Charley is a second-year medical student at Virginia Commonwealth University and an avid cyclist. A Masters project consumed his two summers prior to his TransAmerica Tour. Although he did some bike racing in college, he had never participated in a multi-day trip. In addition to the joy of cycling, Charley is pleased to know that the James D. Popp Memorial Scholarship will allow other medical students to experience the research world and appreciate its contribution to clinical medicine. Having been involved in research, both as an undergraduate and graduate student, he knows how beneficial this will be.
In July, 2011, Bruce is riding the segment from Sandpoint, ID to West Yellowstone. As a practicing pediatrician at Valley Young People's Clinic, Spokane Valley, WA since 1991, Bruce rides for all those families past, present and future who deal with cancer as a part of their lives. Bruce is also Co owner and Director of Fit Services, at Two Wheel Transit, a local bike shop in Spokane, WA. He has been riding for fun since a kid and commuting and touring since the 80's. Bruce is a long time friend of Doug Gardner and rode through Eastern Oregon and part of Idaho last year with Doug, Jordan, Alex and Howard.
In July 2011 Deb is riding 600+ miles of the TransAmerica tour in honor of her dad, Jim Young who has been fighting Stage IV lung cancer since April 2010. Always up for adventure, Deb is a seasoned cyclist who leads club rides and "poor man tours" for friends in Pittsburgh, PA and Richmond, VA. She met husband, Howard, in 2004 at her second of nine Bike Virginia tours. Jack Haar played "Cupid". In 2001 she rode Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Deb is a CPA and Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, avid volunteer, chromatic harmonica player and loving mom of Scott and Erin.
Howard Anderson is riding in honor of a family member and friends who are battling cancer. Although not as seasoned a cyclist as his wife, Deb, he does enjoy being on a bike and has many thousands of miles under his seat. He is an attorney and administrative law judge working with the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. He enjoys being engaged in mission work with the Fork Church and singing in the choir. He has two wonderful children; his son, Evan, a police officer in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and his daughter Breese, who is a clinical psychologist in Portland, Oregon.
John LaVoie owns and operates J A LaVoie Equipment Sales, Inc. in Ashland, VA. John found out about the Ride for Jim through Jack Haar. After he and Johnny (grandson) rode in 2010 the Yorktown Finale, he made his mind to go bigger this year. He will be joining the Tour and riding through Missouri. John is married to Rose LaVoie. They have 3 children, Tony, Crystal, and Donna, plus 9 grandchildren. Rose is currently fighting cancer. Tony and Crystal - 1st year, along with grandson Johnny - 2nd year, will be riding the Yorktown Finale Ride in August.
Alice is a lifetime cyclist. She lives in Beaverdam, VA and is married to a former dairy farmer. She has spent her extra time raising two children, raising a lot of calves, and doing general farm work. Two years ago, a group of nine friends rode two weeks of the TransAmerica ride, starting in Yorktown, VA and ending in Hazard, KY. This year five friends will ride ten days west from Farmington, MO to Hazard, KY. Alice’s hope is to someday finish the tour two weeks at a time. Like most people, Alice has had family and friends lost to cancer, and hopes to bring awareness and hope to others with her support of cancer research.
Casey is a self employed photographer who lives in Beaverdam, VA. She is a graduate of VCU with a BFA in illustration and the owner and photographer of Dirt Road Photography in Beaverdam, VA. She is married to a farmer with whom she has two children. Casey will be joining the TransAmerica tour and riding through Missouri. She found out about the tour from her uncle Howard Smith who rode in 2010 and is riding again this year. Casey would like to honor her mother-in-law Evelyn Smith who has fought cancer twice and is still here to inspire her. She would also like to remember a high school friend, T. J. Lloyd, and other family and friends who lost their battle with cancer. She hopes to see others get involved to help make a difference.
Howard Smith is a local Farmer from Richmond, VA whose interests include bike riding and football. He heard about Ride for Jim through one of his role models; Jack Haar, and he rode his first TransAmerica Tour in 2010. In 2011 Howard will be riding from the Kansas border through Missouri, Illinois and most of Kentucky. Howard is motivated in remembrance of his good friend Danny Bailey who passed away from cancer and friends/family Debbie, Evelyn, Gwen, Hoge, Rebecca and Rose who are currently fighting cancer. He welcomes the challenge and looks forward to making a difference for others.
