Biking across Iceland to raise money for cancer research

George Mauer lost his friend Carolyn Held to cancer in 2012. She was a long-distance bicyclist, so George was inspired to take four weeks to bike more than 800 miles across Iceland to raise money for cancer research.

- George Mauer is back home from his incredible trip to Iceland, but sometimes he still wakes up thinking he can hear the sheep outside his tent.

George lost his friend Carolyn Held to cancer in 2012. She was a long-distance bicyclist, so George was inspired to take four weeks to bike more than 800 miles across Iceland to raise money for cancer research.

George couldn’t believe the splendor of Iceland. He brought his camera along to capture the endless waterfalls, geysers, and breathtaking natural beauty, but says that it was the people he met along his journey who meant the most to him -- like a 68-year-old woman from Switzerland with emphysema who was biking around the world.

Everyone shared their stories of what brought them to Iceland, and their love of cycling.

“It was the impromptu conversations with Europeans and other people who were bicycling and telling their stories; not only why they were there, but why bicycling and why long distance riding is a way of life.”

It was a beautiful way -- and a beautiful place -- to honor his friend. And George advises every one of us to “go out and get on a bike and see what life is like at 12 or 15 miles an hour, instead of 60.”

It’s a good reminder to slow down and appreciate the people and the wonders around us where ever in the world we are.

You can still donate to help George reach his goal of raising $20,000 by visiting https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/carolynheld


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