Wednesday, July 29, 2009


WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!

I have just awoken from my first solid night of rest in over 10 days. Yesterday at about noon we pulled up to the episcopal center in NYC! We had an interesting ride through east New Jersey followed by an exhilarating ride over the George washington bridge. (It was really cool. (It was pretty obvious who was local and who wasn't. (We were all white knuckled as we rode along next to the railing. (The few locals we saw riding on the bridge were either screaming and yelling into their cell phone or going about a thousand mph)))). After the bridge we had a scary ride through new york traffic and a fun ride through central park!

At the episcopal center we were met by cheers and camera flashes. The Bishop, Kelly, and I were chosen to be interviewed for an Episcopal publication.

Before my Mom and sisters (they flew in to see me) flew home we spent a few hours wandering around NYC. We took the Staten Island ferry. And we visited ground zero.

Before all this. As we rode into Pennsylvania we went through a small town named New Castle. I hate this town. Because I got hit by a car. IM FINE! I was not hurt, but my front wheel was destroyed. A man turned left into me on his way to the Tic Toc convenience store for some butter. He hit my front wheelset, and my bike immediately stopped. I, on the other hand, continued in a neat parabola over his hood and into the asphalt on the other side.
I was able to continue the ride because the Bishop, being the great man he is, brought a spare wheelset. Thank You Bishop Mark!!!

All in all. It was a fantastic experience, one that will likely never be far off my mind, and one that will never be forgotten.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

We are only a few miles from Ohio!!!!

Mr. Daniels and I rode from 5 to 10:30 last night and we made it clear across Illinois. It was a narrow portion but it was still exciting to get across the river into Indiana. Since I crossed the river that means that I have ridden and will ride in every single state that we were in!!! California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and soon Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York!!

My wonderful Mother and I are trying to organize a meeting place for our Ohioan supporters as we ride through Canal Fulton. The people who are definitely going to meet us on our way through are my Mom and Dad and Mrs. Daniels. I am not sure at this point what time we will be passing through this small town east of North Canton. And it could be anytime between Sunday morning at 1am and Sunday evening or night. If you want to receive updates about when I will be passing through Canal Fulton you should text me, call me, or call my mom (330-256-1075). Don't email me because I will not be able to check my email before we pass through. I can't promise that I will be riding when we pass through there... in fact I will most likely not be riding. But you should all come and bring plenty of donations/good food!!! Bring food that will fit in our RV and that does not have an important container. Hope to see people there!

(Again, The money is going to buy malaria nets for sub Saharan African families. (see second post))

Until tomorrow. Or whenever I get back to Ohio.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore...

We have made it to Missouri, in fact we are only a few miles from Illinois. (Mr. Daniels and I are hoping to ride across the whole 125+ mile portion of Illinois in our next 5 hour shift... it might take a bit longer, but we can hope.)

Missouri is just about the same as those old wooden roller coasters, unfortunately, it is self propelled. The rollers are incredible and often pretty fun! If you get enough speed on the way down, without killing yourself, you can easily attack the other side.

The bigger picture. We are hoping to cross Illinois and Indiana by Saturday afternoon. That means we should be entering Ohio by Cincinnati sometime on Saturday evening. We are then continuing through: Waynesville, Clifton, London/Lafayette, Kilbourne, Sparta, Butler, Jeromesville, Marshallville, North Canton, Hartville, we pass north of Salem, and on into Pennsylvania. I'm not sure if that makes any sense (the maps get chaotic in Ohio) and I am also not sure when we will be going past those towns. Ill be trying to update as soon as I can.

I don't have much time to post, so I'll wrap up with a comment on the riders. I have been truly impressed with everyone's ability to ride (hills and flats alike). There has been almost no complaining, everyone has had high spirits the whole ride, and we have been making great time. At this point, it has been a wonderful experience. (with a few days left, I hope it doesn't go downhill (figuratively (I really hope it does go downhill (literally.))))

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Life in the RV.

I decided that it might be a good time to describe how 11 people are able to sleep, eat, and shower in an RV designed to sleep maybe 6. (2 queen beds and 2 single beds (actually tables that turn into beds))

Sleeping. In the beginning we were getting along just perfectly with only 6 riders and 3 drivers because we always had 3 people in the pPrius. That meant that the 6 sleeping spots were occupied. Then we added two more riders, but it was still ok because we did large shifts of 4 or 3 riders. Now, we are doing teams of two in the Prius, so we have 9 people trying to sleep in 6 spots. We are sleeping in shifts just as we are riding in shifts... this makes it a bit difficult to get a decent amount of sleep, but we are managing pretty well.

Eating. Every day or 2 days we have gone grocery shopping. Loaded up with bagels, bread, turkey, pb and j, pretzels, chips, oatmeal, apples, tangerines, bananas, etc. The food is stored in the small fridge aboard and in 2 coolers. Everyone is eating like hogs at all times because thats what one does when they arent riding or sleeping. It's just understood to be that way.

Shower. We have a limited amount of water aboard our RV so when one showers it is rare and a good idea to wash your clothes while you are at it. The past shower I took I just jumped in with my riding clothes on to wash them. It worked great.

That's a snapshot of life for 11 aboard an RV maxed for 6.

Back on the road again.

