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Wisconsin Professor Visits Minnesota on Midwest Bike Trip

August 03, 2018 11:07 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor is biking across several Midwestern states to raise money and awareness for a renewable energy project in Puerto Rico. Friday, he passed through southeastern Minnesota, visiting several solar sites in the region.

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Prof. James Tinjum is an avid biker and wanted to come up with a way to help his fiancee's native Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. After completing a similar bike trip last summer, Tinjum decided to take on a 1,300-mile trek across Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota, visiting solar energy sites while raising money to install solar panels at a nonprofit home for abused children.

"We're working to install solar at that home in Mayaguez and so I figured I was going to go on a big bike trip and help bring attention to Puerto Rico, renewable energy in general," Tinjum said at a stop at a solar field south of Byron.

The panels would eliminate the home's $1,000 monthly electric bill, which would give the facility more money to spend on counselors and other programs, he said.

Tinjum is halfway through his journey; after departing from Madison last Saturday, he headed south into Illinois before passing through far eastern Iowa and into Rochester. The next leg of the trip will take him to Mankato before heading through St. Cloud and south along the Mississippi River.

Helping him along his trek is a prototype electric bicycle from Wisconsin's Trek Bicycle company. Tinjum said the bike stores some of the energy he puts into the pedals to help him along the way.

As he makes his way through the region, he is blogging about his trip. If you would like to follow his journey or contribute to the fundraiser, you can visit https://solarparaninos.com

Credits

Logan Reigstad

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