Kobe Kessler is Doing Something Big This SummerWritten by admin on Jun 01, 2017 in - No Comments
Kobe Kessler is Doing Something Big This Summer
Kobe Kessler, an eighth-grader from Ferrisburgh, Vermont, is an avid soccer and basketball player who also draws, plays saxophone, and has performed in a number of school theater productions. This summer, he is about to embark on something big…really big. To raise money for Christian Veterinary Missions, he will be bicycling across America, along with his mother and a family friend. I recently met up with Kobe to hear about his plans.
Where did you get the idea to bicycle across America?
I was wanting to do something big, something outside of my ordinary, boring summer. My mom met Lindy, who is in her 80s, and asked her about a necklace she was wearing with a cross and bicycle. Lindy explained that she had biked across America when she was in her 50s and then again in her 70s. My mom said, “If Lindy can bike across the country in her 70s, I can do it in my 50s.” So she decided to do it, and she recruited me to go along, which fulfilled my wish to do something out of the ordinary.
Tell me about your route. Where does your bike ride start, and where does it finish?
We are starting just below Seattle, Washington, and we will be going across the northern tier of the US, just under the Canadian border, through North Dakota. Depending on how much time we have left, we will bike below Michigan or cut through it to get through the Great Lakes. Then, depending on which of these two routes we take, we’ll end up either in Maine or New Jersey. We’ll mostly be taking quieter roads, though there will be some busy roads, and also some bike-only trails.
How many miles is the trip, and how long do you think the ride will take?
The trip is 4200 miles. We’re guessing it will take us eight weeks total. We hope to average 70 miles a day, but some days we’ll do 20–30 miles, especially in mountainous areas. We could be covering 100 miles a day where it’s flat. We leave June 16th—flying out a few hours after my “step up” from Middle school—and we hope to be back right before school starts. This is the first summer my mother has taken off work.
I hear your Dad is going to be helping you out?
For the first two weeks, we’ll carry panniers (backpacks for bikes), and we’ll be tenting or staying in motels. Then, following graduation at my Dad’s high school, he’ll drive out in the camper to where we are. We’ve nicknamed him the pit crew. He’ll be preparing meals for us in the camper. That’ll be pretty awesome.
Tell me about the organization you are raising money for.
We are biking across America for Christian Veterinary Missions. My mom is a member of CVM and has been in contact with the organization’s president. Hopefully, we will reach our $2000 goal, and that money will go to helping veterinarians travel to third world countries, where they will help people better understand animal husbandry and agriculture, teach them important life skills, and also about Jesus.
What is something you’re looking forward to about the trip?
I think by seeing so much of the world, I’m going to grow my wonder and appreciation of the outdoors and the world around us. We’ll probably see all kinds of wildlife. I’m also looking forward to all the people along the way. People who have done this before say the coolest part of the trip is seeing all the different people.
What do you anticipate will be hard about the trip?
Just finishing it is going to be difficult. Also, the daily rhythm may get monotonous. Maybe I’ll get bored after a while, but with such amazing scenery, each day will be its own new experience.
If you would like to make a contribution toward Christian Veterinary Missions in honor of Kobe’s ride across the U.S., you can do so here: https://donate.cvmusa.org/Kessler. While any amount is welcome, Kobe is inviting people to consider supporting him at $42, which is one cent per mile.
Interview conducted by Abigail Carroll