DUCHESNE — Jimmy O'Lexey spent his last few hours at home over the weekend tightening bolts, checking his tire pressure and putting new decals on his customized Honda motorcycle.
"I've been pulling all-nighters," O'Lexey said Saturday. "I was up till 5 o'clock this morning."
All that time in the garage helped the Duchesne man get ready to tear down the Baja Peninsula with a select group of 47 off-road riders as part of the 2013 Monster Energy Rip to Cabo ride. More than 500 people applied to take part in the eight-day, 1,700-mile endurance challenge, which kicked off Tuesday in Tecate, Calif.
"They did guarantee 17 hours on the bike in one day," O'Lexey said. "That's not including breaks, lunch and all that."
"I'm a firm believer in prayer. If you don't ask it, God's not going to answer it."
The ride will fulfill one of O'Lexey's lifelong dreams, but he's not taking part in the Rip to Cabo solely for himself.
"It's not about me," he said. "It's about the kids, and it's about raising good money, doing a good deed and doing the work of God."
The married father of two young daughters is using his ride to raise money for medical supplies for the kids at the Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage in Baja, Mexico.
"For the kids that are down there — over 150 kids, autistic and handicapped, and the local surrounding kids who go to school there — it's very important," O'Lexey said.
The fundraiser has been fueled largely by O'Lexey's faith.
"I'm a firm believer in prayer," he said. "If you don't ask it, God's not going to answer it."
Sponsors big and small have been the answer to those prayers, providing things like fuel, spare parts and tires to make the trip possible. Their support has reinforced O'Lexey's determination to help the orphanage and finish the ride.
"I believe in doing the work before you get paid," O'Lexey said. "My pledges are per mile, so I have to get it done."