Trike pilot Dan Zimmerman is a man on a mission! He has been asking for support for his cause, and Trike Asylum is happy to spread the word. If you take a while to read his website, you will be duly impressed with what he has accomplished in 2014, and if you feel so inclined, you can donate to support his continued efforts in 2015 and beyond to help spread the word for stroke victims (Focus on your Ability, not Disability). The human powered trike has made a huge difference for Dan, evidenced by the fact that he has thus far ridden one more than 5,000 miles across the United States, and continues to visit cities on his Catrike 700 to help all the people he can.
Accomplishing a challenging overland trike journey brings a wonderful feeling! Dan and his amazing lady friend Catherine (Cat) both love how it helps them move far beyond their formerly debilitating brain maladies. Dan rode 7,746 miles 2014. Cat rode 6,483 miles 2014. The two of them ride the ultra comfortable and fast Catrike 700 recumbent.
I am writing to introduce myself. I am Dan Zimmerman, and I suffered a major stroke at age 41, nine years ago. The doctors told me I would never walk or talk again, but I have proven them wrong, thanks in large part to cycling. To show there is hope for stroke survivors,
Catherine Brubaker “Cat” is the survivor of 2 brain injuries. She survived a criminal assault, and learned how to walk and talk 2 times after her injuries. To learn more about Catherine’s story www.hopefortrauma.org
Catherine has joined Spokes Fighting Strokes as a board member and brings to the organization her education, (masters Degree in organizational leadership), and skills sets with marketing and networking which she will apply to grow SFS.
Catherine has followed her own calling and found her voice by starting her own foundation “Hope For Trauma“. Both foundations focus on recumbent cycling and recovery.
Cat and Dan have found that by working together and sharing their stories together, they have a greater impact and can be more effective. Both attribute recumbent cycling to being KEY on their road recovery.
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Dan Zimmerman, a regular Trike Asylum reader, has pedaled his Catrike 700 recumbent tricycle across the United States of America as part of his Spokes Fighting Strokes campaign to bring awareness of focusing on one’s ability, not one’s disability! Dan left June 29, 2014, from Anacortes, Washington and pedaled his 700 all the way to Key West, in Florida. You can read about his ride on the Crazy Guy on a Bike journal page HERE!
Dan says: “This 2014 trip demonstrated that suffering a stroke does not have to mean the end of a person’s ability to enjoy an active lifestyle. We named this trip the ‘Road to Margaritaville Ride’. The other goal of this trip was to raise money for stroke research by having people donate either directly or via a pledge of so much money per mile ridden. For more details on how to support this ongoing effort, please visit the website. We are also interested in corporate sponsors (or individuals) who are willing to help support this effort through donations to fund raising awareness.”
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS OF DAN ZIMMERMAN and CATHERINE BRUBAKER
Further information about Dan:
Dan Zimmerman was born in 1964 in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, the second of three boys in his family. His parents divorced, and Dan lived with his father in Minnesota for eight years before returning at age 10 to live with his mother in Wisconsin.
Dan’s industrial arts teacher in high school sparked his interest in woodworking. By the time he was 16, Dan had saved enough money from odd jobs to buy a table saw, band saw and joiner and set up his own wood shop in the family basement. He soon had a booming business making miniature furniture for customers of a dollhouse shop his mother had started.
Tragedy struck the family when Dan’s older brother, Kevin, died at age 19. Tests later revealed that both Kevin and Dan had HHT (Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia ), a disease in which the lungs fail to filter clots efficiently.
Dan had the first of periodic surgeries to treat his HHT and graduated from Sussex Hamilton High School in 1982. He got a job in a cabinet shop and continued his woodworking business on the side, paying his own way through Milwaukee Area Technical College. He graduated in 1983.
During a vacation to Arizona, Dan’s stepfather accepted a job at a Pontiac dealership, and the family moved to metro Phoenix in 1984. Dan worked briefly for a furniture maker, then used his woodworking equipment to start his own cabinet and furniture-making business in 1985. Woodworks by Dan eventually grew to more than a dozen employees and more than $540,000 in annual sales.
As he worked 80- to 100-hour weeks, Dan also married and had two sons of his own — Josh, born in 1997, and Zach, born in 2001. But his marriage soured, and he moved into his shop while divorce and custody proceedings dragged on.
In 2005, at age 41, Dan suffered a stroke that paralyzed his right arm and leg and damaged the left side of his brain. A hospital doctor told him that he would never walk or talk again.
Angry, Dan knew he had to give up or fight. His early life with his father, a railroad conductor who worked all hours and drank more than he parented, had left Dan determined to work hard and do better. Dan knew his sons needed a father, and he decided to shut down his woodworking business and concentrate on recovery.
It took eight weeks before he could hobble with a walker. For six months he visited job sites in a wheelchair, pointing to communicate as the company wrapped up projects. It took a year before he could talk, and three years before he could read and remember. He married — once for love, once for health insurance — and divorced two more times. He now lives in Scottsdale, and his main source of income is rent from his woodworking building.
By 2008, Dan wanted more mobility than his wheelchair afforded. His first tricycles were too heavy but offered him the “freedom, plain and simple,” that he craves. He bought a lightweight recumbent trike in 2009 and began riding with the ‘Bent Riders of Arizona on weekly rides and weekend tours. He logs 500 to 700 miles a month and in 2012 rode more than 350 miles from Phoenix to San Diego in eight days.
Cycling, Dan says, has improved his health and more importantly, given him a purpose in life. He wants to raise awareness of HHT, the disease that killed his brother and mother and is present in Dan and his younger son. He also wants to raise awareness of stroke prevention and inspire other stroke survivors to fight back against the disease.
