Thursday, August 12, 2010


Wednesday 12th: This is it. One more day. I have to ride through the largest, busiest city in the country. I can't have a brake down, crash, or any other problem (I hope I didn't jinks myself).

I entered New York City on the George Washington bridge. What a view! The bridge, the city buildings, the water. I went on the nice bike path along the Hudson River. I decided to be a tourist so I went down Broadway to Times Square. I'm not sure which was more difficult, trying to walk a bike on the overly crowded sidewalks or trying to ride on the bike line with all the people crossing the path without looking. It was still fun though. I went all the way down Manhattan. I also saw several other sights including Chinatown, and the work being done on the Freedom Tower (World Trade Center). I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and it took two hours to cross all of Brooklyn down to Coney Island.

I was scheduled to be at the World famous Nathan's Hot Dogs near the Board Walk at 6:30. All the media plans fell through. They must have had more important news to cover, like what shoes a famous actor chose to wear today, but Laura had spread the word so when I rode up there were a couple of policemen that congratulated me. The workers at Nathans clapped and cheered as well as about 40 people that where setting outside on tables eating. One lady yelled, "Welcome to Brooklyn." Several of them wanted their picture taken with me. Shobah's family came also (we appreciate her making the long drive, plus taking care of us and feeding us for the next four days).

We went down to the beach so I could touch the Atlantic Ocean with my bicycle tire. I got the bottle that I half way filled up with sand and water from the Pacific Ocean about 2 1/2 months ago. I reached down and filled the remaining half with the water and sand of the Atlantic Ocean. To me this is symbolic of the unity of our country and that when we work together we can accomplish anything. My 3,553.6 mile trip from sea to shining sea is now officially over. It hasn't totally hit me yet what I have done.

Lately there have been a lot of donations including some patrons, workers, and the owners (Marty and Melanie Low) of Zwahlen's Ice Cream and Chocolate Company, and John and Mel Harris of Blue Bell Camp, the Salazar's, the Walls, and many others. Thanks to my cousins the Skruggs and to my sponsor

Thanks also to our wonderful friend and song writer Wendy of Lantern Lane for letting Laura sing her beautiful and inspiring patriotic song all summer, "Founding Fathers of the Constitution." We are so grateful to have been able to sing this music that touched the hearts of hundreds of people as we crossed this land we love called America! For more of her music go to I hope I haven't forgot anyone somewhere throughout this blog.

There is still time for those of you that wish to donate to the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Thank you so much to all that donated, that gave us a place to stay, that fed us, gave us encouragement, and helped in any way. It was all of you that made this adventure possible. Thanks for all your prayers. I think that it is a miracle that after crossing the country I only had flat tires, nothing else broke or went wrong with the bicycle. And also I didn't get sick or have any significant type of injury, crashes, or wrecks! That is truly amazing! (Ironically at night, the day that I finished, my toe swoll up and started hurting so bad that I could hardly walk on it). Now I want each of you to do sometime big this year. To go out and reach a goal or fulfill a dream that you have.

People have asked me what I will do next. I am not sure, but I do know that until the day that I die I can always proudly say, "I rode a bicycle across the United States!"

Almost There

Tuesday Aug. 10th: I can't believe that I only have two days of riding left! Yesterday I went through the scenic Delaware River Gap and into New Jersey.

Yesterday I found out that I don't need a stunt double. Usually if I go near a parked car I make sure no one is in it. I was going along, not too fast, and a guy all of the sudden opened his car door. I simultaneously leaned to the left to avoid contact, but then had to regain my balance so I reached ahead, grabbed the door, and then half shut it to get by unscathed.

What a crazy route I had today. From Mendham, New Jersey to Fort Lee, New Jersey where I would be right next to the George Washington Bridge to cross into Manhattan, New York tomorrow. I had 65 different roads that I had to go on today. I only got lost twice (for half an hour each time). I started on a bike trail that ended up being a killer mountain bike trail with huge rocks and gigantic tree roots all over. I had to go so slow that the turtles were laughing as they passed me up. Just before I got to Fort Lee I found out that the place we were going to stay at fell through. There was no were to camp, and it was real hot, and a yuckie hotel here is $135. Luckily Jennifer and Bruce Jones said we could drive back to their house for the night. We were more than happy to make the 45 minute drive. We stayed with them last night and had a great visit, and we were so thankful again for them.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's a Small World

Thursday Aug. 5th: I had to concur my fears by passing an Amish buggy, but I made sure that they didn't make a left turn into me (see Sat. July 24th).

I now have my first member of the Willard White Fan Club, Britten Wheeler. Britten and Dan are a super couple that live in Danville, PA. Britten was so funny. She was just so amazed by my bike trip that she almost put my picture over the picture of her hero, the legendary 49er quarterback Steve Young. She also wants to get a group together to meet us at the finish in Coney Island, New York.

Friday Aug. 6th: I went up some killer mountains today, especially the last few miles into Freeland. I was tired and my legs hurt. Laura happened to find me and rode along side me in the van with the song, "The Climb" playing real loud. It was funny. She then went ahead and pulled off the side of the road. When I came by they had the doors open and were singing along to the same song. It actually helped a lot getting up that last mountain. Tomorrow I will be riding through the famous Poconos mountains.

Tonight we stayed with a fun family, the Hulls. Faith and their kids put on a talent show for us after dinner. It was so cute.
Monday Aug. 7th: We spent the weekend with Paulene W. and went to church with here. She is a wonderful lady. We had a great time visiting her and she cooked us some of her authentic Jamaican food. I like her house rule, "The dad gets his food first."
An amazing thing happened at church. One of the speakers came up to me after and asked if I remembered him. It was Ben Clark. I taught him in high school about 12 years ago! He couldn't remember anything that I had taught him, but more importantly he did remember some of my jokes. We also met Mr. Carrion and his dad who is from Peru and he knew a lot of the same people that we know in Peru!
I can't believe it. Only three more days of bike riding until we will reach our final destination.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Right Place(s) at the Right Time(s).

Tuesday August 3rd: I can't believe it! Two whole days without a flat tire! My luck must be changing.

Laura and Faith felt like they should stop at a certain place for lunch and the owner was a Shriner who gave a big donation and got a hold of three other Shriners who gave a big donation and gave us money for diner and got us a motel room for tonight (in Philipsburg) and took us to breakfast in the morning. All that from just picking the right place to go to lunch. There are no accidents in life.

