A local family is gearing up for the back half of a bicycle trip across the state that is raising funds for children’s cancer research.

Members of the Helminen family of Brighton trekked out in late May on a custom-made bicycle built for three. Eva, husband Karl, and their 10-year-old son Zack packed their belongings and pet bulldog into an attached trailer and rode up the east coast of the state, ferrying to Mackinac Island and then to St. Ignace. From there they travelled to Tahquamenon Falls, across the Lake Superior coast, and up the Keweenaw Peninsula, before beginning the return trip south.

While stopped in Marquette for new tires on Wednesday, Eva told WHMI that the family has been holding up quite well and there have no big problems. She said they’ve hit a lot of rain, but that that is just part of the adventure. “The fun part is when it’s beautiful, the adventure is when it’s rainy,” she said. One of the coolest things the family said they have experienced on the ride is the generosity of so many people they’ve met. Eva said the young, the elderly, and business owners of all types have surprised them with unexpected acts of kindness along the way.

The Helminen’s are now on their way back to the Lower Peninsula where they will bike down the west coast before ending their journey in Ludington on July 4th. This 6-week activity is in support of the Children’s Cancer Research Fund on behalf of the Great Cycle Challenge, which has teams participating all across the country.

The Helminen’s have already passed their original goal of raising $10,000 and now are shooting for $12,000. The community can keep up with the family and make donations to their team’s cause through their Instagram or through the link below. (MK)