Print: $19.99

The Heart to Ride details Derek Blalock's 7,000-mile journey by bicycle across the United States to raise funds and awareness for the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation and teen heart health.

On January 29, 2011, in the town of Flushing, Michigan, Thomas Smith died of sudden cardiac arrest induced by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy -- a disease in which the heart muscle abnormally thickens. He was one of two thousand athletes under the age of twenty-five that die each year of sudden cardiac arrest.

As years passed, Derek Blalock felt his life spinning out of control. He was just one year away from graduating from Michigan State University and felt his life had little meaning. Bouts of depression throughout college and a need to make a difference forced Derek to make a change.

Just days following his senior year of college, Derek embarked on this solo adventure that took him up snow-capped mountains of the Rockies, through the prairies of Kansas and along the majestic Pacific Ocean.

However, the furthest Derek had ever ridden a bicycle was the mile it took to cross MSU's campus. He had no clue how to change a tire. No clue how to fix a chain. No clue what a pannier was.

This memoir tells the story of how Derek had to overhaul his mind and body to accomplish this daunting task that eventually raised $15,000 for the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation while witnessing first-hand a different type of America not always visible in the social bubbles we tend to find ourselves.

Product Details

First Edition
5.5x8.5, Paperback - Perfect Laminate Gloss, Crème Matte (50#), b&w interior, 159 pages