Wisconsin Rapids man bikes 1,800 miles for a cause
WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -
A Wisconsin Rapids man spent his summer in an unconventional way. He rode his bicycle from Wisconsin to Florida, raising money for sporting equipment to give to children in third world countries.
Matt Stoltz's journey to Florida wasn't an easy one. He says he traveled 18,000 miles, had 14 flat tires, rode through eight states and was chased by 106 dogs. But he says he wouldn't trade it for anything.
"Very memorable experience and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat," Stoltz said.
Stoltz rode his bicycle from Wisconsin Rapids to West Palm Beach, Fl.
It's part of the One World, One Team campaign, which helps bring sporting equipment to children in third world countries.
"I really want to allow every kid the opportunity to learn, grow and become a great person through sports," Stoltz said.
Some children in those countries have already received equipment through the campaign. Stoltz says he got the idea from his brother, who traveled to third world countries on a mission trip. That's where he saw children playing sports with just about anything.
"Tightly wound plastic bags, sticks for bats, bottle caps for baseballs," Stoltz said.
In high school, Stoltz collected sporting equipment donations. Now, a sophomore in college, he thought a bike ride was the best way to raise money. He set up a web site and did TV interviews along the way.
"The opportunity to impact lives throughout the world is much greater to me than anything else I could have been doing with my summer," Stoltz said.
Along the way, Stoltz says he had some pretty awesome experiences and saw interesting things.
"There was a city in Clinton, Indiana that had a speed limit sign of 29-miles-per-hour," Stoltz joked.
He also made some new friends in Georgia, who took a crack at pronouncing some Wisconsin cities.
Stoltz attached a camera to his helmet during the ride. He says he can't wait to show his grandchildren some day.
Stoltz ended up raising $10,000 on his trip. In total, he's raised close to a half ton of equipment.