Surrounded by a team of Fairfax County first responders and veterans, a Falls Church man is in California, preparing to tackle the ride of a lifetime.

Tuesday, Nick Clark will set out on an over 300,000 mile bike race from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland. Clark will be a solo rider in the “Race Across America.” According to the races website, it is “30% longer than the Tour de France, yet racers must complete the distance in half the time. “

Clark, a former pro cyclist who owns ProBike FC in Falls Church, is riding to memorialize his late wife Georgia Susan Clark, who passed in 2016.

“When she was around we wanted to go across America in an RV…. and I wanted to stick my bike in an RV and I was going to every couple hundred of miles…. sort of throw the bike out and go for a ride. Obviously she passed away, and I thought that a great way to sort of remember her, to sort of memorialize her, was to actually just do the ride.”  Clark explained.

Clark is also riding to honor the “benevolence of Fairfax County Police Officer Meg Hawkins.” Hawkins was one of the first people in the hospital after Clark’s wife died. Clark, who moved to the U.S. from Australia, had very few people in the U.S. when his wife passed. Hawkins said she now considers him “family.” She and her husband, a veteran and Fairfax County firefighter / paramedic are part of Clark’s “crew” as he rides across the country. Clark is also riding to honor the service of the entire Fairfax County police department.

Clark is also riding to celebrate Ella The Warrior Princess; a childhood cancer survivor who is the daughter of Fairfax County Police Officer Brooks Gillingham. Gillingham, will serve as Clark’s navigator on the ride.

Clark is riding to memorialize Fairfax County Police Sergeant Ryan Lindenbaum. Sgt. Lindenbaum passed away in 2015, following a battle with brain cancer. His father Fran, who spent 37 years in U.S. intelligence, federal, state and local law enforcement is Clark’s “crew chief.”

Clark is also riding to memorialize Investigator Carlos Silva (Civil Police of the Federal District of Brazil,) whose cousin Alex is serving as his mechanic.

You can learn more about Nick’s Ride Across America on the blog:

You can also follow the ride on social media: @TeamNickRAAM