Grove grad cycles 240 miles to honor Marine Corps

By Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller / Grove Sun | Nov. 13, 2015 at 11:59 AM | Link to Article

It’s not every day the U.S. Marine Corps turns 240.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, to mark the corps 240th birthday, William “Bill” Tinney decided to do something special.

Tinney, a 1997 graduate of Grove High School, decided to take a 240 mile bicycle trip, through four Marine bases in California.

He did the trip, not only in honor of the corps milestone birthday, but also to raise funds for the Semper Fi Fund, an organization which supports Marines who are wounded in combat.

Tinney, who joined the service following graduation, has served more than 18 years active duty in the corps.

He is currently a Chief Warrant Officer 3, serving at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California.

Tinney joined Team Semper Fi as a bicyclist in January. He chose to become an active fundraiser for the organization after experiencing support after being injured while serving in Afghanistan.

“My wife said I should do this [cycle] for a cause,” Tinney said. “So I started seeking out organizations.

Tinney said after a conversation with his Semper Fi caseworker, he decided he wanted to support an organization that was near and dear to his heart.

On Tuesday, Tinney took the 240 mile ride as a way to fulfill his goal of raising $5,000 for the organization in 2015. As of presstime Thursday, he had raised at least $1,300.

Tinney discovered cycling last year, after a friend encouraged him to begin riding a bicycle for exercise.  EP-151119782

Before becoming injured, Tinney was a long-distance runner. While a student at GHS, Tinney would often run from his home at Paradise Point on Boy Scout Road to the school.

His injury, which included damage to his spine, made running difficult.

Cycling, Tinney discovered, allowed him to participate in exercise with lower impact to his body.

Tinney trained for Tuesday’s long-distance ride. It was the longest ride to-date he has undertaken since becoming a cyclist. Prior to Tuesday, the longest distance he had ridden was 200 miles.

He was accompanied on the ride by two Marines who serve with him in San Diego. Those men followed Tinney in a chase vehicle and monitored his conditions via radio communication. They also ensured he received proper hydration and nutrition as needed.

Shortly after midnight, Pacific Standard Time, on Tuesday, Tinney and his team set off at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.

He completed the trek 15 hours later, at approximately 3:20 p.m. PST, at his recruiting depot in San Diego.

By the time he finished, he visited Twentynine Palms, Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Air Station and then the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot.

Tinney said he trained for this experience. Throughout the trip he relied on his endurance and determination to complete the challenge. A Marine Corps nutritionist helped him develop a plan for eating, including the 48 hours prior to, 15 hours during and 24 hours after.

With this trip completed, Tinney is already contemplating what comes next. He would like to take a 400 or 800 mile trek across the west.

“I’m confidant if I wanted to do it, I could,” Tinney said.

During the event, Tinney used a Ridley Orion 2015 with puncture resistant tires provided by Team Semper Fi. His backup bicycle was Motobecane Sport Special.

Tinney is the son of Debbie Denney and the late Paul Douglas “Doug” Tinney and the grandson of the late Merl and Mary Helen Tinney.

Tinney and his wife, Jessica, have three children: Faith, 11, Rhett, 7, and Kaydence, 3. Jessica Williams Tinney was a 1999 graduate of GHS.

For more information about Tinney, or to help support his efforts for the Semper Fi fund, persons interested may visit