RAPID CITY, S.D. — When new LSU women’s basketball coach Nikki Caldwell isn’t in the office or on the basketball court, you might find the 38-year-old cruising around town on her Harley Davidson motorcycle for a very worthy cause.
Caldwell, an avid motorcycle rider, begins her annual six-day “Cruisin’ for a Cause” journey from Rapid City, S.D., to Las Vegas on Thursday. She will join other riders in the long haul that raises money for her non-profit foundation “Champions for a Cause.” The organization, founded in 2007, directly supports the fight against breast cancer.
“This gives us an incredible opportunity to join in the fight of this terrible disease,” said Caldwell. “We get to get on our Harleys, go around the country and meet some unbelievable people, including those who have been directly affected by breast cancer. I have friends and former teammates who survived breast cancer who join in our cause.”
Four years ago as an assistant coach at Tennessee, Caldwell helped co-found “Champions for a Cause” with Lady Vols assistant coach Holly Warlick. Every summer the two come together for a bike tour that allows fans the opportunity to ride with the coaches. All proceeds from the journey go to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and other breast cancer organizations. Since 2007, they have raised over $100,000 through their efforts.
Their mission is simple: advance and support the cause of charitable organizations who advocate and act to better the quality of life and health for individuals at risk of the disease or in need.
Starting Thursday, Caldwell will travel over 1,100 miles and make five stops en route to Las Vegas. Friday’s route will take her from Deadwood, S.D., back to Rapid City and on Saturday she will go from Rapid City to Casper, Wyo.
Sunday features a 225-mile trip to Rock Springs, while the longest ride will be a 322-mile haul from Rock Springs to Richfield, Utah, on Monday. The group concludes the tour with a two-day stop in Las Vegas. Caldwell visits with locals and riders at the various stops while also visiting a children’s hospital.
“When you see our Champions for a Cause crew, we all come together for something that’s bigger than us,” she said. “We have people who take off from their jobs and ride with us who are very passionate about this crusade. It’s great to have so much support for Holly and I in this endeavor. We get to meet people around the nation from all walks of life while touring the beautiful landscape of our country.”
“Cruisin’ for a Cause” is in its fifth year and planning for the event begins months in advance. Future plans call for a motorcycle tour in Louisiana.
While on her journey, Caldwell will be providing updates through her Twitter site at www.Twitter.com/NikkiCaldwell . For more information on “Champions for a Cause,” visit www.ChampionsForACause.org  and become a fan of the foundation on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ChampionsForACause .