Biker on mission for orphans visits Tucson - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Biker on mission for orphans visits Tucson

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Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 4:00 am

After one gets past the initial shock of, “You are riding your bike around the world?” people understand, warm up to her, and become inspired by Christine Farrugia’s current adventure.

What started with research and training back in March of 2011, the first peddling began in Pasadena, Calif. in early December.

The plan was simple, yet complex in its own right. Farrugia’s plan is to ride her bike around the world, visit a few orphanages she supports, while inspiring people to take notice of her extreme task.

Her task will hopefully bring attention to the extreme need for orphanage support.

“Last year, my folks were killed in an automobile accident. My mom, my dad, my little brother and my brother-in-law,” Farrugia said as she clapped her hands together.

In an instant, they were gone.

“All of a sudden, I was without parents. I wanted to do something for children without parents,” she said.

As of last week, Farrugia, who resides in Colorado, had traveled the first leg of her ride – 487 miles from Pasadena to Tucson. She began at an orphanage, Hillside’s Children’s Center in Pasadena. Her final stop in America will be in Florida, which is about 7,500 miles away from Tucson.

From there, she plans to travel to Cape Town, South Africa and then she will ride her bike to East London, South Africa.

She then will fly to Zimbabwe, where she has another orphanage she supports called The Good Shepard Orphanage.

She plans to visit another orphanage while riding through Australia and she will finish in New Zealand.

Some might question why she would ride her bike for children. For her, the answer was simple.

“I wanted to do something extreme,” Farrugia said. “Because this is an extreme situation. Our children are our future.”

Each day she rides anywhere from 30 miles to 55 miles while towing a 50-pound trailer packed with clothes, snacks, her tent and sleeping bag, and her camera.

Along her journey, she keeps a video diary talking about “the good, the bad and the ugly,” as she put it. Whether it is about plugging the Holiday Inn Suites for giving her a few nights free stay, or her getting caught five miles from her destination on the freeway at dusk, she promises to not sugarcoat any of her entries.

Besides the obvious physical strain from the bumps and shakes of each inch of freeway she crosses, Farrugia has to also deal with the physical exhaustion from riding miles and miles.

She started with riding in cities where she dealt with traffic lights, intersections and a changing horizon, but that all changed once she was out on the freeways and frontage roads.

“Even a red light will give you something to look at, even if it isn’t much, even a stop sign,” she said. “Now you are on the open road and you have that same mountain or that same tower in your vision for four hours.

“But I have had an amazing experience through the desert. When you blast in your car and you look out and you wonder what is out there. I go out there and I do my video blogs.”

Her website, projectmiracleco.org, is where Farrugia takes donations for orphans and her journey. Eighty-five percent of the donations go to kids.

“I am just hoping that people will see my extreme effort and feel moved enough to try and help these kids. And even at the tail end of it, if the only thing that comes out of it, these kids will know that I cared enough to put myself out to this extreme for them.”

To follow Farrugia on her journey and to donate to her cause, visit projectmiracleco.org.

© 2014 Tucson Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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