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Poland man biking his way across the US


Final stop of 2,600-mile trek is class of ‘76 reunion… Graduates of Poland’s 1976 class will be hard pressed to make a more impressive entrance to their 40-year reunion than their former classmate Billy Gogesch.

The 58-year-old software engineer is currently on his way to Poland from his home in Reno, Nev. Gogesch plans to end his 2,600-mile trip and show up for his reunion right on time on June 25.

“I thought this would be a pretty spectacular entry,” Gogesch said. “I’d show up my bicycle and I think it would be a whole heck of a lot of fun.”

An avid bicycle enthusiast who impulsively did an 800-mile journey last year, Gogesch discovered the Great Cycle Challenge, a charity that donates to childhood cancer research during the month of June and felt the timing was perfect.

“I can make these people some money with this ride so it’s dual purpose,” Gogesch said. “People set goals for themselves [in June]. They seek sponsors and the proceeds go directly towards the research fund.”

Gogesch is taking a little bit more than a helmet with him on his five-week saga. Supplies, spare parts, food, water and other necessities all have to be contained on the bicycle. Four panniers, totaling about 75 pounds are strapped to the bike in case something happens miles away from civilization.

“I’ll have one spare tire and the ability to patch tubes so I can recover from most of the stuff,” Gogesch said. “But you could hit something hard and fold a wheel and if I can’t straighten it out then you’re kind of S.O.L. I’d have to put a thumb out to get a ride to a bike shop and there are places where that’s not exactly convenient.”

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