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Bicyclist Will Conclude 9,000 Mile Lap Around the U.S. on Sunday in New York City

Friday, October 5, 2007 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 Australian Geoff Thomaswill conclude his five-month bicycle "lap around the United States" on Sunday,September 30, in New York City's Madison Square Park at 1:00 p.m. Geoff hasmade headlines throughout the U.S. in what he says is the first trip of itskind to raise awareness for lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that affectshim and more than five million other individuals worldwide.

Despite having lupus -- a disease which causes the immune system to goawry and attack the body's own cells and tissue -- Geoff has spent the pastfive months pedaling 9,000 miles over mountains, through valleys, acrossdeserts, and along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines.

Geoff began his journey in New York City in April and has ridden hisbicycle through 28 states. He established a Website,http://www.bikeusa2007.com, so his friends and family back home in Australiacould track his progress. His Website includes photos of his journey and ajournal to chronicle his adventure while in the U.S. Eventually he hopes towrite a book about his travels through America.

This ride is meaningful to Geoff because in 2003 he was diagnosed with aform of lupus that affects his skin. Lupus is not as common among men - onlyabout ten percent of people with lupus are males. Geoff wanted to raiseawareness of lupus because it is a relatively unknown condition and isresponsible for thousands of deaths annually.

This is not Geoff's first major cross-country bike ride. In 2003, Geoffrode 3,100 miles across Australia from coast to coast. His passion for travelhas also taken him to Russia, Japan, Canada, the South Pacific, Great Britainand Europe, with extensive visits to the U.S. He has always wanted to bikeacross America and now is nearing the realization of that goal.

SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America
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