Houstonian Riding 4,000 Miles in Memory of Mom

It’s a story of one local daughter’s love for her mom.

On Sunday, June 7, Courtney Summerville gets on a bicycle in Austin. In late August, she’ll get off that bike in Anchorage, Alaska. Her trip will last 70 days and over 4,800 miles.

So why is she making this ride? Because she loved her mother very much.

Courtney just graduated from the University of Texas. On Sunday, she and 49 other UT students get on their bikes and start the 4,800 mile journey from Austin to Anchorage.

It’s called the Texas 4000 and it’s all to raise needed dollars for cancer research. Two years ago she lost her mother to cancer and that put Courtney into a depression.

“I lost her during the summer and when I went back to school, I had always been a good student, but I really struggled. I dropped a class. There were some days when I didn’t want to get out of bed,” said Courtney. “Someone suggested that I try to exercise, so I started going to a spinning class. I fell in love with the sport. I love the high energy. It was a way to combine what helped me to get out of depression after losing my mom and raising money for cancer research.”

She and her mother Kathy were very close. Courtney is an only child and she’s making this journey for a lot of reasons and they’re all good.

“I’m using what helped cure me to try to cure cancer. I think of my mom all the time when I’m riding the bike. I can’t save her, but I can hopefully save other families and other mothers so people don’t have to go through that,” said Courtney.

On her own, Courtney has raised nearly $70,000 in pledges of support for this journey. The trip will be long and rewarding.

“We average 70 to 80 miles a day. Our highest day on my route is going to be 120 miles. We stay with host families in the evening or in gyms. We do some camping as well at campsites,” said Courtney.

The Texas 4000 will be long and grueling at times. We asked Courtney how she thinks she’ll feel once she crosses that finish line in Anchorage in August.

“It’s going to be better than my wedding day, better than my graduation. It’s going to be the best day of my life. Not only will I have overcome so much, but it’s for my mom. It’s going to be like a gift to her,” said Courtney.

Courtney is taking a flip camera with her and will be sending us updates on her progress on the 4,800 mile ride, so we’ll show you how she’s doing and where she is along the way.

For more information on the Texas 4000 or to contribute to cancer research, please visit the Texas 4000 website here.

By Bob Allen