Kyle Maloney’s arrival in Ashe County Monday, Oct. 8, marked the end of a 704 mile bike ride to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and allowed him to visit his cousin, Jim Maloney, an Ashe County native.
Maloney is a resident of West Milford, N.J., and began his long cycling journey from his home town on Saturday Sept. 29. This journey was inspired by Maloney’s desire to aid United States’ soldiers who return home wounded from action.
“The trip was worth it to raise money for everyone who made sacrifices serving our country,” said Maloney.
At the beginning, Maloney’s goal was to raise $5,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project. As of Tuesday morning, he managed to raise $3,300 for his cause.
In spite of not reaching his initial goal, Maloney remains optimistic. Maloney said his main goal was to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project, which, according to him, he accomplished. Maloney also said he believes more money will be raised in the future.
Donations were taken through Maloney’s Facebook page “Warrior Ride 704,” and also through the Wounded Warrior Project’s website.
Maloney said he faced several dangerous situations during his long journey.
According to Maloney, he camped out every other night in the middle of nowhere, which was unnerving. However, that wasn’t the greatest danger Maloney faced.
“The dangerous part of the trip wasn’t the wild animals or camping out; it was riding on narrow roads with no shoulders that barely had enough room for oncoming traffic,” said Maloney. He also said he had to pedal through freezing rain one day and high temperatures the next.
According to Maloney, his dedication stemmed from his realization that there are American heroes who need help when they return home injured and sick.
Maloney also feels an obligation to honor and help his friends who are currently serving in the military by raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. “I have never served in the military but have quite a few childhood friends who have served and still do,” said Maloney.
Maloney had a secondary reason for his long journey. He wanted to visit a branch of his family that resides in Jefferson.
Jim Maloney, Kyle’s first cousin, commended Kyle for his bravery. “He’s a tough kid,” said Jim. He also said “I was a little worried about him, but I knew he would be fine.”
Originally, Kyle estimated the trip would take 11 days to complete. However, Kyle had an extra incentive to compress his trip to 10 days.
Haley Maloney, who is Kyle’s second cousin and Jim’s niece, reached the conference playoffs in tennis. Along with her partner, Anna Wooten, the duo went undefeated in doubles’ tennis this year. He wanted to see her compete.
According to Kyle, he arrived a full day ahead of schedule so he could watch Haley compete in the playoffs. With Kyle cheering her on, Haley and her partner won the conference playoffs in doubles’ tennis Thursday evening.
Kyle won’t cycle back West Milford, N.J. Instead, he will return by car. Kyle’s brother arrived in Ashe County Friday night to pick Kyle up, also bearing Kyle’s girlfriend, along with his own.
The two couples plan to hike and enjoy the mountains for a day before returning to their hometown, concluding Kyle Maloney’s long journey.