His mother is thrilled to see her son giving back to such an important cause.
“It’s hard to put into words how proud we are of Joe,” she said. “I can’t talk about it without getting emotional and teary. It’s amazing what he is accomplishing, and I think he and his group will be changed both physically and mentally by the experience.”
Kuykendall is a little more than a week away from Canon Beach, where his parents will be waiting to greet him. As of early this week, his group had reached Idaho City and covered almost 3,200 miles of the 3,794-mile trek.
“It’s amazing all the challenges he has overcome,” Laura Kuykendall said. “He has hit a few walls, but he has continued and done an amazing job. It will be a relief to have him home. I can’t say I don’t worry every day about their safety. But it will be a bit of relief with a lot of pride and admiration.”
As for the emotions Joe expects to experience when it is all over?
“I don’t even know,” he said. “I think it is going to be a greatest sense of accomplishment in the world. We just biked across the country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. There are those long, hard days when you don’t think it’s ever going to end. But you realize you overcame the struggles and really accomplished something.”
Kuykendall and his group intend to end the trip with the same grand gesture in which they began it.
“(On May 31), we all dipped our bikes in the Atlantic Ocean,” Kuykendall said. “And when we are done, we are going to dip them in the Pacific. It’s pretty surreal to think we would be crossing the country on human power alone.”