It’s been several weeks since the “Ride of Lifetime,” but LiTRV professional motorcoach driver, Randy, is still on a high.
The “Ride of a Lifetime” (ROAL), also known as the “Bike Across America,” was coordinated by 2X bestselling author and entrepreneur, Jesse Itzler. Olympic athlete and coach Chris Hauth and entrepreneur adventurer Devon Levesque were among the 10 riders who cycled across the country to raise funds for the national nonprofit, Bikes for Kids Foundation. The adventurous journey covered 3,000 miles, from San Diego, California to Saint Augustine, Florida, with the goal of raising enough money to provide 3,000 bikes and helmets to disadvantaged kids, one bike per mile.
LiTRV was contracted to provide and manage a group of seven support vehicles including a 43-foot luxury motorcoach and trailer that was used by acclaimed Vegan Chef Leslie Durso as a rolling kitchen to provide healthy meals for the riders and crew.
Lucky for Randy, he was assigned as LiTRV’s primary professional driver. He was tasked with transporting a 43-foot luxury Class A motorcoach, the Newmar Dutch Star, roundtrip from Tampa to San Diego, picking up the ROAL crew, and then driving it to St. Augustine while the 10 athletes cycled cross-country relay-style.
Throughout the two-week journey, several crew members made the motorcoach their home. The coach had four slides creating a very open floor plan with a queen master bedroom master suite with full bathroom. There were three bunk beds mid-cabin with a second full bathroom and an extra queen bed pull-out sofa. The main cabin included a large seating area, table and chairs and expansive kitchen with microwave, cooktop, residential refrigerator and dishwasher. There was also a stackable washer and dryer, plenty of closet space and a lot of under coach storage.
The coach was also used by acclaimed Vegan Chef Leslie Durso and her team to cook and bake delicious meals and snacks for the riders and the crew.
A Dream Come True
Randy grew up in rural North Carolina, where he started driving school buses while still in high school. Later, he drove a County school bus and worked full time in ministry, where he often drove church groups, senior citizens, and youth to various events.
“I’ve been dreaming about a cross-country trip for 33 years, but life got in the way,” Randy said. “I had never been past Louisiana, and I’ve always wanted to see the West.”
When LiTRV approached Randy about the job, he immediately said, “I’m in!”
During this first part of the journey to San Diego, he was enthralled with the scenery.
“I was like a kid in a candy store, especially seeing saguaro cacti in Arizona and driving through the sandy desert of California. Even the flat parts of Texas were incredible to see. I was just in my own thoughts during that first part of the trip,” he said.
His favorite stop on the way to San Diego was Flagstaff, Arizona. “There were beautiful mountains and trees there,” he said.
He has many fond memories of the trip back east with the ROAL team.
“I feel so fortunate to have met them. They were a phenomenal group of people, and we all had great chemistry,” he said, adding that several ROAL team members affectionately called him ‘Handy Randy’ because he helped to fix things and provide additional help during the trip.
Randy and the ROAL team stayed at 14 different campgrounds.
“I loved Blythe, California. We stayed right on the Colorado River and swam in it,” he said.
Van Horn, Texas also stood out to him. “There was a river beside the campground, and the water was so clear, you could see to the bottom. It was a primitive, rural area, and I loved being in the middle of nowhere,” he said.
When the motorcoach pulled into St. Augustine and the riders completed their journey, Randy found Jesse Itzler, congratulated him, and then shared his story.
“I told him, ‘Never underestimate the ripple effects of going after your dreams. Because you went after your dream, you helped fulfill mine,’” he said.
Randy also gives credit to LiTRV co-owners Mike Bloomquist and Jim Colletti for their support throughout the journey.
“I never felt alone on the trip. They always checked on me, and I am grateful that they trusted me with such a high caliber job,” he said.