Charles "Chaz" Nickerson left his hometown of San Luis Obispo on a motorcycle "Grand Tour" across the country to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer's Association on Saturday, April 2.
It's called "Our Grand Tour", made through The Longest Day, and is in honor of his parents who passed away in 2018.
“[Nickerson] reached out to the Alzheimer’s Association as a way to figure out how to raise funds for the association around his tour. The Longest Day is for people to do whatever they love, with whoever they love, and create new memories in honor of those who are losing theirs," Alzheimer's Association- California Central Coast chapter development manager, Stephanie Foster said. "It gives a chance to raise funds and raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and the services and what families need to know.”
Nickerson was clearing out his parents' property after they had passed when he found a notebook in his mother's dresser — the daily journal that his mother had kept on their family cross-country road trip when he was 10 years old.
On Saturday morning, he was met with a send-off gathering hosted by Cycle Gear in San Luis Obispo with friends, family, and other local bikers.
His trip is planned to last 45 days, covering two borders, three coasts, and 23 states.
Nickerson also plans to document his journey and conversations along the way on his social media pages (@chaz.moto) and has a fundraising goal of $10,000. He has raised over $1,000 so far.
“It’s really been very enlightening and the whole experience makes me feel like I am doing something worthwhile," Nickerson said.
Donations can be made to his fundraising page.