Wednesday Aug. 4th: I was cruising a long at 20 mph when a bee slammed into my lip and instantly went into my mouth. It was an odd feeling as it crawled around in my mouth. I grabbed it as fast as I could. It had stung my lip which was swollen up real big and fat. When I tried to drink water it dribble out the side. Someone called that I had never talked to before and I could hardly talk. I figured the oatmeal in my Cliff power bar would help draw out the venom, and I knew the chocolate definitely wouldn't hurt. I chewed it until it was sticky and put it inside and outside around the stung part of my lip. It was brown colored and looked like I had chewing tobacco dripping down my mouth.

We had another little miracle today from being in the right place at the right time. I was trying to out run a killer lightning storm and went to a church for shelter (Faith Alive Fellowship) just before the monsoon hit. They were just starting their service. The minister gave a good lesson. Me and my family where setting in the back. We were surprised when the minister was talking about exercising faith and compared it to physical exercise and added an impromptu sermon by asking me questions about my bicycle ride. Then at the end the whole congregation prayed for us. That was real neat. Everyone was so friendly afterwards. One lady while shaking my hand passed me a fifty dollar bill. She didn't even mention her name nor did she want anyone to know. It was a total selfless act of charity. I wasn't to excited about sleeping in the rain tonight but no worries, a guy named Roy invited us to his house tonight. He, his wife, son (and wife) where real great to us.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Saturday July 31: Last night we saw a sign that said "Entering Rome." Laura jokingly declared, "When in Rome, do as the Romans." We had a great visit with the Lewis'. Mrs Lewis made gift bags for the girls, and a food bag for us to take today.

We started the day by driving back to Chardon to get flat tire number six repaired.

I rode across a Lake and entered into Pennsylvania, which I believe is one of the prettiest states in the country. It is so amazingly beautiful and there are mountains. They are not as high as the Mountains out West but after riding on mostly rolling hills and flat land for the last month my legs definitely say that these are mountains.

Monday Aug 2nd: We spent the weekend with the Tom Spence family. We had the option of staying at their home or at two different cabins at a YMCA that Tom owns. Wow, a choice of three different places to sleep! We decided to stay with the Spence in their home because they are such great people to be around, that includes the kids and grandparents too. We went to church with them Sunday (in Franklin, a half hour drive away) and then gave a presentation at the church that night.

A few miles after I left today I ran into the paparazzi. I guy seemed to appear out of no where next to a jeep and stated flashing pictures of me (This is the third time that has happened this summer but it still surprises me). Tom Spence's dad had called the newspaper and they sent someone to meet me along the route.

Today within an hour I had three phone messages for places to stay tonight. The Methodist pastor got a hotel for us. The Presbyterian pastor got a hotel for us. And a young Boy Scout, Billy C., said we could stay with him at his grandma's house. Wow! That is the second night in a row that we have had a choice of three places to stay. Last night Billy C. got a hold of me to come speak tonight to a scout troop at the Methodist church in Reynoldsville, Pa. The People there were all wonderful. Billy is an amazing young boy. A real go getter. He decided that he is going to have a Shriners fund raiser. One of the men there, Rick, gave us money for diner tonight and then rode a few miles with me the next morning as I headed out of town. It was fun to have the company for a while.

The Curse of the Flat Tires.

Thur July 29th: I rode through Cleveland today. I love city skylines. I went around the Cleveland Browns football stadium and could see the seats inside. Next door was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum because Cleveland is the birthplace of Rock and Roll (In 1952 a DJ who promoted the music used that term for the first time).

Once the weather got hotter we have been camping out less and trying to find other places to stay and it is amazing how kind people are. Thanks to the Old South United Church of Christ. They got us a motel room in Kirtland, without ever even meeting us.

Friday July 3oth: I spent half the day looking at the remodeled and rebuilt historic buildings in Kirtland. The girls continued their tours while I left to bicycle.

Because of all the flats that I have had, especially this week, I am a little paranoid so when the wind gave me a little push I thought that it was my back tire going flat again. I quickly pulled off the road. I found out that bikes don't stop vary well on wet grass. The tall grass hide the fact that the side slopped down so when I put my foot down there was nothing there. It was like I was falling over in slow motion. I landed on my side in a muddy ditch that was hidden by the tall grass.

Ironically about 10 minutes later I heard a pop sound from the back tire and then heard air quickly rushing out. A nail had gone through the bottom side of the tire and out the top side. I can't believe it! I go 1500 miles without a flat and now I have had six (all the back tire), and four of them have been this week! There was no patching this one and it was going to be dark soon. Laura was going a different direction than me but I knew that the road she would be passing was just two miles up. I didn't have cell phone service here so I ran to get to the intersection before she did. I figured that if I could bicycle across America I could run 2 miles. It turned into a slow jog and it turned out to be the only time all summer that I got a cramp in my leg. For some reason Laura now insists that I carry an extra tire tube with me now.

I Am Still Alive.

I have received a couple of emails from people asking if I am alright because I haven't updated the blog. I am still alive but because of lack of time or a computer I'm having a hard time keeping up. Hopefully I will get to it soon because I have some real good stories to tell.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Don't Take Your Glasses Swimming.

Tuesday July 27th: We spent the weekend with the Wilsons' of Angola, Indiana. Mr. Wilson is an avid cyclist so that was fun, and Mrs. Wilson is entertaining. She was suppose to talk in church Sunday but some how got me to replace her. Sunday night we had dinner with the Newhard family. One of their daughters had me autograph an article that I had published in a church magazine. I have a fat head now.

Saturday about 2 miles before the Wilson's house I got a flat. When I took it to the bike shop to get fixed Monday morning, Mr. Wilson had already prepaid to have it fixed plus two extra tubes also Mrs. Wilson donated $100 to the Shriners fund. I never ceased to be amazed by how many great people there are across the country.

We are in Ohio now.

Our good friends the Coles' used to live in this area of Ohio so we got a hold of K. Allen, of Delta, who directed us to his parents house. Mr. Allen had an extra little cute house that we stayed in last night and also we went swimming in their pond that was made for swimming plus it had several catfish, some about 2 feet long. The only problem is I think once when I jumped in from off the dock my glasses came off without me knowing it. I spent an hour and a half this morning looking for them. First I paddled around on a big floating thing looking in the water which was pretty clear. Then I walked through the clay and seaweed bottom trying to feel for the glasses. I also used a magnet and rake. I didn't find them. Usually I buy the cheapest glasses that I can find but I went all out on these and spent over $400 and only had them for about five months. I am wearing Laura's glasses now. They are not my prescription but they are better than my eyes alone.

