Arizona Trail. Photo: TMWJR777.

Arizona Trail. Photo: TMWJR777.

Arthur Thomas “Tom” Lillquist and Michael Dionne are planning quite the adventure for 2016: mountain biking the Colorado, Great Divide, and Arizona trails, plus others for a total of 8,800 miles of trail riding. The duo is dedicating their ride to helping the National Stroke Association by raising funds and awareness along the way. As they wander the USA on their mountain bikes, they hope to inspire others to recovery.

Tom has a very personal connection to the cause as just a few years ago he suffered a stroke in his spinal cord, leading to temporary seizures, chronic pain, and the diminished ability to use his arms and legs. After four years of therapy and recovery, Tom was able to through hike the Appalachian Trail, which is a huge feat in and of itself. Now he has his sights set on completing the bikepacking triple crown in 2016.

Tom "NineLives." Photo via Facebook.

Tom “NineLives.” Photo via Facebook.

The duo plans to take about 9 months to complete the trip, with stops at iconic trails like the Kingdom trails in Vermont, the Maah Daah Hey in North Dakota, and the Tahoe Rim trail in California. They’re currently working to raise about $19,000 for the trip via a GoFundMe campaign. If all goes well, the trip will kick off in Vermont in March next year.

Here’s to hoping Tom and Michael are successful and are able to inspire others through their journey!

Click here to learn more about the WanderSpire project and to donate to the trip.

# Comments

  • NineLives7500

    We will be riding regardless of the gofundme page. The more help we get obviously would be appreciated, I haven’t worked in five years, mostly due too my hands not working, the chronic pain I can take, but over the last two years I have been focusing more on regaining the strength and now I have begun pursuing certification in Phlebotomy to help fund this adventure.

  • NineLives7500

    I honestly hate being in the position of asking others for help financially but this is a massive trip, we are looking for help in many ways beyond just financially, we would love to meet riders and ride with everyone possible along the way! Also would like to thank Jeff for writing this up, Michael and I were not expecting this at all. I have to admit being back around the biking community has meant more too me then I anticipated and the support has been at times near overwhelming.
    Sincerely thank you,
    Tom Ninelives

  • NineLives7500

    ThE Full route Start on Kingdom Trails somewhere around Burke Mountain/East Burke

    Ride Stowe Mountain VT

    Ride Killington Mountain VT

    Ride Mount Snow, VT

    South through MA-Confirming several possible visits.

    Manchester CT, Ride Case Mountain

    Middletown CT Ride Trails at Middlesex Community College

    Guilford CT Ride West Woods

    Washington DC Ride Alleghany Trail and visit Johns Hopkins Hospital Patients for presentation, possibly setting up a ride of sorts.

    Mckeesport PA Ride Alleghany Trail,

    Wooster, OH Ride Vultures Knob

    Loudonville OH Ride Mohican Trail

    Nashville IN Ride Brown County Park and Valley Branch Retreat

    Indianapolis IN Ride Fort Harrison State Park and Southwest Loop

    Willow Springs IL Ride Bullfrog Lake

    Chicago, IL

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Traverse City, MI

    Green Bay- WI

    Duluth MN Ride Piedmont and Mission Park

    Ironton MN Ride Cuyana Lakes

    Medora ND Ride Maah Dahh Hey

    Watford ND Ride Longs X Loop

    Roosville BC/MT Start Great Divide Trail (Will be riding the required 90% according to the organization of all three major trails for the bikepack triple crown)

    South Pass City WY Continue Great Divide Trail

    Denver CO Start Colorado Trail

    Durango CO Finish Colorado Trail

    Moab UT Ride The Whole Enchilada and Porcupine Rim

    New Mexico…Visiting friends. But Still Biking.

    Fredonia AZ Start The Arizona Trail

    Tucson AZ Finish The Arizona Trail

    Los Angeles CA Ride here because we have never been

    Santa Cruz CA Forest of Nisene Marks and

    Tahoe City CA Finish this Adventure on The Tahoe Rim Trail

    Total Mileage Not Counting Side Trails: 7,543 Miles

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