Plains to Lakes


Plains to Lakes is the thirteenth ride for HD. Close to 20,000 miles have been pedaled, through parts of 42 states and Washington DC. Prior rides include:

Our fundraising goal is $12,000 to bring the total raised to $532,000 and to add three more states to our total. (Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota)

Meet our riders

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 13th annual 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.

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 June, 2010, Jett - grandson # 1 - became a big brother to Cael - grandson # 2. See our photo pages for photos.! (Grand parents have to have photos! Kevin and Erin's facebook page is: Erin Simmons Nemec.)

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. This year I returned 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. Consequently, part of our scheduling is to try to include a monthly visit to our son and wife and most especially our two grandsons. Raising grandchildren is really a tough job. :-)

I have been married for 42 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 ( 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 ( 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
970.250.5997 - Home email address - 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 to request subscription.

Charlotte Reicks

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 13th 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 ride (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 support 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 Freshman in college.

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 21 years I have been a medical transcriptionist for pediatricians and family practice doctors, transcribing via computer in my home. I will be 76 in July 2011.

Charlotte Reicks
406 Ridges Blvd. #22
Grand Junction, CO 81507

Gary Heiman

Gary is the husband of Barb Heiman, social worker with the HDSA Central Ohio Chapter and the Ohio State University Center of Excellence. Gary has ridden the Great Ohio Biking Adventure (GOBA) 11 times and is an experienced rider who logs 2,000 miles a year in West Central Ohio. That is our summary of our newest rider. Below is a snapshot of Gary in his own words

In his own words

Relative to cycling, as an adult I started in 1994 and average a little over 2000 miles per year. My bike turned over 33,000 miles in December 2010. Most of my cycling is the relatively flat lands of west central Ohio where wind can be a factor. I have ridden in 11 one week organized rides called GOBA (Great Ohio Biking Adventure) with anywhere from 2500 to 3000 riders. Also did SAGBRAW in 2003 in Wisconsin which is one week with 1200 riders.

And on a more personal note:

Born in Chicago, 1939, but moved to Ripon WI. in '41 where I grew up on a small farm. Enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in '58, got out in '62. Attended The Milwaukee School of Engineering during which time I met Barb on a blind date. We married in June '64 and raised 2 daughters and one son. My working career consisted of working for 3 different companies plus my own company which was formed in 1985. Sold out and retired in 2001. Our family now includes 7 grandchildren.

A Special message to Gary from his daughter, Beth.

Gary Heiman
1060 Olmstead Road
West Jefferson, OH 43162

There may be other riders as this ride is geared towards participation.

Please take a moment to support our riders by sending up a prayer!