Megan Matrka had big plans for her summer vacation.

Megan Matrka had big plans for her summer vacation.

The 2006 Dublin Jerome graduate biked more than 3,800 miles across the country as part of the 2010 Jett Ride that works to raise funds and awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

According to information from the Jett Foundation, Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a lethal genetic disorder that causes loss in muscle function, primarily in boys.

Matrka was one of 20 riders that made the trek from San Francisco to Point Pleasant, New Jersey; riders raised $4,000 to ride and spoke to different organizations to raise money and awareness during the trip.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy isn't how Matrka got involved, though.

"I wanted to do a bike trip," she said. "I belonged to a group that does biking trips and I met the fellow who was leading this tour. I signed up through him."

Matrka also didn't know her fellow riders, but got to during the trip that set off from San Francisco on June 26 and arrived at the Atlantic Ocean in late August.

"I got to meet a lot of people. I met a lot of the Duchenne kids and they're really cool," she said. "Their muscles are dying from the day they're born. A girl on the trip had twin brothers with Duchenne."

While Matrka had been on bike trips before this summer, this was the most intense one yet.

"The longest thing I'd done before this was a 6-hour bike trip. I'd never done an over-night (trip) like this," she said.

In order to cross the country in 67 days, the cyclists got up at about 5 a.m. every day and were on the road by 7 a.m.

"We biked about 70 miles per day; 35 miles was the slowest and 125 was the highest day. No matter what we biked an average of 10 hours," she said. "It was long. We were leading teenagers from (ages) 13 to 18."

Some areas of the west provided some tough terrain, Matrka said.

"The Sierra Nevadas were a lot tougher than I expected. You'd ride into a valley and then see a lot of mountains in front of you. It wasn't hard, but the fact that you had to look at them all day was," she said, adding that a sore rear was the worst of her muscle strains during the trip. "No one complained as much as I expected."

At nights the cycling team rested at camp grounds, churches and at the homes of families dealing with Duchennes.

The trip wasn't all cycling, though.

"We took eight rest days, once every week or so and did fun things like white water rafting or water parks," Matrka said.

Since she's completed the cross-country ride Matrka, who recently graduated from the Ohio State University in finance and real estate, said she's taken a break from her bicycle.

"I'm taking a break for the most part, but I still ride around everywhere on my bike," she said. "I'm just giving my butt a break."

Matrka is bound for Arizona this week for a project with American Conservation Education, but said she'd love to get another chance for a summer of cycling.

"I'd rather bike than take a car for sure," she said. "I'd recommend it to anybody. The main leader (of the Jett Ride) was 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds and he did it every day Biking is for everybody."