Clint Valentine, Mayor George Evans and Paul [Dorr] pose for a photo in the St. James Hotel Friday. Door and Valentine are cycling across the country in order to raise money for breast cancer research and their journey led them through Selma -Katie Nichols
SELMA:: The journey that led Paul [Dorr] and Clint Valentine to Selma Friday afternoon began months back on a boat off the coast of Maine.
They were both working on a boat that would take tourist out in the Rockland Harbor. That’s when this whole idea started.
“We started talking about doing a cross-country bike trip while we were working on the boat,” Mr. [Dorr] said. “Once the trip was finalized we decided to do it for a good cause.”
Mr. [Dorr], Mr. Valentine and Jovanna Hart, who joined the team for the first month, decided to bike from Rockland, Maine, to San Diego, and they would do this all to raise money for breast cancer research.
The two men bike across the country wearing a pink t-shirt emblazoned with a symbol that is half of a bicycle tire and half of a boat’s steering wheel.
Mr. [Dorr] said the cause was close to his heart because his mother died from breast cancer and he’s had close friends who have battled the disease.
“Clint is the only person I know that hasn’t been affected by the disease and he is in the minority,” Mr. [Dorr] said. “That’s one thing about this trip. It made me realize just how many people are affected by breast cancer. Everyday we met someone who has had to deal with it.”
The hope to raise money for a possible breast cancer cure was why Mr. [Dorr] and Mr. Valentine left Rockland Oct. 25, 2009 for the 5,000-mile adventure.
Mr. [Dorr] has experience in long-term cycling, but this is his longest endeavor to date. Mr. Valentine mountain biked in Maine, but acclimated to the endurance of long road cycling.
“It was pretty easy to convert over to road biking,” he said. “The most difficult part about mountain biking is when you’re not going in a straight line. When we ride we’re mostly on roads so it’s easier. I just try not to count the telephone poles.”
The men will not reach San Diego until the middle of March, so there are plenty of telephone poles to count until then.
While they’ve been on the road, they said they have discussed two things mainly – what their first meal is going to be when they get home and what the next trip will be.
“We’ve been camping most nights and cooking out so thinking about what we’re going to have when we get back home is a big topic,” Mr. [Dorr] said. “The other thing is we think about where we’re going next. We’ve talked about Patagonia and Europe.”
Before they follow the arcs of the Seine river or cycle past Lake Lácar, Mr. [Dorr] and Mr. Valentine set off down Alabama Highway 22 headed toward Natchez, Miss.
Along the way they said the people they’ve met have made it worth the trip.
“The most wonderful thing about this is the people we’ve met,” Mr. [Dorr] said. “Strangers will let us stay in their homes and feed us. That has been the most rewarding experience.”
Mr. Valentine also said the people have made the cycling trip special.
“We were in North Carolina one night and a Baptist church said we couldn’t stay in their sanctuary yet, but we could go to their winter program,” he said. “So we went to that, met the sheriff and a lot of other really nice people and then had a meal with them. Then, we went to sleep in their fellowship hall.”
If you want to donate to breast cancer research or find out more about the cyclers’ journey, then go to www.teambowditch.com
The Selma Times-Journal, Selma, Alabama, January 22nd, 2010