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Follow LIer's bike tour across U.S.

Aaron D. Neufeld, 21, of North Woodmere, will

Aaron D. Neufeld, 21, of North Woodmere, will be riding across the country in July, raising money for an organization that pairs teens with special-needs children. (May 17, 2012) Credit: Brittany Wait

Aaron Neufeld had rarely left the tri-state area, with the exception of one family vacation in Arizona. But on Wednesday he stood on the border to New Mexico after beginning a cross-country bike ride in Los Angeles on July 1.

“A few days ago I was on the West Coast for the first time and in 10 steps I’ll be in New Mexico,” said Neufeld, 22, of North Woodmere.

Neufeld is taking the journey with seven others from the U.S. and overseas to raise money for Friendship Circle International, a Jewish organization that pairs volunteers with special-needs children as friends and mentors. Neufeld’s goal was to raise $5,000 and he said he’s just a couple hundred dollars away from that.

The group is biking an average of 85 miles a day to complete the more than 3,000-mile ride to New York on Aug. 17.

Neufeld said the sights are spectacular. On Tuesday the group biked through the Arizona mountains with clear views hundreds of miles into the surrounding states, and he’s sharing them with the public.

Through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, Neufeld is keeping a public record of his trip.

Newsday is tracing his steps and compiling his updates so you can follow along too with our interactive map.

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