Tuesday August 29 8:24 PM ET
By CANDACE SMITH, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - With a 10,000 mile bike trek behind him, Nick Irons is riding high.
"What I'm feeling is an absolute feeling of confidence that I can basically do anything," Irons said Tuesday at the base of the U.S. Capitol, where he finishing a nearly five-month-long bike trek around the perimeter of the United States.
He's already swum the length of the Mississippi River, the 1,550 miles from Minneapolis to Baton Rouge, La. Both exploits were to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis research in honor of his father, Dr. John Irons, who for 20 years has suffered from the debilitating disorder of the central nervous system.
"It's really easy to feel helpless with this disease just watching someone you love go downhill," Irons said. "There are some drugs out there, but there's not a cure."
Irons began the final leg of his bicycle trip in Baltimore and took five hours to reach the Capitol. About 30 well-wishers cheered the arrival of the 28-year-old from Washington, D.C., as he pedaled toward the Capitol at the head of 20 bikers riding in support.
His mother, Connie Irons, said he has raised $600,000 in contributions since he set off April 3 from Arlington, Va. He raised $200,000 for MS with his Mississippi River swim.
During his trek through 29 states and 40 cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, New York and Philadelphia, local riders joined him. "The longest rode for 12 days. Three miles was the shortest," Connie Irons said. "The oldest was 74. The youngest was about 7."
The younger Irons said he will continue to raise money and awareness for MS research to benefit his father and the 350,000 Americans who have the disease but said he has no immediate plans for another big physical challenge.
On the Net: http://www.GoingTheDistance.net