A decade-long vision that started for a Kansas City man when he was 15-years-old is nearly a reality.
Richie Wolfe will crisscross America on a bicycle. The 7,000-mile trek begins April 1 in Escondido, Cali., 30 miles east of San Diego. Wolfe leaves Saturday on a plane bound for the Golden State.
Wolfe’s five-month Journey Towards Hope ride is a fundraiser for Restoration House, a Greenwood, Mo.-based residential recovery program for victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.
He’s mapped a route that will take him from California south to Georgia and north to Maine.
From there Wolfe will visit the Upper Peninsula of Michigan then cross northern states such as Wisconsin and Minnesota before he makes his way through Washington state and Oregon.
The plan is to complete the route in San Francisco by late September.
Wolfe, 26, will travel alone during the day and camp out most nights.
He will visit close to 30 states plus the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
“I wanted to visit every state that I’ve never been to,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe’s goal is to bike 60-70 miles per day during the excursion. He trained for more than a year to prepare.
Over the course of the last month, Wolfe has ridden 20 miles each way from downtown Kansas City to work in Overland Park.
Once a week, Wolfe takes a 40-to-70-mile trip. He will stick to the script on the road.
“I will average about 50 to 70 miles per day and I will take one day off per week,” he said.
September Trible, executive director of Restoration House, said Wolfe’s journey is a testament to his passion for helping others.
Wolfe has volunteered for several non-profit organizations, including Veronica’s Voice, a program for women and girls that are or have been involved in sex work.
“We are so thrilled that someone of Richie’s age would be so passionate about doing something that is engaging social justice in a really meaningful way,” Trible said. “We think it is beyond fantastic.”
Wolfe works in the video services department at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park as a videographer and editor. He directed and produced “The Line,” a documentary about the history of skateboarding in Kansas City.
The film premiered at the school this week.
Making movies and making a difference, Wolfe said, is his calling. He hopes to raise $10,000 on behalf of Restoration House.
In the process, he will realize a dream that materialized nearly a decade ago when he got into cycling as a high school sophomore.
“It’s been something I’ve wanted to do,” Wolfe said. “I knew people that rode across the country and that’s the thing that you do when you get into long-distance biking.
“That’s the prize.”
Wolf will document the trip online at www.journeytowardshope.com.