Our Story

Marie Nemec

In 1997, Marie became aware of HD through meeting Carmen Leal, author of Faces of Huntington's, on the Christian Writer's Group list on the Internet. In June 1998, at Carmen's invitation, Marie attended the HDSA Convention in Denver, CO. After this experience, she was deeply touched. Her Christian faith required action; "...let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth" (1 John 3:18). Marie and Charlotte met through a mutual friend, and the trio rode across America together in 1999.

Arrival at the National Convention has become an annual rite. Coastin' to Carolina is the twelfth ride for HD; prior rides include two coast-to-coast rides (1999 and 2000), Border War on HD (Vancouver, BC Canada to TiJuana, Mexico), Ramble 'Round the Colonies (Manchester NH - Columbus OH) Trek Across Texas (Texline TX - Houston TX), Kick HD on Route 66 (Albuquerque NM St. Louis MO), Coastin' for HD (Wilmington DE - Atlanta GA), Midwest Meander for HD (Kearney NE - Milwaukee WI - Chicago, IL - St. Louis MO), Rockies to Plains (Grand Junction CO - Oklahoma City OK), Cycle the Heartland (Clinton MO - Pittsburgh PA), Canyons to Cactus (Grand Junction CO - Phoenix AZ),

More than 18,000 miles have been accumulated through parts of 40 states and Washington, D.C. Our fundraising goal is $40,000 to bring the total raised to over $500,000 and to add four more states to our total (Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, and Tennessee).

On a more personal note:

On that first ride, 1999, both Charlotte and Evelyn became known as the BG’s (Bicycling Grandmas) but I did not qualify at that time. However, on Canada Day, July 1, 2008 Jett Ronald Nemec was born, qualifying me for this august honor. And in mid-June, 2010, Jett will become a big brother, and we will have two grandchildren. See our photo pages for photos and birth announcement after he or she makes the memorable appearance.!

I was raised primarily in Southern California except for 3 years in Arlington VA (1955-1958). Athletic in my youth, playing softball, and in high school volleyball (played two years on teams with Kathy Gregory, legendary coach of the UC Santa Barbara Women’s team), basketball, and softball. I was one of 3 young women in my class to earn highest athletic honors. Next year I plan to return to Hollywood to celebrate my 50th high school reunion.

My main hobby now is quilting. I helped make all three of the Hunt-Dis Memorial Quilts. I also enjoy living on a mini-farm, raising Nubian goats and Holstein steers.

Spending time with family is a priority, too. A mini family reunion is planned for August 2010 in Steamboat Springs CO. My sister and I are now the "older generation," having recently lost our Uncle Jack McCaffrey.

I have been married for 41 years to Ron, who is the wind beneath my wings. We are the parents of two adult sons, Kevin and Justin. Kevin is self-employed (www.cactofab.com) and Justin has a career in Fashion Design and Merchandising.

I am a leader in an "Explorer’s Bible Study" group here in Grand Junction (www.explorerbiblestudy.org) and, as noted earlier, my primary motivation for riding comes from my Christian faith.

Marie Nemec
3087 - A 1/2 Road
Grand Junction, CO 81503-9678
bikenquilt@hughes.net - Home email address
bike4cure@gmail.com - email address while on the road

During the ride, Marie will be writing a daily message recounting the highlights and progress of the day. Just e-mail Marie's husband Ron at ronnemec@gmail.com to request subscription.


I first learned about and began bicycling for families with Huntington's Disease in 1999 when Marie Nemec joined me and a friend for our first coast-to-coast ride from Pacific Ocean to Atlantic Ocean (3000 miles). It was Marie's plan to pass out information and collect donations for HD while my friend and I planned to bicycle for The American Bible Society, passing out literature. Only 2 days into the ride, these two causes became combined for me with an unforgettable meeting with a woman in California who had HD. She could not speak and was confined to a wheelchair. It was then I realized the enormity and devastation of HD. It was at that moment that my ride also became a ride for HD. And, to my great surprise, I learned from Marie that we had HD families in Grand Junction. At that time, a new HD support group was beginning in Grand Junction and I became involved. That first ride across America was memorable for meeting other HD families along the way, for experiencing the surprising generosity of people handing us donations, and for encountering churches of all denominations who took us in overnight. That ride was doubly difficult for we carried all our gear on our bicycles, up and down all kinds of terrain, in all kinds of weather, but such a blessing from God. Little did we know that although this was our first bicycle ride for HD, it was not to be our last. We soon learned that God had plans for us!

You know the rest of the story. We are truly blessed by God that we are bicycling our 12th year for HD families. He has put us in all areas of the US with our destination always the site of the Convention. We have handed out thousands of flyers about HD across the US, collected thousands of dollars, by His plan, from generous Americans. The blessings to me personally have been immeasurable. First, having a Mission to serve others is immense, the friendships formed over those years with HD families all over the United States and in Grand Junction is immense, and the privilege of bicycling all over the US seeing the beauty of God's creation and the goodness of God's people is immense.

On a more personal note:

My cross country bicycling adventures began in 1992 when a friend suggested we bicycle across Colorado from Utah to Kansas. I gasped! It was a life-changing experience to learn I could bicycle across a state and over the Continental Divide! I could go anywhere! After that, each year I bicycled a 5-6 day rides (400 miles average) in Colorado for various charities--Make A Wish, Habitat for Humanity--then came the life-changing first bicycle ride in 1999 for HD.

My family continues to be supportive and my rock, although they were naturally concerned in 1999 about our safety (as was I). In all those years we have never been threatened, only offered help by fellow Americans in over 40 states! Finally my family has become more at ease with my annual cross country bicycle trip. They include my oldest son who is a CPA and lives in Phoenix and my youngest son who is a doctor and lives in Grand Junction with his wife and my 3 grandchildren. My two granddaughters are college graduates and my grandson is a senior in high school.

I grew up on a farm near Amherst, Nebraska (population 200) in the Kearney, Nebraska area. We did not have running water or electricity and farmed with horses. My husband and I came from Nebraska to Grand Junction, Colorado, via Michigan as teachers. I taught at Grand Junction High School and Mesa College. My husband taught in Fruita, Colorado and then became a realtor. Upon leaving teaching, after 25 years, I was a legal secretary for 5 years. For the past 20 years I have been a medical transcriptionist for pediatricians and family practice doctors, transcribing via computer in my home. I will be 75 in July 2010.

Charlotte Reicks
406 Ridges Blvd. #22
Grand Juntion, CO 81507
careicks@bresnan.net - Email address at Home and On the road

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