My name is Loren
Mach. From April to July 2004, I hiked over 600
miles of the Pacific Crest Trail
(the red trail on the map to the left) to raise
money for the struggling people of Zimbabwe. Unfortunately,
foot injuries including a stress fracture and tendonitis
forced me to abandon my thru-hike to Canada. But the
journey continued as I switched gears from walking dirt
trails to cycling paved roads, giving my feet a break
from backpacking 20+ miles a day. For about six weeks,
I rode south almost 2000 miles from Canada to Mexico
along the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route
(the yellow trail on the map to the left.)
I reached the Mexican border on October 30th, 2004.
I am trying to celebrate the musical
and cultural influences that Zimbabweans have brought
to people in the U.S. and demonstrate our potential
for helping people in Zimbabwe. RhythmRIDE
is about sharing music, educating, and building community
to help others. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness
and $25,000 of support for the Zimbabwean people. We're
well on our way, reaching the $21,000 mark as of October.
Passionately involved with music
most of my life, I earned Percussion Performance degrees
from the Oberlin and Cincinnati Conservatories of Music.
But after a season as Acting Principal Percussionist
with the New Mexico Symphony in Albuquerque, I walked
away, turning my back on music for over five years.
It is my more recent involvement in Boulder, Colorado’s
music community that has once again opened my heart
to being a musician. I've since kept busy performing
with the bands Kutandara
and Zebra Marimba, teaching
private lessons, and music directing another group called
Musangano. My Shona friends
and teachers, like Cosmas
Magaya, have helped open my heart to music as an
essential part of everyday life. Now I feel the need
to share this with others and give something back to
Another of my passions is enjoying
the outdoors: hiking, climbing, cycling, mountaineering,
backpacking; appreciating nature and the beautiful world
in which we live. This explains my other job: working
part-time at an outdoor retailer, Recreational Equipment
Incorporated (REI), in Boulder. In 1999, I thru-hiked
the Appalachian Trail from
Georgia to Maine, one of my life’s greatest experiences.
Afterward I knew I would one day take on the Pacific
Crest Trail. On April 27th, I began at the Mexican border
with my friend and hiking partner, FJ
Avellana. After only 250 miles at Big Bear Lake,
I suffered a broken left foot. Six weeks later, I continued
my journey into the High Sierra, but persistent problems
with my healing stress fracture and then tendonitis
finally forced me off the PCT in South Lake Tahoe. FJ
continued hiking in the spirit of RhythmWalk
and reached the Canadian border on September 25th. RhythmRIDE,
my new border-to-border cycling adventure, was completed
on October 30th.
My parents, Carol
and Ron, supported the entire trip in an RV, facilitating
my resupply, carrying instruments and enabling me to
give outreach discussions and benefit concerts in nearby
cities. I now plan to visit Zimbabwe in 2005, where
I can offer my personal support and see the money I
have raised put into action. In addition a documentary
film is being made about the entire project.
I am continuing to accept donations
toward my cause and also seeking corporate sponsorships.
Because I’m personally financing all costs of
the hike itself, 100% of the money raised will be split
between three trustworthy non-profit organizations.
In all cases the money will be hand delivered to Zimbabwe
where the head of each organization will stay and distribute
it accordingly, ensuring that all of the funds will
be put to good use.
I can readily sympathize with how busy most of us are,
but I urge you to take a little time to become involved
with organizations that support your community or communities
in other countries. Donating a little time and money
can make all the difference in the world.
also sympathize with those who might not have money
to give. As a musician in a city as expensive
as Boulder, it can be hard to feed myself much less
someone else. Just remember even just a few US dollars
could support a Zimbabwean for a month. If you can’t
give money, tell someone else about the website and
encourage others to support humanitarian efforts worldwide.