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Honk 4 Hope: Man bicycling for a cause passes through Valdosta as part of nationwide trip

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 10:18 PM CDT
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WAYCROSS, Ga. (WCTV) - Wednesday marked the last day of National Suicide Prevention Month, but bicyclist Patrick Diederich is still trekking along, peddling across the country to raise awareness.

Wednesday, Diederich traveled about 70 miles, from Waycross to Valdosta.

Averaging 70 miles a day, from dusk to dawn, Diederich is making his way from New York, down the east coast, and across the nation to California, wearing a sign that says “Honk 4 Hope.”

“I’m just trying to say there’s hope, riding for hope," Diederich said. "And even something as silly as a honk from a stranger can keep us going.”

Diederich was an industrial engineer at the San Francisco airport until he was laid off in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s something about waking up in the morning and not having to ask yourself what you’re going to do, what you’re going to procrastinate, what anxieties are in my life, it’s get on the bike and go,” he said.

In his newfound time, he’s raised more than $5,000 for charity and has reached nearly 500 honks for hope.

“This trip has taught me that there are a lot of hidden good people in the world. They come out when you need it,” he said.

Diederich is taking the scenic route, with about 1,500 miles under his belt and the will to save lives.

From Valdosta, he’s traveling to Tallahassee before heading west.

Diederich is calling on communities across the country to head to honk4hope.com and donate. All proceeds are going to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He says giving even just a dollar could help.

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