Greg Taylor, a Jacksonville resident and longtime fitness enthusiast, has always wanted to see the country. But traveling by plane would mean he missed some of the beautiful in-between parts from one destination to the next and traveling by car would mean going too fast to truly appreciate any of the sights.
A cross-country bicycle ride with more than 11,500 miles.
Taylor’s six-month bike ride will span the country, corner to corner. He will begin here in Jacksonville on Feb. 20 when a launch party will be held at Jacksonville Beach with more than 150 guests to see him off. From Jacksonville, he will travel west through Texas and California until he reaches San Diego. From San Diego he will travel to Seattle, and then head east to Maine, until finally he makes the trip south to Jacksonville once again.
Although Taylor’s journey will be a solo one, he is completing his bucket-list trip by attempting to raise $100,000 for local cancer research nonprofit Chemo Noir, founded by Katrin Casey.
Casey and Taylor became friends a few years ago while Taylor worked a serving job, and from there Taylor said a remarkable friendship was formed.
“She is not only an unbelievable person in the community,” he said, “but she is a personal hero and a personal friend.”
When Taylor reached out to Casey to share his plan of completing the cycling trip in her foundation’s honor, she was overwhelmed.
“I am completely flattered that he wants to do something at this caliber for our charity,” Casey said. “He is such a passionate guy. If you meet him, you will know.”
The two spent the last year or so working out all of the fine details for the trip, including specific route options, which Casey said took about two months to figure out. He has been training extensively for the cycling endeavor, not only physically, but mentally, too. Taylor said that it was important to train for the mental capacity of sitting on a bike alone for prolonged periods of time.
“I have always wanted to be involved in something grander and bigger than myself to give back,” said Taylor.
Taylor lost a family member to cancer at a young age, so the Chemo Noir charity touches a special place in his heart, as he knows it does for many other Jacksonville residents.
There are many ways to support Taylor on his journey across the country. By visiting usacancercycle.com, you can keep up with a daily blog of his adventures or follow his Instagram @usacancercycle for more updates. Interested parties can contribute a donation in honor of a loved one or donate to receive a shoutout from Taylor on his travels. Every penny raised from Taylor’s ride will go directly to the Chemo Noir cancer foundation.
“I find myself sometimes thinking about the 11,500 miles, and that is so impossible,” Taylor said. “But I absolutely know that I can put in my best effort for everybody involved.”