Larchmont Native Covers 2,600 Miles - On Two Wheels
by Paula Eisenberg
(September 6, 2007) He pedalled out of Telluride, Colorado on August 1, pulling a cargo trailer loaded with camping gear and food behind his road bike. Just over one month later, Matt Eisenberg, 27, arrived in Larchmont around 2:00 pm on Thursday, September 6.. Why did he ride his bicycle over 2,600 miles, alone? "I'm raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation's fight against cancer," the Larchmont native explained. An enthusiastic group of friends and family cheered as he rode past Fountain Square.
Mr. Eisenberg, who graduated from Larchmont schools and the University of Vermont, has been living in the Rocky Mountains for the last few years, enjoying the active, outdoor life in Jackson Hole and Telluride. An avid cyclist, he decided to tackle the cross-country ride partly as a personal challenge, and partly to raise money for cancer research.
"Several members of my family have died because of cancer, and I wanted to do something positive to help," he said. "I love cycling and wanted to see the small town USA we usually just fly over on our way somewhere else, so this seemed like a great way to combine the two things." So far, he has raised almost $4,000 toward his goal of $5,000.
When he could find a public Internet-connected computer along his route through the heartland, he added news of his journey to his blog and kept track of donations on his Lance Armstrong Foundation website. (He decided not to bring even a small laptop, because every ounce counts when pulling a trailer over the mountains.)
Shadowing interstates, Mr. Eisenberg's route took him on the "blue highways" of Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and through upper Manhattan and the Bronx. He entered New York via the George Washington Bridge, then followed US 1 through the Bronx and finally into Larchmont.
On his last night on the road, a friend met him in western New Jersey and relieved him of his heavy cargo trailer. That made the trip over the bridge and through upper Manhattan and the Bronx the next day much easier.
What was the hardest part of the journey? "Drivers in Iowa didn't seem to know how to deal with a cyclist sharing the road," Mr. Eisenberg said. "But for every rude driver, there were a lot of very courteous people, and I was grateful all along the way for kind, generous people in small town America." After attending a friend's wedding in early October, Mr. Eisenberg plans to return to Telluride. On an airplane.
Paula Eisenberg is the cyclist's mother.