Riding for a cause: Student raises cash for cancer


Jody Cross

Many students spend their summers hanging out by the pool or with friends. Jody Cross is riding her bike from Texas to Alaska.

The Austin Community College student is participating in the Texas 4000, a fund-raiser for cancer research. The ride began in early June and ends Aug. 10.

“It’s going really well,” Cross said via cell phone from Randon, Ore., halfway through the trip. “It’s a great experience.”


Members of the Coastal team bike in The Texas 4000.

Cross, 25, is a member of the Coastal Team, biking about 80 miles a day. Though the weather has been mostly cooperative, they’ve run into several strong headwinds. But Cross remains upbeat, choosing to focus on the scenery instead.

“We’re all excited to be in this part of the country,” she said. “It’s really pretty.”


Jody Cross takes a break from biking.

They traveled through the desert, which Cross said she’s happy to be out of.

“Everyone thinks it’s so flat, but it really isn’t,” she said. And the Nevada desert was particularly hot, she said.

The teams have been camping and staying in churches and high schools. One hotel even donated rooms for one night.

“Overall, people have been considerate,” she said. “Just about everybody is touched by it.”

A minimum $4,000 was required to participate in the event; Cross raised $4,300. Although she received support from friends and family, she also spent time panhandling in downtown Austin. She wore a race-sponsored jersey or T-shirt so people would know it was for a cause, she said.

Cross’ great-grandfather died of cancer, and some of her friends lost their parents or family members to the disease.

“It’s such an epidemic,” she said. “I just wanted to help people.”

Click here to learn more about Texas 4000 or view the cyclist’s blog.

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