Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Boston..! We made it!

Well.. we are officially in Boston..!!!

We got to town last night around 6:00 last night, then biked to Pleasure Bay to dip our front tires in the water and take some pictures and stuff..

While we were biking into town, we decided that the perfect way to celebrate our arrival would be to find a chinese buffet.. Unfortunately, once we had finished taking pictures and high-fiving, we were so hungry that we only cared about what was the closest.. and the winner ended up being, tgi fridays..!

So we got to the restaurant, made friends with all the waitresses, ate a ton, then remembered we had no place to stay for the night.. (at least i thought)

We were planning on staying at this campground, but then we found out that they dont allow camping and it is just a little park.. Luckily, Eric's dad knows a guy, Rich, that lives here, and he invited us to come stay at his house! Rich even has a cottage at Cape Cod that he said we could go camp at..!

So we are gonna chill out here in boston today, then hopefully drive to Cape Cod this evening to hangout there, then probably come back here tomorrow sometime..

Oh.. I just realized that I never told you why we ended up getting here a day early..

Ok.. well.. We were planning on biking about 50 miles yesterday, then 50 more today to get here this afternoon.. While we were eating lunch yesterday though, we realized that the place we were going to stay was like 10 miles out of our way.. So we decided that instead of going out of our way, we would just bike the whole way yesterday afternoon!

We were exhausted by the time we actually got to Boston because it was one of our hilliest days yet! We had over 4000 feet of ascent..! It was an epic day to finish off the trip..!

So the plan now:

- Chill out and see the Boston sights today

- Drive to Cape Cod tonight and stay at Rich's cottage

- Come back to Boston tomorrow.. Ryan, Scott, and I will probably start heading back towards Kansas tomorrow afternoon sometime (i think).. it's a 26 hour drive though.. :(

- will probably continue to be lots of the phrase "dude, we're done.!".. followed by high-fiving or fist-pounding.. (that has been happening a lot)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

more hills, a happier butt, and books..

Soo.. Last night we were hanging out with Steve, and we got to talking about our bikes.. After he looked at our bikes he asked me how much my butt had hurt this whole trip (he recognized my seat).. Then he said that he had an old seat that was nicer than mine that he would just give to me because he wasn't using it for anything..!
The seat is like a cloud compared to my other one.. My butt was so happy all day today..
Steve, you are the man!

This morning Steve biked with us for about 20ish miles.. It was great.. Except for the hills.. We had several pretty huge climbs this morning.. But luckily, we only had 45 miles total to do today!
So we were done biking by about 1:30..

We decided that the best way to spend our free time was to go to a Barnes & Noble and chill out in the coffee shop area and look at books/magazines all afternoon..
So we were there for about 4 or 5 hours.. I bought The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn..! Pretty excited about reading it..

We didn't bother looking for campgrounds till we were at the Barnes & Noble... Unfortunately, there is none anywhere around here..
So we got another motel room.. EconoLodge..!

I have been surprised by how beautiful the country is up here! I was not expecting this much wilderness up here, but it has definitely been a pleasant surprise! (except for the hills.. but we kinda like those a little.. sometimes)

We have two days of biking left.. We are doing 50-60 miles tomorrow.. then we will only have 50 miles till we are officially in Boston!
We are already planning our next trip.. :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

oh.. this is where the hills are!

well today was pretty chill.. at least this morning was..

This morning we slept in and took our time getting ready.. We biked about 20 miles until we saw a dunkin donuts!
Needless to say.. we stopped.. for way too long.. Once it was all said and done, we decided that we had eaten enough donuts that we should just count that stop as our lunch..

So we took off from the dunkin donuts, which was in Albany, and proceeded into the hilliest country we have seen in quite awhile..!

While we were eating donuts, Ben told us that he thought there was going to be a few big hills after Albany.. But we just kinda shrugged it off.. we had been getting kind of cocky about our new found leg strength.. until we left albany..!

Pretty much we climbed all day after we left the donut shop.. Not many of the hills were too long (except for 1).. but there were alot of them!
The other annoying thing was that my shifter was messing up on me all afternoon.. I decided that the single most annoying thing that can happen while your climbing a hill is to have your chain keep jumping from gear to gear..
The only thing that I can think of that would be comparable to how frustrating it is, would be to have someone pull up next to you in a truck while you are climbing, lean out the window, and begin tickling you..
(yeah.. annoying)

luckily, i was able to figure the problem out after a little while..

Tonight we are staying with a guy named Steve in Pittsfield, MA.. He is a really cool guy who has been entertaining us with some of his crazy travel stories (he has been all over the place)..

Should be in Boston on Monday!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

donuts.. laziness.. ice cream.. more ice cream.. watching our figures..

so like I mentioned.. last night Ben's girlfriend, Katie, and her mom, Kathy, and her grandma took us out to dinner.. It was awesome to chat with them and eat more italian food than anyone ever needs to.. The "unique" service allowed us to have plenty of time to hangout at the restaurant and share some stories.. it was pretty awesome.. slash the best meal we have had in quite awhile..!

Afterwards we got a red box movie, The Road, and went back to Ryan's uncle's house to watch it.. I would officially, not recommend it..
While we were watching the movie.. Ben and Katie went to a daylight donuts to hangout for a little while, and Ben was able to score a ton of day old donuts for like $2..!
once again.. we were pumped..

So this morning we feasted on donuts.. drank coffee.. and watched music videos (my favorite)...

Our bike ride today was pretty chill.. we did about 75 miles..
ate chinese food for lunch.. aka.. awesome!

stopped at a rest area and all took quick naps on top of the picnic tables.. i was so comfortable there.. i never wanted to leave.. and i was pretty upset when the other guys finally made me get up and back on my bike..

Then we stopped at an ice cream place.. which of course, is dangerous..
We got 2 half gallons of ice cream and split them.. after we finished those off, I made a little wager with Eric..
He was talking all big about how he could eat so much more ice cream.. so i said that i would buy another half gallon, and if he couldn't eat half of it, then he would have to pay me back for it..
He ate it.. (i was devastated)

So, after Ben, Scott, & I had eaten over 1/2 gallon of ice cream, and Eric had eaten 3/4 gallon.. we hit the road again..
Scott and Ben tried to get Eric and I to race.. At first I wasn't feeling it.. But then I remembered that Eric had just beat me in the ice cream bet, so I took off.. Luckily for me, 3/4 gallon of ice cream is alot.. and he was hurting pretty bad..! :)

Oh! while we were eating ice cream we noticed that Eric was covered in salt (from sweating so much).. So I nicknamed him 'My Little Margarita'.. I think it will stick.. It just seems right..
and it makes it really easy to challenge him to a race.. All I have to say now is "come on my little margarita.. lets see what you've got.." then he gets his little grin, and it's on..!
I love it..

We are in Schenectady, NY right now.. should be in Pittsfield, NY tomorrow.. its only like 60ish miles.. we are feeling pretty lazy and dont want to bike very far anymore..
only 4 days of biking!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

soo.. who is ready to stop biking,,,? this guy...

the last couple days have been pretty chill.. We have only done about 70 miles both days with decent weather (well... kinda)..

