Man with Bike at Ocean
Pete Lietz Kicks off his cross-country bike ride in FloridaImage by: Pete Lietz
Man with Bike at Ocean
Pete at Monument Valley in Utah
Pete at Yellowstone National Park
Pete at Independence Pass in Colorado
29 June 2022

Riding Across America for Movember

4 minutes read time

My name is Pete Lietz, I am a 56-year-old Kiwi-American. Born and raised in New Zealand, and now living across America.

My adventure, InPursuit2022, a 6,000-mile solo endurance bicycle ride and Movember fundraiser began as an ambitious dream that grew into a reality after the COVID lockdowns.

Locked down in New York and thinking of the day the world would reopen, I started planning an epic adventure/journey that would truly test my body and mind. I'm pretty fit, and I have been into fitness my whole life. The mental toughness? Well, that's a whole other ballgame. The psychological test of endurance cycling is the piece of the challenge that intrigues me the most. How far can a 56-year-old man push the body and mind?

With this at the forefront I designed a route that combined a list of all the scenic places I wanted to ride past, around, over or through - the blue tropical waters of the Florida Keys, the hill counties of Texas, the deserts and towering sandstone buttes of Monument Valley in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, the classic climbs of the Rockies around Colorado, the stunning natural beauty and the beasts of Yellowstone National Park and ideally Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. Inpursuit2022 was born: A ride from the southeastern most point to the northwestern most point - Key West, Florida to Cape Flattery, Washington with 6,000 miles in between.

I really wanted the adventure to inspire and help others, so it seemed like an excellent platform to raise awareness and money for a subject that is dear to my heart: men's health and specifically men's mental health. There is only one organization that I wanted to partnerwith: the world's leading advocacy group for men’s health - Movember.

Why is men's health and mental health important to me? Perhaps this is a little generalized but certainly true for many: During my parents’ generation men didn't talk about their physical and mental health, it wasn't "manly" to do so. As a man you certainly couldn't have a conversation with someone about how you felt or display emotions, are you crazy? It was this notion that men saw themselves as being physically and emotionally invincible, and yet weren't.

I like to identify as Generation X, but will admit I'm on the cusp, I'm sure my sons call me boomer. I'd like to think my own generation has improved the situation somewhat and think we are a lot better at addressing our health concerns. We can also talk about how we feel and our emotions, we focus on fitness and diet, but I think the next generation is the one that we should be fighting for, to instill in them the importance of men's health, having regular checkups, understanding their bodies, and most importantly knowing that it is alright to talk about how and what they feel and display emotion and be open and honest about these issues.

I'm so grateful that Movember has come along during my sons' generation to advocate for, empower and support men around health and mental health. It's such an iconic brand and influence on this current generation of young men. As a father of two boys of this next generation (Men! They're now 25 & 27), I've always tried to instill in them that they can talk to me about anything, and I think they always have and will always continue to do so. I'm also fortunate to have some really close male buddies & we have very open and honest conversations, which I really appreciate.

But I know there are a lot of people out there who don't have the same friends and family networks. This is where Movember does an amazing job in helping and supporting these people, providing help and advocating for men’s health and men's mental health, particularly around suicide prevention and so many other important areas.

I am so happy and excited to be supporting Movember. If you are interested in my journey follow me on Instagram @inpursuit2022 or check out my Mo Space. And remember - Talking Saves Lives!

Update 7/6/2022: Pete has now made it all the way to Montana to start the final few weeks of his journey! Check out some of the new photos above.