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Wendy Reuer, Published July 23 2013

70-year-old on a 4,285-mile cross-country bicycle trek

FARGO – At age 53, Mike Farmer climbed Mount Rainier, a 14,410-foot-high peak in Washington state.

He followed that with learning to be an accomplished cyclist, trekking across countries such as Vietnam, Burma, New Zealand and the U.S.

To celebrate his 70th year, Farmer decided to again bike across the U.S.

The North Carolina native started his 4,285-mile journey in May at Bar Harbor, Maine.

His mission, besides celebrating his 70th, is to raise money for three of his favorite charities: Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s Vet Dogs; Kenmure Fights Cancer, a hospital cancer fund at the Farmer’s local hospital in Flat Rock, N.C.; and the St. Gerard House, a facility for families of autistic children.

Followed by his wife, Georgie – who drives a small RV accompanied by the couple’s guide-dog in training, 6-month-old Quincy – Farmer rides about 65 miles per day, every day except Sunday.

Farmer pedaled his way into Fargo Tuesday afternoon after a roughly 55-mile ride from Callaway, Minn.

Georgie Farmer said she and her husband, a former CFO, spend many hours of their retirement volunteering for local charities in North Carolina. The summer trip is just another way he gives back, she said.

Farmer, who pulled into the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor’s Bureau on Tuesday, enjoyed a windless, 70-degree trek, one of the nicest he’s seen after 64 days of riding.

He’s encountered strong winds, high heat and rain.

“If things aren’t complicated, it’s probably not an adventure,” Farmer said.

This is his first time in North Dakota. He said the rolling clouds over a crop landscape was one of his favorite backdrops.

Farmer generally rides alone, but welcomes any cyclist who wants to join him for a spin as he continues his trek.

Farmer said entering his 70th year wasn’t going to slow him down and it shouldn’t stop anyone else.

“Quit telling me you wish you could do that and go do it,” Farmer said. “All I did was open up my comfort zone and go for it.”

The Farmers update Mike’s blog throughout the trip at www.iBike4Them.org.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Farmer can do so through his website.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530