Sorry for the late post! It know it has been too long.

We have been back on the road for a few days, and we are in Kansas!!!

Utah was spectacular. I did a bit of night riding through some of the most amazing rock formations I had ever seen. The shifts have been chaotic because of the heat, but I was a bit of a rogue during Utah. I was thrown in random shifts when the other riders got tired. We rode over the northern part of Lake Powell which was great! (as I said before pictures will come in time. I am going to organize a photo sharing site and will post the best ones)

We just finished climbing and descending the great Rocky Mountains. We were doing long shifts with more people because we needed to be spelled sooner. My team consisted of myself, Michael, Bishop Mark, and Daniel. We were on the road for 8 hours per shift. (the other team was Kelly, Steven, and Mr. Daniels. (Isaac has been thrown in the rotation off and on.))

The Rockies were actually a blast. Climbing is probably on of my favorite parts (I don't know why, but it is.) My first shift in the Rockies was an eventful one. Daniel brought us to the base of the first climb. Then Michael did a few miles. When I took over I felt great. The hill wasn't too steep to slow me down too much, but my bike did slow me down. I began to have trouble shifting with my rear derailleur. And I had to finish the climb on The Bishop's bike. I finished my hour long turn (the average turn length for our team) and turned it over to the Bishop. He climbed about 100 more yards and reached the peak... and got the downhill... fine.

On the way down he hit some road construction where half of the road was paved and the other half was scraped. He tried to switch to the new pavement but since it was dark he couldn't see the 3 inch lip that separated the lanes. His bike came out from under him and he slammed his hip, shoulder, and head. His jacket was torn up and his helmet considerably cracked. But he kept going. (This was probably the best choice considering he knew he didn't break anything and he didn't want his hip to freeze up. He wanted to keep warm.) Needless to say he is sore still, but pedaling on like a machine. Impressive.

My next shift was the climb to Monarch Pass! The official climb was about 9 miles. The last 6 of which, to my pleasure, were my responsibility. It was an awesome climb, a bit more than the altitude of Ohio, so it was tough. But it felt great at the top.

We have now switched to 2 man 5 hour shifts. The teams are, Kelly and Steven, Me and Mr. Daniels, Michael and Daniel, and Bishop Mark and Isaac. (In that order.) So after my 8 hour shift (the one with Monarch pass in it) from noon to 8pm. I had a whopping 5 hours to try and sleep before another 5 hours on the road. It wasn't 5 hours on the bike but it was 2 and a half. (The Prius provides some light with its headlights and is driven by the other half of the team of 2.)

I am enjoying some rest before taking another nap, and will continue to update when possible.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I am posting several monologues at the same time because I am able to write them without the internet connection. But when I loose the connection I can't post it to the blog.

We have been forced to take a break. 120+ temperatures with no shade and the sun beating down forced the halt. We have been making progress, but quite slowly.

I'll update what happens later.

The first day's...night's riding... adventures.

(Disclaimer 2: The post just before this with our route is incorrect. We have considerably modified the route, but I will do my best to fill you in on our route.)

We left LA yesterday at about 5:30. The six riders that are with us right now (Me, Greg Daniels, Kelly O'Connell, Bishop Hollingsworth, Daniel Orr, and Michael Obel-Omia) rode to the front of the convention center where we were met with a small crowd with big cameras. Bishop Mark was interviewed on TV!!!! Then we continued to ride for the first 8 miles, after which all but the bishop were picked up by the RV or Prius.

My shift began at 12:00 midnight on the 18th. I drove the first hour while Mr. Daniels rode. The car drives a bit ahead, waits for the rider, shows them the turns, etc. The goal is to never be so far ahead that the rider feels alone. (The RV consistently drives ahead stops and waits.

Being in the support vehicle is boring but cool and refreshing. (It's hot here.) After the first hour I hopped on my bike waited for Mr. Daniels to arrive and took off. I made it about 4 miles. I saw the pothole, no crack, no ravine, but could do nothing about it. I hit it hard. I rose up on my front wheel for about 10 yards, but was able to maintain my balance and step off the bike. My wheels were ruined, "taco"ed as they say. I called Mr. Daniels and I was back in the prius. I caught up the the RV and the bishop began to get another bike down for me to ride. While he did this I unclasped one of my brakes, tried to spin the wheel, and it worked. I realized that the wheel was running true. I grabbed the brakes and squeezed. Beautiful.

When I hit the hole, I had slammed the brake units forward putting too much pressure on the cables. I can't describe how relieved I was. A quick fix and I was back on the road.

I got a new light, and I rode for an hour this time. I had a huge tail wind and was pedaling at a consistent 26 to 30 mph. Needless to say we were making great time.

This time it wasn't a ravine, just a bouncy road. My new light just worked it's way out of its clip and smashed on the road.

Mr. Daniels was back on the road. (our original plan was for hour or less shifts. So far, Mr. Daniels had a 2 1/2 hour shift (with a ten minute break) and he now was back on for 1/2 an hour.

I borrowed his light this time, because it was about as bright or brighter than a car headlight, and there was no risk of unintentional detachment. Without any more trouble I made it about 40 more miles.

All in all it was a fast paced night. I covered a total of 65 miles and he covered 60. 125 miles in 6 hours isn't half bad.