Austin’s Coast to Coasters to ride nearly 3,500 miles from Oregon to Massachusetts

(Left to right) Dr. Dick Schindler; Julie Thomsen (support driver); Jerry Ulwelling; Roe Erlandson; Terry Fox; and Dave Thomsen prepare to depart July 29 from The Hormel Institute. Austin Daily Herald photo

Five men – four from Austin and a former long-time Austin resident – plan to bicycle nearly 3,500 miles from Oregon to Massachusetts in one month.

            After departing by vehicle July 29th from The Hormel Institute, the group – ranging in age from 64 to 71 – started pedaling Aug. 1 from the Pacific Coast of Oregon, with a goal to reach the Atlantic Coast of Massachusetts by Sept. 1. The Coast to Coasters group consists of Dr. Dick Schindler, Dave Thomsen, Jerry Ulwelling, and Terry Fox – all of Austin – along with Roe Erlandson, a former long-time Austin resident now living in Madison, Wis. Thomsen’s wife, Julie, who helped plan the trip’s route and logistics, is their support driver throughout the trek.

The Coast to Coasters are riding in memory of their friend Dan Ulwelling, the long-time owner of Austin’s Rydjor Bike Shop who passed away from cancer five years ago. Along their trip, they are raising money and awareness for the world-renowned cancer research of The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota-Mayo Clinic. Dan Ulwelling’s name is among those on The Hormel Institute’s Cancer Memorial Wall.

            As with any donation to The Hormel Institute, 100 percent of the money raised during the ride will go directly to cancer research.  People who want to donate in support of the Coast-to-Coasters can send a check to: The Hormel Institute, 801 16th Ave. N.E., Austin, MN, 55912. They should make a note that it is for the “Coast to Coasters” initiative.

            People can follow the Coast to Coasters’ daily journey through their online blog at:

The Hormel Institute specializes in researching nontoxic, natural compounds that can be used to prevent or control cancer. It comprises a group of highly successful medical scientists who have focused their efforts on determining the basic molecular mechanisms of cancer development to create new anti-cancer agents.