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August 30, 2016

Fauquier bicyclist crossing U.S. for cancer research

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New Baltimore resident Harry Zullo will leave for Santa Monica, Calif., the day after his 60th birthday.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do — bike across the country,” says Mr. Zullo, a part-time consultant for BAE Systems. “I’ve always been a long-distance touring bicyclist.”
A bicyclist from New Baltimore will leave next month on a ride across the country to raise money for cancer research.

Harry Zullo, 59, will pedal approximately 3,200 miles from his Fauquier home to Santa Monica, Calif.

Mr. Zullo will begin his solo ride on Sept. 10, a day after his 60th birthday.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do — bike across the country,” said Mr. Zullo, a part-time consultant for BAE Systems. “I’ve always been a long-distance touring bicyclist.”

He hopes to raise $10,000 for the American Institute for Cancer Research through his ride, in memory of family members and friends who have been affected by the disease.

Mr. Zullo’s parents both died of cancer, and his sister survived breast cancer.

“I wanted to do something worthwhile this trip,” he said.

So far he has raised more than $5,000 for the charity.

An experienced cyclist, Mr. Zullo has biked across Jordan, Germany and Austria.

In 2010, he rode about 1,600 miles from Warrenton to Key West, Fla.

“On my trip to Florida, I averaged 75 miles a day,” Mr. Zullo said. “I would like to do that on this trip, but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to. This is a much more challenging trip across several mountain ranges.

“You never know what can happen — weather, wind, terrain and mechanical issues.”

Following maps from the Adventure Cycling Association, Mr. Zullo will ride mostly on back roads from Warrenton to Palmyra where he will hop on the TransAmerica Trail to Missouri.

From there he will ride on historic U.S. Route 66, bike paths and other back roads to Santa Monica.

“I’m supporting myself,” Mr. Zullo said. “I have panniers, carrying all the stuff I need on my bike.”

He plans to sleep at cheap hotels, hostels, churches, fire departments or other cyclists’ homes along the way.

“I hope to do it as cheaply as possible because that’s out of my pocket,” he said.

He typically rides 30 to 50 miles per trip on weekends.

“Honestly I don’t train much,” he said. “I’ve always biked all the time. I pride myself on staying fit. I’m in the gym most days. I might pick up my miles of biking before my trip.”

In preparation for the trip, he updated his trusty Trek 7700 hybrid he purchased 11 years ago.

“I took it down to The Bike Stop and they added some new parts and tuned it up for me,” he said.

Mr. Zullo will maintain a blog about his trip.

— Cassandra Brown, staff journalist
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