Andrew Mortensen left his house in Washington state with a change of clothes, some nutrition bars and a cell phone.
He returned eight months later, having biked across North America and South America to raise nearly $17,000 for The Trevor Project. Oh, and he did it all during the height of Covid, too.
On this week’s edition of “The Sports Kiki,” Mortensen shares the genesis behind his incredible journey, and what he learned along the way. Coping with the recent suicides of two close friends, Mortensen wanted to raise money for LGBTQ youth. After getting laid off from his airline job, he decided to just ride.
“The idea marinated really quickly,” Mortensen said. “I have a tendency to get really focused on one or two things, and take it to its greatest extreme.”
Biking for an average of 7.5 hours per day, Mortensen often relied on the kindness of strangers to take him in for the night. It’s a story that shows we aren’t as different as our divisive politics would lead us to believe.
“There’s still a lot of goodness out there,” Mortensen said. “I’m gay, and I really have a passion for LGBTQ rights and other more liberal causes. But I would stay at a house and walk out the next morning and see there was a sign out front that maybe wasn’t in support of that.
“I had just spent a night and shared a dinner with this person who had the complete opposite political beliefs as me, and we were still able to connect and have a great time.”
You can donate to Mortensen’s ride here.