Yesterday we biked from Rochester to Syracuse and it went pretty well.. we stopped at a dunkin donuts (which was awesome), then ate lunch at a gas station (not quite as awesome), then ended the day at a dunkin donuts again (and again, awesome)..

When we got to town last night though, we realized that the closest campground was 20 miles away.. This left us with several options.. the easiest, which is of course what we picked, was to get a motel room..
So we did a quick search for cheap motels with continental breakfasts (that is our only limiting factor.. we will not stay at a motel without a continental breakfast!), then settled in for the night..

Today we took our time getting ready.. watched some music videos.. then hit the road..

It was supposed to storm pretty much all day today.. but as we got going, we realized that we had a tailwind so we decided that we could outrun it.. That is until we saw the sign for Flo's cafe..
The sign was huge and all it said was "Flo's.. home of the 10¢ coffee"..
who is not going to stop at that place..? not us, that is for sure!
So we all went in and started talking to some of the local people.. Then, as one of the local guys was leaving, he threw $30 down on the table and said "This should help with the bill boys.. I wish i had done this kinda thing when i was younger"..
Needless to say, we were pumped.. So we ordered two more rounds of pancakes to celebrate the guy's generosity...!

We are staying with Ryan's uncle tonight in Utica, NY.. Ben's girlfriend, Katie Johnston, and her mom are road tripping around up here right now.. So we are going to meet up with them for dinner tonight.. We are pretty pumped about it..
Ben has been preparing himself all day to see his lady friend.. he even trimmed his beard this morning.. Oh, and if you haven't seen Ben with a beard, then get ready.. because it is good.. (so Katie, I hope you're ready)

oh.. we rode with our shirts off again yesterday.. I didn't wear my bib shorts this time.. so hopefully my weird tan lines are starting to blend..
I have found though, that it is incredibly hard to apply lotion to your own back..
But when your options are to either try it yourself, or ask one of the guys that you are sharing a bed with to rub lotion on your back..
you know what we're going to choose..

ok.. Should be in Boston in 4-5 days..

I'll keep you posted..

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

who knew buffalo had wings.. maybe they grew them to fly over waterfalls

So there we were.. chillin at our campground in New York.. planning our course for the next day.. Then we realized that we were about to be in Buffalo, New York the next afternoon..! normally the approach of a big city doesn't get us too pumped because we can typically be almost 100% positive that we will get lost.. However, with the help of google, we learned that Buffalo is home to the Anchor Bar, which is the originator of Buffalo Wings!
Needless to say, this excited us.. and we decided we had to go..

It all looked perfect on paper.. We would wake up early, bike an easy 40-45 miles to Buffalo, eat more than we needed to, then bike an easy 15ish miles to Niagra Falls and chill there for the rest of the afternoon.. (see, it sounds nice doesn't it!..)

Well.. about the only thing that worked out according to our plan was, that we woke up.. and even with that we were off.. we decided to wake up at 7.. so naturally, we all got up at 8..

Then the "easy" 40-45 miles to Buffalo turned out to be a miserable 55 miles.. (10 miles is alot when your riding a bike).. We thought that we would just cruise into Buffalo on this main highway, which worked out well.. until we actually got to Buffalo..
Then the "no bicycle" signs starting popping up.. We ignored a couple, but eventually we got off the main highway and decided to make our way to the Anchor Bar by meandering through city streets.. Which of course added about 8 miles of stop & go, potholed roads with a bunch of annoyed drivers and no shoulders..
Yes.. you are correct.. we got frustrated quickly..

By the time we made it to the Anchor Bar we were all about ready to throw our bikes in front of the next available oncoming bus.

But then we ate.. and everything got better..! We ordered 100 wings.. but the people were nice to us and ended up giving us 111 (we counted..)..
After we ate, a bet was placed..

The guys decided that if I would drink a thing of the bar's "suicidal hot sauce".. then I would earn a ride in the car till Niagra Falls..
So.. I did it once.. Then we realized that the video camera wasn't on.. So i had to do it again..
Yes.. once again, you are correct.. bad idea..
Once the flames in the entire upper half of my body conceded though, we forged ahead (ryan and I stopped at a wendy's to get frosty's first)..

We met the guys at Niagra Falls.. went on the Maid of the Mist, which was awesome!.. then realized that we had been ignoring a pretty significant part of our evening..
where we were going to sleep..
After asking around we realized that, unless we wanted to pay $80 for a campsite, we would have to go another 20 miles to the closest state park..

Luckily.. Ryan is our friend..
so he let shuttled us to the campground.. (i know.. we are babies..)

Today's riding went pretty well.. We got rained on most of the day.. Ate "garbage plates" here in Rochester, NY.. ( http://americanfood.about.com/od/extremeamericancuisine/a/garplate.htm )
And we have a warm showers family that was willing to host us here in Rochester.. so we have been chatting it up with them and eating strawberry pie..

Oh! this morning we stopped at a local cafe with a plan to just stop quickly to dry off and drink a cup of coffee.. but when we saw how cheap everything was to eat.. we all ended up eating huge meals.. We decided it was okay because we only have a few days left where we can justify having a "second breakfast")

New Pictures by the way..

Sunday, June 20, 2010

3 states, weird tan lines, huge lake, nice RV people..

soo.. we are in New York! We were in 3 states today.. we woke up in Ohio, then cut through the very northwest corner of Pennsylvania, and now we are about 40 miles from Buffalo, New York..!

The last couple days have been awesome because we have been following a bike trail that just pretty much follows along the coast of Lake Erie.. Last night we camped right on the edge of the lake and there was a sweet beach right down the road so we all went swimming in the lake and hung out on the beach for awhile.. Then we went back down there to watch the sunset and watch ryan take pictures of the sunset (which are sweet).. The campground was showing a movie last night, the new alvin & the chipmunks movie.. I missed it unfortunately, but ben and eric watched it and said that some of the people looked at them weird when they actually laughed..

Oh! funny story.. When we went to the beach to swim for a bit.. Just as Ben took off his shirt to get in the lake, we heard a couple of teenage girls start laughing a little too loudly.. Then one of them said, also a little too loudly, "Oh my gosh, I thought he still had a shirt on!" We all thought it was pretty funny..
So the moral of the story is: Don't mock people for their tan lines.

Another funny story.. Today.. Just as we were getting to the Ohio/Pennsylvania border.. Ben saw the sign first and yells out "I see Pennsylvania".. Then, completely serious, Eric (who is at the front of the line by the way) yelled very quickly, "Where?"
At first we all laughed.. But then when he maintained his serious face (not completely sure if he was or not), we all lost it and started cracking up.. We laughed for a few good minutes before we took our pictures by the sign and got back on the road..

We also found a sweet doughnut shop this morning by the lake.. It was pretty good.. But didn't even compare to the place that the Scherk's treated us to in Indiana..