After I was done with my deep sea hunt I decided I better get going and, oh no! Another flat tire! Mr. Allen helped me fix it.

I remember a song about a train when I was young, "Listen to the rhythm of the Wabash Cannonball." That R/R track has been converted to a bike path that I rode on today. After about an hour I realised that my tire was slowly going flat! I can't believe it! That is three flats in three days of riding! It takes a lot more effort to ride on a low tire. I had to pump it up six times in 20 miles to get to the bike shop. I have a little hand pump that takes a lot of work to use so my arms where sore the next day.

I had to go 70 miles today and with all that had happened so far it was getting late and I still had 50 more miles so I rode like crazy almost none stop for 3 1/2 hours to get to Tom Mather's house before dark. Tom knows the Allens' so he let us stay in his house tonight. The amazing thing is that he let us stay in his house even though he has never even meet us and also he is out town for a week! Thanks to his friend Charles for getting the key to let us in.

Wednesday July 28th: I got to see Thomas Edison's birthplace in Milan, Ohio (photo on the right).

I love the dollar stores. A couple of days ago I bought a can of nuts and a can of sardines and ate it at a display table in the store.

Tonight we had a real fun visit with a young couple Doug and Amy Toole of Elyria, OH.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

An Actual Amish Almost Accident

Thurs. July 22nd: Skyler's ankle just couldn't take it anymore. We got up at 4:30 AM to take him to the O'hare airport in Chicago. I can tell he was excited to see his family because no matter how hard we tried we never could get him up before 10:00 AM any other day. We are going to miss Skyler, he is a great kid. At least he can say that he rode farther across the country than 99.99% of all teenagers.

Today I rode through downtown Chicago. A couple of times I got temporarily lost and ending in places that I should not have been, but I won't give any details because I know my mother is going to read this. It takes a whole different set of skills to ride in a big city. You have to be constantly alert of everything. The skyline was a sight to see with the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, (the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere). I went by Soldier Field football stadium where the Chicago Bears plat. Then I rode along Lake Michigan. It was gorgeous.

I rode up to the Orak Shrine Center in Michigan City, Indiana. The guys there were great to us. As I rode up they had a newspaper reporter waiting there to interview us. Then we got a tour of the Shrine Center and they also got us a hotel room for the night!

Friday July 23rd: The girls went to play at Lake Michigan while I rode today. I stopped at a dollar store in South Bend, IN and bought sardines that I ate as I sat on a display table.

Thanks to Mr. Daley of Elkhart, IN. He took real good care of us. He cooked a fantastic buffet style dinner for us.

Saturday July 24th: There are a lot of Amish in this area. I am the only person around on a bike that is not Amish so I think they stare at me more than I stare at them. I was riding my bike on the main road and an Amish horse and buggy was coming up on a side road. Not only did they not stop, but they didn't even slow down. I had to swerve real wide to keep from being hit. If there had been an automobile in my lane I would have been ran over by the Amish man in a buggy, or even worse I could have done a face plant right in the behind of the horse! It seems odd that I have gone all this way, at times riding on hectic city streets like Chicago, and my only near hit was an Amish in a rural area.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shriners Hospital in Chicago

Tuesday July 20th: Last night we stayed with a real nice family, the Binghams. Laura asked if their farm was an animal or a crop farm. Mrs. Bingham laughed because all there is in every direction for miles and miles is corn. They gave us a tour of the farm. It was interesting to see what the different types of tractors do and to see the silos.

I rode on The Great Western Trail route. It used to be a stage coach and later a R/R route that was converted into a bike trail. There are a lot of those around these states.

Wednesday 21st: The Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago got a nice hotel for us to stay in. We went to the hospital today. We were talking to one of the Shriners and he was so impressed with what we are doing that he donated $100 cash right on the spot. We were treated like royalty all day. We went in the auditorium and spoke to the state (Illinois) high school football All-Stars that were visiting today. Kalli and Katleen, the hospital PR directors, were super. We had a fun picnic and then a tour of the hospital. They have some amazing technology.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm a TV Star Now!

Wednesday July 13th: I rode 76 miles today and the heat index got up to 118 degrees!!! I was completely, and I mean completely, soaked with sweat. I could have jumped into a hot tub and not even noticed a difference. Actually the hot tub might have been cooler. I was so exhausted. I had called pastor Clink who got us in the Presbyterian Family Center and we stayed there that night. There was a full basketball quart, racquetball, Foosball, but of course I was to tired to do anything, except take a shower and eat. There was a ton of food in the frig for us. We slept upstairs on the nice soft couches. I was so tired that I went to bed at 9:00 PM!

Friday July 15th: Yesterday we met a wonderful family, the Sheffields in Iowa City, after riding 75 miles. Today I had to hurry and ride 60 miles to be on TV in the afternoon. The Shriners got us a nice hotel in Davenport. They picked us up there and took us to the TV studio just in time. I was on the Paula Sands Live talk show! She is like the local Oprah. To see the interview go to,
then on the left click on "Paula Sands Live on July 16, 2010" and forward to about 14:30.
Then the Shriners took us to a steak dinner.

It is kind of fun when I go into s store, library, or church and a complete strangers comes up and says, "I saw you on TV."

Saturday July 17th:
I rode into Illinois and then along the Mississississississippi River bike trial for about 20 miles. It was gorgeous. Went 67 miles to Sterling, IL.

Sunday July 18th: We went to church with a great family, the Stocks. They took good care of us this weekend and invited the church members to their house this evening to hear our presentation.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Wild, Wild, West.

Sunday July 11th: We went to church with the the McCance family. They have a great sense of humor and we thank them for taking such good care of us. After church there was a pot luck lunch and we gave a presentation.

Monday July 12th: This part of Iowa had bad luck years ago. Near Adair was the first train robbery in the West by Jesse James and his gang in 1873 (see picture). I also saw the bank that Bonnie and Clyde robbed in 1934. Before that had happened, near Dexter, was a near death shoot out of Bonnie and Clyde and the police.I did like the welcome sign in the town of Stuart, "Home of 1600 good eggs, and a few stinkers."

I rode 75 miles to our friends near Des Moines, Tom and Cindy Bugg. They are the only "Buggs" that we like (Get it?, "bugs."). We knew them when we both lived near Valley Forge, PA.

