Cousins embark on bike ride for autism

Posted at: 06/19/2013 10:28 PM
By: Nicole Brady, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It's going to be a long ride for two cousins from New Mexico. Next month they'll gear up to bike somewhere around 2,000 miles.

It started just as a physical adventure, but it turned into something a lot more personal. From Massachusetts to Florida, Boston to Key West, at least 50 miles a day.

“We don't know the exact mileage because we're going to take back roads,” David Garcia said. Garcia and his cousin, Joel Sachs, have been training hard for a ride down the east coast.

But they decided if they were going to go all that way, they wanted to do it for a reason back home.

Joel's two older brothers have autism. “When you really step back and think about my brothers, I've learned so much from them, so much more than I've taught them,” Sachs said.

So he wanted to give something back to them, and to a program one brother attends called Mandy's Farm in the south valley. “People with developmental disabilities are able to go there, and they can work in the garden, they can go in the pool, they can work with animals, they take care of the animals,” Garcia said.

The cousins hope if they get enough attention with their bike ride, maybe other communities will start programs like Mandy's Farm. “After high school, it's kind of tough to know what people with autism are going to do. There's not really many college programs, so Mandy's Farm offers a great alternative,” Sachs said.

You can tell by talking to them, isn't an attempt to get famous or be recognized for a grand achievement. In fact, they don't expect to raise much money at all.

“So far we've raised $100, we hope to raise $500,” Sachs said.  For 2,000 miles, that's just 25 cents a mile. But knowing who they're riding for is the real motivation. “I'm just so happy to be able to do something for them,” Sachs said.

The cousins plan to leave Boston on July 7 and arrive in Key West sometime around august 17. You can follow their journey and make a donation on their Facebook .