Tonight in the campground we got to meet our RV neighbors because they offered to cook us some hot dogs..! They were really nice people and we chatted it up with them for quite awhile.. They told us all about alot of stuff that we wanted to know about sailing, the lakes, and about Niagra Falls..
Oh that reminds me! We are gonna be at Niagra Falls tomorrow! We are planning to get there early in the afternoon (its about 50-60 miles from here), then we are gonna chill there all afternoon and see what there is to do.. We are pretty pumped about it..!

We figured it up and we have about 600 miles left till we get to Boston.. Which seems like nothing at this point.. We are actually going to arrive a couple days early, so we will have some time to chill out and see some of the stuff around town..

Today Ben and I had a race of sorts.. We just took off because we wanted to push it for a little while.. But us pushing it quickly turned into Ben trying to drop me, then me trying to drop Ben, then Ben trying to drop me again.. Then both of us being too tired to keep up the pace and Eric and Scott catching up to us again.. We were devastated when they caught back up to us because we thought we were way ahead of them.. but oh well..
Ben and I are both winners in each others eyes..

Ok.. I'll keep you posted on Niagra Falls..

Oh i almost forgot.. we rode with our shirts off all day today.. and I was wearing bib shorts.. so now my tan lines are going to look like I have been wearing a women's swimming suit..
no laughing..

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Everyone should have a Vacation Family

So we are already in Ohio.. Tomorrow we should be getting close to Cleveland, so that is kind of exciting.. none of us have ever been there before..

Yesterday morning, Lance had to leave us to return back to Kansas.. it was sad..

For us yesterday, the day went pretty smoothly though.. we biked about 80 miles, most of which we had a tailwind..! We didn’t really know where we were gonna stay last night, but I talked to my vacation-brother-in-law, Chris, who is from the area.. and he totally hooked us up!

If I haven’t told you about my vacation family, then you definitely need to ask me about them..

Anways though.. He hooked it up so that we could stay at his parent’s house for the night! Little did we know, they live right in the heart of Amish country..! As we biked along one road, we only got passed by 1 car, but we passed probably 20 buggies..! It was crazy.. (and we felt really cool when we passed them.. we don’t get to pass many things on our bikes)..

When we got to the house we learned all about the Amish people in that area.. We even went next door and met an Amish family and talked with them for a little while.. It was pretty sweet..

Oh! I forgot to mention that there was a lot of drama during our ride yesterday.. we had like 3 flat tires, and Eric broke his rear wheel! (which is not common).. So this morning, Eric and Steve (Chris’ Dad) went to the local Amish bike shop to try to find a new wheel.. They had to try a couple small towns, but they eventually found one!

Today we biked about 75 miles to a campground outside of Napolean, Ohio.. The day went pretty smooth all day today.. We stopped at an awesome ice cream/slushy place on the side of the highway.. it was pretty awesome.. We all ended up going back for two rounds of ice cream/slush.. so we were pretty pumped about it..

The campground tonight is pretty sweet, except for the fact that the shower is just mounted on a tree.. and only pumps out cold water..! L so.. unless I want to take a shower with my clothes on.. or expose myself to the whole camp...

Monday, June 14, 2010

soo.. chicago is big!

So last night we stayed just outside of chicago, in the suburbs.. and guess where we are staying tonight..
Yes.. in a different suburb just outside of chicago..!

We are trying to skip going through the middle of the city, so we are just kinda skirting around the outside of the city..

Today went pretty smoothly.. for me! The bike shops around here didn't open till 10:00, so i wasn't able to get back on the road till after lunch.. As it turns out, that was very fortunate for me.. Before came back, the guys got lost, hit some pretty sketchy trails/construction zone things, and then had to bike 15 miles through a main city road with stop lights every little bit..

They were slightly.. slash.. alot frustrated by the time i got back on the bike! The last bit that I road was pretty easy.. we even had a tailwind!

We are getting some pizzas tonight.. so i think everyone is happy again..

and although i know that i have said this before.. I think we will actually be past Chicago tomorrow!

We have 16 days left for the trip and we are a little bit ahead of schedule right now.. so we only have to average about 70-75 miles per day to get to Boston on time! We are pretty pumped about that!

One of our new big things that we want to try is to ride down a hill laying on our bikes.. yes that is right.. We saw a picture of a guy biking and he was laid out with his stomach on the bike seat and his feet straight out behind him.. It looked crazy..
I'll let you know how it works out for us..

oh.. I forgot to mention.. went to a dunkin donuts today.. yeah that was awesome..

Sunday, June 13, 2010

illinois.. (the "s" is silent)

i titled it that because ryan thinks it is fun to say it with the 'S'. I tried to correct him.. he said he already knew but liked it better his way..
Can't argue with that.

Today was pretty chill.. we slept in a little.. had a big breakfast.. Then hit the road.!

The morning started out really nice! the weather was awesome and we knew we had a reasonably short day ahead of us.. so we were feelin good!

After about 30 miles though, I realized that I had broken a spoke on my back wheel.. We were about 15 miles from the next big town, so I figured I would just jump in the car with Ryan and then we could hurry ahead to fix the spoke and get it done about the time the guys caught up with us.

So I jumped in with Ryan.. looked up the closest bike shop.. then remembered that it is Sunday..

needless to say.. everything was closed..

So Ryan and i just ended up going to a local coffee shop and chilling out for the rest of the afternoon (which was about another 20 miles for the other guys).

We are staying tonight with some friend's of Ben's family.. They have been awesome and have fed us given us bedrooms and everything..!

Tomorrow we will be skirting around chicago..! (we were gonna go through it, but after getting lost in St. Paul we realized that would be a terrible idea..!)

oh! and Eric and I went for a run this afternoon.. It was raining and we decided to go barefoot.. We ended up going about 3 miles.. It was awesome!
All we have been able to talk about all night is the possibility of doing an ironman together next fall..

Saturday, June 12, 2010

oh hospitality.. what terrific thing..

So the last couple days have been going pretty well. We woke up in La Cross yesterday morning and it was downpouring.. so we decided to attempt to wait out the storm.. and what else would you do while waiting out a storm than watch the Lost season finale!
So we anxiously watched the finale, all the while sneaking quick glances out the window to see if it was still raining..

Eventually it quit and we had a pretty easy going day.. Actually, in the next town, Coon Valley, we met some guys at a gas station who told us about a custom cycling clothing company that was just down the road! They sell all there seconds and leftovers for real cheap.. So of course we had to make a stop..
This stop could have been one of the most epic stops that Ben has ever made.. He finally broke down and invested in his first cycling jersey..! This whole time he has just been wearing cotton tshirts.. For those of you who don't know, the advantages of the cycling jerseys are that they have pockets in the back, are super breathable, and don't smell too bad after you sweat in them..
Anyways.. I think the stop has revolutionized Ben's life..

Last night we stayed with a younger couple outside of Richland Center, WI. They were awesome! They are definitely the most normal hippies that I have ever met, and they introduced some new things to us, including a compost toilet..
They also had some crazy stories about their house and stuff.. For example, they tried a compost hot water heater system, and when the compost pile froze over, they had to go the entire winter without hot water!

