April 4, 2013
OSU Medicine student Blake Middleton cycles across America for global health
When Blake Middleton arrives in Tulsa on April 12, he will be 1,633 miles into his coast-to-coast journey with Ride for World Health.
The Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine student was selected to participate as a national rider for RFWH, a cross-country bike trip that raises awareness of global and domestic health issues in the United States and abroad.
Middleton and his teammates departed from San Diego on March 20 and will bike a total of 3,700 miles across the continental U.S. They will finish their journey at Bethany Beach in Delaware on May 12.
"In its eight-year history, the route has never traveled across Oklahoma until now," said Middleton, an Okmulgee native. "With five stops in Oklahoma and two solidarity rides, I'm confident Oklahoma will be the best state we visit."
Middleton and his teammate Erin Blackstock, a rider from Norman, have organized the team's route with stops including Weatherford, Norman, Chandler, Tulsa and Muskogee.
"We're thrilled to have two solidarity rides in Oklahoma," said Middleton. "These events are a great way for us to involve communities by raising awareness about Ride for World Health and raising funds for our beneficiaries."
The riders will arrive in Tulsa on Friday, April 12, with the Tulsa Solidarity Ride set for Saturday, April 13 at OSU Center for Health Sciences. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and features a 30-mile route, which begins at 9 a.m., and a 15-mile route beginning at 9:20 a.m.
The cost to ride 30 miles is $40 or $35 for students and the cost to ride 15 miles is $35 or $30 for students. After the ride, a portion of lunch sales at James E. McNellie's Public House in the Blue Dome District will benefit Ride for World Health.
At each stop across the country, the team visits local schools or organizations to promote RFWH, educate about the current state of global health and stimulate conversation regarding these problems and possible solutions. Middleton will speak with his classmates at OSU-CHS on Friday, April 12 at noon in D-107 about global health issues and his experience with RFWH.
"Since my journey began, I've been able to make individual connections with every rider as we bike across the country," said Middleton. "Although most of us are entering the medical field and share the same passion for Ride for World Health, we each have different backgrounds that shape our goals and plans for impacting global health."
Founded in 2006 as a non-profit organization, RFWH educates Americans about global health issues while raising funds to support non-profit organizations whose goals are consistent with the RFWH mission. The team hopes to raise $150,000 for this year's beneficiaries, Village Health Works and Empower and Advance.Visit the Solidarity Ride website to register online. To learn more about Ride for World Health, visit the RFWH website. To follow Middleton's journey, visit his Facebook profile or follow his tweets on Twitter.