Sportable Volunteer Embarks on Cross-Country Ride

RICHMOND, VA – (Monday, May 9, 2022) – Sportable, Central Virginia’s premier accessible sports club, is proud to be named the beneficiary of the Kon-Tiki Challenge, a 4,500-mile, coast to coast, bikepacking adventure from Washington to Maine. Sportable Cycling volunteer Dan Schmitt will embark on the solo, unsupported ride on May 21 with a goal to raise $100,000 to benefit Sportable’s mission of making sports accessible and inclusive in RVA. To accept the Kon-Tiki Challenge and join the ride virtually, register now at Sportable.org.

Inspired by the true story, Kon-Tiki, which documents the journey of six men who sailed 4,300 miles from Peru on a balsa log raft across the Pacific to the Polynesian islands, Schmitt’s cross country trek will be similar in time and distance. His ride will commence on May 21 in Anacortes, Washington and will cover 4,500 miles along the Northern Tier before arriving in Bar Harbor, Maine in approximately 100 days.

“For over twenty years, I’ve planned and dreamed of this great adventure,” said Schmitt. “Just as Kon-Tiki, an ancient sun god, served as the inspiration for a seemingly impossible expedition, I took it as a challenge to stretch beyond my comfort zone and see what I could achieve. I’m excited to spend the summer seeing our beautiful country, meeting interesting people and raising awareness and funds for Sportable’s mission. But most of all, I hope to inspire others to push beyond what they think their limits are.”

Sportable Executive Director Hunter Leemon added, “What Dan is doing—riding almost every day for three months, carrying all his gear, traveling thousands of miles under his own power, and climbing over 174,000 feet—is hard to fathom. To make Sportable the beneficiary of his efforts is extraordinary and we are truly grateful.”

Leemon continued, “Our athletes are capable of achieving amazing things when given the opportunity. Sportable takes away the physical barriers by providing adaptive equipment, trained coaches and staff, and accessible facilities. This Kon-Tiki Challenge will provoke us all to think beyond our perceived limits and dream about what is possible.”

Cyclists of all levels and abilities are encouraged to accept the fully inclusive Kon-Tiki Challenge by logging miles to complete virtual segments of Schmitt’s ride. The fee to participate is $35 and includes an official Kon-Tiki Challenge t-shirt.

The fundraising campaign, “Kon-Tiki Challenge,” will include a multi-tiered, peer-to-peer fundraiser that will empower supporters to become advocates for individuals with physical disabilities and to raise critical funds to support adaptive sports in Central Virginia. There will be multiple fundraising challenges and a social media “What’s Your Kon-Tiki?” campaign over the summer.

The first challenge is to raise $10,000 by the time Schmitt arrives in Great Falls, Montana, 1,000 miles into his journey, on or around June 7, 2022. All donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to the goal through the generous support of Sportable athlete, Bill Sweeney and his wife Cynthia Schmitz.

One hundred percent of all proceeds from the Kon-Tiki Challenge will go directly to Sportable to provide adaptive sports that impact the lives of hundreds of individuals living with a physical disability or visual impairment.

Follow Schmitt’s journey on Instagram @KonTikiC2C.

Sign up for the Kon-Tiki Challenge here: https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/Richmond/kontikichallenge