They fed us last night and this morning and then the husband, Eric, biked for a little while with us this morning.. We stopped at the farmers market in town and bought a bunch of cinnamon rolls from a young Amish girl.. They were amazing...

We stopped for lunch in Madison, WI this afternoon.. Madison is kinda the Lawrence of Wisconsin. We ate on State Street, which is very similar to Mass street in Lawrence.. We met some other bike tourers that are doing a pretty sweet project! you can you check out their website here:

Tonight we are staying with a couple here in Jefferson City, Wisconsin. They made us dinner and everything tonight and have let us watch tv and hangout here and stuff! It has been great..

We have had tons of fun the last couple days getting to know these people who are generous enough to take us in! We are going to be approaching Chicago tomorrow, so we are pretty pumped about that!

ok.. here are some more of our hand motions..

Ben puts his hand out, palm down, and waves it up and down.
translation: oh my gosh guys, there is totally some major bumps up here that are really freakin me out..! I just wanted to holla at ya'll and make sure you see them coming..! Luvs, Ben.

Eric puts his hand out, palm facing back, and holds it.
translation: STTTOOOOPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or you might die. Thanks for watching my hands.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The St. Paul Fire Department deserves a solid fist pump..!

ok.. So like i mentioned yesterday (i think).. We stayed with Will Overly and his wife Alese who is a RA for the dormitories at St Thomas University there in St. Paul last night.. They put us up in these apartment/dorm things that were vacant since it is summertime..
They even went the extra mile to buy us a bunch of breakfast food and stuff.. including Bacon.. Which we quickly found out, can burn quite easily..

I had just run outside to get something from ryan's car when I first heard the alarms going off.. so i ran back to our room and was startled to be met by billowing smoke as I opened the door.. I saw Ben trying somewhat frantically to open the windows.. So i propped the door to our room open (thinking that it would help the smoke clear from our room and into the rest of the building).. Turns out, that was a horrible idea..! By leaving the door open, I allowed to smoke to set off the alarms for the whole rest of the building, thus requiring the response of the St. Paul Fire Department to shut it off..!

So we woke Alese up with not one.. not even two.. but 5 fire trucks..! All fully loaded with men carrying oxygen masks and axes.. They didn't say anything, but we are pretty sure they were a little ticked off when they found out that we had just burned our bacon..!

All in all.. pretty solid start to the day! (keep in mind, this all happened at about 7:30-8:00.. pretty early!)

So after the excitement died down, and we had finished eating our charred bacon, we loaded up and took off..

As we left the building, I would place our spirits in the moderate-low category.. We weren't too pumped to try to navigate the city streets.. Oh.. also.. Scott had to go home for a wedding last night, so it is just Eric, Ben, Ryan and I right now..

So we hit the streets.. We were feeling pretty cool biking through town.. We definitely stood out from the typical bikers, so we were turning some heads.. and then it was realized.. We were lost..

We stopped a couple times to review our maps, eventually found out where we were, then started out again.. After a little while we came out of some trees, looked left, and saw perfectly a huge cathedral which was located about 3 miles from the Overly's place..! Keep in mind, we had been biking for an hour and a half..! only to realize that we had made it like 6 total miles..
Needless to say, we were a little devastated...

We tried to remain positive though, so we found a detour on the map and set off again.. only to immediately encounter the st. paul monster hill..! (we met a guy at a gas station who just started laughing when we told him what street/hill we had just come up.. we forced a couple grins to be polite.. but no laughs)

After the monster.. we pulled off at a gas station, mildly frustrated, and called Ryan to come pick us up and shuttle us to the outskirts of town.. I realize this sounds like we wimped out, but we were annoyed and tired of getting rained on.. OH! thats right..! I forgot to mention that this whole time it was drizzling/raining on us...!

But with Ryan's help we got outside of town, found a pizza hut with a lunch buffet, ate away our sorrows, then forged ahead..!

Ben was feeling terrible all morning so we decided to take his rest day (all the rest of us have had one).. so it was just Eric and I on the bikes.. After eating as much as we did, we felt like we really needed to work pretty hard, so we pushed it pretty much the rest of the afternoon.. It was alot of fun with just the two of us.. We each took turns pulling for each other and stayed in the zone for quite awhile.. I felt like some sort of a professional rider because we were really utilizing all of our hand signals and stuff.. We were having conversations without even talking or looking at each others faces.. (ok maybe not conversations.. but kinda)

Here is an example of one:

Eric points to the ground on his right.
Translation: Hello Sam. You are my friend. Because you are my friend, I would like to warn you that there is something on the ground just ahead of us on our right. I wanted to warn you of this object so that you would not run over it and potentially harm yourself or your bicycle. Thank you for riding with me.

I, while riding in front of Eric, steer sharply to the left and look quickly over my right shoulder.
Translation: Hello my dearest friend Eric. I have been riding in front of you for the last couple miles, and although I hate to admit it, my legs have grown weary from the strain. I fear that if I continue to ride my bicycle in this leadership position, my legs will grow so weary that I will no longer be able to pedal my bicycle. Seeing as you are a noble gentleman, I would greatly appreciate it if I could trade my position for yours. Please pass me on my right side if this proposition will suit you, and I will fall into position immediately behind you. Also Eric, you look very nice this afternoon.

those are just a couple examples of our very specific signals.. Maybe I will share more with you later..

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

back to pedaling..

When we got back to where the guys were on Sunday night, we were pleased to see that Will Overly (some of you might know him) had already gotten there.. I am not sure if I already mentioned, but he lives in Minneapolis, so he took a bus to Fargo and planned to bike the three days with us from Fargo back to his apartment..! He is a great guy, so we have been having a blast hanging out with him!

Monday, the first day back after my butt's vacation, we ended up biking 110.. and it was a very traumatic, yet positive day..! All in all we got 4 flat tires and a broken spoke throughout the day.. Normally we would have gotten a little down about all the flat tires, but our spirits were high! The sun was up..! In fact, several of us were biking without shirts on for most of the afternoon!
The only bad part about it was that it was Will's spoke that broke, so he had to call it a day a little early so that him and ryan could hurry to the next town's bike shop to get it fixed.. That night we found a sweet campsite in the woods by this small lake..

The next day, we woke up to rain..

waking up in the rain with the knowledge that you are going to have to bike in it for the next 8 hours, is miserable.. plain and simple.
After laying in our sleeping bags for awhile, yet again pondering what had convinced us that this trip was a good idea, we finally climbed out and got ready to go..

Then, as if the rain was not miserable enough, eric got another flat tire about 100 yards from the campground.. We tried to remain positive though, and were actually a little thankful for all of the flats the day before, because we had gotten fast..!
So we fixed the Flat.. got moving.. then after about a mile, we got stuck at a railroad track for about 10 minutes..

So basically, we got pumped to leave.. left.. got a flat tire.. then stood in the rain for 10 minutes shaking.. (Will was wearing a trash bag the whole time though.. so that was pretty funny)..

