- Route: Smoky-mountains
- Ride Year: 2021
- Hometown: Flower Mound, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Civil Engineering
- Email: [email protected]
Hi there, it's good to see you!
My name is Lexi Stotler, and I am a senior studying Civil Engineering with a minor in Social Work. As my studies might suggest, I have always been fascinated by how things are connected and determined to build connections of my own.
Family and friends are more than aware of my obsession with bridges (both literal and metaphorical). In addition to committing my education towards how to construct them, I am notorious for planning vacations around visiting these certain feats in Civil Engineering. I always have a list of bridges that I aspire to see within my lifetime (aptly named my Bridget List), and I encourage everyone I meet to share what their favorite bridge is (even if you've never thought of it before, I am sure that you have one). The Smoky Mountains Route includes a plethora of marvelous bridges to bike over and admire, including 446 in the city of Pittsburgh alone!
Why I Ride
My main motivation for riding is in honor of my best friend's father, David. Despite the lack of blood relation, he and his family took me in as their own, and I am forever indebted for their never ending love. David fought leukemia while we were in high school, and we lost him too soon in August of 2019. To this day, I still don't know what the last thing I said to him was. Knowing him, I'm sure that he at least made me laugh during that encounter.
This ride is my best bet for parting words to him. I am sure he is up there, eating stuffed olives and insisting that none of this is necessary. But when someone so effortlessly moved mountains for you and everyone around you, biking up the country in their honor kind of pales in comparison to all the things they have done on your behalf. I am trying nonetheless.
I also intend on riding for those who do not have a voice during this trek to the Final Frontier. Not only in memoriam of whom we may have already lost, but also to honor those who do not have any possible connection to Texas 4000 or UT Austin at large. Perhaps they decided to hold off on college to save up on chemotherapy for their mother. Or the emotional toll was affecting their capability to study. Or, they are an Aggie. Whatever the reason may be, the ones we ride for should not end at the realm of the University of Texas. Everyone involved in the fight against cancer deserves a voice and deserves to be accounted for.
The Alaskan state flower is the Forget Me Not, Myosotis. I am currently collecting names of people who should not be forgotten during my ride. If you have someone you want me to ride in honor of, please consider donating to my Forget Me Not campaign. You are more than encouraged to fill out this form regardless of whether you decide to make a contribution:
Thanks for your time with me! Together we can raise the money to treat, research, and cure cancer.
From Austin to Anchorage and back,
Lexi Stotler | @lexi.t4k
"enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realize they were big things" - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.