Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Washington State Man Bikes across the US for Charity

Camas resident, Tom Baltes likes challenges. On his 60th birthday he walked 60 kilometers in Washougal… all at once. That’s 37 miles.
And, they're off!

But now, Tom and his wife, Louise, have set a lofty goal. Tom is biking across the United States (4,000 miles) to raise awareness and funds for the Arthritis Foundation and the non-profit walking sport, Volksssporting.

Tom, a retired Air Force officer, has two siblings with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation sponsors research, public education on resources available to those with arthritis and much more.

Volkssporting is an international walking, biking and swimming program available around the country and in over 40 countries. The American Volkssport Association urges people to get out and walk and exercise for the health of it.

Tom and his friend take a break in the Columbia Gorge yesterday
Tom and Louise don’t do anything half-heartedly. They have worked hard to plan the route, purchased a travel trailer for the trip and are actively blogging and writing updates on the event Facebook page. They have photos and commentary as they go. It’s fun to read and inspiring to those of us who think a long walk is 3 to 6 miles!

Yesterday, Tom rode 117 miles along the Columbia River through smoke filled air from several fires in WA and 90 degree temps.  His GPS showed a calorie burn of 6900 on the day and ascent of about 4450 feet.  Louise seemed to be at every rest point just when Tom needed her so they could refill water bottles, have lunch and then a terrific supper.

This is quite a challenge for the Baltes’ and they welcome you to follow the journey on their Facebook Page and Blog. And, if you are so moved, you can find links on the blog for donations.

Today, they expect to roll in to Walla Walla, Washington.

More Information
Tom’s Blog
Tom’s Facebook Page

Photos courtesy: Tom and Louise Baltes