In the summer of 2018, Davis biked across the country with 26 strangers who gathered together to raise money for cancer research and go on an adventure. Davis believes “going beyond” is combining your passion with service.
Check out the conversation we had with Davis about his big cross-country adventure.
Why did you decide to take to bike across the country?
A friend and I talked about how cool it would be to bike across the country but I don’t think either of us really knew how we were going to actually do it. So when another friend heard about the 4k For Cancer trip, he passed it along to us and we knew that this was the trip we needed to take. We started planning in our adventure in October 2017 but the plan really started to materialize over Christmas break.
Where all did you bike?
We biked from the East coast to the West coast and along the way we went to Chicago, Minneapolis, Theodore National Park, Glacier National Park, Olympic National Park, and other places like that.
How much money did you raise?
4K For Cancer raised about $900,000 total and even though we were a small part of that, we each raised $5,000.
Tell us about your experience.
Logistically we spent 70 days on the road, starting in Baltimore and ending in Seattle. It was a group of 27 college-aged people. None of us had ever met before so we all met up for the first time in Baltimore. From then on we all just got to be really close and became friends. Along the way, as we would ride, we would stop in at hospitals or different places like that do service projects or give away scholarships.
That is what the trip looked like logistically but it’s hard to put into words what the trip meant to me. It was just an incredible adventure. Something a lot of people don’t even get to do or consider doing so it was really special to me. It was a lot of hard work and exhausting but it was definitely worth it.
What was the most inspirational moment?
It was actually on day two, so right off the bat. We had ridden about 70 miles that day and were coming into the Appalachian Mountains exhausted. We sat around in a circle and we talked about the “why” behind our individual trips. People shared tons of emotional stories of their bouts with cancer, their loved one’s bouts with cancer and other people that they were riding for. That was just so special and it still gives me chills just thinking about it. It was really special to hear why everyone was out there and what made the miles mean something for all of them.
What are some lessons you learned along the way?
One of the biggest lessons I learned was there is something very important in having a goal to pursue. I think as humans we are just hard-wired to pursue something. We just have this hunger for adventure. When we arrived in Seattle I realized that I didn’t want the pursuit of this goal to stop in Seattle; I want to always, at every stage of my life, be thinking “what can I pursue?” and “what adventure can I seek out?”. Maybe it’s not going to be as extravagant as biking from Baltimore to Seattle but my hope is that throughout my life I will always have something to pursue.
Tell us the “why” – why did you do this?
I was inspired to do this, first off by my love of cycling and adventure and getting to pursue something exciting like that. Having just graduated from college that seemed kind of like the natural time to take off and do something crazy like that.
When we found this organization, 4k For Cancer, it became more than just going and riding my bike. A big thing with the organization is finding your “why” for the trip. That kind of developed as the trip went and I heard some of the stories of them battling cancer or their loved ones battling cancer and we got to help out in some way. I also have some loved ones that have faced cancer. A good mentor of mine’s wife passed away from cancer and caring about her struggle brought me closer to the cancer community. I also want to pursue a career in biomedical engineering so that I can help people that are dealing with diseases and injuries.
How did your trip “go beyond?”
Combining my passion for adventure with something that helps others made the trip go beyond.