WARREN - A Warren woman and her stepdaughter recently rode their bikes from Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh, raising nearly $1,000 for the American Cancer Society.
With the motto ''Where there's a wheel, there's a way,'' Tabitha Mann and and Ashley Mann, a student at Bowling Green University, traveled more than 328 miles on their bikes the week of July 16, battling very hot summer temperatures and tough uphill terrain.
Jim Mann, who drove his wife and daughter to Washington, said both really pushed themselves, going 50 to 60 miles per day to complete the ride in six days.
Tabitha said she had taken part in American Cancer Society's Relay for Life but wanted to do more.
"I heard of another family who rode bikes to help raise money for cancer patients. It was very touching. It seemed like it would be a challenge, but I decided what we were doing to raise money was nothing compared to those who are battling cancer,'' Tabitha said.
She said a few of her relatives have battled skin cancer and other forms of the disease.
Tabitha said the first four days, they were cycling in 100-degree weather and drinking two to three gallons of water each day.
"It was very hot and, at times, the ride was uphill. The last two days it rained,'' Tabitha said.
The two women kept blogs of their trip, noting the hills were very steep.
''When we went down one of the hills, we were going 30 miles per hour,'' Tabitha said.
To prepare for the ride, the two rode up to 40 miles per day for the past two months.
"It was rewarding when we finished knowing we had done something to help others. It was a struggle at times, but there are people who face a lot more than we did," Tabitha said.
Ashley said when she was asked to be part of the ride, she thought it was a good idea to help the ACS.
"I have always ridden a bike and wanted to help do something for an important cause like this," she said.
Ashley said the bike ride was different than staying up all night walking in the Relay for Life.
Originally, the two thought their trek would take nine days to complete.
"It's mind over matter. You just keep pushing yourself," Ashley said of the ride.
That isn't to say there weren't obstacles; the two did need to have some bike repairs.
Tabitha said C&O Bicycle shop in Hancock, Md., traveled 15 miles to pick up Ashley's bike, fix it and bring it back without charging for anything other than parts.
The two women said they thank all of the people who supported them and encouraged them through the tough times.
''The whole reason we are biking is to help find a cure for cancer,'' Tabitha said.