Promoting Sports & Fitness
Participation and Industry Vitality

SFIA Products and Services


Date: 4/6/16

Mike May
PHIT America

SILVER SPRING, MD – April 4, 2016 – For Doug Gordon, it is mission accomplished.  Yes, sir!  He has done it.  He has ridden his bicycle across the U.S. – from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.  It’s an undertaking that very few people would even consider.

Earlier this year, longtime sporting goods industry executive (and SFIA member) Doug Gordon had an idea.  It was a big idea.  The 61-year-old from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina stated that he wanted to ride his bicycle across the U.S. in order to serve as an attention-getter for the work of PHIT America and highlight the need for daily P.E. in all U.S. schools for all students.  Gordon’s vision became a reality this afternoon (Monday, April 4) – around 1:30 (Pacific time) in San Diego.  At that time, Gordon’s journey aboard his Trek bicycle -- which started on February 15 along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean near Charleston, South Carolina – came to an end when the front tire of his bicycle touched the incoming surf of the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, California.  Gordon entered the beach at Lifeguard Stand #5, where Dog Beach meets Ocean Beach.

In less than 60 days, Gordon covered 2,678 miles and traveled through nine states – starting in South Carolina and finishing in California.  Along the way, Gordon encountered many hurdles and obstacles such as flat tires, rain, hail, major headwinds, life-threatening storms, less than stellar road conditions, and uphill slopes that would challenge any world-class cyclist.  But, he kept going every day toward the setting sun.

“The foundation for the success of this trip and my success in life can be attributed 100% to P.E. in school and a lifetime of physical activity,” states Gordon.  “We are doing a major disservice to our children by not giving them daily P.E. in school.  It’s imperative that they understand and experience the benefits of physical activity in their lives.”
While Gordon ride his bike, his wife, Shari, drove alongside him in an RV.  Coming along for the ride in the RV was their dog Chase – a three-year old golden doodle. 

Again, the purpose of Gordon’s coast-to-coast bicycle trip was to generate awareness about the work of PHIT America and to raise funds for PHIT America’s GO! Grants program (which help fund elementary school P.E. programs).  While Gordon pedaled his way west, he challenged fellow industry leaders to do their part by also getting behind the work of PHIT America, which is dedicated to creating more active, fit, and smarter kids. 

Corporations, friends, and the general public have financially supported Gordon’s journey in one of three ways:  (1) accessing www.ridedougride.org; (2) pledging a lump sum or a certain amount per mile; or (3) giving directly to PHIT America through Razoo.  To date, 38 individuals and/or companies have supported Gordon’s efforts with a per/mile pledge through FitRaise and 23 individuals have pledged support on Razoo.  Garmin, Trek, Under Armour, and Louis Garneau provided in-kind support for Gordon’s coast-to-coast bike ride.  Those interested in pledging support for Gordon can still do so as the Gordon’s could use some financial support as they drive the RV back home to South Carolina.

“It is time to get off the sidelines and get behind the efforts of PHIT America, which is working to revive P.E. programs in our schools,” states Gordon.  “Getting children more active in school through daily P.E. will help students academically and introduce them to a lifestyle filled with physical activity, sports, and exercise.”

“This is something I believe in very much -- getting America, especially our children, more physically active and healthy.  Riding my bike across America to benefit PHIT America was the perfect way to do this,” continues Gordon, who left Speedo in late January, after having worked for the swimwear company since 2001.  “After learning of the national decline of youth sports and physical activity, combined with fewer schools having physical education, I knew I had to do something to raise public awareness of this issue. And, PHIT America is the perfect charity to support.”
“At least 75% of all funds received for PHIT America from this bike ride will be used to fund more PHIT America GO! Grants,” states PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh.  “We are jump-starting more activity for school children through school-based P.E. program grants.  With GO! Grants, we are developing more PHIT Kids, who are healthier and smarter.”

Media interest in Gordon’s trip picked up momentum as soon as his trip started in mid February.  He has been a popular interview with local TV stations, daily newspapers, and weekly newspapers throughout South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.  Statewide radio networks in South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas have also interviewed Gordon.  One of the first major newspaper stories appeared on Wednesday, February 24, in the Alexander City Outlook (Alabama).  That story summarized the essence of Gordon’s journey.

A pictorial summary of Gordon’s cross-country trip can be viewed at www.ridedougride.org.

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