
Temecula has been just one stop among many that the avid bicyclists have made while touring America. They’ve seen places with many people and places with very few. One stop near the Mojave Desert was a town of four people.
Frankoski said he and Buonaiuto felt support and respect of residents in each of the places they’ve visited, which was a big help in times when they were feeling down.
"When you start meeting the people, that’s when you start getting energy," Frankoski said. "Like when we rode through the Mojave Desert and came to Amboy. Amboy has a population of four people, but it’s the only place to stop for gas on that part of Route 66 and we had all these people coming up to us."
Frankoski said he and his partner have only had to pay $37 for meals and other expenses throughout their journey and that most of the places they’ve been able to stay and most of the things they’ve been able to take withthem have been the direct result of the generosity of people at stops like the one in Amboy.
Aside from giving Buonaiuto and Frankoski things to aid them on their journey, residents in the towns they’ve been through have also been eager to pledge money for their cause.
Frankoski said he and his partner were inspired to choose the cause of breast cancer research this year because of the personal circumstances of some of their friends.
"My friend Christina was afflicted with breast cancer four years ago at the age of 23," he said. "She was pregnant and went in for a checkup and they found cancerous lumps in her breasts, so she had to have a double mastectomy and went through focused chemo. And she had to do all of that while being pregnant."
Frankoski added that his friend and her child are both healthy and it’s been four years since she had her health difficulties. However, he and Buonaiuto have initiated their bicycle journey because there are very many people who face the same kinds of challenges and difficulties his friend did.
Aside from the benefit of helping fund research methods for breast cancer prevention, the bicycle journey has given Frankoski and Buonaiuto a chance to see the natural and varying terrain of the country.
Buonaiuto said the bicycling has given him a chance to enjoy simple things more.
"My favorite part of this journey has been all the small victories along the way," said Buonaiuto. "Nate found a watermelon the other day and it tasted like a million bucks. I’m a simple guy; I don’t live in the lap of luxury, but I enjoy seeing all the beautiful scenery that America has to offer and I enjoy every day."
But not every part of the cross-country trip has been easygoing, however.
Frankoski said the two faced snow, freezing rain, windstorms, thunderstorms and dust storms on their way from Florida to California. One evening in the desert, they had to sleep on concrete slabs.
Still the two have positively described their journey as "a great experience," and are looking forward to biking again next year, when they will travel down the Mississippi River for Alzheimer’s research.
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