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Student Vet Begins Cross-Country Ride with a Dip in the Pacific

Annie Pace video

There are apparently all sorts of traditions and tips when cycling coast to coast across the USA.

One tradition is to dip your rear wheel in the ocean at your starting point and your front tire in the other ocean when you complete your cross-country journey.

This past weekend, Kiersten Downs carried her bicycle to a San Francisco beach and dipped the rear wheel into the Pacific Ocean. You can watch the ceremony on the first video about her ride filed by Annie Pace on YouTube.

Downs also delayed her official start of the ride one day - to June 2 - so she could team up with Army veteran Dan Horndasch who works with Ride 2 Recovery. Horndasch and a few others rode with Downs for the first two days, shared some handy bike maintenance tips and some better roadways for the journey through Napa Valley.

Credit Annie Pace video
Kiersten Downs riding across the Golden Gate Bridge on the first leg of her journey across America.

Downs' goal to cycle across the country over the next two months arriving in Washington D.C. on August 5 at the headquarters of Student Veterans of America. The University of South Florida doctoral student and Air Force veteran is riding to raise awareness and money for the SVA organization. Downs is the former president of the USF Student Veterans Association.

Her journey also is being documented by her friend Pace and will be the focus of a three-part series for MTVU, the college channel for MTV.

You can follow Downs on her website Bike America and check out her trip map.


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