Tami’s Ride: Local woman wrapping up her 50 state journey


The Chronicle first reported earlier this year that Scappoose resident Tami Garner would embark on a fifty state journey to raise $50,000 for the NW Chapter of ALS as a tribute to her husband.

Riding Break

Tami Garner takes a break from her ride in Richmond, Washington, the 49th state in her journey.

When her husband Gary Garner died from ALS/ Lou Gehrig’s disease on March 20, Garner, 53, vowed to complete his bucket list of riding her bike in all 50 states.

Since May 1, Garner has ridden in 49 states and has raised $11,600 for ALS. She will ride her 50th state, Alaska, at noon Wednesday Sept.1, along Tony Knowles Trail in Anchorage.

In the thousands miles driven, and hundreds of miles ridden on her bike Garner said she has met supportive ALS administrators in several states and  individuals in every state who have approached her and shared their own connections and experiences with ALS.

Supporters of Garner’s mission said she has educated and inspired countless people. Along the way, Garner had faced several challenges, including having to buy a rough terrain bicycle with disc brakes for inclement weather in Arkansas, had a rear wheel stolen in Chicago, and had it replaced when most local stores were sold out, visited urgent care twice without missing a single ride, hit a deer in Wyoming 30 miles from the nearest city, killing the deer and disabling the adjoining journey van.

Garner told The Chronicle in an interview earlier this summer the ride has presented emotional, physical and financial challenges, adding that the  mission can be physically and emotionally draining.

“I’m alone 95% of the time, and while I don’t mind the solitude, it can take its toll,” she said. “Riding so many trails, hauling the bikes, being constantly on the move can be challenging. At one point I ended up in urgent-care for a minor medical issue, but  still managed to complete my ride that day.”

But despite the challenges, Garner said her journey was important.

“I’m just doing what was on my heart and mind where I knew I could make an impact,” she said.

Supporters following Garner’s journey said she hopes to make a public check presentation of the donations to ALS Oregon/Washington administration when she completes the ride.

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