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Cross-Country Bike Ride to Support Cancer Patients

Apparently climbing Mount Kilimanjaro wasn’t challenging enough. This Summer Maksim Kalashnikov (OG) and Devin Mattson, brother of an RC Blair Mattson (NC), are riding their bicycles coast to coast from New York to San Francisco. Calling their trip “Bike Coast to Coast” (//bikecoasttocoast.org/), Maksim and Devin will be joined by two of Devin’s friends for the 3,500-mile trip. What’s fueling this non-diesel ride is Maksim’s desire to raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients and survivors.

With their gear strapped on their bikes, the four trekkers will ride 60-80 miles a day for 50 days – camping out most nights. And just to make sure it doesn’t get boring, they will cross through 500 miles of the scorching Great Basin Desert in Nevada, which includes some 90-mile stretches with no services, water, or shade. They’ll also cross three mountain ranges: the Appalachians, the Rockies and the Sierras, reaching the highest point of their journey at Monarch Pass in the Rockies (11,312 ft / 3,448 m above sea level).

Bike Coast to Coast hopes to raise $25,000 in support of people with cancer, and each rider is reaching out to his network of friends, family and colleagues to fundraise for this event. The riders are also hoping to attract corporate sponsors and donors. 100% of all donations go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, Bike Coast to Coast is still accepting new riders to join them for some or all of the trip. If the riding isn’t for you (meaning you don’t have “She’s a maniac” on continuous replay on your iPod) you can also help volunteer, donate money through the website, or help connect Bike Coast to Coast with potential corporate sponsors.

Maksim hopes that the ride will have a longer-term impact as well. For his Independent Student Research project, sponsored by HBS professors Jan Hammond and Dutch Leonard, Maksim is writing a First-Timer’s Guide to Event-Based Nonprofit Fundraising. The Guide will codify BikeCoastToCoast.org’s fundraising, marketing, and organizational takeaways into a concise document that will help others to put together their own fundraising events. Maksim hopes that the Guide will become a living document at HBS, referred to and contributed to by others, eventually evolving into an authoritative guide to many different types of nonprofit fundraising.

April 30, 2007
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