We biked about 3 miles, then pulled of at a gas station where we met a couple local guys who bought us coffee and talked to us for awhile.. We ended up chilling there for about 2 hours.. (yeah, we know.. but we didn't want to get back on the road)..

We finished strong though.. the full 75 mies for the day!

Today went awesome.. we woke up.. had a tailwind.. and were eager to get to minneapolis to hangout and have will show us the city! We ended up doing about 80ish miles.. but with the tailwind they went really smooth and easy!

We have just been hanging out with Will and his Wife, Alese, all afternoon.. which has been awesome! Alese is a residence hall director at a university here, so they put us up in these dorms/apartments and hooked us up with some food! It has been awesome hanging out with them and chatting it up!

Tomorrow there is a big free breakfast for bikers at this place here in town.. so we are bike over there in the morning and then try to make it 110 miles to Winona, Minnesota..!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

wait up guys.. I'm coming!

well, i'm heading back north today.. The past couple days have been pretty exciting..

On wednesday night, Ryan and I left Ray, North Dakota and drove straight through the night to Salina, KS. It was my girlfriend Maggie's birthday (perhaps some of you know her) on thursday, so we surprised her when we got to town..!
My brother and sister-in law let us use their house as a pit stop/staging area, which was greatly appreciated because we were pretty gross.. Imagine biking for 8 hours, then changing clothes, eating some junkfood, and jumping in the car to drive straight through for 16 hours.. sweet.

On friday we headed to St. Joe, Missouri for my buddy Leighton's wedding. I was the best man so we thought it would be good if we tried to be there on time..!
The wedding was a blast..! We hung out all afternoon and evening friday night, then had the wedding yesterday.. I had to give a speech and everything.. then came time for the dance.. so we danced..!

Ryan and I are back at my parent's house right now in Topeka.. We are just about to head back up north.. I think the guys are going to be around Fargo somewhere, so i guess we are just gonna head that way and try to find them somewhere.. I am pretty excited to get back to it..!

This trip has been really weird for me.. After only having a bike for 3 weeks, all my thoughts about cars were considerably glorified..!
3 days ago, we thought you could get just about anywhere in a car in around 10 minutes.. I quickly realized though, that although cars are a little quicker than our bikes, it still takes a really long time to drive halfway across the country..!

oh.. also.. ryan and I feel really cool driving with my bike on the car rack.. everyone looks at us like we are a part of some mysterious club that they know nothing about when we stop at gas stations.. It seems like everyone wants to say something to us about it.. about 70% of the people actually do, and they typically have some awesome story about one of their family members who rode a bike once several years back.. You wouldn't believe how many people have a brother or uncle who have purchased/ridden a bike in this country..

Usually the conversation goes like this:
person we don't know: "Bikes huh?, where you heading?"
us: "we're biking from portland to boston."
person we don't know: "thats quite a ways.. Yeah my brother has a bike.. you ever heard of that race in Iowa?"
us: "yes we sure have.. it seems like alot of people do that one."
person we don't know: "yeah, sounds crazy to me.. Well have a good one guys."
us: "see ya"

(i am not even exaggerating, we have had hundreds of conversations very similar to that one..!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

break time..!

well the last couple days have been going pretty well..! Ryan (the driver/photographer) caught up with us two days ago, and that has been awesome! We are quickly learning the advantages of having a car with you, which are too numerous to list.!

Yesterday we left Montana and crossed into North Dakota.! That was exciting for a couple reasons:
1.) We are now in our 3rd time zone for the trip..
2.) It turns out that I am not as much of a Montana fan as I had previously thought.. I enjoyed my time there, but I won't be too disappointed if i am not there for awhile..

Scott hasn't been feeling too well the last couple days.. but he got some rest, so I think he is feeling better..

Oh! eric crashed the other day..! i realize that this may sound a little cold hearted, but once I realized that he was ok, I was a little glad.. I was getting tired of being the only one that had crashed so far on the trip..
I had been thinking about sabotaging one of the guys.. But thanks to Eric, that will not be necessary..! (just to be clear, i am joking)

Confession: I am not biking right now..

Ryan and I took off today to come back to St. Joe, Missouri because I am the best man in one of my good buddy's wedding! I will be gone from the guys for about 3 days.. I think we are going to drive back up there on Sunday, so I shouldn't miss too much of North Dakota..
Although, from what I have seen so far, it seems pretty similar to Montana.. and you know how I feel about biking through Montana.. (aka.. I probably wouldn't be too upset if they made it very far through the state)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

i just biked alot..

So today was our longest day yet! We ended up biking 125 miles.! (well.. kinda.. we cheated a little)..

We started in Big Sandy, biked to Havre (35 miles), then realized that our only options were either doing another 20 miles, or another 90.. So naturally, we chose the 90..!

The sun was out and we had a little bit of a tailwind, so we were feeling good! we cruised through most of it pretty good, but then the clouds came rolling in..

For awhile we could see these massive storm clouds coming towards us, but we never could be sure if they were gonna hit us or not.. They never did too bad.. but they kinda did..
This is where we cheated kinda.. As we came up to the top of a little hill, there was a guy waiting there to talk to us.. His name was Charlie Horn, and he told us that we were about to get hit by some crazy hail/lightning storm, then he said he was going about 15 miles up the road if we wanted a lift..

Not wanting to get hit by hail, and wanting to get Charlie's story, we jumped in with him.. He took us down the road and then dropped us off to finish the last 20ish miles for the day..

All in all it was a pretty great day.. we feasted tonight on chicken nuggets and cereal.. tomorrow we have two options: either 85 miles, or another 125 miles..

We'll see how the weather plays out for us..

p.s.. jeff, we miss you.

Big Sandy.. more like Big Dandy..!

So today we rolled out of Great Falls with every expectation that it was going to be a miserable day.. For one, the weather was supposed to be the same as yesterday.. For two, Jeff is gone.. We only planned to do about 40 miles to the next town, Fort Benton.

But as we got on the road, it became Beautiful! The sun came out, and we got a tailwind..! We were pumped.. So as we got to Fort Benton around 2:00, we decided to just grab some lunch and keep rolling..

We ended up biking to Big Sandy, Montana, which is about 35 miles on past Fort Benton. As we got here, we realized that we had several options..

1.) We met a guy in Fort Benton that owns the grain elevator here in Big Sandy.. He said that if we wanted to camp there, we could just find a place wherever.. it didn't seem like a very sweet place to camp though when we got there.. soggy grain everwhere..

2.) some people told us that they thought we could just camp in the city park.. but nobody was really sure if it was allowed.. (this became our primary plan)

3.) Try to meet a local.. and somehow show them that we are not creepy people..

We decided to go with #2, but at the same time decided that we wanted to eat dinner at a cafe in town (thus, not ruling out the chance of #3 becoming a possibility)..

Just as we decided to eat in town, a little old lady, Muriel, and her grandson's fiance came walking by.. We asked them where a good place to eat was and they pointed us towards the very place they were heading, the Mint cafe. As we came in, Muriel had pulled two tables together and waved to us to come join them..! So naturally, we did..! (who is gonna turn down an opportunity to mingle with the locals? not this guy..!)

