By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — A local cyclist has completed his first stage of a multi-year mission to bring awareness and support to those who have autism.
Rich DiSalvo and his sons Joe and James completed the first leg of DiSalvo’s mission — a three-stage “Tour to Endure” ride that will spread over the course of three years to raise money and awareness for Autism Speaks.
The first leg of DiSalvo’s tour covered the entire state of New Hampshire from the Canadian border to the Massachusetts border.
The ride was completed the weekend of Aug. 10-11.
“This is a family event, where I will ride the entire distance of each stage and be joined on the road at times and supported all along the way by the rest of my family,” DiSalvo said.
During the first stage of DiSalvo’s ride he was joined by his sons.
At the mission’s end, DiSalvo said he enjoyed ice cream at Clam Haven in his hometown of Derry.
“I wasn’t really sure how I would feel after completing this first stage, since there is still a long way to go and lots of miles to cover as part of this entire campaign for Autism Speaks,” he said. “More than anything I felt grateful — grateful for everyone who supported the ride, for all their well wishes, for the fabulous weather, for the gorgeous scenery, for my unbelievable family and for everyone who has donated to the campaign.”
DiSalvo has raised almost $1,000 to date.
The next leg for Autism Speaks is set for the summer of 2014, when DiSalvo will ride from Maine to Florida in a two-week stretch.