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California man bikes to North Dakota for birthday party

July 18, 2021 GMT

TOWNER, N.D. (AP) — A California man rode his bike to North Dakota to celebrate his mother-in-law’s 90th birthday.

Brian Gonsalves, who lives in the San Diego area, isn’t new to long-distance bike rides. The X-ray technician rode to Georgia in 2018, a trip totalling 2,709 miles. As a survivor of a 2016 bicycle accident, he used that journey to celebrate his 50th birthday and raise money for Scripps trauma services.

“I had a laparotomy, resection of my pancreas, and splenectomy that night,” Gonsalves said of the crash. “Two years later, my employer gave me time off to ride across America. I hope to encourage people to do what they love.”

With his wife, Dorreen Drader-Gonsalves, providing his mobile support, he started the 2,143-mile trip from California on June 18 and made it to the International Peace Garden on July 11. From there, they drove the 65 miles to Towner for Beverly Lynch’s birthday party, the Minot Daily News reported.

“It’s a beautiful country to ride across,” Gonsalves said. He said the minute he entered North Dakota the roads became “smooth as glass,” unlike some other areas.