I have remained on the bike all season thanks to the fat biking. It has made a long winter more enjoyable! I have had some time to reflect on my previous years riding the Trek Across Maine and why it is important to me and has kept me coming back for 21 years!
You can read on the American Lung Associaton website about all of the wonderful things they have done and continue to do to support lung health. Of all the reasons, the most important to me is prevention of youth/teen smoking. I have two teenage daughters who were not yet born when I began "trekking". They are the age now when my Mom began smoking cigarettes. Minus a few partially successful attempts to quit, she has been smoking for 50 years!
My twin brother Pat (on year 19 of the Trek) and I were second hand smokers for the better part of 2 decades. I have seen first hand what smoking does to one's health, will power and self-esteem. I cannot help wondering if Mom would have never started smoking if there was the availability of the resources of the ALA to educate and prevent back in the day, rather than Cosmo ads and the Marlboro Man making it sexy on TV, print and radio. Big Tobacco got Mom addicted just like they wanted. Thankfully my daughters are being exposed to the truth about smoking and will not repeat the cycle.
Thank you for reading this and please consider donating to the American Lung Association. They truly are making a difference in the health of our children. Stu