While growing up, one of the most important persons in Emilie Efronson’s life was her grandmother, Sydell Oltchick. Oltchick was well known in the community for her Syd Says column in the Pinecrest Tribune.
In her grandmother’s honor, this summer Efronson will ride a bicycle from Baltimore to San Francisco.
“We’re able to dedicate our ride to somebody. My grandma passed away six years ago from lung cancer,” Efronson says. “She was always advocating that I should travel.”
Efronson’s father also had cancer, but he’s doing well now. And her almost 90-year-old grandfather survived cancer three times.
“I am going to be leaving two days after I graduate from Johns Hopkins,” Efronson says.
The trek is called 4K For Cancer and will take 60 days. Efronson will have biked 4,000 miles by the time the race is over.
“We’ll be biking an average of 80 miles a day,” she says.
In order participate, Efronson has to raise $4,500. Eighty percent of the money will be distributed through the communities they will bike through.
“We will be going to cancer centers, we will participate in screening and going to hospices,” she says. “We will be able to see who the money we are raising will impact.”
Participants are encouraged to raise more than the minimum $4,500. Her goal is $10,000.
“Every dollar that is raised goes to a great cause,” she says. “I’ve been doing pretty well so far.”
The 4K For Cancer organizers will supply her with a bicycle to use on the journey. At the end of the trip, she gets to keep the bike, although she’s pretty sure she won’t want to see a bicycle for at least a week.
“I have been buying padded biking shorts. Otherwise, I hear your whole body goes numb.”
Not only has she already starting shopping in preparation for the trip, she also biked as much as possible over her college winter break to get her body used to long distances.
“I’ve been getting advice from friends who are cyclists about how to deal with that stuff.” she says.
Because she knows people who have made the trip, Efronson decided to go through the application process. She found out in November that she had been chosen for the arduous journey.
“There are 35 people on my trip,” she says. “There are three different destinations and three different routes.”
Efronson had a choice of which route and destination she would take.
“I chose to do San Francisco. I’ve traveled a lot outside the United States, but I’ve never traveled in the United States,” she says. “The last part of the trip, we bike through the Napa Valley and then we bike over the Golden Gate Bridge.”
Biking through Wine Country and over the bridge tickled her fancy.
“I thought that was a pretty cool,” she says. “The last aspect of it is going to be a pretty amazing feeling. I think it will be a pretty rewarding experience to be able to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.”
Making the event even more special will be her family and a few friends journeying to San Francisco and being there to greet as she crossed the bridge at the finish line.
For more information about Efronson’s trip, go to https://4kforcancer.donortools.com/my/funds/14832-Rider-Fund-Emilie-Efronson.