Many people have taken the challenge of biking across the United States, but University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Mark Wollemann ’84, of Chicago, Illinois, is taking it to the next level through his storytelling project “55 and Alive.”
Wollemann’s project is not just about the ride, but about the stories he and his wife Melody Gilbert, a filmmaker, hope to tell along the way.
Gilbert will be driving their car as a support vehicle while Wollemann bikes.
During the ride from Oregon to Delaware, which began Monday, June 13, they are asking people what makes them feel alive.
The couple has a website for the project and a blog where they will be sharing stories about the people they meet.
Wollemann said after nearly three decades as a reporter and editor for newspapers, as well as teacher in Bulgaria for four years, stepping away from work and taking on this physical and mental challenge is life-affirming.
“It’s not a group ride,” Wollemann said. “We are not raising money for a cause. We are just exiting our regular lives for three months to tackle this transcontinental effort. Who knows what we’ll learn along the way.”