Veteran Makes Stop in Tallahassee on Coast-to-Coast Charity Bike Ride

Veteran Darryl Cloud Bikes Coast-to-Coast
Posted at 5:30 PM, Oct 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-15 14:11:24-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- A former Marine who lives in Ohio is riding his bike from California to South Carolina to raise money for disabled veterans. Darryl Cloud stopped in Thursday while on his 2,600-mile journey.

"I am absolutely amazed at how well I am holding up," he said.

Cloud started his journey on August 15 in San Diego. He's riding to benefit Semper Fi Fund.

"It's very important for those who have paid a very dear price, that they enjoy a life of normalcy very similar to what you and I do," he said.

Cloud wants to raise $90,000 for Semper Fi to pay for six ATV-style wheelchairs.

"Maybe the veteran wants to go fishing," he said. "The veteran may want to go for a hike on a mountain. With these types of vehicles, they can do that."

He's raised about half of his goal as he continues his ride, with flags on the back of his bike.

"That acts as a conversation starter," Cloud said. "People see that, they're like, 'What are you doing?' This gives me an opportunity to tell them, and I am just absolutely stunned."

The bike has logged 2,300 miles so far and been through eight states. To get to this point, Cloud has used old and new forms of technology -- a compass, paper maps, a cell phone and a Garmin GPS locator. Cloud said it's all about the journey, which has caught the eyes of passers-by.

"People will pull up beside me, even when I'm riding," he said. "They're just going, like, give me a thumbs up. 'Where you headed? Where you coming from?' I had one guy try to give me his lunch one time."

Cloud admits he's no spring chicken. He's 66, but having done marathons and triathlons for the past five years, he's prepared for this ride.

"It's just mind over matter," he said. "It really has nothing to do with age. You just get out there and do it."

Cloud plans to end his ride in Parris Island, South Carolina on October 29, wrapping up his coast-to-coast trip. He said it's been a labor of love.

"A lot of people have asked me, 'What are you getting out of this?' What I'm getting out of this is how much we care for one another," he said.

Cloud leaves Tallahassee Friday morning on his way to Thomasville, riding along Route 84. He'll also ride through Valdosta on Sunday.