Sunday, June 12, 2011


Okay well we ain't cool...but we are cycling for a COOL CAUSE and the Berea Sun Newspaper thinks so too! Check out Larry Smith's interview below :) Way to go Larry!
Berea high grad cycles across U.S. for fresh water causes
Larry Smith
BEREA -- Larry Smith, a 1988 Berea High grad, has ridden a bike since age 5. He began racing BMX bikes at age 12 and rode in many endurance races in later years.
But this month’s cycling endeavor is beyond any ride so far.
Smith will be part of a four-rider, 24-hour team who will travel across the U.S. covering 3,000 miles, climbing through the Rocky Mountains in 40-degree weather, descending into valleys at more than 90 degrees, facing potential storms — all in an estimated 7½ days.
"Why? It’s an awesome opportunity," said the former Berean whose mother, Lorraine Smith, still lives in the city. "We’re helping to provide sustainable, fresh water to villages in Africa and even towns in Ohio where there is a fresh water problem. It’s going to be a pretty amazing ride — and accomplishment."
He is part of Team H2Ope participating in RAAM — Ride Across America. The team is riding for a charity, Blue Planet Network. He is accepting donations that will go toward the charity that helps the fresh water cause.
Smith, a teacher at Carl and Louis Stokes Central Academy in Cleveland, said a fellow teacher from Africa explained the need for fresh water. Smith said there is a village called St. Charles in Uganda that has an orphanage of 300 children. He said the children walk two to three miles each day for their drinking water from a river.
"The sad thing, children who go to get the water on a daily basis fear of being physically assaulted. And some of the young girls even get raped on occasion to get that water," he said. "Even if that occurs, they still bring back the water."
His group also has partnered with the village and Drink Local, Drink Tap, the latter a grassroots effort to reconnect people in Northeast Ohio to their Lake Erie drinking source.
Smith, with the other riders, will begin the race June 18 in Oceanside, Calif. They will ride through Ohio hitting Oxford, Dayton, Chillicothe and Athens as they travel to their final destination — Annapolis, Md.
The riders will break up into two-person teams, each having a four-hour shift. They will ride for 30 minutes, rest of 30 minutes and return to the bike over that four-hour shift. Each will ride about 700 miles to cover the route. Smith has ridden 400-500 miles over a four- or five-day weekend.
"It is not above and beyond me but the way we are doing it, it’s a huge challenge — but for a great cause," said Smith, a Twinsburg resident.
His teammates are Andre Husain of Garfield Heights; Sara Harper, Strongsville and Alex Galindo, California.
Donations are accepted at and click on Team H2Ope’s link. Follow the team at
See more Berea news at

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