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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Cross-country bike trip raises violence awareness

  • Many people talk about the problem of violence in America. Jack Cadwallader, 53, Annapolis, Md., got on a used bicycle he bought for $45 and started pedaling.

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  • Many people talk about the problem of violence in America. Jack Cadwallader, 53, Annapolis, Md., got on a used bicycle he bought for $45 and started pedaling.
    He stopped in Pittsburg on his way from Key West, Fla., to Seattle, Wash.
    “I’m a runner,” Cadwallader said. “Violence upsets me, but the Boston Marathon bombing really hit home. It was so senseless.”
    He’s been on the road about 60 days now, and has passed through Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee. Arkansas and Missouri.
    The self-employed contractor said that he is not associated with any organization, but is doing this on his own initiative.
    “I’m not stupid enough to think my trip will end violence, but it can start people thinking about it,” he said.
    Cadwallader has been encouraged by the goodness in human nature that he’s seen along his trip, the acts of  kindness shown to him by strangers.
    “I had a flat tire in Georgia, and a man picked me up, took me to Walmart, brought me back to his house to use his air compressor, took me to lunch and washed my clothes,” he said. “He dropped me off, then came back because it was raining and he wanted me to spend the night at his house.”
    In Titusville, Fla., he stopped at Moore’s Service Center and the manager fixed his tire for free.
    “Then the manager, Keith, went home, brought back two extra tubes for my tires, a bike pump, patches and $30,” Cadwallader said. “He’s a pretty good person.
    He’s also found kindness in Pittsburg.
    “I came into town Tuesday night and I needed a phone card to keep my phone going,” Cadwallader said.  “At 6:30 a.m. Wednesday I went to Jim Radell Construction, talked to Steve Radell and he put me to work immediately. He let me work half a day so I could earn the money for my phone.”
    He’s also had good luck with the weather, at least so far.
    “It’s rained, but I’ve only been caught out in the rain and gotten wet once,” Cadwallader said.
    To beat the heat, he generally starts out at 5:30 a.m. each morning and rides until noon. Sometimes he’ll also ride later in the day after it cools off.
    Cadwallader is a little concerned about launching out through the Rocky Mountains on his used bike, and will be sending out letters to five major bicycle companies in hopes of getting a sponsor.
    “I’ve written to Trek, Cannondale, Giant, Raleigh and Jamis,” he said. “I desperately need a good bike to cross the Rockies.”
    Cadwallader estimates that he  will arrive in Seattle and finish the trip around Oct. 15. He hopes that the effects generated by his bike ride will ripple into the future.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I think the country goes through tides, cycles, and we’ve drifted toward violence,” he said. “We need to take steps with the children and young people so that by the time the next generation comes we will have made a difference.”
    Anyone wishing to make a donation for his trip may send it to Jack Cadwallader, in care of Jeannette Adler, 5110 Smith Mountain Road, Penhook, Va., 24137.

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