This month, Goleta native Michael Bowen, 27, will be one of 13 Ohio State University medical students to ride a bicycle across the U.S. to raise money for global health issues.
Bowen and the other cyclers of the Ride for World Health organization began their journey last Friday in San Diego, taking a 3,700-mile journey ending May 11 in Washington, D.C., with a pit stop in Columbus on May 1 for graduation.
The trip begins just a few hours south of Goleta, where Bowen grew up. Bowen attended Kellogg Elementary, Goleta Valley Junior High School and graduated from Dos Pueblos High School. He received his degree in anthropology from Harvard College and is now a fourth-year medical student at Ohio State University, pursuing psychiatry residency.
There is no better place to start this cross-country journey for Bowen than from home.
“My hometown gives a special feeling whenever I arrive there,” Bown said, “It is where I grew from a child to an adult. It will always be home for me. [It is where] I learned the importance of family, friends, and spending time in the outdoors. Living between the ocean and the mountains, I found an appreciation for the wonder that can be found in nature.”
After knowing several friends to have gone on the past two R4WH trips, Bowen knew this was an adventure he wanted to experience.
“There are not many opportunities to trek from coast-to-coast raising awareness for a worthwhile cause, and I see it as the perfect capstone to my medical school experience,” Bowen said.
This year, Bowen is the 2014 R4WH recruitment chair, and hopes to fundraise at least $1,700 for global health issues. Not only is Bowen riding for the beautiful experience of traveling on a bicycle across the United States, but also for all those whose lives will be changed because of the money the riders have raised.
“I ride in hopes of raising awareness for global health disparities, so that others may be inspired to improve the world in which we live,” Bowen said.