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)