Tuesday July 13th: Channel 13 TV sent a camera/reporter right out to where we were staying to interview us. They ran our story on the 5, 6, and 10 PM news on TV!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pioneer Trails

Friday July 9th: 90% of the time the media puts out our story if I contact them personally but Omaha was different. Yesterday and today I went to three newspapers, four TV stations, and five radio stations and none of them where interested in our story! I couldn't believe it! I don't know if it was just bad luck or if all the big cities will all be like this.

The good news is the Zoo let us in for free. It is a real good zoo. We also saw the Lewis and Clark Landing point the mighty Missouri River. Most of this entire trip so far we have crossed or rode on all the famous pioneer routes of the Pony Express, Oregon Trial, and Mormon Trail plus others. My wife, myself, and Skyler have ancestors that came west on this pioneer trails. We have them to thank for our lives. I hope that some of their faith, tenacity, and endurance have worn off on me some how. They are probably looking down on us wondering way we are going backwards, but we do this in part to honor their lives. They traveled through hardships for a cause that they strongly believed in and we likewise are doing the same. Although they probably laugh at us when we complain about it being to hot as we run into the first air conditioned building that we can find.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Wednesday July 7th: Monday Mr. Sillivan drove me into Broken Bow to start riding where I left off and ironically my route, that I planned several months ago, lead me back to their house 2 1/2 hours later. Mrs. Sillivan had enchiladas for us. It was hard to say bye to the Sillivans. They are such a fun family. It was especially hard trying to get Skyler to leave their two teenage daughters.

I forgot to mention last week I stopped by the shade of a tree to rest and there were a hundred bright golden colored dragonflies. Some where hovering in the air and others where on the plants. It was like I had just walked into a fairytale story.

I went 75 miles today and after last week's horrible wind today was a piece of cake. That is funny. I would have never thought that riding 75 miles in day would seem easy (It's really not easy, just easy compaired to last week).

Here is another example of how friendly people have been, especially in Nebraska. We were looking for a place to camp tonight and a lady drove Laura to a nice camp site. An hour later the lady came back with a huge warm plate of chocolate rice crispy treats that she had just made for us. Often we have people trying to find me a job or showing us houses for sale so we will move to their town.

We had called a local church and the Lindquists' almost begged us to stay with them Tuesday night. We feel so loved. I told them that I had lost 14 pounds so far and Mrs. Lindquist made it her mission to help me gain back all 14 pounds in 12 hours, and I loved it. Lots of home made food including the peach and apple pie. I even got to eat ice cream with my breakfast the next morning. Then they called the Chisholm family 50 miles away so we could stay with them tonight (Wednesday July 7th)!
Wahoo!... I made it to Wahoo (yes, that is the real name of the town). Wahoo!... I am going to be in the Wahoo newspaper! Wahoo!...(I could go on forever with this one).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

We Made it Half Way!

The people of Nebraska are great. As far as the biking, this week was awful. I thought that the prevailing winds of the summer in the U.S. are suppose to be from the West. Somebody forgot to tell Nebraska that. The last five days have been terrible. The wind has been blowing 20-30 mph day and night, mostly in me face. Sometimes it was so hard that I had to stand up or pedal in first gear just to keep moving, and that was on flat ground! At times it was a challenge not being blown off the road or into traffic. The wind was so strong that there was one big pond that had about a hundred breaking waves! To make matter worse when I planned this trip I knew that I would be done with the mountains so I planned this week as the most miles to go. I averaged 70 miles a day for 420 miles total in six days. Because of the wind I fell behind and tried all week to catch up. Some days where from morning tell night maybe 8 1/2 hours on the bike. I now truly understand the meaning of the phrase, "Saddle sore."I was so exhausted each day. For the first time I wondered why in the heck I was doing this, and wondered if I wanted to keep it up. One time this week the wind did stop...for about 20 seconds. It was perhaps the most glories 20 seconds of my life.

Enough whining and complaining. I did re-learn an important lesson. No matter how hard things are, if you focus on the negative it makes things worse. If you focus on the positive, time goes faster and life seems better. We had some great blessings this week. One night I was 7 miles from Laura and the campsite for the night. It was getting dark and I couldn't fall behind any more miles than I already was this week. It was getting dark and I didn't have lights. I was so tired that I just wanted to fall over on the side of the road and sleep. I prayed for help and all of the sudden such a burst of strength came over me that even Hercules would have been jealous. Then I noticed that the wind actually changed direction and was blowing me forward. After I made it the seven miles the wind changed back to how it was before.

In Alliance, Nebraska the Duitsmans' had the key to apartment complex that they lived in and let us stay in not one but two vacant apartments! Nine year old Faith was so cute. she said, "Baya and I are now adults because we have our own apartment." Another night we got a vacant ranch house all to ourselves thanks the Ramseys' near Ashby. And the Sillivans' in Arcadia, NE also had a vacant house that we had to ourselves. Wow, three homes of our own in one week! Mr. Sillivan is a leader of a congregation in Broken Bow and he arranged for our family to give the entire Fourth of July program at church. We went with them that night to watch the fireworks in Comstock.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm a Radio Star!

Monday June 28th: I got a flat tire today. No problems the whole trip and now two flats in less than a week. Thanks to Dewey in Laramie at Pedal House for fixing it so quickly and cheaply.

I went to the designated meeting place at Grayrocks Reservoir after 72 miles today. I waited for an hour and a half in the dark for Laura. I was real tired going against the wind all day, but there were a million mosquitoes so to keep them off of me I kept riding or power walking about 200 yards up and down the same stretch of road. Luckily I stopped a policeman that went and found Laura before I was carried away by the mosquitoes. I have bites all over me. I ended out with 85 miles on my bike today.
Tuesday 29th: At Fort Laramie there was a funny sign. See the picture on the left.
Above is a photo of me on radio KGOS in Torrington, Wyoming. I also have a sound bite at
Just fast forward to the 4 minute 50 second mark. All the media are nice but Anita at the station was simply wonderful. She is going to follow my blog to give her listeners a weekly update. I hope all you other media members are doing the same. Remember the whole purpose of this adventure is to raise money for Shriner Hospitals for Children. I don't know why but there haven't been many donations lately so please go to the home page and find the donate buttons within the text.

