• Route: Rockies
  • Ride Year: 2023
  • Hometown: San Marcos, Texas

About: Hello! My name is Blaze Gordon (he/him), and I am a Senior here at UT Austin studying Audiology - in the Moody School of Communications. Born and raised just down the road in San Marcos, Texas, I grew up outside exploring our local river and nature areas. Since then my love for adventure has blossomed into international conservation work in Chitwan, Nepal, as well as with the Environmental Agency of Iceland this past summer. This past summer I solo backpacked through Southern Africa after interning with a local school for children with disabilities in Cape Town, South Africa. After graduating I plan on continuing my education to obtain a doctorate degree in Audiology. My goal is to start a non-profit that provides cochlear implant surgeries in underserved communities abroad. In my free time I like to play guitar and sing in my band Clay Dog, enjoy the company of those around me and ride my bike as often as possible. I cannot begin to describe how honored I am to be a part of the 2023 Texas 4000 team. To Alaska and back with many stops in between.

Why I Ride

I ride for my late grandfather, Papa John. Around the age of 10 he was diagnosed with Lung cancer. At the time I couldn't comprehend or process the severity of the situation. As his hair initially fell out and he became more lethargic, I channeled my feelings towards the situation into introspection, unable to communicate my feelings to anyone about the situation. Over time he entered remission, yet kept smoking cigars. The general feeling was acknowledgement that smoking is bad for him, but understanding there is nothing I can personally do to change his actions, except show even more love and compassion than before. When I went to visit him for the last time in Massachusetts, I had a feeling leaving their house that that would be the last time I see him. I think I finally let go of all the barriers of trying to act tough and just bawled into my grandmother's arms. I had been holding in these feelings for 7 years by this point and had just then realized how important my grandfather was in my life.

With that being said, I ride for Communication. I ride for open dialogues and confronting the underlying fears and concerns of everyone involved with the fight against cancer. I ride for my current friends who have lost loved ones to this disease, and all my future friends who may be afflicted by it in one way or another.

I ride for Ally Tauber and her family. I ride for my best friend, Hayden Gish, and his family. I ride for Ava Garderet and the mental fortitude her mom possessed in fighting breast cancer. She tells me about her mom's ability to find humor in such a tough situation. That has been inspiration for me throughout this whole process. I ride for the connections I have made on the team including Olivia Flaming and her family and Ari Hosek. I ride for the Rockies team that will wake up every morning and set out to spread the mission of the Texas 4000 organization.

If you have made it this far, know that I ride for you, and the support you have shown. Even by reading my why I ride you contributed to the collectivity of this organization. At its core, Texas 4000 is about spreading awareness to all communities, including the one you're apart of.