Couch potatoes? Not these Denfeld seniorsTwo Duluth Denfeld seniors are on a mission to dispel a common myth that the average high school student is a couch potato.
By: Sarah Packingham, Duluth News Tribune
Two Duluth Denfeld seniors are on a mission to dispel a common myth that the average high school student is a couch potato.
Parker Adams and Zach Spehar hope to prove their point with a bike journey to Maine and back, beginning June 17 and ending near the end of July.
“The purpose is to prove to the general population that not all teenagers are couch-potatoing, video game-playing burnouts and that there are kids out there who enjoy being active,” Spehar said. “If nothing else, we hope to inspire people to get out of the house and do a push-up or 50.”
Throughout their ride, Adams and Spehar also hope to raise awareness and support for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, which offers money to less fortunate families and allows children an opportunity to exercise in a safe environment.
“We are receiving quite a bit of support from the YMCA in the form of funding and they will also be providing the facilities of the YMCAs along the way that we can stop at for the night,” Spehar said. “They will be a huge contributing factor for this trip.”
The idea to bike across the country originated with Adams.
“It was one of those classic, spur-of-the-moment, ‘Hey, ya know what we should do?’ ideas,” Spehar said.
The duo will travel about 3,700 miles through six states and even venture into Canada. They have chosen to call themselves the Bike Potatoes.
Both members of the Denfeld boys swimming team, Adams and Spehar plan to swim in each of the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean along the way.
They said their sports backgrounds should aid them in the mentally and physically demanding trip. Adams plays soccer and has extensive experience mountain biking, while Spehar is also a mixed martial artist.
“Both of us are in pretty good shape and enjoy being that way,” Spehar said.
In order to prepare for their journey, Adams and Spehar get together every few days and bike a minimum of 30 miles, using the spin bikes at the YMCA if the weather doesn’t cooperate. They also took one trip to the Twin Cities to get a feel for the 100-mile days they hope to be able to maintain.
Anyone wishing to follow the Bike Potatoes journey and/or make a donation can learn more about the trip via Facebook, their online blog or e-mail.
They are hopeful that they will impact local residents to step out of the box and do something physical with their time.
“The No. 1 thing that we can ask for right now is that the Northland hears what we are doing and act on it,” he said. “Get active people.”
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