On June 5, 2010 Steven Perezluha, a 18-year old from Longwood, FL set out to raise money for endangered animals of the world particularly wild cats such as the Florida Panther by cycling from Florida to Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California and back to Florida.
Not on a motorcycle, but
amazingly on a bicycle. Steven is currently in California – you can track him
On the first day of his trip from Longwood, FL to Savannah, GA, Steven rode an incredible 300 miles. After riding 200 miles on the second day he was hit by an SUV traveling approximately 55 mph. The SUV driver was apparently texting on her cell phone which explains how the accident happened when no other vehicles were nearby.
An ambulance arrived to take a bleeding Steven, his cracked helmet, and a totaled bicycle to the ER where he was inspected for broken bones and internal injuries. Battered but without serious injury, he was released and a few days later he was cleared to ride again.
His bike was not so fortunate. After inspection by three shops
in Pittsburgh, the bike was deemed destroyed. However, Steven’s body, heart and
passion were in tact and he was determined to press on to help the Big Cat Rescue!
Ken LaRoe, First GREEN Bank’s CEO and also an avid bicyclist had been following Steven’s progress on the satellite tracker on Steven’s website stevenperezluha.com.
After hearing about Steven’s misfortune, Ken and First GREEN Bank decided to help. Ken contacted his friends Eric Poetz and his wife, owners of Chicago bike shop Smart Bike Parts. Eric contacted Jamis Bicycles and they all agreed to pay 1/3 of the cost of a new bicycle for Steven.
Steven refused to ride in a vehicle to pick up the new bike in Chicago so he borrowed an old bike from his Pittsburgh uncle Danny and on June 20th they set out together riding 200 miles a day to Chicago, each towing a trailer with their camping equipment, bike supplies and journals to record the trip.
When Steven and Danny arrived at Smart Bike Parts, a sweet new Jamis Bicycle assembled by Eric and his wife was waiting for Steven.
Steven’s mom, Carol said “ They could not have continued this wonderful adventure to help the Florida Panther, without the generous support of Ken LaRoe and First Green Bank, Jamis Bicycles, and Smart Bike Parts. Steven was also provided with a new racing uniform from fellow bike racers from Orlando Road Club. Steven had been upset in the ER in the hospital when they had to cut the bloody uniform off of him.
We thank everyone who has prayed for Steven's recovery from this accident. He had taken a direct hit from the SUV in South Carolina, while riding on a country road with no traffic around in broad daylight. This was a useless accident, but thank goodness, Steven has been able to continue with true grit & determination and with the incredible support of the new bicycle from First Green Bank and Ken LaRoe!!!!!!”
Steven is a full-time student at Seminole State College and he recently updated his Facebook account with pictures. You can read more at www.stevenperezluha.com and click on the “Spot Tracker” to view his current progress.
Congratulations to Steven for having such determination! First GREEN Bank is proud to be able to help.
See more photos on our Facebook page at click for our Facebook page