I'm biking 4,200 miles from Union Square NYC to Union Square, San Francisco. Why? For a charity, a challenge, and an adventure; for the stories, and for myself.
My Route, More or Less (Red line, but starting in NY)
NY NJ PA MD VA KY IL MO KS CO UT NV CA
Make a Difference
I'm pedaling for many reasons, the most important of which is to raise awareness and funds for Pedals For Progress. P4P is a non-profit that collects used bicycles and sewing machines in the US and donates them to poor people overseas. P4P combines my love of bicycling with my growing concern for those deprived of life's most basic necessities - sparked by a visit to the slums of Kibera in June '09 (pictures). P4P improves mobility and economic options for destitute people, opening pathways to greater dignity and opportunity.
Please make a donation, if you can (please write "TSQ2USQ" in the '...honor of' field). Remember, a bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses. :)
My Game Plan
I'm following portions or all of three routes mapped out by the Adventure Cycling Association: the Atlantic, TransAm, & Western Express. I'll cycle through thirteen states: NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, KY, IL, MO, KS, CO, UT, NV & CA! I'm leaving on 4/17/10, and expect to return to New Jersey by mid June - back to my family, friends, & neighbors. I plan on cycling 5 - 6 hours per day, 6 days/week, usually starting in the early AM. My laptop and phone will allow me to work remotely most days, but I won't pass up opportunities to smell the roses along the way!
Today's Route: GPS Details.Rode about 90 miles from Harrisburg, IL to Chester, IL, on the banks of the Mississippi and the MO border.
Today was...adventurous. It was at different times frustrating, satisfying, sublimely beautiful, nerve wracking, and exciting. It was a lot of other things too, but all in all, a memorable day!
Frustrating: I stopped in a bike shop in Carbondale - the last bike shop until Kansas, to change my chain, a 20 or so minute undertaking. 6 hours and three bike shops later I was on the road! The new chain chain caused all sorts of drive train problems; I ended up putting the old one back on. No more proactive drive train maintenance until I'm back home.
Satisfying: Longbranch Coffee in Carbondale. I'm eating everything in sight, and LB had a great menu w/ lots of vegetarian options...and smoothies! Throughout the course of the day I had coffee, a scone, two smoothies, hummus and a sandwich. Yum! Probably the best food I'll have 'till I get to CO.
Sublimely beautiful: A dramatic, seemingly 360 degree sunset.
Nerve wracking: Getting a flat as darkness fell, with a pump that didn't seem to be working and an untested headlamp. Turns out only the gauge on the pump was not working...and the headlamp worked great!
Exciting: Riding in the dark on unfamiliar country roads!
Oh, and I stayed in what would have been a tool shed were it not outfitted w/ bunks for TransAm riders. Accommodations were courtesy of the Chester, IL, Fraternal Order of Eagles. It was perfect because it was free, and I had access to a shower. The FOE is the place to be in Chester. A volleyball match was underway when I arrived. Sarah, the barkeep, told me I missed the following FOE sponsored events: mud truck show, and bikini bull riding. I did see Leno w/ musical guests KISS on the tube @ the bar, though. KISS?! Not every act s/ try for a comeback.
Leslie, the Crab Orchard Lake picture is for you of course! I hope it brings back great memories. Thanks for all your encouragement! :)
Please donate to Pedals for Progress: https://payments.auctionpay.com/ver3/?id=w043522