Alamedan Traverses Country on Bike

Jennifer Levine -- Levine traveled from Michigan to Alameda on bike to raise awareness for the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan. Levine took this picture while in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Jennifer Levine -- Levine traveled from Michigan to Alameda on bike to raise awareness for the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan. Levine took this picture while in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Alamedan Traverses Country on Bike

Alameda resident Jennifer Levine finished her voyage from Michigan to Alameda on Sunday, July 16. Levine took on the 2,600-mile expedition to raise awareness for the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan. Levine, who is epileptic, began her journey on May 25, in Ypsilanti, Mich., and ended it at the Crab Cove Visitor Center, where she was greeted by friends and family.

According to her mission summary on the Epilepsy Foundation website, Levine, a Michigan native, was first diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy at the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, then named the Michigan Epilepsy Center, 40 years ago. Levine suffered seizures and other symptoms throughout her life.

“I came to bicycling as an adult, because as a child living with epilepsy, my family was very cautious about letting me ride a bike until I was around age 12,” wrote Levine on the mission. “Even then, after subsequent falls, they took the bike away and I never really began biking again until I was an adult.”

Neither heat nor fatigue stopped Levine from accomplishing her goal. Her kids were by her side the whole time. They rented a vehicle and acted as her sag vehicle when she needed a rest. Levine traveled through much of the Midwest including Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas; then went through the Mountain states of Utah, Colorado, and Nevada before completing her journey in Alameda.

“Having a chronic disability like epilepsy can make the world feel like a scary place,” wrote Levine in an Instagram post. “But, this ride has taught me I can be scared and also climb huge mountains.”

Levine raised more than $1,000 for the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan. She documented her voyage on her Instagram page, www.instagram.com/chubbybikelady. To learn more about or donate to the foundation, visit https://epilepsymichigan.org.