Today was a rough 72 miles to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. I left at 7:30 AM and had a 20 mph wind at my face all day and barley made it in time for my 7 PM speaking appointment that night. Thanks to Taylors' and Tom Townsend for setting it up and for all their help.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Where the Deer and The Antelope Play...

Friday June 25th: Last night we stayed at the Ross' house in Rawlins, Wyoming. They had us speak to a small group of Boy Scouts and took great care of us. This morning I was on the Rawlins radio station and in the newspaper (that is number 15). Poor Skyler hasn't been able to ride with me the last few days. His ankle is swollen and hurts bad. He snapped a ligament years ago so he went to the doctor to check it our. He got a brace and new hard shoes made for biking. Next week he will try riding more and more each day to see how it goes.

I want to thank Penny and Monty Sheridan of Hanna for being so nice to us.

Saturday 26th: I saw about 70 wind mills. They are 350 feet tall. The tallest structure in Wyoming. At Medicine Bow they were having "Bow Days" It was a real small town activity. There were about 6 little booths. The mayor was walking around with Whip cream all over his face from the pie throwing booth. The fast draw (gun) shooting contest was cool. But most exciting is that here lives the buffalo chip throwing world champion. There was a huge storm quickly developing and I decided to try and out run it. I was pedalling like crazy for over an hour. Even going 20 mph up hill. The storm was slowly catching me and I was staying on the outside edge of it while I got rained on. The clouds behind me where real black and there was lightning. The houses are far apart but I finally I found an old trailer house that looked like a rowdy lived there. I knocked but no one answered. I went in the barn to get out of the rain and lightning and was worried that I would see a shot gun come around the corner and be put in my face. I got even more worried when I saw the shelf lined with a hundred empty beer bottles. I was preparing my death speech and looking for sometime white that I could hold around the corner as a surrender flag. Then the rain lightened up so I quickly took off and pedaled like crazy but barely moved against a 30 mph wind. I went 64 miles today.

Sunday 27th: We gave a constitution talk to a church group tonight. I have to say that the Lehmitz family were a blast to spend time with. They have a church magazine called the New Era. I was surprised to see that an article I had wrote for that magazine was in this months issue. We were so excited to see it. It's about an experience I had as a boy rafting down a river without a paddle and comparing that to going through life without goals.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Adventures In Wyoming

Monday June 21st: After Evanston, Wyoming we passed about 100 of those big huge windmills.

I have heard about the Three-Sisters for months. The road goes down, down, down, a mountain and then up, up, up a mountain - three times. We made it with no problem. There was some road construction and up one hill the road workers gave us a standing ovation. One yelled out, "Great job, I could never do that."

We went by Fort Bridger named after the most famous mountain man, explorer, trapper, tour guide, of the west, Jim Bridger.

In Lyman we got a special treat. The Gateway Inn let us stay in their motel for free. Thanks to them and Mike Buckner for that.

Today was about 70 miles of riding.

Tuesday June 22nd:

On the freeway there was construction causing a long line of cars to form. For some reason I got great satisfaction being on a bicycle and flying by all the cars that where moving at a snails pace.

I went by Green River, Wyoming. The cliffs and buttes are a pretty color green and so is the river, hence the name of the city. We got into the newspaper again

We gave a presentation at the Pilot Butte church. I guess they liked it because they bought us dinner and let us stay the night inside the church! That was cool. I have never sleep over in a church before. It was tough trying to decide which of the dozens of rooms to sleep in. Thanks to Bishop Rose and all those that were so kind to us. At Little America we meet a couple of cross-country bike riders like us, Chris and Colton from California. They were great help. They changed Skyler's tire that had a chunk missing. They stayed the night at the church with us.

55 miles today.

Wednesday 23rd: Yesterday I was so proud of myself for passing cars on the freeway. Today I was even more excited to pass a train of coal cars. I caught and passed it. I know it was going up hill...but so was I! As I was basking in my glory I suddenly realized that I had gone the wrong way for a few miles. That's the first time I've done that. I've been careful not to do that because it's not like in a car if you go the wrong way on a bike it takes a lot of time and I am already pedaling all day as it is.

It accidental got on a dirt road on the open rang and far off, eight wild horses saw me and started running towards me. It was cool until they looked like a stampede coming toward me, but luckily they crossed the road just behind me. I saw several Pronghorn Antelope and got close many times. One ran along side of me for a while. I constantly see prairie dogs. They are all over. They screech out a red alert signal and then run down a hole. The rabbits startle me the most because they dart out lightning fast just feet away.

68 miles today.

Thursday 24th: Last night we camped out just off the freeway in the middle of no where. It was the only place we could find. So happens we where very close to the train tracks. The trains came about every 45 minutes. There was a dirt road across the tracks so they would blow their horn and it seemed like they saw us so they would blast the horn a few extra times for fun.

I got my first flat tire of the trip near the Continental Divide (7000 feet). Believe it or not I've never changed a flat and couldn't get anything to work right. We were blessed, like so many times on this trip, to have a man that was in the right place at the right time to fix my tire.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One Third The Way Done!

Monday June 14th: We made it 65 miles to Kimberly, Idaho just past Twin Falls. We sleep in a church parking lot. Since we weren't allowed to put up a tent, all five of us crammed into the van full of luggage and two dogs. I was so tired it didn't matter much.

Tuesday 15th: Skyler's mom and grandparents lived in Burley so when we got there I took Skyler to the newspaper office so they could write a few things about him. Go to the link and scroll down to the article, That is the twelve newspaper that we have been in.

We went 71 miles to Malta tonight. We stayed with Jeff Johnson. He and his daughter are great people. He set it up for us to speak to a group of people in the park that night.

Wednesday 16th: We made it to Utah! And boy did we have a nice welcome-40 mph side wind. We were riding our bikes at about a 30 degree angle leaning to the side. The wind was blowing us all over. It made it even more challenging when a big truck would go by. Then we got rained on. But we still rode 85 miles today! And then Skyler went swing dancing (to be young again).

Thursday 17th: Skyler missed out last night. He went home while the rest of us slept in the van because it was pouring rain. We didn't want to bother getting our sleeping bags out of the cargo carrier (it is like sardines up there) and it was soooooooooooo cold all night. We had some appointments this afternoon so I had to get up at 5:15 to start riding and my bike had ice on it! The speedometer was cover in ice thick enough that I couldn't read it. I had to scrap the ice off the seat before I jumped on and took off riding. After half an hour of shaking I started to warm up. I stopped at the ATK Thiokol Rocket Display. Here they had booster for the Minuteman and Patriot missiles. The Shuttle booster was huge.

