WATCH: Marriage advocate Richard Carey prepares for bike ride across America

On Saturday, Richard Carey, a 53-year-old cyclist who supports the freedom to marry for all couples, dipped the rear wheel of his bicycle into the Pacific Ocean. The wheel dip signaled the start of an exciting 53-day bike ride across the United States, which Carey is undertaking as a fundraiser for Freedom to Marry

"If you had told me three months ago that I'd be doing this ride and standing here in front of you, I would have said you were crazy," Carey said in a video he filmed on Friday before gearing up for his trip. His ride will take him through twelve states - WA, OR, ID, WY, SD, MN, WI, MI, NY, NH, ME - and he'll be using his days to meet with people in the state to talk about why marriage matters to same-sex couples.

Three of the states he'll be passing through - WashingtonMinnesota, and Maine - are especially crucial this year when it comes to the freedom to marry. All three states are facing ballot initiatives concerning marriage; Washington residents are being asked to uphold a legislatively-approved freedom to marry law, Mainers are proactively pursuing marriage at the ballot, and Minnesota advocates are working to defeat an anti-gay constitutional amendment. Carey hopes to have conversations with communities in each of these battleground states to help people better understand the importance of the freedom to marry. 

In the video from Friday, Carey also shows off his riding gear, a biking jersey emblazoned with the Freedom to Marry logo and the names of all of the states he'll be biking through. 

So far, he's made it through to St. Helen's, OR after passing through Astoria. On Sunday, he reiterated his motivations for the bike trip on his personal blog, writing:

It may sound obvious, but what I am fighting for on this ride is to allow any two loving people to come together, get married and have all the joy, rights, and responsibilities that marriage entails. Should they choose to have children, to be a family with all the connotations that implies in society. For them to hopefully be as happy and satisfied as a father and parent as I have been for nearly 21 years. 

Carey is self-funding all of the expenses he'll incur throughout the trip, but we've set up a donation page for his journey so that Freedom to Marry supporters can donate to his personal campaign. Richard's goal is to raise $25,000 for the Win More States Fund, our campaign to fund marriage-related efforts in five key states in 2012. Every penny donated to Richard's personal page will go back into Freedom to Marry's advocacy work.  

Donate to Richard Carey's Ride Across America trip HERE, and follow his personal blog HERE