MSU student, 2 others bike across US for Haiti

The Associated Press
Posted April 24, 2011, at 9:30 p.m.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University student Kyle Martin is continuing his long connection to Haiti with a cross-country bicycle trip to raise money for the Caribbean nation as it recovers from a devastating earthquake.

The medical and public health student first visited Haiti at age 12 and has worked in health clinics there, the East Lansing university said.

Martin and two companions started a bike trip April 3 on the Pacific shore in Los Angeles and say they plan to complete the 3,000-mile trip May 10 on the Atlantic in Charleston, S.C. They were in Colorado on Sunday after clearing the 10,200 foot Lizard Head Pass through the Rockies, according to their online journal.

“They have named their trip ‘Bisiklet Haiti,’ a mix of Haitian Creole and English that means ‘Bike Haiti,” Michigan State spokesman Jason Cody said.

The goal is to raise $50,000 for the Cloud Forest Medical Clinic in Seguin, Haiti, Martin said. He helped start the clinic, which opened in June 2010.

The other participants are Arkansas doctor Clayton Bell, a member of the staff at the clinic, and University of Michigan medical student Jeffrey Crawford.

“The three of us are very devoted to the people of Haiti,” Martin said. “This is our way of ensuring that the clinic stays open for years to come.”

Since the clinic opened, it has seen at least 7,500 patients with conditions ranging from headaches to gunshot wounds, Michigan State said. Aside from Martin and Bell, the clinic has 19 Haitian employees.

“Our Haitian staff is amazing,” Martin said. “The hope is that we can pass the reins to them in July 2011.”

The bikers have a lot of experience with endurance sports. Martin is a distance runner, Crawford is a tri-athlete, and Bell is a mountain-biker.

Martin, who also received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State, is displaying his school colors on the ride with a team jersey.

“I’m proud of being a Spartan,” he said. “I want to show how MSU students are changing the world.”

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Online:

Trip log: http://www.bisiklethaiti.com

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/04/24/sports/msu-student-2-others-bike-across-us-for-haiti/ printed on September 21, 2014