After we ate and chatted, we biked the 2 blocks over the city park and started looking for a place to setup our tents.. As we found though, it has been raining here for the past several days, so there was standing water everywhere.. Just then, Muriel pulled up and asked us if we wanted to come take a hot shower at her place..!
Again, who is gonna turn that down?

So we biked over to her place, took showers, and Muriel offered to let us sleep in her heated garage! She even gave us a mattress and an air mattress! Her grandson and his fiance helped us get everything setup, and now here we are.. chillin like kings on our air mattress with the heater cranked, snackin on cookies..
Who could ask for more..? (again.. not this guy..!)

ok.. i'll keep you posted on tomorrow.. i think we are gonna ride our bikes..

Saturday, May 29, 2010


We are just about to take off here from Great Falls.. We just said goodbye to Jeff (which was terrible).. For those of you who dont know, Jeff only planned to do the first 2 weeks of the trip with us.. so he is heading home..

His parents, Dave & Cathy, came to pick him up and have been with us for the past 2 days.. We are so thankful for them..! They have been so generous to us! They left us with cookies and fruit and toddy.. It has been great..!

If anyone reading this knows them and happens to see them any time in the near future, make sure you give them a big hug for me..!

Friday, May 28, 2010

our new buddy

turns out that our new buddy Abel owns a log home business in south dakota..! you can check out his website here: http://rosebudloghomes.com/specialized.html
He is also planning on starting a hunting guide business when he gets done with his trip..

Just thought i would share..!

remind me again why i'm here..?

scratch what I said yesterday, today was the most miserable day yet! We woke up with good spirits in our comfortable motel room, had a great breakfast at a little diner on the outside of Lincoln, then hit the road.. We knew it was going to be miserable as we left town because it was drizzling and about 39 degrees.. but we had no idea..

We had about 18 miles till we got to the continental divide and the closer we got, the worse the weather got..! As we got closer, the drizzle turned into a little harder rain, then it started sleeting, then it started snowing.. On top of that, the temperature started dropping.. By the time we got to the top of the continental divide it was 30 degrees with a 20 mph wind in our faces, and snowing..

Initially we were pretty pumped to have reached the top of the pass, we ignored our numb fingers and toes, and soaking wet clothes as we took pictures by the signs and ate some cookies that Jeff's mom brought for us..

Then it hit us, we were freezing.. and we were about to descend from the pass, into the wind..
We started bombing, and almost simultaneously began shaking uncontrollably.. As it turns out, when your soaking wet in 30 degree weather, biking downhill into a headwind, your body doesn't warm up easily..

We kept on biking.. but soon we realized that we were running out of options.. Our initial plan was just to camp in Simms, which was about 30 miles over the pass.. But we quickly began to realize that if we tried to camp, we would almost certainly all get hypothermia, which would not be ideal..
The problem was that the next closest city with a hotel was great falls, which was another 35 miles past Simms.. We were all getting pretty wore out due the constant shivering, and none of us could imagine doing another 60 miles.. So we took full advantage of our resources for the day.. And got in the the Koehler's van!!

Jeff's mom was nice enough to shuttle us to great falls.. I realize that it seems like we really chickened out.. but we discussed it, and it was pretty easily decided that none of us really cared about being considered a chicken while being rained/snowed/sleeted on, sitting on the side of a busy highway in windy 30 degree weather..

For dinner we ate at the golden corral.. and naturally, we all ate till we just about threw up.. We met another biker, Abel, in Lincoln yesterday, and then caught up with him on the road again today.. So we invited him to stay with us!
He is from south dakota and has been biking up the west coast and then across to the east.. so he is about done with his trip.. It has been cool hanging out with him..!

The weather is supposed to be the same tomorrow.. so we got another motel room in the next city (which i forgot the name of).. We saw on weather.com that the city we are in, Great Falls, is currently the coldest city in the United States..! That allowed us to regain a little of our hardcore-ness that we lost during the van ride..

Gonna go jump in the hot tub here at the hotel right now! pretty pumped about it! (and there goes what little hardcore-ness we have left)...


just about to leave the motel.. its 39 degrees.. raining.. and we have a headwind..

this is going to be a long day..

Thursday, May 27, 2010

goodbye missoula.. hello miserable..

So when we left the square dance campground, we biked straight for Missoula. It was only about a 9 mile ride, so it went really quick and easy.. When we got to Missoula, we first stopped at walmart and marveled at how low the prices actually are..! We have been buying our food at truck stops and gas stations, which we found markup the prices by about 700%..! We have been paying up to $2 or $3 for our canned veggies.. yes, ridiculous.. we know!

After walmart we went over to McDonalds.. we had to hustle because it was already 10:15 and as we all know, they stop serving breakfast at 10:30..! Since we got there just in time, we all got breakfast, ate it out on the curb, then went back in and got lunch! it was awesome.. we all got ice cream cones too, which were awesome, but slightly difficult to bike with..! After McDonalds we headed to a local bike shop where we cleaned our bikes up and made sure everything was working properly.. Scott realized he had a broken spoke, so we got that fixed.. and I got some new Arm Warmers, which i am awesomely pumped about!
Upon leaving the bike shop, we stopped by the Adventure Cycling headquarters.. there they gave us free ice cream, pop, and cookies! Then they gave us a tour of the place and everything.. it was pretty sweet.

When we finally left Missoula at about 2:00, we biked about 30-40 miles and setup camp at a campground.. When we woke up this morning, it was freezing! We had somewhat positive attitudes when we mounted up from camp, but as soon as we left the campground, it started raining on us.. :(

So we biked about 2 miles to a gas station, layered up, bought some hand & toe warmers, and hit the road again.. It was absolutely miserable.. The problem is that everything is a trade-off.. When we layer up because of the cold, we sweat like crazy once we start biking hard.. Then when you stop to take off a layer, you get cold again.. It is really frustrating..!

We had about 40 miles to get to the first town, which we were planning on stopping to eat lunch at.. When we got about 10 miles from there, Jeff's parents found us on the highway and we all pulled over and chatted for awhile.. It really lifted our spirits, and they even let us put our gear in their van so that we could bike the rest of the way to town without our load..!
When we got about 4 miles from town though, the rain changed from a slow drizzle to a full on downpour! It was terrible.. We were freezing and soaked, with no extra cycling clothes to change into..

We ate lunch, and all completely agreed that this would be a good place to stop for the night.. So we splurged and got a motel room, which has been awesome!!

This afternoon we went to the laundromat.. went with Jeff's parents out to this little souvenir shop thing.. Chilled out in the warm hotel room eating and drinking cookies and toddy that jeff's parents brought for us!

Oh, and Jeff's mom gave me a haircut! I have had this weird euro-mullet thing going on the last couple weeks.. so we put that to an end..!

Tomorrow we are gonna climb Roger's Pass, which is the Continental Divide! Shouldn't be too bad of a climb, but it is supposed to rain all day again.. So we are just soaking up the awesomeness of the hotel while we are here and preparing for a long day tomorrow!

