"Blood, Sweat and Gears," they like to call it.
It's Bike-Aid '92, a cross-country bicycle adventure in which six groups of 20 riders--one group taking off from Los Angeles on June 13--will pedal to Washington, arriving Aug. 20.
The idea is to do good while having fun. Bike-Aid is not a race. Cyclists travel about 70 miles a day, stopping in cities and hamlets throughout the Heartland, unrolling their sleeping bags in churches, school gyms and homes.
Bike-Aid is sponsored by the Overseas Development Network, a national student organization that addresses firsthand global problems such as poverty and injustice.
Recognizing American Indians' 500-year struggle, "Building Partnerships with Native Peoples" is this year's theme. Riders will visit reservations and lend a helping hand to community projects.
Since 1986, about 600 cyclists have raised $750,000 for small-scale, locally initiated projects in the United States and 16 other countries, ranging from a literacy program in Bangladesh to a Bolivian weaving cooperative.
The network has set a goal of $300,000 for this year's ride, which will have groups starting from San Francisco; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; Brownsville, Tex., and Montreal. Each cyclist is asked to raise a dollar a mile in pledges--about $3,600 from coast to coast.
Space is limited, so applications from riders are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Information: Bike-Aid '92/ODN, 333 Valencia St., Suite 330, San Francisco, Calif. 94103; (415) 431-4480.