I went to my favorite town today, the town of Willard. It has my favorite mountain peak - Willard Peak. Also my favorite bay - Willard Bay (part of the Great Salt Lake). And my favorite cemetery...I could go on and on but I won't. I wonder if we will see any towns named something like Skylerville? Ironically the town named after me (even though it was established in 1851) is where my fourth great grand fathers, John Woodland, is buried. He is the one that came out west with the pioneers.

We took the bikes to where we bought them, Taylor's bike shop, for a tune-up. If you are in the Salt Lake area go to these guys. They are great.

We have been real blessed with no break down of flats and no big injuries. One day I did count 25 little blisters on one foot. I've been sore in various places but surprisingly my legs haven't really been sore until the last few days and lately I've been real tired. It could be due to the fact that the last four days we rode 65, 71, 85, and 6o miles. Before this trip I would have never thought that I would say that 50 miles is an easy day.

Friday 18th: We spent the night at Skyler's house. After a few minutes of riding today we hit one of the toughest short stretches of our trip. About 5 miles of a 40 mph head wind going uphill on the freeway (I-84) through Weber Canyon. My legs were killing me.

At 10:30 I called in to be live on an Evanston, Wyoming radio show. Then we made it to where I live, Morgan. Jim Francis, who originally was going to ride across America with us, was there on his three-wheeled cart. All three of us where escorted into town by the city firetruck. We went to the park to be welcomed by great friends and family.

I need to say thanks to our friends at Romero Graphics for putting our website on the van. It looks real cool.

Saturday 19th: Today was about 60 miles total to Evanston, Wyoming. There were some good mountains to climb but the 25 mph tail wind was very helpful. Most days we have a tail wind. We are staying the weekend with our good friends Bill and Julie Housely. Bill got us on the radio and newspaper and set it up for us to speak at an amphitheater at Bear River Park. The city provided refreshments and we had a camp fire. It was a fun evening and we got some donations for Shriners Hospitals.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Who Says You can't Go Home" - Bon Jovi

It's been an eventful week. Wednesday the 9th we rode into Parma, Idaho with a police escort to the park and was meet by the newspaper lady and others. I graduated from high school here in 1981. That night Skyler and I spoke to a group of 50 Boy Scouts and Leaders. Thursday we went to my brother Eddies in Nampa and celebrated Faith's 9th birthday. Friday we road to my Aunt Verna and Uncle Pete Merricks near Bruneau. Saturday we made it near Bliss. The last two days (and next several) we have been on the old Oregon Trail route from wagon train history. We drove the van two hours back to Parma. I was the honorary speaker at the all class reunion (anyone that had graduate from Parma High School). There were about 200 there and they were a fantastic group to speak to. They donated nearly $200 to The Shriners cause. Sunday night we also spoke to a church group. All the nights in Parma we stayed with my best friend from high school, Alan Weber.

The picture is from Hagerman Fossil Museum. It is a horse/zebra like animal (I call it a Zorse) that is 3.2 million years old.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Solar Power by Goal0

I have to show you a few pictures of our solar equipment from our sponsor The first picture, above, is the battery. The next picture shows the solar panel over the battery. They are both relatively light and come in very handy. You can put on as many solar panels as you need and it charges the battery, from the sun of course, whether you are riding or not. You can also charge the battery in a regular house outlet or from the car. The battery then is used to charge cell phones, Ipods, what ever. One day we were behind schedule. Since we were on a secluded road with no cars we rode at night. We had three lights hooked up to three Goal0 batteries and where lit up like a Christmas tree.

The third picture shows all the equipment for the girls in the van. I don't know much about car batteries but since the van only goes about 50-60 miles a day I am afraid of it not being charged enough for all the girls electrically needs so we use two sets of Goal0 equipment. It looks like a lot of stuff, but it all fits into a small bag. It is all very durable to last through my daughters setting on it in the van and dropping things all the time. They use it to watch DVDs, listen to music, lights for around camp. It works so well that they really only need one set of equipment for all their needs. Go to to see more (also to post from Friday April 16h).

Monday, June 7, 2010

Don't tease Badgers

Friday June 4th: All I see is miles of sage brush with the mountains all around in the back ground and I love it. I saw a badger today. I put my bike between me and the badger and slowly inched myself closer and closer until I was about two yards away. It started hissing louder and louder and flatted itself out to look big and did this little bounce up and down thing to try and scare me. I was too stupid to be scared until I remember hearing that if threatened badgers will tear you apart with their sharp claw. Finally the badger ran off and I had to laugh at its cute waddle. But then I realized that it all wasn't worth a possible trip to the emergency room. I learned a good life lesson that sometimes in life harmful activities or behaviors might give us an adrenaline rush or seem exciting at the time the consequences are never worth it.

I tried to go as far as I could since I had a 25 mph wind at my back. I made it about 70 miles (for the second day in a row). We stooped in the very small town of Wagontire. "Very small" is an extreme over exaggeration. The sign said population 3 but it is really only 1. It is true, only one guy lives there in a trailer. The cafe, hotel, and gas station have all closed down. He was real friendly and let us camp in one of the RV sites for free.

Sunday 6th: Yesterday (Saturday) we road to Burns. We had a wind in our face all day. I was real tired and glad that today is Sunday because we never ride on Sundays. It is t he only day of the week that we rest. We went to church at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That night we gave an hour presentation there. The people were wonderful.

We stayed with Sharon and Stacy (yes, that is his first name and if you go through town don't tease him about it...he is the county sheriff) Johnson at their ranch. His brothers families, Alan and Kevin, live nearby too. They all treated us so well. They are super great people. They have an interesting health product at Also a special thanks for the great hospitality from Mr. and Mrs. Romans in Vale, Oregon (Tuesday 8th).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Man Versus Wild"

Sorry that I haven't written for a few days. I feel like I was just in a few episodes of Survivor Man out in the Oregon wilderness. No shower, cell phone, or computer for days.

Monday May 31st: We left my mom's house in Roseburg and went to Idleyde Park. We stayed with the Krysky family. They were wonderful to us. Mr. Krysky showed us videos of the civil war cannons that he makes and fires. It was very interesting.

Tuesday June 1st: We continued going east on Hwy 138. It is so green and pretty. There are permanent waterfalls and temporary waterfalls everywhere. We are following the river and it is a pretty green color.

