PIQUA — Riding the open road. People talk about it. Dream about it. A vision quest. Few actually live the dream.
Adam Sandoval, born in Green Bay, Wisc., and more recently from Ft. Meyers, Fla., is living that dream, as he, along with his best buddy, a Chihuahua named Scooter, have been riding their Harley-Davidson motorcycle across the United States for the past 19 straight months.
The trip will take him coast to coast six times. Sandoval expects that while on the trip, he will break two separate Guinness Book of World Records marks, most miles ridden in one country on a single trip. Sandoval said that the current record stands at 23,700 miles. He has already ridden more than 77,000 miles and the miles continue to accumulate.
The second record, the one most connected to Sandoval’s quest, is the world’s longest charity ride.
Sandoval, who has never served in the military, sold his home in Florida to fund the trip. He decided that since he is not a veteran, the best thing that he can do is to help veterans. “If you did not serve in our military,” said Sandoval, “find time to serve those who have.”
That has become his motto and the driving force behind his amazing trip.
Thursday afternoon brought Sandoval, Scooter, and a fellow rider who has joined them on the trip, Julia Chiroboga, to Piqua Harley-Davidson where they were greeted by staff members and a number of well-wishers who came to see the road warriors, in person, and to contribute to Sandoval’s chosen charity, The Wounded Warrior Project.
Piqua Harley-Davidson is dealership number 596 on a trip that will eventually take them to all 696 H-D dealerships in the continental United States.
All of the donations made at dealership meet-and-greets go to The Wounded Warrior Project. “I truly believe that the only way that we are going to help them is to create awareness with the public so that they feel they can open up and talk to us.” Sandoval is especially conscious of those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or PTSD.
“I had regrets,” said Sandoval about his past choice to not join the military. “And I wanted to find a way to service that regret. So that is how the military charity came in. I said, ‘You know what? I am going to go and do something for my country.’”
Life on the road is not an easy one. “I tent camp alot,” said Sandoval, “I sleep behind gas stations, between buildings, farmer’s fields, ditches, wherever I can find to sleep.”
The Piqua Comfort Inn gave Sandoval a room for the night on Wednesday, allowing the rare luxury of a shower and a dip in the pool.
Chiriboga has ridden several portions of the ride with Sandoval joined up with him again in Arkansas several months ago and has become the publicity/social media representative for #ScootinAmerica, handling the website, Facebook, and Twitter as more and more fans join Sandoval and Scooter on their quest for veterans.
Following their stop in Piqua, Sandoval, Scooter, and Chiroboga were heading to Bellefontaine.
Reach Mike Ullery at (937) 451-3335.