Probation Officer Finishes 3,200-Mile Cross Country
"Bike for Bread" Ride
survived buffeting headwinds, drought-like conditions with temperatures soaring well above 100
degrees, hail and rain storms and seven broken spokes to complete his 3,269-mike
"Bike for Bread" trek across country Sunday, July 30th.
When Aramini, a juvenile probation officer
for the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, pedaled into his hometown of Willimantic
Sunday afternoon, hundreds of helmeted cyclists joined him for the final two miles. He
received a heros welcome at Heritage Park and even the rain failed to dampen
At that moment, he realized that was the
highlight of his trip.
"Coming home to the support
and outpouring from the citizens of Willimantic and the state was tremendous," said
Aramini, 35. "I never realized the impact of what Id done until I looked into
the faces of my neighbors, friends and family."
Aramini, who raised $65,000 in 1996 for the
Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic by riding from the border of Canada through all the
New England states, planned this cross country trek to raise consciousness and financial
support nationwide for all of Connecticuts poor and hungry.
Aramini faced what he said was one of his two
toughest days of cyclingwhere there was a drastic gain in altitude from below sea
level to hundreds of feet abovewhen he began his journey on July 24th in
San Francisco. "I figured it must be all downhill after that," Aramini told talk
show hosts Ray Dunaway in a Monday interview on WTIC-AM radio.
Araminis financial goal was to raise
$300,000 for his organization, Bike
for Bread, which would then distribute money to the Connecticut FoodBank, Connecticut
FoodShare and the Covenant Soup Kitchen, of which he is a board member.
Though the total has yet to be tallied,
Aramini believes that his goal has been reached.
"People look at Connecticut as a wealthy
state and do not realize that there are poor and starving people here."
When asked by the talk show hosts who these
"poor and starving people are", Aramini paused, then said, choking back tears,
"They are you and I under different circumstancespeople who have experienced
bad luck and because of substance abuse, childhood trauma or other difficulties cannot
On his journey, Aramini averaged between 110
and 120 miles per day, traversing 14 states. Aside from the difficult opening day,
"horrific" winds in Nebraska slowed Aramini somewhat. But not even wind or hail
nor rain could stay this courier from his plight.
On the entire trip Aramini remembered
something a 9-year-old boy told him
during his 1996 fundraising trip"Feeding hungry people is a very important
That simple statement struck deep inside of
Aramini and, since then, he has dedicated himself to achieving his goal of raising
awareness for the hungry as well as money to feed them.
"Though it does put food on the table,
in the end money is not the answer," said Aramini. "Anyone can feed a mouth, but
when you feed a heart, thats the important thing."
Those who would like to learn more about Bike
for Bread can visit the website at http://www.bikeforbread.org or call 860-450-8000.