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Cross-country ride for charity to end in Acworth | News

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Cross-country ride for charity to end in Acworth

ACWORTH, Ga. -- An incredible journey will come to a close on Saturday for Lori Salierno, founder of Acworth-based Celebrate Life International.

At the age of 52, she never considered herself an athlete, and yet she set off on a cross-country bicycle ride in May to raise money and awareness for her charity.

"I'm riding in Oregon, and it's freezing," Salierno said in one of many videos posted by her support crew on YouTube. 

It was a 3,000-mile course through 13 states, filled with physical and emotional highs and lows.

"I'm intimidated a bit," Salierno said as she faced a steep mountain climb in Colorado. "I'm going to do it one pedal at a time, but what I'm seeing in front of me is overwhelming."

Salierno even had some close calls along the way. At one point, she was struck by the rear-view mirror of a vehicle.

"Fortunately, I did not crash," Salierno said on YouTube. "My fingers, I can still move them, and my hand's not broken. But boy, was I scared."

The trip's designed to promote a program in schools nationwide called "Teach One to Lead One," which gives at-risk youth real leadership skills.

"I hope this kind of climb is the kind of climb that 10,000 at-risk kids will do because we mentors have encouraged them to go all the way to the top," Salierno said as she faced another mountain climb. 

She hopes to expand the program by spreading the word and stretching her limits.

Salierno will ride into Acworth for a big homecoming celebration at the North Cobb High School stadium.

It's scheduled to start around 10 a.m. Before that, Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood will join her for the final four miles of her journey.