Bike for the Cure

Bikin' Route 66 for Huntington's Disease

Bike for the Cure - Bikin' Route 66 for Huntington's Disease


Bikin’ the Dixie Highway

In 1997, Marie Nemec 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 met Charlotte Reicks through a mutual friend, and the trio rode across America together in 1999. This is Charlotte’s fifteenth bicycle ride for HD. Marie, the only 16 year ride veteran, will primarily drive the SAG van.

“Bikin’ the Dixie Highway for HD” is a 750 mile bicycle ride from Sault Ste. Marie MI to Louisville KY for the 29th Annual HDSA Convention (June 20-22, 2014). In 1967, Marjorie Guthrie, the widow of famed folksinger Woody Guthrie, founded the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, which evolved into the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. As in the prior 15 rides, the purpose of the ride is to heighten public awareness of Huntington’s Disease and to raise funds for family services and research towards a cure.

About the Dixie Highway

The Dixie Highway was a US automobile highway, first planned in 1914 to connect the Northern industrial states with  the Southern agricultural states. It was a network of connected paved roads, rather than one single highway which was constructed and expanded from 1915 to 1927. The Dixie Highway was inspired by the slightly earlier Lincoln Highway, the first road across the US. The prime booster of both projects was Carl G. Fisher. It was contemporary with Route 66 as well, with the dawn of the automobile age in America.

Route Itinerary

  • June 7 – Sault Ste. Marie MI – St. Ignace MI
  • June 8 – St. Ignace MI – Petoskey MI
  • June 9 – Petoskey MI – Traverse City MI
  • June 10 – Traverse City MI – Manistee MI
  • June 11 – Manistee MI – Montague MI
  • June 12 – Montague MI – Grand Rapids MI
  • June 13 – Grand Rapids MI – Kalamazoo MI
  • June 14 – Kalamazoo MI – South Bend IN
  • June 15 – South Bend IN – Logansport IN
  • June 16 – Logansport IN – Indianapolis IN
  • June 17 – Indianapolis IN – Bloomington IN
  • June 18 – Bloomington IN – Fredericksburg IN
  • June 19 – Fredericksburg IN – Louisville KY

What is Huntington’s Disease?

Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a neurological, familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation on the 4th chromosome. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the gene which causes degeneration of brain cells, resulting in the loss of the ability to walk, think, talk, reason, and swallow. Onset generally appears at midlife, but in some, onset occurs in childhood (juvenile HD) or in old age (late onset). The disease profoundly affects the lives of entire families, as the person with HD becomes totally dependent on others for his/her care. About one in 10,000 Americans have this disease. Since 1993, a genetic test has been available to those at-risk, to determine whether or not (s)he carries the HD gene. The test does not indicate at what age the disease will develop.

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