Calif. man rides bike 2,143 miles to ND for birthday celebration
TOWNER – When most people make a trip from the San Diego area to North Dakota, they travel by vehicle or plane. Not Brian Gonsalves. He rode his bike from California to North Dakota for the 90th birthday celebration for his mother-in-law, Beverly Lynch of Towner.
Gonsalves said when he and his wife, Dorreen Drader-Gonsalves, were planning a trip to North Dakota for the event, his wife suggested making it a trip with him riding his bike. “She knows how much I love to ride my bike,” he said.
Brian, an X-ray technician at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., isn’t new to long-distance bike rides. In 2018 he rode his bike from San Diego to Tybee Island, Savannah, Georgia, a trip totalling 2,709 miles.
“I used that trip to celebrate my 50th birthday and raised funds for Scripps trauma services because I am a trauma survivor,” Brian said. He said he had a bicycle accident on March 1, 2016. “I had a laparotomy, resection of my pancreas, and splenectomy that night. Two years later, my employer gave me time off to ride across America. I hope to encourage people to do what they love,” he said.
With Dorreen providing his mobile support accompanying him, Brian said his recent bike trip from the San Diego area to North Dakota, ended at the International Peace Garden, a total distance of 2,143 miles, then they drove the 65 miles to Towner.
His bike ride started at 4:30 a.m. on Friday, June 18, when he left his home in Santee, California, and ended July 11.
During the first leg of his ride to North Dakota, Brian said he traveled 180 miles and for the last leg of the trip he rode 165 miles. He took various breaks during each day of the ride.
“It’s a beautiful country to ride across,” Brian said. He said the minute he entered North Dakota the roads became “smooth as glass” unlike some other areas.
People interested in more information about his bike ride to North Dakota can visit Strava on social media. His rides can be followed on Strava Brian Gonsalves Santee, CA. Strava is an app for runners and cyclists. The link to his recent ride is: https://strava.app.link/svEPE81nVhb.
Brian and Dorreen will be at a large family gathering in Towner on Sunday that will include a celebration for Lynch’s 90th birthday. It’s a delayed celebration for her birthday officially in December.
Brian has plans for more long-distance bike rides.
“For my 60th birthday in seven years I plan to ride from Portland, Oregon, to Newport News, Virginia,” he said.
Down the rode, he said he also plans to ride around and through the national parks.
Brian won’t be riding his bike to return to California from North Dakota but he and Dorreen will be driving their RV on their return trip.