We are without the van support for two days and I didn't bring rain gear because the forecast was only 20% chance of rain but I grew up in western Oregon and should know that 20% here means that's how many people think that it actually won't rain. We did get rained on a little here and there but nothing to bad. Today was all uphill.

Wednesday June 2nd: Did I say that it didn't rain too much on us? Well that was until today. Actually it started when we began to set up camp last night and rained all night and all today. We did find out that our untested tent is not completely waterproof. We waited until afternoon for it to stop but no chance of that so we put on the untested rain gear and away we went. The last two days we went from not much above see level to the summit of the Cascade Mountains at 5,925 feet. We were a little wet under the rain clothes and there was snow all around us so it was getting cold. Luckily it finally stopped raining on the several miles of downhill or we would have froze. I knew if Skyler and I could make it through this two days of straight uphill then we could do just about anything.

What makes this trip so challenging is that we have so many speaking appointments set up on specific days that we have to stay on schedule come rain or shine, which reminds me I forgot to mention that we did get hailed on too.

Thursday 3rd: People here are so friendly. We stopped along side the road for a snack at Klamath Marsh and the first two cars that came by asked if we needed help. We bought hamburgers from a single mom and tried to give her a tip but she told us to keep it for our cause. We have had people along the way donate to Shriners Hospitals for Children. Don't forget that is the main reason way we are doing this, and thanks so much to all those that have donated or helped in anyway. Go to the home page
if you would like to donate. If everyone we talked to only donated one dollar it would be a large amount.

We are sad that Jim Francis was not able to come on the trip with us but he did a great job of calling church leaders along the route to find us occasional homes to stay at and also places to speak. So happens my best friend from Jr. High, Scott Tobiason, is the leader of the congregation in Christmas Valley. We had to ride 70 miles today straight to the church and got there in time to give a presentation. Laura first talked about the miracles with the health of our three adopted girls and I talked about patriotism. After that we went to my old friend's (Scott Tobiason) house. Ironically like my wife and I they also adopted all three of their kids and also like us two are from Latin American countries. Scott got out the Jr. High yearbooks and we had fun reminiscing.

Monday, May 31, 2010

"That's one small pedal for man; one giant pedal for mankind."

Wed May 26th:
School is out tomorrow but it is the last day for us. We have to leave after school today to stay on the biking schedule even if my kids want to mutiny. We have a totally loaded car top cargo carrier on the van roof and the the inside of the van is cram packed with the bare necessities for the entire summer. It is crowded. Of course I sang my traditional song as we drove down the freeway, "On the road again..." by Willie Nelson (feel free to sing along). We had to make several stops to let the dogs go potty. Yes, both of our chiweeniers are going to be with us this summer. That should be an added adventure.

Friday May 28th: Yesterday we drove from Nampa, Idaho to my mom's in Roseburg, Oregon and today we got up early enough to drive to Horsfall Beach on the Oregon Coast just above North Bend/Coos Bay. We had five Shriner members from surrounding areas. They had on their tall nice looking Shriner hats and three of them gave us a $100 each to donate to the Shriners Hospitals for Children. I had all my siblings there, except one, and a lot of their family with them. The Eugene/Coos Bay TV station was there with a camera and she interviewed us for at least 20 minutes . One of the Shriners, all dressed in Scottish attire, played the bag pipes. Next the Coos Bay Newspaper reporter asked a few more questions. See the article at Next we went down to the beach to officially start in the Pacific ocean and we were finally off!! I can't believe that we actually started our trip. It is exciting. I have been going crazy the last couple of days waiting to begin. I was in such great shape but because of the wedding activities and packing, not only did I throw out my back but I have only rode my bike once in the last seven days.

High today about 63 degrees with a nice wind at our backs all day. It was beautiful, all the trees, rivers, etc. We took our time and enjoyed the ride. It still seems kind of like a dream that we have actually started a cross-country bicycle ride. It hasn't completely hit me yet. Today was an easy 35 mile to Myrtle Point. we stayed with Ken and Jamie Stratton. They were a wonderful couple and treated us so well.

The only major disappointment is that our third riding partner, Jim Francis, Could not make the trip. His artificial knees need to be replaced. But Jim is with is in spirit and his bicycling advise has been very helpful. we are also very grateful to Jim for all the appointments he set up for us and several places to stay over night at.

Saturday May 29th: Day two of our ride. I went to bed at 10 PM last night. The Strattons had just remolded this room and it has bunk beds. I was on the top bed and only hit my head once last night. I woke up at 2:30 AM with some anticipation but mostly going over in my head a few dozen things that I have to get done. after over an hour I went back to sleep but we had to get up at 5 AM. We need to make sure that we get to Roseburg in time to get ready to go to mom's big birthday party celebration. The road was fairly peaceful the first couple of hours with very few cars. 40 mile up gradual then a couple of moderate hills but also a head wind.

Skyler was real worn out but he hung in there. I'm proud of him. we went 61 miles today. Some how we started a tradition of spitting over every bridge that has water under it (like a river or stream)-what can I say I'm with a 17-year-old-kid. Skyler is a great kid. He is very well mannered and just all around wonderful. Anyway back to the important topic, spitting off bridges. In 99 miles we have spit off of 33 bridges.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"...and the hooome of the braaaave..."

Think of your favorite song. Can you sing all the lyrics to that song? I ask my high school students this question and some know all or most all of the words to a thousand songs. Then I give them a quiz that you can now take also. I will sing (write) the last few words of a very well known song and then you start singing the second verse. Here we go, "...and the home of the brave." So what's the second verse? I rarely find a person that knows it. Isn't it interesting that we know the words to hundreds of songs, some that we probably shouldn't know the words to, yet we don't know the second verse to a song that is probably on our "Top 5" list of most important songs. Do we even know how many total verses there are? There are three. How many know I just tried to trick you because there are four verses?

As I've mentioned before one of my goals on this cross-country bike ride is to help promote patriotism. A governmental system that had for over 200 years worked better than any in the history of the Earth, isn't working so well now. What has happened in the last few decades? We have gotten away form the basics of the Constitution and what the Founding Fathers believed. Most of us know more about our favorite TV show or sports team then we do about the Declaration of Independence. We can spew out countless statistics and trivia of our favorite athlete or actor but we have no idea what the third amendment says (got you, didn't I?).

