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Cousins to make 1,600-mile bike trip from Minnesota to Maine for World Bicycle Relief

<i>WCCO via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Karina Schindler (pictured here) and her cousin
WCCO via CNN Newsource
Karina Schindler (pictured here) and her cousin

By Beret Leone

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    MAPLE GROVE, Minnesota (WCCO) — Two Minnesota cousins are hitting the pedal to the metal.

Karina Schindler and Britta Swanson are training for a 1,600-mile bike ride from Minnesota to Maine.

“You know, it was going to be a boring summer anyway,” Schindler joked. “Might as well just find something to fill the days.”

The three-week trip isn’t without purpose. They’re partnering with World Bicycle Relief, a nonprofit that aims to empower and mobilize low-income regions through bikes. They hope to raise $30,000.

“Thirty-thousand seems like, that’s like, that’s a lot of money,” Swanson said. “But might as well shoot for it!”

That amount would be enough to donate 180 life-changing bicycles.

“It just impacts the entire community as well. So it’s more than just 180 people being helped, it’s 180 communities being helped all over the world,” Schindler said.

Their inspiration stems from their late grandfather and avid biker, Richard Schindler.

“He was such a cool person, and we are so excited to honor him through this as well,” Karina Schindler said.

Richard Schindler took on his own cross-country bicycle trip with a group of buddies nearly 13 years ago from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. They raised money for the Hormel Institute of Austin.

“He and his friends are definitely a huge inspiration. And because they were like, they were all in their late 60s too when they did it,” Swanson said. “And they did it from coast to coast! So it’s twice as far as what Karina and I will be doing.”

Before they hit the pavement, there are finals, and Swanson’s graduation from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

“No time like the present, I guess,” Swanson said. “You know, you can always make excuses for why things don’t work out.”

It’s a mission they are determined to make work, one mile at a time.

“Knowing that it’s not just individuals, but it’s also communities and families,” Swanson said.

“As soon as we hit the Atlantic Ocean, it’s going to be like, ‘Wow, we did something really cool,'” Karina Schindler said.

Plus, a great view and a cold beer will be waiting for them.

Swanson and Schindler are funding their own travels. They plan to donate 100% of the proceeds they raise towards World Bicycle Relief. You can follow the duo’s travels on Instagram.

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