MUSKEGON, Mich. -- Randy Huston is a loving father and husband. Soon, he will embark on a journey even the most avid athlete would think twice about, but Huston believes every mile will save lives.
Huston started bicycling four and a half years ago. Since then, he has fallen in love with the sport so much that he named his bike after his wife, Connie.
For Huston, family is everything. That means supporting them through tough times. "There have been several members of my family who are breast cancer survivors," Huston said. "We lost a few members to other cancers. It pains me to see some of the things they went through, like chemotherapy."
That's why he plans to ride roughly 1,800 miles from Maine all the way to Key West, Florida.
Huston says riding a bike is similar to life. There are ups and downs and sharp turns at times. Huston knows first hand that keeping your balance -- both on a bike and in life -- is tough to do when you're standing still.
Last week, he took six days to pedal from Muskegon through Traverse City and Charelvoix to Sault Ste Marie, more than 375 miles, training for his ultimate journey trip from Maine to Key West.
"At 15 miles an hour, you can see so much more than you can at 50 miles an hour," Huston said. "This was kind of a prelude to see if I can handle what my mind says I can ... It was more just a personal ride for me."
Turns out, Huston's trip to the U.P. became more than personal. "My bike ride became other people's bike rides," he said, tears welling in his eyes as he remembers the family he has lost to cancer.
That's when Huston compares bicycling to cancer's unpredictable pain.
"The effort put in riding up the hill reminds me of the effort these people had to have to get through cancer and chemo. It takes a lot of support," he said. "I can’t ride a bike a long ways without support. They can’t beat cancer without support."
What's more, Huston plans to donate some of his hair to donate to Locks of Love, so he has been growing out his hair for the last 13 months.
Huston has not set a date for his epic ride down the eastern seaboard, but he's hoping to get started this fall.