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Bicyclist Will Conclude 9,000 Mile Lap Around the U.S. on Sunday in New York City
Date:9/26/2007

Australian Geoff Thomas Didn't Just Ride Across the United States - He Rode

AROUND IT, Visiting Every Corner to Create Awareness for Lupus

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Australian Geoff Thomas will conclude his five-month bicycle "lap around the United States" on Sunday, September 30, in New York City's Madison Square Park at 1:00 p.m. Geoff has made headlines throughout the U.S. in what he says is the first trip of its kind to raise awareness for lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects him and more than five million other individuals worldwide.

Despite having lupus -- a disease which causes the immune system to go awry and attack the body's own cells and tissue -- Geoff has spent the past five months pedaling 9,000 miles over mountains, through valleys, across deserts, and along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines.

Geoff began his journey in New York City in April and has ridden his bicycle through 28 states. He established a Website, http://www.bikeusa2007.com, so his friends and family back home in Australia could track his progress. His Website includes photos of his journey and a journal to chronicle his adventure while in the U.S. Eventually he hopes to write a book about his travels through America.

This ride is meaningful to Geoff because in 2003 he was diagnosed with a form of lupus that affects his skin. Lupus is not as common among men - only about ten percent of people with lupus are males. Geoff wanted to raise awareness of lupus because it is a relatively unknown condition and is responsible for thousands of deaths annually.

This is not Geoff's first major cross-country bike ride. In 2003, Geoff rode 3,100 miles across Australia from coast to coast. His passion for travel has also taken him to Russia, Japan, Canada, the South Pacific, Great Britain and Europe, with extensive visits to the U.S. He has always wanted to bike across America and now is nearing the realization of that goal.


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SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America
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