During the summer of 2019, Alexander Schmidt & Augustus Snyder will attempt to cycle the entire Trans American Trail unassisted from Virginia Beach, VA to Astoria, OR. This 4,227-mile tour from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean is inspired by a dream they’ve shared since undergrad and their wish for a better future. After meeting in their first semester at James Madison University, Alex & Gus quickly became close friends. Augustus grew up an avid cyclist, who always strove to push himself and ride a little farther. Alex was an adventurous hiker, who loved the idea of a challenge and immersing himself in new experiences. Together, they devised a plan to channel their passions for adventure and challenge to raise awareness for an issue near and dear to Alex’s family—Alzheimer’s disease.
As early as he could remember, Alex’s grandfather Lofton Baker was a friendly, social man. He went by Pop and had a habit of stopping strangers in their tracks to chat and swap stories. Pop could make a friend out of any passerby, telling the same exciting tales of his younger years. However as time went on, these stories grew inconsistent as Pop began mixing up dates and forgetting key details. Eventually, the man Alex grew up admiring most could hardly remember his name. Alzheimer’s had taken hold of Pop and although he remained a talkative, friendly man throughout his final years, the disease weighed heavily on his many friends and family.
In honor of Pop and others who suffer from this disease, Alex & Gus will be biking across the nation to raise funds for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Unlike most organizations, every donation to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund goes directly to innovative, high-yield research focused on combating Alzheimer’s disease. As two scientists pursuing doctorate degrees, Alex & Gus want every dollar they raise to be used to support innovative research rather than administrative & organization overhead costs. Please consider supporting Pop’s legacy & those currently suffering from Alzheimer’s by donating to this phenomenal organization.