BLOOMFIELD, NJ – As if biking 1,400 miles from New Jersey to Florida isn’t a big enough feat, 1997 Bloomfield High School graduate Mac-Adley Hyppolite Jr. is poised to double his efforts – this time a 3,000-mile trek from his hometown to California beginning Wednesday, May 1.
Mac, as he is known around town, is using all his vacation time from work to go forth on another ambitious charitable journey, this time riding across the country to The Golden State.
“Taking long-distance journeys is more about mental training than physical training,” Hyppolite told TAP. “I cycle year-round in temperatures of 103 degrees and up, negative-degree temperatures, rain, sleet, hail and snow. Getting clarity of mind and prepping myself to keep going not give up. Once you get on the road, you never know what to expect, so you have to be mentally ready to take on all weather conditions and obstacles.”
Last year’s ride to Orlando, Florida was a tremendous success as $4,500 was raised, with all donations going directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. All expenses from the journey are coming out of his own pocket and from donations.
“I’ve upgraded to a better and lighter bike thanks to Brielle Cyclery,” Hyppolite said. “Packing bare essentials to keep the backpack light for smoother travels.”
Mac fervently believes in giving back to children in the community, as St. Jude helps kids who are battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Hyppolite credits his friends and residents for making this fundraising ride possible.
“My nephew Isaiah is my motivation and realizing I’ve been blessed with a gift,” Hyppolite explained. “I’m going into my fifth year of cycling – all self-taught. The mileage I’ve been putting up is truly amazing. All of this is documented from the beginning on my Instagram page ‘Macratese’ that is open to the public.”
Mac has already raised $3,686 in donations for St. Jude in support of this year’s trip.
Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago.
“Taking the first ride to Florida, I decided to turn it into a charity ride to give back and try to unite my family and friends to be part of an amazing ride for a great cause,” Hyppolite added. “Bringing positivity while making a positive impact together.”
An Essex County College graduate who studied Psychology, Mac works for Costco in Clifton and has set up a fundraising page to collect donations. His fundraising page will stay open for additional donations throughout his journey.
Hotel and meal expenses for the trip are covered by T-shirt sales featuring Mac's "Daywalker" design.
An avid bike rider for the past five years, Hyppolite prepares by riding 40 to 60 miles daily, and up to 60 to 80 miles a day in the summer.
“Usually when I project myself in a location, I automatically make plans to get there by cycling,” said Hyppolite. “One thing about me is that it’s not about the distance, it’s about enjoying the experience reaching the destination.”
Mac routinely rides from Bloomfield to Eagle Rock in West Orange, to Garrett Mountain. Other local trips see him pedal from Bloomfield to Brooklyn, Queens, Bear Mountain and Philadelphia.
Hyppolite has biking navigation which helps make it easier with turn by turn directions for all bike trips. This entire trip should take about four weeks to complete.
Last year, Brielle Cyclery donated a $400 helmet, shoes and gear to Hyppolite.
Supporters included members of the Bloomfield Fire Department, Recreation Department, and Bloomfield Police Department.
The Bloomfield Police Department and bike riding members of the Community Policing Unit will once again ride with Mac down Bloomfield Avenue to the township's border at the start of the trip.
Safe travels, Mac. You are an inspiration to the entire Bloomfield community.