WATERTOWN — In an effort to boost cash for his re-election marketing campaign, Assemblyman Mark C. Walczyk, R-Watertown, on Wednesday will likely be biking all the way in which throughout the 116th Meeting District.
Beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Mr. Walczyk will bike 116 miles — chosen to match the 116th Meeting District — from Westcott Seashore State Park in Jefferson County, west to Robert Moses State Park in St. Lawrence County.
“We have been eager about completely different, artistic methods to boost cash, and I used to be trying on the map at one level and puzzled how lengthy it will be to bike throughout this Meeting district,” Mr. Walczyk mentioned. “Coincidentally, it’s nearly precisely 116 miles throughout the district.”
He mentioned this 12 months’s campaigning course of has been irregular, predictably due to the continued considerations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Usually, the assemblyman mentioned he could be knocking on doorways, assembly voters and internet hosting marketing campaign occasions to boost donations, however this 12 months these actions can’t occur.
This bike trip took place as a socially distant occasion that might be used to boost donations, but additionally to get in contact with voters.
“I by no means would have thought of one thing like this except we have been pressured to consider new, socially distant and attention-grabbing methods to boost cash,” Mr. Walczyk mentioned.
Mr. Walczyk will livestream all the trip on Fb. A Runningboards Advertising and marketing truck with screens on three sides will drive forward of him with the livestream enjoying on the again display screen so he can watch the feed and skim the feedback whereas biking. He may also have a microphone in his helmet so he can communicate to viewers and reply to feedback.
“That can permit me to speak straight with anyone who’s tapping into the livestream, which to me is simply tremendous cool,” Mr. Walczyk mentioned.
For $116, donors can sponsor one mile of the assemblyman’s trip. Mr. Walczyk mentioned as of Monday, each mile is sponsored. Mr. Walczyk raised $13,456 for his marketing campaign from mile sponsorships alone. He mentioned the marketing campaign was additionally in a position to safe some company sponsors, including much more cash to their complete. Sponsors’ names will likely be proven on the perimeters of the Runningboards truck, and some native unions have additionally paid to have their names included on Mr. Walczyk’s biking gear.
Mr. Walczyk mentioned this would be the longest trip he’s ever achieved. So as to put together, he’s been biking lengthy distances on weekends and after work.
“I did a 70-mile trip this previous weekend, and I’ll do another, in all probability 70- to 80-mile trip this coming weekend,” he mentioned. “Getting out after work and simply getting 20 to 40 miles in after work has been nice.”
Mr. Walczyk mentioned he’s been biking since he first discovered to trip in elementary college, however started displaying curiosity in doing extra than simply using across the neighborhood in center college.
“I used to bike from my dad and mom’ home to my grandparents’ home,” he mentioned. “It was four-and-a-half miles, and I’d time myself each single time to see if I might do it sooner than the final time. I feel that’s when it began.”
In highschool, he did his first triathlon in Henderson Harbor, which is when he mentioned he fell in love with aggressive bike racing.
Since then, Mr. Walczyk has competed in 4 Ironman triathlons, which encompass a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike trip and a 26.2-mile run.
He mentioned Wednesday’s trip, climate allowing, ought to take him roughly eight hours, together with time for a quick break to eat and refuel the truck.
“If we get wind out of the east or out of the north, it’s going to be a very lengthy day for me,” Mr. Walczyk mentioned. “If the wind sticks to prevailing out of the west, I needs to be good.”