Father and son completing 5,000-mile bike ride to raise awareness

Kahuulani (Kai) Baoy and his son Kekoa camped out in the Hillsboro campground near Memorial Park on Tuesday, April 23. They are on a 5,000-mile E-bike ride to raise awareness and donations for several causes. They have already completed 1,800 miles.

Kahuulani (Kai) Baoy and his son Kekoa are getting some quality father-and-son time in while also raising awareness and funds for some good causes.

“We’re riding and raising awareness for Alzheimers, cancer and Wounded Warrior Project. We’re not collecting any money ourselves, but if anyone wants to donate, we have sites that they can go to and donate,” said Baoy.

Baoy wants people to know that the money donated does not go to research but goes straight to helping the victims and their families to help with transportation to medical appointments, medicals bill and other related costs.

“My aunt passed away last year from Alzheimers. She was struggling bad for like six years. My cousin was taking care of her, and the last two years she was just stressing out. She didn’t know that they had a program that helps the caretakers of the victims of the disease. So I got her involved with that and it was a relief off her shoulders. The money we raise will help people like that,” said Baoy.

He said with the Wounded Warriors project the money donated will go toward e-bikes such as the ones he and his son are riding on their ride to help modification for warriors.

“If they have a prosthetic, they need a modified e-bike, then you know that that’s where the money is going towards,” said Baoy.

In fact, the bikes Baoy and his son are riding, were donated to them and will be given to two veterans after their ride is over.

“This setup here that my son rides is going to a vet that has a dog, because the attachment turns into pet care. That’s going through her because she wants to go camping again and get out of the house. So that whole trailer right there is set up for camping,” said Baoy. “And then the one that I am riding is going to a homeless vet that has severe PTSD issue who was a medic. We haven’t met him yet. He will be able to get around using this bike and he can put all of his belongings on the trailer.”

Baoy is using part of the trip to visit American Legions and wants people to be aware of all the good that American Legions do for both veterans and the community around them. He comes from a family of veterans and has a grandson in the army.

“We want people to realize that the American Legion isn’t just a bar or bingo hall. The American Legion’s out there for you and for the community,” said Baoy.

This is the father and son’s second ride that they have done.

“We did one ride in 2021, and we did 2000 miles,” said Baoy.

They started in Alabama and headed West but only made it as far as Ashton, Kansas before they got stopped by COVID.

They decided to give it another go.

On the first trip, the pair paid for everything out of pocket, but this time, both electric bikes and the trailers have been sponsored along with solar powered chargers for the bikes and their equipment. The bikes are made in New Hampshire from all recyclable material. And the trailers are very durable.

The duo planned to be further along than they are given that they got started on this trip over a year ago but things haven’t gone as planned.

“We started in where we left off in 2021 in Ashton, Kansas. And we went to Four Corners in Colorado. I stood there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. I was like, ‘ain’t nothing going on here’,” said Baoy. “But when they got into Missouri, my glove caught on fire and I had to have emergency surgery done. So we were down for about six months. We just got back on the road about two and a half months ago. We’re doing this one, and it’s gonna be 5,000 miles. We are 1,800 miles in.”

The pair is determined to finish it. Baoy enjoys the time he gets with his son and both seem to enjoy seeing parts of the country they wouldn’t otherwise see.

“I’m learning all kinds of history I didn’t know about. I went to the museum here [in Hillsboro] and I learned a lot of things about the people that originally came here back in the day when the railroad was going through. And farming. I never knew nothing about farming or the farming life. And I’ve talked to a lot of people that are farmers. I’ve learned a lot. I have seen a lot,” said Baoy.

The pair call their ride Awareness by the Mile. You can follow them on their YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/@Awarenessbythemile. To donate to any of the causes, go to The Longest Day-Outshine the Darkness of Alzheimer’s at https://act.alz.org/site/TR?px=19803723&fr_id=17194&pg=personal&s_src=nuclavismobile&s_subsrc=Nucl_Web_FdrQRC, American Cancer Society at https://raiseyourway.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.personalCampaign&participantID=12666 or Wounded Warrior Project at https://communityfundraising.woundedwarriorproject.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.personalCampaign&participantID=12950.

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