Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One week in.

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of updates, it apparently isn't very easy finding the internet in the middle of VA. I only have a few minutes, so this will be real short.

We are currently 345 miles into our voyage. The 31 other people on the trip are simply amazing, and it's been a blast cycling, camping, knocking on strangers doors in order to find a garden hose to create a mock shower, etc. with my co-riders.

Today we biked 80 HILLY miles up Mount Ashton and then along Blueride Scenic Parkway in the Appalachians. The fog was so dense that we couldn't see beyond 50 yards at times, but there was a moment when we were above the fog and could see it in the valley. Uhhh!!! So beautiful.

We even had our first build day at a local Habitat in Charlottesville, VA. Back to hanging drywall like it was my job.... oh wait... it used to be my job. :)

There will be pictures soon, but I just wanted to write a quick post before I get kicked off. Please keep me in your prayers for safety, fun, fellowship, and clarity.

West Virginia, here we come.

See you all soon!

PS. Follow my trip here as well! It is a great interactive site!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Here we go.

I'm on my way to Virginia Beach, VA and am going to be meeting the group of 25 people with whom I'll be cycling across country.

Again.... what do it get myself into? :)

The last couple days included developing some sort of caloric reserves. How many bags of M&Ms did I eat? Who knows....

One last thing before I go. THANK YOU ALL so much for your support in financing affordable housing projects and supporting Habitat for Humanity!! It's been awesome to see everyone come together for this cause.

Also, I'll have my phone on me this summer. So please feel free to call, harass me, give me words of encouragement as I suffer through Kansas or in the Rockies. Take care everyone!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My motivation.

One week from today on May 19, I meet the twenty-five other crazy participants in this adventure from coast to coast. It'll be a crazy week between now and then, but I'm living every minute of it.

Over the last few months, people from Wilmington, DE and home in Toledo, OH have been constantly asking what is next in my life. As I describe this upcoming bike trip, it's been so much fun to watch the facial expressions of the person with whom I'm talking. Some people respond with sheer excitement. Neal, a 70-year old retired phys. ed teacher who volunteers at Habitat, almost tackled me with envy as he realized that I was not only going to live my dream, but also live his dream of cycling from the east coast to his native state of Oregon.

Other people's reactions have been of slight confusion. As I describe the route which crosses the central portion of the US and then ascends the Rockies and continues north to the Oregon coast. The person scratches their head, tilts it sideways, and in slight shock utters: "Oh..... you mean.... you're cycling across this country.... the United States?"

There have been a few times in my life when I stop and wonder "What am I getting myself into?"

With all that said, I wanted to share with you the video that enticed me to participate in this trip. It's a collection of memories from the 2007 trip lead by Bike and Build across the central US. When I saw it, I knew that I had to do it. Here it is.

I'll leave you with a quote form Hunter S. Thompson:

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!”

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Route

So, I leave Toledo in exactly one week. I'll be spending a few days in Williamsburg, VA before the beginning of my trip on May 19, 2009. In the mean time, I decided to take an Independent Studies class through Lourdes College.... aka, I have a 20 page paper and a presentation due next Friday. I'm secretly loving every second of being busy again before the trip.

At any rate, I need a quick break from writing and thought that I'd share with you the itinerary for my trip. If you think our paths might potentially cross at any point this summer, make sure you call ;) I'd love to see a familiar face. Here it is:

City - State
05/19 Virginia Beach - VA 0
05/20 Virginia Beach - VA 0
05/21 Suffolk - VA 40
05/22 Waverly - VA 55
05/23 Blackstone - VA 63
05/24 Dillwyn - VA 59
05/25 Charlottesville - VA 56

05/26 BUILD DAY 0
05/27 Lexington - VA 72
05/28 Marlinton - WV 74
05/29 Summersville - WV 63
05/30 Charleston - WV 61
05/31 Huntington - WV 52
06/1 Portsmouth - OH 45

06/2 Georgetown - OH 73
06/3 Cincinnati - OH 50
06/4 BUILD DAY 0
06/5 Columbus - IN 94
06/6 Bloomington - IN 45
06/7 Terre Haute - IN 63
06/8 Effingham - IL 70

06/9 Greenville - IL 55
06/10 St. Louis - MO 55
06/11 BUILD DAY 0
06/12 Washington - MO 62
06/13 Jefferson City - MO 94
06/14 Sedalia - MO 62
06/15 Kansas City - MO 100

06/16 BUILD DAY 0
06/17 Lawrence - KS 47
06/18 Manhattan - KS 90
06/19 DAY OFF 0
06/20 Clay Center - KS 40
06/21 Beloit - KS 60
06/22 Phillipsburg - KS 90

06/23 Oberlin - KS 67
06/24 St. Francis - KS 70
06/25 Limon - CO 95
06/26 Denver - CO 90
06/27 BUILD DAY 0
06/28 DAY OFF 0
06/29 Boulder - CO 73

06/30 Estes Park - CO 42
07/1 Rocky Mtn. NP - CO 45
07/2 Kremmling - CO 50
07/3 Steamboat Springs - CO 54
07/4 BUILD DAY 0
07/5 Maybell - CO 72
07/6 Vernal - UT 88

07/7 Flaming Gorge - UT 67
07/8 Rock Springs - WY 65
07/9 Pinedale - WY 103
07/10 Jackson - WY 78
07/11 DAY OFF 0
07/12 Idaho Falls - ID 90
07/13 BUILD DAY 0

07/14 Arco - ID 72
07/15 Challis - ID 84
07/16 Stanley - ID 59
07/17 Idaho City - ID 91
07/18 Boise - ID 40
07/19 DAY OFF 0
07/20 Ontario - OR 52

07/21 Unity - OR 81
07/22 John Day - OR 50
07/23 Dayville - OR 33
07/24 Fossil - OR 70
07/25 Maupin - OR 76
07/26 Portland - OR 100
07/27 BUILD DAY 0

07/28 Vernonia - OR 45
07/29 Cannon Beach - OR 65
Total Mileage: 3857
**Subject to change

Friday, May 8, 2009

Let's get something out of the way...

There have been some questions about handling pain. Well... in order to delicately handle this issue, I decided to splurge and buy two pairs of expensive (aka more comfortable) bike shorts. Meet the Pearl Izumi Ultra Sensor.

These shorts are going to save my butt. Literally!!! Enough said. :)