Billy graduated with a degree in History from Christendom College in 2004 and shortly thereafter went to Iraq as an Army Sergeant. As Billy was preparing to go to Iraq, his grandfather passed away from esophageal cancer. Billy missed most of his grandfather's convalescence and was not allowed to attend his funeral. Billy always felt bad about not being there with his grandfather, and that had a lot to do with his ultimate decision to go to medical school. Billy picked up a handful of science credits at GMU. During that time Billy started swimming and biking as cross training. Someone suggested that he do triathlons. Triathlons led to bike racing and lots and lots of time on the bike. Now Billy resides in Richmond, where he can be found on the outskirts of the city on his bike, or as one of the third year medical students wandering (slightly lost) through the halls of the MCV hospital.
Larry Bickford is a bicycle enthusiast from Stewartstown, Pennsylvania who joined the 2009 TransAmerica Tour. He is a chemical engineer who is employed at the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Mr. Bickford is married to Anna Parlett-Bickford and they have two daughters, Abigail and Elisa.
Jack is a professor of Anatomy at the Medical College of Virginia. So not only has he performed research in immunology for nearly forty years but he is also an avid squash player and cyclist. He began cycling three years ago and has now completed the Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) twice, the Ride Across Virginia three times, and the Ride Across Ohio twice.
Hungry for new adventure, Dr. Haar ordered a rack and a set of touring bags for the first TransAmerica Tour. This had been a life-long dream of his, and the underlying mission served as great motivation for him and the rest of the team.
Philip was instrumental in the planning and implementation of the first Ride For Jim in the summer of 2008. He established the original web site, did fund raising and provided support for his father, Jack along the entire TransAmerica route. He began his cycling career at age five when he received his first two-wheeler as a birthday present and learned to ride it in about five minutes. In high school he played soccer, ran cross-country and track, wrestled and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
In 1996 he graduated from Cornell University in electrical engineering and then was an Air Force pilot for 10 years. In the summer of 2006 he left the Air Force and he and his father did the annual bike ride across Iowa before he returned to Cornell for his MBA degree. The summer after completing his MBA he intended to ride with his father across America but an injury early on in the ride prevented him from doing so. Instead he provided support for his father along the entire route. Philip now works for Accenture in supply chain management.
Doug Gardner jumped at the Ride for Jim opportunity when he learned of the tribute Dr. Jack Haar arranged for his old college roommate. Doug is a pediatrician, and was also a fraternity brother, and study partner with Jim Popp throughout college. He is excited to make the Ride for Jim this summer, accompanied by his son Jordan(18). He hopes the relationships built and strengthened on this tour will honor Jim, and that the funds raised will ultimately help win the fight against cancer!
Howard Smith is a local Farmer from Richmond, VA whose interests include bike riding and football. He heard about Ride for Jim through one of his role models; Jack Haar, and he has thought about making the TransAmerica Tour every time he rides with his friends. This summer he will have the opportunity to test what he considers one of his biggest challenges: riding every day! Howard will be motivated in remembrance of his good friend Danny Bailey who passed away from cancer. He welcomes the challenge and looks forward to making a difference for others.
Jordan Gardner graduates from Sprague High School in Salem, Oregon in June 2010, and hopes to enroll at the University of Utah in the fall where he hopes to study engineering. He is an avid scuba diver, lacrosse player, and he expects to be awarded his Eagle Scout award this summer. He joins his father, Doug as a novice to bicycle touring, but is also excited about the challenge, the fellowship, and the opportunity to help others with this adventure.
Karen has been a cyclist for decades but her interest in touring is new. She has completed several short tours and in 2009 rode down the pacific coast from Seattle to San Diego. This summer's tour will be her first from coast to coast. Karen is riding east from California and will join the "Ride For Jim" in Pueblo, Colorado, where she plans to stay with the group to Virginia, or until her lungs explode from the blistering pace set by ride leader Doug. When not riding, Karen teaches drafting and printed circuit board design at a community college in California.
Alex Weisbach is a husband, middle school teacher, cancer survivor, and cyclist. He heard of Ride for Jim through Adventure Cycling while organizing plans to ride the TransAmerican trail. Although he and his wife have taken a bike tour through Italy, his background is primarily running and mountain biking. As a survivor, Alex recognizes the all-encompassing nature of this relentless disease. He looks forward to riding for Jim and hopefully doing some good for his community along the way.