Bike tour searches for people who “go the extra mile”

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Much like the philospher Diogenes used a lamp to search for an honest man in ancient Greece, Shawn Anderson is using a bike to find people who go the extra mile.

Anderson, 46, is calling this the Extra Mile America Tour.

The motivational speaker and author set off by bike from San Francisco on July 21 and plans to reach Boston by Oct. 8. Along the way, he's searching for those who are going the extra mile in their lives, and he's encouraging others to give a little more effort.

He's repeating his message to gatherings in 21 cities.

The stories

Anderson began collecting stories from people along the way who have gone the extra mile in their lives, professions and relationships. He's heard inspiring stories from folks in San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City and Denver.

The people with the 10 most inspirational stories will each receive $1,000 when he finishes his bike tour this fall.

You can read dozens of stories he's collected so far at his website. Many are people who have taken a tragedy or downturn in their lives and used that to reach out and help others. Nearly all volunteer their time to a cause.

Encouraging others

After struggling over Monarch Pass in the Rockies, Anderson was most recently in Denver. He plans to make it to Omaha, Nebraska, by Aug. 27. He's already collected some stories from folks he's going to meet there.

Anderson talks about his tour at his home website. He says with all the bad news about the economy, he wanted to do something to create a positive tone with the theme “going the extra mile.”

“Along the route, I'll be stopping at unemployment offices, service clubs and businesses encouraging others to do one of three things:

1) If you're looking for a job? Go the extra mile in throwing out that extra resume and seek to find a creative way to add value to a potential employer.

2) If you have a job? Go the extra mile to serve a client and solidify your position.

3) If you own a business? Go the extra mile to think outside the box and find a way to create a job.”

Right now, Anderson is pedaling through Nebraska. He'll be stopping to meet with people in the following cities: Omaha, Des Moines, Chicago, Fort Wayne, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, New York, Hartford, Providence and Boston.

You can check the dates at his route and schedule at his website.

Photo above at Extra Mile America website by Julian Walter.

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