Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Well Underway!

Hello Spokes!

Just a quick update on my progress so far. I've traveled about 300 miles and am currently near St. Augustine, FL. Tomorrow I'll start heading West across the Panhandle of FL. I wonder if that strong east wind I've been battling will continue as I head west? Would be nice to be pushed for a while instead of pushed over.

For my many friends and family who have been praying for me - please keep it up! I've had some very good fortune getting cheaper campgrounds ($15 instead of $30) and some free meals and have met some very nice people so far.

I'll be posting a better message later this week (on a rest day) with a few videos. I wish I had more room on my hard drive because I have seen some fantastic scenery so far. Maybe I'll get an external hard drive that is light enough to bike up a mountain. Speaking of weight, I finally got the opportunity to weigh my bike yesterday and it is just over 100 lbs. (with water). I hope my legs will be able to handle that on a mountain!

For more frequent updates - please check my Twitter page. I'm trying to do a brief daily update on that site.

Thanks to all for the prayers and support!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thanks to All!

Well tomorrow is the big day! I'm just wrapping up my last day (night?) at work and I'm anxious to get started. I've been overwhelmed with the support of my co-workers, friends and family this week. I've received many phone calls and txt messages and they had a nice send-off party for me at work with a generous donation collected from the people I work closely with. It was unexpected and very much appreciated!

I don't have much more to say other than thank you to all my Spokes for your support of my adventure!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Slightly Bruised

One thing I forgot to mention about the "shakedown" ride was the little spill I took. My bike is equipped with peddles that my shoes clip into with cleats. Most touring bikes and even normal road and speed bikes have this same type of system that allows you the added power of being able to lift the peddles as well as pushing them. It is a great system but does take some getting used to. I have been practicing and feel confident with them, but they can cause problems on a sudden stop.

On an unloaded bike, I can balance for several seconds even at a total stop. But on a loaded bike as soon as you stop - it wants to go down! I had such a situation on the shakedown ride when a driver making a left turn either didn't see me or figured I would stop for her. I managed to stop the bike quickly but I was still clipped into the peddles when the bike decided to go down. Thankfully I unclipped just as I was about to hit the ground and didn't go all the way down. But I did fall enough to get a couple nice bruises on my legs.

The woman said sorry as she continued on and I decided to chalk it up to a good learning experience. The bruises will heal soon and I made a commitment to never ride a bike with cleats without a helmet. I recommend this advice to all riders whose shoes are attached to the bike in any fashion. The other lesson here (that I learned long long ago) is that drivers do stupid things when it comes to bikers. My advice to all bikers reading this is to follow the rules of the road and always assume the drivers will do something stupid. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Shakedown" Trip

On Saturday I did a "shakedown" overnight camping trip to make sure I had everything I would need for the real ride. Here are some short videos of that trip. 2 things to note:
1. Microsoft Movie Maker SUKZ and that is why you get 3 unedited videos instead of 1. I'm looking for an alternative.
2. Part of the "Shakedown" ride was to see if I can post videos using my phone's Internet connection. That failed - which is why I'm posting it today. It may have been due to poor cell service out at the park.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wheels in Motion

It is official - I just submitted my (hopefully temporary) two weeks notice at my job of 12 1/2 years. It is either the most bold or worst thing I have ever done. I'm going with BOLD!

Weather or not my company takes me back, I still have a good feeling that everything will work out for the best.