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Erie man to ride more than 700 miles around Lake Erie for charity

Erie Times-News 8/26/2019 By Sarah Grabski, Erie Times-News
a man riding a bike down a dirt road in front of a truck: Frank DiSalvo, 55, rides along East Lake Road while training in Harborcreek Township. [GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS] © GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS/Erie Times-News/TNS Frank DiSalvo, 55, rides along East Lake Road while training in Harborcreek Township. [GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS]

Frank DiSalvo stood at the edge of Lake Erie in east Erie County on a recent sunny, 75-degree day, looking across the choppy waves. One hand shaded his view and the other extended toward the horizon, pointing straight across the lake.

"My thought was that I wanted to see what was over there and I wanted to get there just using what I have," the 55-year-old said. "So I thought, 'Why not?' I've always wanted to ride around the lake."

DiSalvo, 55, of Erie, plans to leave Sunday on a 700-plus-mile solo bike ride tracing the shoreline of Lake Erie to raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children-Erie, which provides care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other special healthcare needs. He chose the charity, he said, "because children hold a special place in my heart."

a man wearing a hat and sunglasses: Cyclist Frank DiSalvo, 55, pauses near Lake Erie during a training ride in Harborcreek Township. [GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS] © GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS/Erie Times-News/TNS Cyclist Frank DiSalvo, 55, pauses near Lake Erie during a training ride in Harborcreek Township. [GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS]

He plans to kick off his long trek from Shiners Hospital, 1645 W. Eighth St., ride with a few friends to Niagara Falls, New York and cross into Canada.

"I know I'm going to stay as close to the lake as I can all the way through Ontario," he said. "I want to hit Port Dover and then up into Windsor and then cross into Detroit, go back down toward Toledo and Cleveland then home."

He plans to ride between 70 miles and 80 miles daily and hopes to make the trip in 10 days, depending on the weather. DiSalvo, a physical therapy technician at Ashley & Kuzma Physical Therapy in Erie, has been training by simply riding whenever he can.

a person riding a bicycle next to a body of water: Frank DiSalvo, 55, rides near Lake Erie at the foot of Moorheadville Road during a recent training ride in Harborcreek Township. [GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS] © GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS/Erie Times-News/TNS Frank DiSalvo, 55, rides near Lake Erie at the foot of Moorheadville Road during a recent training ride in Harborcreek Township. [GREG WOHLFORD/ERIE TIMES-NEWS]

"I try to do at least 50, 75, 100 miles at least two or three times a week," he said. "I ride to work, which is seven miles, and then leave work, ride around the peninsula, to Girard and then go home."

Another added challenge: he's carrying everything he needs on his bicycle. He'll stay at campgrounds or hotels when he can find them. Steve Krausa from Krausa Chiropractic and CJ Kelly of CJ Kelly Construction are sponsoring part of the ride.

"I won't have a support or gear vehicle or pretty much anything else except for what my bike can hold. The idea is to live in such a way that I won't need a whole lot except for what's in these two bags right here," DiSalvo said, pointing to two small black bags hanging off the side of his road bike.

"I'm excited. I'm nervous and a little scared, all in one," DiSalvo said.

To donate or follow DiSalvo's ride, visit his Facebook page at bit.ly/bike-around-lake-erie-2019.

Sarah Grabski can be reached at 870-1776 or by email. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ETNgrabski.

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©2019 the Erie Times-News (Erie, Pa.)

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