*****Also.. We put up a bunch of new pictures over the last couple days..! We separated them by state and the links are at the top right of the page!*****

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

square dance city!

ok so immediately after I finished that last post we went into the office area/danceroom of our campground. I guess the older couple that runs the campground also gives dance lessons in the main building..

When we went in there there was a bunch of people dancing and there were all these snacks that the dancers brought on the tables.. After talking to them all for a few minutes, they said we could help ourselves to any of the food! So we just had a post-dinner snack of apple pie, pretzels, popcorn, crackers, brownies, etc.. It was awesome!

Then as we were leaving the lady that runs the place asked us what we usually do for breakfast.. we sensed that she might be about to offer us something so we totally downplayed our typical breakfast.. We were like, oh i dont know, dry oatmeal or bagels, or whatever we have lying around..
Then she was like, well here, take these eggs and fry them up in the morning! she gave us a dozen eggs that one of the older couples that was dancing there had brought straight from their farm!

We are pumped.. Very pumped..!

Hello New Time Zone..!

We haven't had service the last couple of days, so it has been hard to update our blogs or stay in touch with people at all.. We have been biking right next to this awesome river, the Lochsa (pronounced lock-saw).. We were way back there in the middle of nowhere. for about the last 100ish miles, we have only had two places to stop at.. both of which were lodges, and both of which we did not fit in at with our bike clothes on.. (surprise!).. :)

One of the lodges was in Lowell, Idaho.. It was called the Wilderness Lodge.. there were pictures of bears and stuff on the menu, it was classic.. While we were eating there, we had two big things happen:

1.) The guy sitting behind us (who had an awesome truck) didn't finish all his fries.. so we took them off his table after he had left and finished them off..
We were a little tired at the time.. so it was hilarious..

2.) We met a rep from the Jelly Belly company and she gave us a bunch of bags of jelly beans! She said that if we wanted to bike the extra 60 miles to her house that she would give us as much as we wanted..! we considered the offer pretty heavily.. but decided that cycling the entire day just for a bunch of jelly beans might not be completely worth it.. But we were pretty pumped for the ones she gave us!

The second lodge we stopped at also had a pretty sweet surprise waiting for us..! As we pulled up we noticed another touring bike (which is just a normal bike that is loaded with a ton of stuff) parked outside.. It belonged to a 19 year old guy from England named Ed that started biking in Virginia awhile bike and will be finished with his cross country trip within the week..
To be honest, Ed made us feel like little girls.. He had all these stories about having to chip ice off his chain in the rockies and having a wheel fall apart in the ozarks.. There was some crazy stuff that he has gone through..! When we left I traded him my Pathfinder water bottle (The bike shop in Manhattan) for one of his from his home bike shop in england! I feel like a new man with that thing in my bottle cages.. maybe some of Ed's burliness will rub off on me..

Okay.. this is turning into a really long post.. so i will summarize from here..

Among the other things that has happened lately:
- We killed a snake by the side of the road.. and yes, it was just as awesome as you are imagining! we stoned it to death and then took pictures holding it.. We felt very adventurous and manly...

- We climbed our first pass today, Lolo's Pass. We had to climb about 3000 feet to reach the top.. and again, yes, 3000 feet is just as much as you are imagining.. It was rough.. we were popping jelly beans in the whole way up to distract us from the climb..! Oh.. and at the top there was snow! so that was sweet..

- We stayed with an awesome lady named Laura the night after the goat farm.. she was awesome! She cooked us dinner and breakfast and let us throw our tents up in her backyard.. She had some of the most amazing stories I have ever heard.. She and her husband have tandem biked across New Zealand, biked from Washington to Oregon with their 2 year old son, were living in Kuwait when we invaded.. and tons of other crazy stuff! We seriously loved talking with her and hanging out at her place! (oh.. and she has an Ipad, so it was sweet to play with that!)

oh.. and the title.. We crossed into Montana at the top of Lolo's Pass today.. so we are officially in a new state, and a new time zone!

Thanks for keeping up with the blog everyone! I will try to keep you posted on whats happenin around here!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The people in Walla Walla are totally Balla'

Ok.. So yesterday presented us with by far our best story yet! We biked through Walla Walla county in Washington, which has tons and tons of wineries and vineyards and stuff.. All the country we were biking through was rolling green hills (looked just like the windows xp background picture), it was beautiful..!

We were getting close to our campground when we saw a small brewery in the town of Waitsburg, so we decided to stop in for a beer.. and this is where the story begins..

While we were chilling at the brewery, a guy at the bar offered to buy us a round of beers.. He said that he wanted to live vicariously through our trip. So we asked him to join us and we all got to talking.. His name is Todd, and he does something or another with farm irrigation systems (something about using radio-waves to detect moisture).. As we kept talking with him, his wife and best friend showed up and joined us also. His wife's name is Ree and his buddie's name is Eric. So we all kept hanging out and Todd bought us all a round of beers and Eric bought us some pizzas! They were great..!

After awhile we found out that Ree is actually the county prosecuting attorney and Eric is a famous wine-maker in the area!
(here is Eric's winery website: http://www.dunhamcellars.com//index.cfm )

After awhile we realized it was dark, so Eric offered to throw our bikes in his truck and drive us the last 3 miles to our campgound. When we got to the campground though, he pulled over, and just asked, "do you guys trust me?".. He is a pretty funny guy, so we didn't know quite whether he was joking or not.. but he was not.. so when we nodded, he took off...

Soon enough we got to a sweet farmhouse, where we were immediately met by Joan, who runs a cheese fromogerie with her husband, pierre-louis..

Check out the site for this place, it is amazing:

Joan, as we quickly found out, is just about the nicest lady on the planet.. She welcomed us to her home and said we could sleep in her sauna for the night. She said that she was going to have to leave real early this morning to head to the farmers market, but that she would leave her doors open so we could make breakfast and take showers and do whatever we needed!

So we spent all morning eating bacon and eggs, wandering around through the goat/chicken/duck/sheep pastures with her huge great Pyrenees dogs, and talking to the people that make the cheese there at the place. We even found out that there were some people from a magazine staying in the guest house because they were doing a big story on the place for an Wine Adventures story they were doing..

We are so thankful for the whole experience..! Todd told us that he is going to try to find a place somewhere along our route so that he can catch up with us and buy us another beer.. so that would be sweet (Todd, if you are reading this.. we're waiting).. we are all hoping to stay in contact with them for sure!

The actual bike ride today seemed pretty boring compared with our other stories.. although we did bomb down a huge mountain this afternoon! We were going downhill for 30 minutes, and got up to 50 mph (which is a new record for the trip so far)..!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wind is my new best friend..

Today was awesome! we woke up cold and sore (this preceded the awesomeness of the day). Just a few miles into our ride we came into a small town with a mcdonalds, so of course we stopped. In case you're curious, I got 4 breakfast burritos (2 for then, 1 for mid-morning snack, 1 for whenever-which ended up being dinnertime)..

