Cycling across America to help the homeless

After commencement, Daniel Troia didn't spent much time celebrating. Nine days after receiving his degree in kinesiology, he and current student Luke Young headed off on a 3,500-mile cross-country bike ride to see America and to raise money for a good cause.

Luke Young and Daniel TroiaThe pair took a 20-hour train ride from Salinas to Portland, arriving on May 26. Their adventure began in earnest on June 1, when they left Oregon and headed to Idaho. They expect to arrive in New York City in about 10 weeks – in time for Young to get back to campus to complete his degree in environmental science.

Troia, 28, from Monterey, and Young, 25, from Murrieta, understand the trip will be strenuous, uncomfortable and maybe even dangerous.

“But no matter how difficult our life gets on the road, I plan to keep reminding myself that what I’m going through is much easier than the lives of people who are homeless on the streets of Monterey County,” Troia told the Monterey County Herald.

Luke YoungTroia and Young are asking people to sponsor their trip by making a donation to Dorothy’s Place, a facility in Salinas where the Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra provide meals, services and support to the homeless. The center also includes a 24-hour women’s shelter.

He and Young visited Dorothy’s Place several weeks before departing on their cross-country trip. They were caught off guard by what they saw in the neighborhood.

“Neither of us could believe the conditions people were living in,” Troia told the Herald. “For somebody like me, who was born and raised in Monterey, it was shocking to realize that so many people were living like that just 25 minutes away.”

They expect to average 60 miles a day. En route to New York, they will travel through Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Visit their blog

Follow them on Facebook

Top: Luke Young and Daniel Troia pose for photo before embarking on their 10-week journey
Bottom: Luke in Portland