4/24/2014

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Travel & Outdoors

Couple rides across US on unicycles to honor Syrian refugees

Couple rides across US on unicycles to honor Syrian refugees

EUGENE, Ore. - After a unicycling performance in Switzerland, a 10-year-old Syrian refugee approached unicyclist Dustin Kelm.

The boy said his parents had been killed in the violence in Syria one week prior.

And that's when the light bulb turned on - and Dustin and Katie Kelm took off.

"The Refugee Ride is us on these two big, 36-inch wheeled unicycles riding coast to coast to bring hope and help to Syrian refugees."

October 6 in Eugene, they are 93 days, 14 states and 3,350 miles into their journey.

They started in Savannah, Georgia.

They'll wrap up soon at Yachats after, they say, North America saved some of the best for last: Oregon.

"The McKenzie Pass. Going from Sisters to Belknap Hot Springs was an amazing ride," Dustin said. I wish I could do it again."

The whole way, they've done it with Syrian refugees in mind.

"They've fled with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and so we're riding with just the clothes on our backs for the last 93 days on the Refuge Ride to bring hope and help to the Syrian people," Dustin said.

On their bikes, they carry one change of clothes, some gear and emergency equipment.

The Kelms ride 40 miles per day.

On every 10th day or so, they rest.

"Most mornings we don't want to get up and get out in the cold and start moving with sore legs," Katie said, "but we know even our worse day on this ride is so much better than what the refugees are experiencing in their best circumstances."

Learn more about the Refuge Ride online.

 

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