After mcdonalds we had a pretty decent climb that took us out of the city. It was about two miles long but not too steep. Halfway up the hill we apparently crossed into Washington, however Ben and I were in front and were so focused on not being run over by a semi, that we missed the sign and thus our opportunity to get our picture taken next to the Welcome to Washington sign.. This was depressing, at first.. But then we realized that we are going to have to cross the border again soon, so we have been granted another opportunity.

Upon reaching the top of the hill, we entered a stage of todays ride that i have been referring to (just in my head) as "the mostest awesomenest sweetest ride EVVVEEER! (note: i dont always shout the word EVER when i say it in my head.. i just put it in all caps to make a point.. i learned that in school).

This section of the ride consisted of a flat-ish road, and a 20 mph tailwind!! We were haulin..! Just for an example.. yesterday we biked about 8-12 mph on the flat ground, today we were biking about 23-24 mph up the hills! On some of the downhills I felt like we were plummeting on a rollercoaster... I even thought a few times about throwing my hands up in the air and letting out a whoop... but i didn't want to crash... I pictured it happening like this: me throwing my hands up, then immediately entering that wobbly uncertain stage where i would try to get my hands back on the handlebards as quickly as possible, then fail, and veer off the road and into the ditch..

Thankfully I overcame my desire to complete the rollercoaster sensation and here i am sitting pain-free in camp..! We ended up doing about 90 miles today (88 to be exact).. I think we are going to do 65ish tommorrow..

We were warned that there is an impressive sprinkler system where we put our tents up tonight.. We think we're prepared for them.. but we are mentally prepared for any sudden realization that we did not cover all bases.. This could provide some entertaining reading material for you in the near future..

I'll keep you posted..

p.s.. We put a bunch of pictures on an online photo album.. there is a link underneath the PICTURES! PICTURES! PICTURES! thing at the top right..

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

well... i guess this is what we should have expected..

so as it turns out, it rains just as much as everyone says it does in oregon. Yesterday we biked from portland to cascade locks, it was only about 45 miles. But they were some terrible 45 miles. It rained on us all afternoon. If you want a quick way to get depressed, bike for 4 hours in the rain!

Initially i was all pumped for the rain. I wanted to try out my new rain gear (shoe covers, rain coat, waterproof bags, etc..). But then my rain coat became soaked with my own sweat, i crashed once which put a whole in my shoe covers, and i was left miserable.. with a wet jacket (but only from the inside), and soaked shoes..

oh. the crash.. the edge of the road decided to cut in a little without telling me, causing my front tire to slip right off the edge and laying me on my side.. all in all, no harm done. I have a scrape on my elbow and a pretty good strawberry on my hip, but the other guy's positive attitudes nursed me back to good spirits..

Last night was the worst because we had to try to setup camp and get all our stuff organized in the rain.. we made it happen alright, but had to deal with all wet stuff when we woke up this morning (which is just as terrible as one might imagine)..

But once we got going this morning we all felt pretty good! We biked from a little east of Cascade Locks to a little west of Biggs today. It went really well. We had a couple decent climbs; one that was about 2 miles and pretty steep, and then one that was about 8 miles and not so steep.. The only big mishap was when ben and i got seperated from the rest of the guys..

we were a little ahead so we pulled off at a scenic overlook to wait for them.. little did we know, they actually weren't far behind us.. So as we're high-fiving and taking pictures of ourselves, the other guys bike right by us (they didn't know we had pulled off). We, assuming they are still behind us, wait by the road for another 10 minutes until we realize that there is no possibly way that they could be that far back.. So we bomb down the hill, give eric a call, and realize that they are about 10 miles ahead of us (which is alot on a bike).. Needless to say, we felt like idiots..

We are at camp now.. its not raining, which is awesome.. We just ate dinty moore soup for dinner, with a appetizer of southwest airline peanuts and pretzels (which have been perfect by the way Jane and Susan)! Hopefully I should be able to post more soon..!

Hope everyone is having a good week! Any prayer for us would be greatly appreciated!

p.s. power bars are awesome!

p.s.s we have been taking some videos, in hopes that we can upload them.. but we haven't been able to get a strong enough signal to upload them.. hopefully we can get some up here.. they are pretty entertaining!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the Adventure has begun!

So the trip started out with perhaps the coolest plane ride i have ever taken! We had a layover in Denver, but we just stayed on the plane. So while we were waiting, we got to talking with the flight attendant ladies (Susan and Jane) and started joking with them about singing one of their "southwest airlines" songs.. they said they wouldnt sing one, but we could! So we went back there and sang a song to the tune of You are my sunshine. They played it over the loudspeaker while everyone boarded! it was sweet.

After the song, they asked us what we were going to do.. and when we told them, they gave us a big bag full of peanuts and pretzels! it was awesome.. So when we landed we took pictures with them and then went to get our bikes!

The whole bike assembly process went surprisingly smooth. None of us had any problems and we were on the train to downtown portland in no time..

Once we got downtown, we went by REI and a local bike shop to get some last minute gear.. then decided to head to the house that we were staying at (Eric's cousin's house, the Reimers). This turned out to be our first main adventure.

After we had been biking for about 20 minutes, we asked a guy where we were and found out that we had been biking in the complete wrong direction. Then we realized that we were about 15 miles from the house. So we took off.

When we had about 9 miles left, it started to rain.
When we had about 7 miles left, it started to rain hard.

So we just kept biking down the little highway, getting drenched, and trying to avoid getting the spray from the other's tires in our mouths. Sweet.

When we saw the road that we needed to turn on, we were pumped because we thought we were there. However, as it turns out, they happen to live on top of the most ridiculous hill i have ever tried to climb on a bike (scott's gps said the grade was 15-25%). So we made it about 5 feet up it, then had to walk. It was so slick and steep though, that we had to take our shoes off to walk up it.

But we made it here.. They fed us a ton of awesome food.. let us throw our clothes in the wash.. and now we're ready to roll again..!

I think we are gonna try to do 60-70ish miles today. I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Course Maps

hello again.

Here is a group of maps that chart of our course across the country. Check 'em out..!

(i realize the link is ridiculously long.. but if you just copy and paste it into the address bar then it will work)


Bike Across America

sooo.. here i am.. sitting in my parents living room with my bike packed in a big box and everything i am going to have for the next 50 days packed into two little bags.

if you are reading this then i am assuming you know that i am biking across the country. I am going with 4 other guys so i am sure you will hear about them some if you continue to read this..

anyways.. here is the plan: Our plane leaves KC at 7:30 tomorrow morning and will take us to portland. Once we get to portland we will have to assemble our bikes in the airport (which should be interesting), then we are going to one of the guys' relative's house there in portland to stay the night. We will have to find a bike shop in portland also because we still have a couple things we need to buy.

When we leave portland the next day we will head for Walla Walla, Washington and then continue across until we get to the great lakes. Once we hit the great lakes we will dip beneath them and go through chicago, then we will rise back up and finish in Boston. Right now we are planning to be finished right around the 1st of July.

I am going to try to update this blog pretty regularly so if you ever find yourself in a state of boredom, you know what you can check.