Pat describing his route to his stepson, Forest.

Pat describing his route to his stepson, Forest.


It all started when…

Shortly after a round of new scans and doctors visits (not so great news) in November of 2018, Pat Shannon decided it was time to see the last 16 states he had never been to. He put careful thought into how he would get this done and during his nightly cribbage game with his wife Chris he told her he was going to buy a motorcycle and see them all in one big long trip. Chris gave him that look of “are you nuts”? She then realized as she always does to turn that into total support for Pat and his mission to see the remaining states.

In the following days he kept thinking about things and how to share the trip with others and then it came to him. “Why not do a ride to raise awareness to rare cancer”? From the moment he thought of the idea the thoughts just seemed to flow and soon he had a name, a marketing plan, a gently used motorcycle complete with safety gear and a route that would take him nearly 10,000 miles around the country.

The overall goal of the trip is to raise awareness about rare cancer but also to raise funds not only for his trip and his own medical expenses but to raise money for others who fight rare cancer as well. The Ridin’ On with Rare Cancer campaign was born.

Most days Pat does pretty well physically but has typical pains as one might expect having a stage 4 disease. The plan is to do this ride over the course of 35 to 45 days only driving short distances each day not only to enjoy the beauty of the ride but also to ease the physical demands of riding. Pat has ridden motorcycles since age 12 but has never challenged himself to ride such a distance. Another goal of the trip is to meet others with rare cancer, hear their stories and perhaps encourage them to do something that makes them feel good. You don’t have to lay down and die after you’ve been diagnosed with rare cancer. It’s all a part of your journey called “life”.

More about the ride

The Basic Route and Plan (subject to change and will)

April 28th

Weather permitting Pat with leave Rapid City and head to Billings Montana

May 1st

Pat will be in the Seattle Washington area

May 2nd to May 9th

Pat will head down the Oregon coast then back across Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Southern Colorado and Oklahoma heading east.

May 10th to May 11th

Pat will be attending a BMW gathering in Eureka Springs Arkansas

May 12th to 17th

Plans are to head to Nashville, then to Great Smokey Mountain National Park, Charlotte area, then to Myrtle Beach S.C.

May 18th to 21st

Head to points north on the East Coast. Outer Banks of North Carolina then to Virginia

May 22nd to 24th

Spend some time in Delaware, Maryland and then head to Boston going through Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut & Rhode Island

May 25th to 27th

Spend time in the Boston area

May 28th to 31st

Continue north to Maine then back across New Hampshire and Vermont

June 1st to 5th

Travel back through New York (upstate and middle) back through Pennsylvania then to Morgantown WV.

June 5th to 10th

Start the trek west heading trough Ohio then to Indiana. Go north to Kalamazoo then up to the U.P. of Michigan.

June 11th to 15th

Cross Wisconsin to Rochester Minnesota for a photo opp with doctors then head north again to Fergus Falls Mn.

June 16th to 18th

Head home going through Wishek N.D. (where I was born) then to Rapid City.


I won’t get to hung up about the route or the timetable.  This is only a rough guide. As I head out on the road the schedule and details will be flexible and as long as I am able and the money holds out, it may take me until the first of July to get home. There will be so much to see, so much to do.

This basic route should cover all the states I have not seen and then some.