See more photos of Dan’s rides on his website HERE.
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DAN’S 2015 (and beyond) INFORMATION:
Raising awareness for Strokes, HHT & Brain Injury.
Raising funds for trip, speaking engagements,
Sadly We can’t do it alone.
Please help if you can.
This summer, the plan is to travel to various states Dan’s Chevy truck pulling 30 RV trailer and recumbent trikes to speak at various pre-arranged facilities in order to raise awareness of HHT, strokes, and brain injuries. The logistics are still in the planning stages and partnerships are still being formed in various states.
We feel so happy to have a sense of purpose. Now it’s time to think about helping others.
We are in late planning stages of this event and relying on support from you to help us achieve our mutual goals. Dan estimates the cost is just over $7300. Dan has asked family and friends if he could park the RV in their driveway to save $$.
Dan’s doctor, Matthew Hummel $1000
Health South $1500
Knight & Day Cleaner $500
Unique Cabinetry LLC $500
which is a great start! Please help!
On our last years ride across America, 5390 miles, we learned a lot about logistics of planning, handling media, managing social media and triking for awareness. People flocked to us on these trikes. They are curious about the trikes, they are curious about our stories. Our stories are powerful. We all know facts tell, stories sell.
We are sharing our personal experiences with the Hope of making the world a better place for tomorrow. Please support us today by donating on www.spokesfightingstrokes.org. We are a 501(c) (3)tax exempt organization. Donations may be tax deductible, please see your accountant for details.
“Rails to Trails Tour” RTT
Calling all trike & bike riders ride with Cat and Dan
Rail trail is Not loop, so double miles.
1. June 11 leave Gilbert AZ
2. June 11 Albuquerque NM
3. June 12-17 Marty Tod
The Platte River Trail 28 miles
The Little Dry Creek Trail 10 miles
The Cherry Creek Trail. 40 miles
The High Line Canal Trail. 71 miles
The C-470 East Trail 15.7 miles
Ralston Creek Trail 13.7 miles
4. June 18 NE
The Cottonmill to Fort Kearny Trail 17 miles
5. June 19 – 27 Gene Z
The Homestead Trail 40 miles
Omaha’s Big Papio Trail 10
The Keystone Trail 15 miles
The MoPac Trail 21.7 miles
Nebraska’s Oak Creek Trail 13 miles
6. June 27- July 1 Sueixefalls SD
Donna & Harlem
The Sioux Falls Bike Trails 30 miles
7. July 2-7 John & Katie Z
Bloomigton MN 55437
Dakota Rail Regional Trail 25.5 miles
The Luce Line State Trail 76.6 miles
The West River Parkway Trail 8.9 miles
8. July 7-12 Jim & Lisa
North Branch MN 55056
The Soo Line Recreational Trail 10.5 on Hwy 10 go Shirley
The Gateway State Trail 18.3 miles
9. July 12-24 Shirley Z
Motley MN 56466
The Central Lakes State Trail 55 miles
Paul Bunyan State Trail, 121 miles
4 days riding 3 motel
The Heartland State Trail 49 miles
The Lake Wobegon Trail.” 62 miles
10. July 25 Hinckley – Duluth
The Willard Munger State Trail 63 miles
11. July 26- Aug 1 Northwoods
12. Aug 2-8 Donna & Marshall
Rapid River MI 49878
The Iron Ore Heritage Trail 47 miles
13. Aug 9
Little Traverse Wheelway 26.7 miles
14. Aug 10 Frankfort MI
Betsie Valley Trail 22.1 miles
15. Aug 11 Bay City MI
The Bay County Riverwalk/Railtrail 17.5 miles
16. Aug 12-13 Joe & Cheryl
Linden MI 48451
17. Aug 13-16 Decpina NC “Night of Hope”
Jody said drive down NC
18. Aug 17- 24 Rosalyn
North Branch, Mi 48461
The Falling Waters Trail 10.4 miles
The Flint River Trail 17 miles
The Fred Meijer Clinton-Ionia-Shiawassee (CIS) Rail Trail 41.4 miles
Fred Meijer Heartland Trail 41 mile Alma
The I-275 Metro Trail 33.2 miles
19. Aug 24-31 Jody Nissin Canton. 48187
The Border-to-Border Trail 19.7 miles Ann Arbor
The Battle Creek Linear Park Trail 30 miles
The Baw Beese Trail, 8.5 miles
On way John G The Baw Beese Trail, 8.2 miles
Rouge River Gateway Greenway 20.1 miles
20. Sept 1-7 John Gress
The Cardinal Greenway 62 miles
The Erie Lackawanna. 17.7 miles
21. Sept 8-10 Milwaukee WI
The Ozaukee Interurban Trail 31.1
Bugline Trail Menomonee Falls,
The Eisenbahn State Trail 25 miles
The Hank Aaron State Trail 14 miles
The Lake Country Recreation Trail 15.2 miles
Oak Leaf Trail MUST SEE 116.7 miles
22. Sept 11-19 Tom Wissing
Fox Lake, Wi 53933
Glacial Drumlin State Trail 51.3 miles
The Ahnapee State Trail 44 mile By finger
The Mountain-Bay State Trail 83 miles
5. Sept 19 – 24 Gene Z
3. Sept 25 Denver
2. Sept 26-28 Albuquerque
Albuquerque Trail 16. Miles
1. Sept 29 drive home
Gilbert AZ 85298
Dan Zimmerman “DanTrikeMan”
Catherine Brubaker “Cat”
Spokes Fighting Strokes Inc. Is a 501(c)(3
Attitude is 90% of life, think positive! “Fins Up”