Ole Miss alumni Adam Vinson and Charlie Wildman, both currently of New Orleans, plan to cycle roughly 300 miles from Nashville to Oxford to raise funds \s through the local United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County.
Vinson and Wildman had been wanting to cycle the entirety of the Natchez Trace together but were having difficulty finding a mutually agreeable time, as both are currently working and enrolled in graduate school. But this past August, Adam recognized an opportunity to pedal a portion of the Trace and get in a couple of Ole Miss football games in a single week. “I noticed there were two games separated by about 300 miles over Thanksgiving week,” Vinson said. “I asked Charlie if he was interested in cycling from one to the other because he has done rides like this before, and he said he was absolutely down!”
Vinson then started the groundwork to not just organize a bike ride, but to make this endeavor charitable. He sought the United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County as the beneficiary, and the timing could not have been better. The local United Way provides complete Thanksgiving meals to underprivileged households for each donation of just $30. Considering a 300-mile ride, this $30 donation breaks down to just 10 cents per mile covered (and only a nickel per mile, if you consider two riders!), and will provide a local family with a Thanksgiving dinner. So Wildman, Vinson, and the UWOLC are actively encouraging friends, family, coworkers, classmates, professors, fellow Rebels, and anyone else that wants to help a local family to contribute to make their $30 Thanksgiving meal donation to the United Way via https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/RebelsRide .
Although this is Vinson’s ride of this distance, this is nothing new for Wildman. He and a friend planned, organized, and completed a 25-day, 2000-mile ride from Cumberland, Maryland, to Telluride, Colorado during the summer of 2015, which raised over $11,000 for a New Orleans-based disabilities charity. Vinson and Wildman met in 2004, as members of Delta Kappa Epsilon social fraternity. Vinson graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology, then served with Teach For America in the Mississippi delta, where he met his wife Katherine Bensel. He and Katherine lived in Philadelphia, PA for two years while Adam earned an M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania before moving to New Orleans in 2012. After spending four years serving as an analyst in various capacities for the Louisiana Department of Education, he returned to school, where he is now pursuing yet another graduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Orleans. Wildman graduated from Ole Miss in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering. He first found work with a multi-continental engineering firm in Dallas, Texas, that transferred him to New York City in 2011 where he worked onsite during the construction of Second Avenue Subway and served as the President of the Ole Miss Club of New York, serving New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In 2013 Wildman got out of engineering to become a professional brewer and brewed commercially in New York City and in Maryland before the aforementioned cross-country bike ride and, thereafter, graduate school. He is currently back in large-scale civil infrastructure engineering, specializing in water management and flood mitigation engineering, and is about a year away from completing his master’s degree in Civil Engineering with concentrations in Coastal and Geotechnical Engineering, also at the University of New Orleans.
Hear it from Adam himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkPKZO9XMn0&t=2s