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By Shawn Raymundo
Over the past few months, local cyclist Paul Webb has reinvented himself—again.
The former professional athlete turned businessperson and then author is now sporting a new title: Full-Time Volunteer Charity Cyclist.
After raising about $30,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation this past August, when he completed a nearly 3,000-mile bike ride from San Clemente to New Jersey, the 68-year-old Webb decided his retirement would best be spent supporting the organization and other charities.
“After the first trip across the country, I discovered something about myself that changed,” Webb explained this week. “It became a purpose in my life to continue doing this on a full-time basis.”
Itching to go on another cross-country adventure, Webb on Sunday, Oct. 24, will first participate in the biking portion of the 28th annual San Diego Triathlon Challenge before embarking on a 2,534-mile solo cycling journey to Tampa, Florida.
For the upcoming charity ride, Webb is looking to raise $220,000 for CAF, a nonprofit that supports individuals with limitations who are pursuing athletic activities.
“I am so excited to be raising money again for this organization, because I want to make someone’s dreams of racing, swimming, or running come true,” Webb said on CAF’s online donation page. “One of my best friends is a CAF member and a great mountain climber. That’s how I got involved.”
Webb noted that he and CAF also have the support of Rainbow Sandals, as the San Clemente-based company—known for its philanthropic efforts—is sponsoring his latest ride.
With the winter months approaching, Webb is opting to bike along a predominantly southern route, where it will stay relatively warm. He said that during the trip, which is expected to take about four months, he intends to travel through major cities including Phoenix and Dallas.
“I also have family in Venice, Florida, south of Sarasota, so I’ll be staying with my sister,” he said, adding that during his visit, he’ll decide whether he’ll ride back to San Clemente or up the East Coast.
He also said he may use the time to think about taking his adventures—which he’s dubbed the “WebbWay”—overseas to Europe or South Africa.
Individuals looking to support CAF and Webb on his bike ride are asked to donate a “Penny-a-Mile,” amounting to $25.34, at thewebbway.com. As of Tuesday morning, Oct. 19, Webb and the nonprofit had raised close to $79,600—about 36% of the goal.
“Once someone donates, they can get all the links to follow me,” Webb said. Those who donate can “follow me on a day-to-day basis, see where I am … to show how your donation is inspiring me.”
Shawn Raymundo is the city editor for the San Clemente Times. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.