All we need to do is spend a little time each week learning about the original documents and original words of our Founding Fathers so we can help get our country back on the right track.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I walked out the door this morning with my hands full of trash. As I pushed the screen door open, walking backwards, I heard a crash. Santa came last night!! I looked down and saw a brand new Raleigh Sojourn bicycle!! I couldn’t believe it!! After standing there staring with a mixture of amazement and pure exhilaration I suddenly realized that I had knocked the bike over when I had opened the door. I quickly kneeled down to inspect it. I saw a little scratch and I think a small tear came to my eye. Oh well, it has now been initiated. Anyway, I was so excited I almost jumped on for a test ride but I had to go to work; but who cares about work?! Actually it was the two inches of new snow on the ground that obliterated my plan. Ironically I have researched touring bikes for months and this is the exact one that I wanted (for you bikers that are curious about what I think of the Raleigh Sojourn you can email me at

The bicycle, plus all the gear I need, is from my cosponsors at and Tifie is an organization committed to teaching individuals and families independence through enterprise, with a big focus currently in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I personally know the founder of Goal0. The Goal0team is brilliant. I put them right up there with Einstein and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Also Goal0 is letting me take their brand new invention on the trip. It is a solar-power battery that will keep my cell phone and lights going. It will be nice that I won’t have to worry about those going dead on me when I am out in the middle of nowhere with all the lions, and tigers, and bears (Oh, my)! I have seen how it is in action and it’s pretty amazing how well it works. It’s not big and bulky, everything is water resistant, and it is very durable. All you outdoor people need to check out the website, (that is the word "goal" with the number "0" after).

Thursday, April 15, 2010


My Training Update

March 6th: It got above 40 degrees for the first time since before summer!!

March 8th: Because of the weather I haven't been on my bicycle for over four months, but now it is time to get my rear in gear (no pun intendeded, well...actually it was intended). Today I started on my 11 week training schedule that will have me gradually work my way up to be able to ride 300 miles a week (50 miles a day). But there was a problem. It was only 39 degrees out and my skinny body threshold is 40 degrees. You see I hate cold, and rain, and snow (I know what you’re thinking, “And he is going on a cross- country ride!”). It’s not so much the cold I hate; I guess it’s more that I hate pain. In fact I think that I am allergic to pain. Pain really wouldn’t bother me so much if it didn’t have to involve any form of the word “hurt.”

Luckily I had access to a certain unnamed building that I went in and road around for 40 minutes. The building is unnamed because if the custodians found out they would throw my bike off the edge of the Grand Canyon, with me on it.

March 25th: I am falling behind on my training so I had to ride today even though it was...I can’t bare to say it… below 40 degrees. The average wind was 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. It is an odd sensation knowing the road is definitely going down hill but yet you have to peddle as hard as you can to barely keep moving.

April 6th: Because of bad snowy weather and our three day long 25th Anniversary get away (I actually did bring my bike. It took up the entire back of the van, but I didn’t even get to use the bike) I haven’t ridden my bike in a week so I have to go today no matter what. However, we got a foot of snow last night and I did a lot of shoveling. It snowed on and off all day. By 4:00 PM the roads looked barely dry enough to take my mountain bike out. I went up past the lake (East Canyon Reservoir) and all of a sudden it started snowing. I turned back and stopped at a resort to wait for it to stop. I continued home. I was a little wet from the snow and with the wind chill it was about 18 degrees. My fingers and toes were soooo cold. I am pretty sure no mountain pass this summer will get that cold so I know I can handle it. It is amazing how a goal will make people challenge and improve themselves by getting out of their comfort zone.
On the ride I saw an eagle, a porcupine, lots of little birds that were following along side me and in front of me that I had to dodge occasionally. Some wild turkeys crossed right in front of my path. A few times I almost ran into some deer (oh, deer! …Oh… I mean, “Oh, dear!”). I bet you didn’t know that springtime riding in the mountains could be so hazardous.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


When I begin my cross-country bicycle ride on May 28th, I am going to start with my big toe and bike tire in the Pacific Ocean. I have a vial that I will fill half way full of the waters from the Pacific Ocean. I will carry this with me all 3,333.33 (ironically 33 is my favorite number) miles across the country as I ride my bike. When I reach the Atlantic Ocean I will likewise put my big toe and bicycle tire in the water. And then I will fill the remainder of the vial with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, which will mix with the water of a continent away, the Pacific.

To me this is symbolic of the unity of our county. In the past the United States, although diverse, has been generally unified in good causes. The country was united for hundreds of years fighting for freedom. Although we have a rich variation in cultures and ideas we have been for the most part unified in the same values that have made our country the greatest on Earth. However, in my lifetime I have seen this change. In the last few decades a few people and groups want to have different values that go against and are against everything that the Founding Fathers fought for.

Ironically those that are responsible for changing the traditional values of this country even admit that crime, violence, abuse, bureaucracy, and a whole host of problems have gone up more and more each year.

So as I spend 2 ½ months riding a bicycle across the country to raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children I will also be talking at various school, civic, and church groups to remind them of the values that this country was founded upon and which the constitution was established upon.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Wow! It's amazing what happens when you set a goal and stick to it. Thanks to the Kendell family. They asked my family to come to their Christmas party to share our story. We explained what the cross-country bicycle trip was all about and sang a couple of songs (my wife is a fantastic singer). It was our kick-off (first) presentation of many that will come. As we spoke they secretly passed around a jar and SURPRISE they handed it to us at the end. It was full of money, $602.53 to be exact!!!

Last fall I invited two bicyclers (Van and Scott, that I had just met) to spend the night at my house. They were on a four-day overnight tour of northern Utah. A couple months later I received a surprise Christmas box in the mail. It was from them. The package contained a helmet, a couple of pannier bags, some tools, and a how to fix your bike manual (just from one night at my house they could tell I knew almost nothing about bicycle mechanics). I needed everything that they sent and I'm guessing it was all worth about $200!

There are a couple of other exciting things in the works. I will tell more about them when the details get all worked out.

Also thanks to my hero Matt C. He rode a bicycle across the country in 2008. I was so inspired by his adventure that I decided I wanted to do the same thing. His great advice and wisdom has been invaluable to me.

Thanks to all that have gone on my website and donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, those that have set up speaking engagements for us, and for all the moral support too (I wish I could list everyone but I know God will bless you for it).

I can't wait until this snow melts so I can start some serious training! It's driving me crazy!!!!!!!!!!!