Grandaughter rides in Texas 4000 for Cancer

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Allie Rossmiller, who is riding in the Texas 4000 for Cancer, has many fond memories of spending every summer in Eastern Iowa visiting family including her grandparents, Barbara and Richard Schoenauer, who own a second home in Guttenberg. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

University of Texas student Allie Rossmiller and her fellow teammates are pedaling their bikes from Austin, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska in the Texas 4000 for Cancer, a non-profit dedicated to the fight against cancer. 

Her grandparents, Barbara (Rome) and Richard Schoenauer of Dubuque, both grew up in Guttenberg and built a second home along the Mississippi River on Broadway Street approximately six years ago. Because of this connection, Allie has spent every summer in eastern Iowa visiting family.

Spreading hope

Students in the 18-month leadership program are competitively selected from the University of Texas at Austin, where Allie attends college. The mission of Texas 4000 for Cancer is to spread hope, knowledge, and charity in the fight against cancer by hosting the World's Longest (4000+ miles) Annual Charity Bike Ride. 

The purpose of the ride is for students to educate communities, spread hope, and distribute vital charitable grants to hospitals and research centers along the route.

"Texas 4000 is an incredible opportunity for impact - something that requires an impressive physical undertaking and dedication to sharing knowledge and spreading hope" said Allie.

Ozark Riders

The Texas 4000 for Cancer has three routes: Ozarks (25 riders), Rockies (26 riders), and Sierras (25 riders). All three routes begin in Austin and end in Anchorage. Each route has separate teammates, terrain, hosts, and experiences. Allie is riding on the Ozark route with major stops in New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Edmonton. 

Each rider will have biked over 4,000 miles when they reach Anchorage after the 70-day journey. "Because of rest days along the route, a rider can expect to average 80 plus miles daily when biking," Allie explained. "Further, our ride is completely self-supported, so riders have scheduled days where they are on 'support and gear' where they are driving vehicles, and setting up rest stops for that day’s riders. 

Rigorous training

Allie played competitive sports throughout high school, but had never clipped into a bike before training for this ride, nor had she cycled more than a few miles. "Compared to my team, my lack of experience was not unique," she noted. "Many riders did not have cycling experience or an athletic background. Two things we all share are a commitment to the mission and the belief that we can do hard things!"

To prepare for the long journey, riders had to undergo over eight months of rigorous training where they cycled nearly 2,000 miles to be eligible for the ride. "This training helped riders gain cardiovascular strength, learn how to bike in a pace line, make difficult road calls, etc.," Allie told The Press. 

Favorite Guttenberg memories

Allie, who enjoys long-distance hiking, playing volleyball, and cooking, likes to fish and go tubing on the Mississippi River with her grandfather, go for walks along the river with her grandmother and attended 4th of July celebrations. 

One of Allie's favorite memories in Guttenberg was in 2014. She was visiting in late summer and RAGBRAI had just ended in Guttenberg. "I saw thousands of long-distance cyclists finish their biking journey and found inspiration in the challenge they took on," she fondly remembered. "Post Texas 4000, one of my next bucket list items is to cycle in RAGBRAI."

Challenges along the way 

Team Ozark intended to cross into Iowa on the Cassville Ferry and cycle through Guttenberg, but rising water levels forced the group to stay in Wisconsin. "There have been some days that have had to be cut short due to thunderstorms, high winds, and hail," she reported. "We had a storm system following us our whole first week to Louisiana! However, I think our team has become more resilient and flexible from our experiences with the weather," she said.

The college student's favorite part of the journey has been the people and stories they have encountered along the way.

"Cancer is a disease that does not discriminate, and the more we have shared our stories, the more we have seen how cancer has affected the communities all across the country," she shared. "Getting to hear stories of resilience and hope are ones we will carry with us all the way to Alaska. We ride for all stories said and those unsaid."

For additional information, or to send messages of support to the team, see

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