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.