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Bill Dickey's Really Long Bike Ride ... to León!

Bill’s dream began with his sense of adventure, long-standing fascination with Latin America, and love of biking. Unfortuantely, an accident and subsequent surgery required Bill to change his mode of transportation from bicycle to motorcycle.

The 24-year-old, an employee of the Wedge Community Co-op in South Minneapolis, explains, “I think my plan has the potential to generate a lot of excitement in communities I’m connected with.”

That anticipated interest led Bill to turn his trip into a fund-raiser for Project Minnesota/León. Says Bill, “I love the non-imposing model PML stresses in its work—that the community gathers and discusses what they think needs to be done, and the Minnesota side is available to back them up.” You can make a contribution through Bill’s GoFundMe page by clicking here.

Bill expects the US leg of the trip will be easy to map out but admits, “It will get more challenging south of the border.” He’ll rely extensively on other bikers’ blog posts about Central American rides for advice about routes and assumes his course will change along the way. “I’ll use the web and advice from locals to help me avoid dangerous places, where I might be a target,” he says.

Bill speaks some Spanish, thanks to two and a half months he spent in Colombia during college. He’s currently using a variety of methods to improve his Spanish, ranging from reading The Chronicles of Narnia (with dictionary in hand) to Skype-ing once a week with a friend in Costa Rica.

A key goal for Bill is raising awareness about sustainable ways of living, including commuting by bicycle. He explains, “Since my first year of college, when I started learning about many unsustainable agricultural and manufacturing practices, I’ve been trying to help create an environment that is more conducive to sustainability.” Through his trip, Bill says, he hopes “to challenge people to become more aware of ways the daily decision we make affect the planet we live on.”

After reaching León, Bill plans to offer free bike repair clinics and to gain some experience teaching English to either kids or adults.

He admits, “[The journey] will be hard, but that’s one of the reasons I want to do this trip. It will be a challenge.”