Last summer Andy Galata and his pal decided they wanted to go for a bike ride, so they walked over to their bikes…which were in Utah.
After walking across California and Nevada, the pair saddled up and pedaled to the Atlantic Ocean.
Galata did it again this summer with his brother, Nieco McCabe. This time, though, they pedaled with the purpose of fundraising $10,000 for the kids at the non-profit Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
“I was looking into charities and found this one,” he said. “I wanted to raise money for it and visit the kids when I got to the East Coast.”
In March Galata and McCabe made their way to the eastern Canadian coast on their new hybrid bicycles. Next he wants to pedal across Canada.
“I’m hoping Canada will be an awesome adventure,” he said. “I am little nervous because I will not have access to Internet or family. We take the journey one day at a time an try to remember to have fun and see not only the beauty of Mother Nature, but the kindness in people.”
Quitting, he said, is not an option. Galata said that he became a four-year varsity wrestler after he was grounded for a month by his dad for trying to quit the team his freshman year.
“It was hard work,” he said. “My dad said that quitting was not allowed, that once you start something you have to finish it.”
Galata took that advice to heart, though he admits to having his mind on other things than school.
“It’s never been that SWC was too hard,” he said. “I’ve had a great time and great teachers, but I’ve always had my mind on adventures.”
His adventures began when he got kicked out of his house after graduating from high school. He lost the opportunity to join the Marines because of a DUI accident.
“I wanted to get out of San Diego so bad that I joined the Marines,” he said, “and right before I was supposed to go to boot camp I decided to drink and drive and crashed my car into a backyard.”
Galata said he realized he needed to change course.
With the help of his mother, Galata saved money for his journey around America.
“I was living on my own since I was 18,” he said. “When I got back from my last trip I moved back into my mom’s to save for this one.”
Galata said he is motivated by the kids of the Children’s Inn.
“A major motivator for me is thinking about what story I want to leave behind for my family,” he said. “These kids are fighting for their lives while I am simply trying to live mine.”