WSDOT engineer rides 400 miles to raise money, awareness for PICC

Knee skinned, legs and lungs heavy, a weary Tom Quick sat in front of the Pediatric Interim Care Center on Kent’s Fourth Avenue South last Saturday afternoon.

Tom Quick

Tom Quick

Knee skinned, legs and lungs heavy, a weary Tom Quick sat in front of the Pediatric Interim Care Center on Kent’s Fourth Avenue South last Saturday afternoon.

A 400-mile ride around the Olympic Peninsula took something out of the avid, 62-year-old road cyclist, but the trip was for a good cause – raising awareness and funds for PICC, a nonprofit organization that provides specialized care for drug-affected and medically fragile infants.

“I can’t image what those babies go through,” said Quick, a construction engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). “I have a weak spot for babies. I think it’s from my heart. … I do this for fun but that’s secondary. It’s all about them and what I can do to help.”

Quick, of Federal Way, jumped at the chance to help PICC through a WSDOT combined fund drive. The goal is to reach $2,000.

“We just appreciate the support we get from the community and from people who take this cause to heart like Tom,” said Elaine Purchase, development director for PICC.

Quick is about endurance. He frequently goes the distance. His latest ride took him a week to complete, averaging 60 miles a day following primarily Highway 101 around the peninsula, from Forks to the exit point, Montesano. He camped out and met up with friends between pedaling his Redline commuter bike, equipped with bags, straps and a bucket that carried his necessities.

A year ago, Quick went from the Olympic Peninsula’s Cape Flattery, the northwesternmost point of the contiguous U.S., to northern Idaho.

“I like to do it. … It’s really a test for me physically,” he said. “I get to see some country and meet some neat people.”

Among those riders Quick met last week were a young couple from Germany headed to California.

Quick called his latest adventure his own Summer Games moment.

“I was kidding myself for not being sent to Rio (de Janeiro to compete in the Games),” he said, “so I did my own Olympic event.”

To learn more about the cause and to contribute, visit picc.net.


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