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The 2010 Pitt to DC Meso Challenge

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SUCCESS!
On August 25th, Team Standing Cyclist rider Frank Angelo Cavaluzzi rolled out from the outskirts of Pittsburgh, PA on a "saddle-less" standing solo bicycle tour ending in Washington DC on August 31th, to raise awareness for mesothelioma cancer research and the struggle to ban the use and importation of asbestos.
 
 

NEWS COVERAGE

The Mckeesport Daily News had published a series of articles about this special meso event. CLICK TO READ

TRIP PHOTOS and ROUTE TRACKING

This trip route was tracked live using a SPOT Satellite Messenger which automatically sent the rider's coordinates via satellite to GoogleMaps. We've recorded this journey as a SPOT Adventure, for future viewing. Photos taken along the route appear within the map, as well. CLICK TO VIEW

TRIP DETAILS

Frank Cavaluzzi rode a custom bicycle, in a standing riding position. The frame was modified to prevent the possible use of a seat in route. Another unique feature of this bicycle was a single-speed, fixed-gear drivetrain. In simple terms, the bike could not coast. When the wheels were spinning, the rider's legs were spinning. The route was primarily off-road and followed along the Great Alleghany Passage and C&O Canal Towpath trail systems. End-to-end these two trails total 320+ miles and connect the Pittsburgh area to central DC. Frank covered between 40 and 60 miles of off-road terrain per day, for 7 days, carrying food, water and camping gear. There were several stops along the way for chats about the cause and media coverage.

Mckeesport Trail Commission Newsletter (Trip Coverage on Page 3)

CYCLIST PROFILE - Frank A Cavaluzzi
 

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About Meso

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to the "miracle mineral" asbestos. Each year there are thousands more afflicted by this disease. A disease that has no known cure. Many of us connect the name mesothelioma with television commercials, attorneys and lawsuits. These suits are in fact justified, however, they should never distract us from the horrors of this disease. Mesothelioma is about real people suffering real pain and families crushed by loss. Even some members of the cancer community and research groups remain confused about the facts. Compared to other cancers, funding for meso-related cancer research remains low, while each year an increasing amount of meso patients lose their lives. While many other cancers can now be treated, there is no effective treatment for meso. The word mesothelioma has become synonymous with "terminal".


The Truth About Asbestos

Typically, when we combine greed and ignorance with hazardous materials, people die. The dangers of asbestos have been known since the early 1900's, yet even today we can still find products containing this deadly component. Many of us, including some legislators, find it hard to believe that something so dangerous can be allowed to remain in our lives. Many believe it has been totally banned, but this is not the case. Typically, it takes 10 to 50 years to feel the effects of asbestos exposure. By not educating ourselves and taking action today, we are jeopardizing the health of our children in years to come.


Taking Action

Meso sufferer, fundraiser and activist Larry Davis and his daughter Courtney Davis, maintain a web site called ActionAgainstAsbestos.com that supports the ban on using and importing asbestos. You can also find articles and videos here about the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and their efforts on Capitol Hill to increase mesothelioma research funding.


Standing Up

This "standing" cyclist solo tour has been symbolic of the history and progression of asbestos, mesothelioma and the move to eliminate both from our lives. For many years, the Pittsburgh area experienced tremendous industrial activity and the use of asbestos became the norm. Today, the number of mesothelioma cases here is up to 24% higher than our national average. DC represents the future of mesothelioma relief. The power to ban asbestos use and importation resides in DC. The power to increase funding for research sits on Capitol Hill. DC was the logical end point for this saddle-less challenge. The end of asbestos, the end of mesothelioma.


Make a Difference

In support of this effort, you may still donate directly to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation through Larry Davis' Miles for Meso web site in honor of his amazing efforts, where your money will go towards raising awareness in Washington DC, finding a cure for mesothelioma cancer.

MANY THANKS - A word from Standing Cyclist Frank A Cavaluzzi

In preparing for this trip and throughout the journey, I had the pleasure of teaming with and meeting many wonderful people. It would be impossible to recognize everyone. Here's just a small sampling.

 

First and foremost, Larry Davis for inspiring, supporting and sponsoring this event. Courtney Davis for her endless energy and creative talent. I thank them both for their faith in my ability to achieve our goal. It was a stretch, but we did it! Danelle Mangone from the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation - thanks for coming out and supporting our efforts!

 

Sean and the team over at Action Bikes & Outdoor for always supporting my bizarre requests. Keegan out at Trail Foods for some great last minute supplies. Patrice down at Big Wheel Bikes in DC, for cutting us a break. Lin, Dolores and Tom at the Yough Shore Inn for your warmth and hospitality right from the start. Joyce and Bob MacGregor from the Mckeesport Trail Commission. Pat Cloonan and Ben Filio from the Mckeesport Daily News. Beth and Jim for stepping up. Bryce and Bill. Mike. Phil and Lawana. F.B. Thomas Drug Store in Meyersdale, PA. That Swedish girl. Carol and Mike. Hans the world "recumbent" traveler. Sarah, Mark, Samuel and Maddie. My new buddy Bob near Meyersdale. Dale and Sandy. Jim and Jo. John and Joy. Tom and Alisha. The homeless gentleman cyclist near the dam. Jill. Terry. Amy and Charles. Madagascar Jane - hey you never know. The boys at James Hoban's Irish Pub - you pour a wicked pint. Ebensburg Comfort Inn. Stephanie from England. Greyhound Bus Service. Arnold and Nida from The Inn at Dupont Circle North. River's Edge Camping. Husky Haven Camping. Mr. Hardware in Hancock, MD - thank you sir for the wrench. C&O Bicycle in Hancock, MD - thank you guys for the Mr. Hardware tip, or I'd still be riding in circles. The Best Western in State College, PA.

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SPONSORING TEAM STANDING CYCLIST

For businesses and individuals wishing to sponsor a Team Standing Cyclist rider, now or for future Standing Cyclist trips, please visit our Sponsors page. Thank you for your support.

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