Tour to Endure
Derry cyclist makes cause a family affair
By HUNTER McGEE
Union Leader Correspondent | July 20. 2014 8:32PM
DiSalvo crossed the length of the Granite State last year on a two-day ride, raising more than $1,000 for Autism Speaks, an autism research and advocacy organization.
The 49-year-old Derry resident is scheduled to leave from Kittery Point, Maine, at Fort McClary State Park on Tuesday.
“I’m ready to go,” said DiSalvo, who has set a fundraising goal of $5,000. He’s scheduled to cross over the Florida border on US-17 near Yulee, Fla., on Aug. 8.
After years of running marathons, DiSalvo decided to try cycling about four years ago after suffering a herniated disk.
He completed a long ride on July 12 to prepare for the grueling 1,400-mile trip.
“I’ve been riding a lot of miles, really — the last three years and last summer and right through this year,” he said.
“I really tried to concentrate on being able to do back-to-back-to-back long rides, so I think I’m in good shape for that,” he said.
DiSalvo’s wife will head the support crew on the road, handling most of the driving and setting up at each campground where the family stays.
Other family members also plan to participate. DiSalvo’s brother, Steve, who lives in Chelmsford, Mass., intends to ride from Derry to Sturbridge, Mass., on the second day of the trip. Another brother, Phil, who lives in Nashua, will ride from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania.
“One of my older brothers is autistic but was not properly diagnosed when he was young,” DiSalvo said. “Not as much was known about autism 50-plus years ago.”
DiSalvo said he hopes to build on the momentum from last year’s ride and raise even more money.
“Having so many people involved has really helped spread the word through emails and social media, and that’s turned into additional donations for Autism Speaks, which is what it’s all about,” he said.
To donate to Autism Speaks on behalf of the Three Stage Tour to Endure, visit http://fundraise.autismspeaks.org/Markslist/campaign/display/profile.do?campaignId=2221. For more information visit the Three State Tour to Endure Facebook page.