Talk about a life-changing experience…
Greg Taylor was an Account Manager with a staffing firm in Jacksonville, and helped in identifying great talent for various positions at Trailer Bridge. When he decided he wanted to do something radical in his life that would push him beyond his own limits, we wanted to learn more.
On February 20th, Greg Taylor departed Jacksonville to conquer the United States in a way that few have—on a cycling challenge of approximately 11,500 miles around the entire country that will take about six months to complete.
Why did he decide to take on such a Herculean task? Well, he’s hoping to raise $100,000 for Jacksonville-based nonprofit Chemo Noir.
Chemo Noir is a charity dedicated to providing financial support for individuals battling cancer and the family and friends that are supporting them through it. They do this by hosting and inspiring events that encourage people to donate to this worthy cause.
Previously an Account Manager for SNI Technologies, Greg helped provide talent for various positions across the organization. When Trailer Bridge introduced our internal Talent Acquisition team, Greg worked directly with our team on candidate submissions, feedback, and coordinating interviews.
In short, he helped us find and bring on board some of the exceptional people we have here who make it happen!
Our entire team here at Trailer Bridge is cheering Greg on. We are proud to have contributed to his journey and grateful he had time to speak to our employees in one of our regular Town Hall Meetings before he left Jacksonville. This kind of company sponsorship from TB Gives, our community support committee, covers the everyday costs of the trip allowing all other proceeds raised to go directly to the charity.
Combining fitness and passion with doing great things for great people
Greg’s USA Cancer Cycle will see him traverse the country twice as he bikes from Jacksonville, FL to San Diego, San Diego to Seattle, Seattle to Maine, and from Maine back to his home in Jacksonville.
Friends, family and fans, alongside Chemo Noir’s founder and chairman Katrin Casey, were there at Crucible Crossfit in San Marco. They cheered him off on his tremendous journey and even peddled the first few miles with him.
Greg explains that the vast majority of his adventure will be solo. However, his father has chosen to accompany him by truck on the road from Jacksonville to Austin to make sure he gets off to a good start. Beyond that, supporters may also choose to jump in and cycle along for a couple of miles where they can.
The USA Cancer Cycle website and various social pages have prompted a great deal of support for the project, with people living along the route reaching out to offer Greg food and a place to stay. However, he is fully prepared for camping out most of the time.
‘I like both rural and urban camping. In the moment, find a safe spot and have a nap—park benches, a gorgeous park where you can have a nap. You’ve got to use those moments and take a rest when you can. If I meet cool people with a big yard, I may sleep there, too.’
He does, however, admit that he will likely throw in a few hotel stays, hoping that the promise of a hot shower and a proper bed will help keep him on track.
‘Some things you just have to learn in the moment – however prepared you think you are.’
A CrossFit Athlete but self-proclaimed rookie cyclist, Greg has just seven months of bike training under his belt. Despite this, he is looking to cover 85 miles a day on the flat. He says he’s unlikely to be able to keep up such a pace up on the mountains, especially given that he will be toting around 80lbs of gear with him.
‘Anything you can imagine, I have it in my pack,’ Greg jokes, ‘A tent, sleeping bag and pad, day-to-day riding clothes, toiletries, water is a big one, bike maintenance, chain locks and tools, a couple of spare tires, chain links, food, and everything in between.’
When asked about the weirdest thing he’s taking with him, Greg responds, ‘Chamois cream for saddle sores. We’re going to try to avoid that at all costs.’ That doesn’t sound all that weird to us… especially given that he will be cycling 13 days at a time with just a single day off to rest in between.
One thing that is impacting Greg’s mindset, though, is the weather. That’s really no surprise given how recent frigid temperatures have turned some of the earliest states on his route to freezing iceboxes.
Yet, he’s most concerned about his conditions in the Pacific Northwest, ‘in the mountains things get extremely weird… There will be crazy weather days to account for.’ For this reason, he’s chosen to send some more heavy-duty equipment on ahead, which he will be picking up in California.
Shining some brightness on the Transportation Hub that is the City of Jacksonville
Greg is hoping that taking on this endurance challenge will inspire others to not only give what they can to Chemo Noir but to more generally ‘get back to simple acts of kindness, respect, tolerance, and a little American spirit.’
He talks about his personal mission, ‘I want to help as many people in my short lifetime as I can and pass on only the best that I have been given to those who follow behind me.’
Greg’s commitment to helping people is something Trailer Bridge relates to in a big way. His strength, determination, and desire to complete this grueling feat are truly inspiring. That’s why we have chosen to support him, and we hope others will too.
Before he left, Greg wrote a note to our employees:
“To the Trailer Bridge team, I want you all to know that it is these moments that make something like this possible. In the lowest of lows (and don’t confuse it, there will be hard times during this trip!) it is due to the people involved that I will continue to push beyond my own limits and give back, for the people that can’t give for themselves.
It’s because of your own commitment to greatness that I am inspired and able to make something like this happen.
Just know I recognize not only your generosity but your embodiment of the ideals that I’m riding for in the first place. A community is only strong when we bring people from all domains together to achieve things we can’t achieve alone.”
Here’s how you can help:
Check out the route, track his daily distance, and make a one-time donation over at the website https://www.usacancercycle.com/.
If you donate for a day, you will get a special shout-out on your day ($100 donation, up to five per day).
100% of the money donated goes directly to Chemo Noir.