After bike riding more than 4,000 miles across America, three graduate students return home to Orange County raising more than $14,000 for the Kevin Armstrong MD Memorial Sports Foundation which benefits students in the Santa Ana Unified School District.
The Healthnuts & Handlebars bicycle trekking team, Hannah Pham, 25 of Fountain Valley, left, Anthony Bui, 25 of Santa Ana and his sister Aileen Bui, 23 of Santa Ana.
The trio are now back in Orange County after completing a coast to coast bike ride traveling more than 4.000 miles and raising more than $14,000 for the Kevin Armstrong MD Memorial Sports Foundation benefiting students in the Santa Ana Unified School District.
Photo by Steven Georges/OC Register
By Steven Georges
The Healthnuts & Handlebars, a bicycle trio of graduate students who initially planed a trip as a last hurrah before leaving for medical school, ended up with the goal of raising $12,000 for a local charity as they started their coast to coast trek by dipping their bicycle tires in the Pacific ocean on May 3, 2014. The trip sent them on an adventure of more than 4,000 miles bringing them through ten states, rain, blistering sun, steep mountain passes and freezing cold, before arriving 81 days later in Yorktown, Virginia to dip their tires in the Atlantic.
Anthony Bui, 25, his sister Aileen Bui, 23, both of Santa Ana, and his girlfriend of six years Hannah Pham of Fountain Valley, took their steel frame touring bikes out on the road, quickly learning what was a luxury and what was essential as they ate, slept and did their laundry along the way. They all carried mp3 players with them with Anthony and Hannah listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival, “good old American music,” and Aileen listening to country. “I never actually listened to country music until this trip,” said Aileen. “It’s funny, your riding through and a lot of the lyrics are so relevant to what you are seeing”
One of the most interesting things they learned about the trip was how different the people were. “What was great about this ride is it took us through middle and rural America, towns that you would never get to see unless you were walking through it,” said Anthony. Some of these towns we were biking through had maybe fifty people, it’s a totally different culture out there. Everything is slower, people are a lot more friendly.
All the cities and towns we went through, people were stoping and taking the time to get to know us. And once they got to know us, they would take us in. It was surprising how many people offered to help us out, help us find a place to stay. We had people who payed our bill when we were eating just because they heard that we were doing this bicycle trip for charity.” “Every state, people would go out of their way to do something nice for us.”
Raising well over $14,000 ($14,480 as of this writing) exceeding their goal of $12,000, they decided on the Kevin Armstrong MD Memorial Sports Foundation benefiting students in the Santa Ana Unified School District. “it seemed to parallel our story so perfectly, and we wanted to help out our community,” said Aileen. “It worked so perfectly.”
Anthony came up with the name Healthnuts & Handlebars because they are all health nuts. Aileen Bui will leave Orange County soon to attend medical school at Brown University, Anthony Bui will be leaving shortly after that to attend medical school at the University of Wisconsin while Hannah Pham will be preparing to attend pharmacy school.