Tuesday, June 28, 2005

From the Capital of South Dakota

Hello all! I have had a few people inquire about sending packages/letters to me. Please visit http://www.yale.edu/habitat/info/maildrops.html to find out how. I am on the North Trip. I recommend sending everything Priority to insure that it arrives on time. I have had trouble with a few items.

So...since the last post, I have done another century and I will get to do another tomorrow. Yesterday was our longest day of the trip. I biked 122 miles! I spent almost 8 hours sitting on my bike. My butt hurts thinking about it. I can't believe that I can ride this far.

Of course we got lost. This actually ended up saving us 13 miles. However, it meant that we had to buy our lunch. At mile 70 or so we stopped in at Leo's. Did you know that in 1897, absolutley nothing happened there. There was a plaque stating this fact outside the restraunt. We were starving. The waitress said she had never seen people eat this much. I had two meals with a couple of side orders. It consisted of 2 pancakes (the size of the plate), 4 eggs, 4 pieces of toast, 4 pieces of bacon, hasbrowns, a slice of ham steak, an order of curly fries, and almost a whole pitcher of water. Before this I had five energy bars on the road. We had the waitress make us PB&J's for the road. It was quite the meal. All the locals stopped by our table to talk and laugh at all our plates on the table. And don't worry, this did not spoil our dinner. We ate plenty again.

We stayed in Miller, SD yesterday and now I am in Pierre. We biked 72 miles to get here. We had a tail wind, so we went fast. I averaged almost 22 miles per hour. I think we will go see Batman Begins tonight, after stopping at the famous Zesto Ice Cream Shop.

The funny stuff...Diana got stung by a bee on the eye a few days ago. It got really puffy. She looked like a chipmunk. Now it almost back to normal thanks to a doctor and a prescription. Everyone is also over their colds for the first time on the trip. There has been no sneezing and coughing at night. Our trailer is getting a new paint and is looking great. We are all looking forward to camping in Badlands National Park in couple of days. Till next time...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Pictures are Here!

It has been a while since I found a place to post pics, but I did it today. I hope you enjoy them. I just had a wonderful shower at a home. I think it is my 5th or 6th shower with a door. I bet you normally take that for granted.

We grilled for dinner. We had burgers, hot dogs, and the like. Now it is off to dream land. Tomorrow should be an easy day. The town is having a 5K fun run, so I might attend that, before biking tomorrow.

Take care till next time...

This was on my day off in Chicago. My friends and I went to an Italian place before dropping me back off at the church.

This was at the Japanese waterfall in the Chicago Botanical Gardens. Did you know that you can't have bikes in the gardens? Everone there seemed to know this. We had at least five employees tell us this. We just kept following there directions and taking detours as needed, so that we got to see the gardens. They were beautiful and relaxing. After an hour there, we had worked up an appetite and needed food. (See next picture)

This is Dave. He is my partner in crime. We have lots of mishaps together. At this time, we were just given two pints of strawberries and some string beans. Of course we finished them all, since we had no room to carry them. They were a great snack on the road. G-d bless the lady at the farmers market. Also, the Great harvest Bread company for the slice of bread and the pie lady and the float stand. Ahhh, food! How we can eat it.

We rode past a flower field in Wisconsin. The amount of flowers was awesome. This is Maeve and Brock with me.

We love hay.

I conquered the bail of hay!

This is Victoria. She had to leave the trip, due to a broken elbow near Chicago. Hopefully she will be able rejoin the trip near the end. She had some great road rash.

We were invited to a pond, which just happen to have olympic diving platforms. We spent a few hours jumping, swimming, and swinging from a rope. It was such a relief on such a hot day.

Steve showing off his tan lines.

Our van says it all.

Here are several of us having drinks and food. Unfortunately, I can't remember the town. It is somewhere in NY with a college. Hopefully somebody who was at this table can remember. I guess I had to much to drink there.

I found out that this was not in NY. It is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Oops.

I Did My First Century!!

OH YEA! I completed my first century today (that is 100 miles on my bike). Also, I did it in under 5 hours. We rode from Hutchison to Madison. We had a nice tail wind and fairly flat roads. There were several miles near the end, that were on a dirt road, but it did not slow me down too much.

Everything else is great. We had a mail drop yesterday and I received all kinds of great goodies to eat. It is amazing to see all the stuff we get. Even more, it is amazing to see how fast we go through it.

I do not think I have cell service again, so for those of you trying to contact me...sorry. You will have to wait. Tomorrow we go into South Dakota. Monday we have our longest day of the trip. We will ride over 120 miles. I have tried to convince a few people to do a double century with me, but I don't think that will happen. 120 miles is enough.

I am excited to for the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota. I visited there about four years ago and had a blast. Till next time...have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Minneapolis is Awesome!

This city is rockin! Last night I walked around uptown and had a drink at one of the many outdoor cafes. This morning we woke up and ate Einstein bagels. I ran a couple of errands and we headed off to the Twins baseball game.

We got the hook-up. We were sitting nine rows back from third base. The Twins played against the Detriot Tigers and won. The game lasted only 2 1/2 hours, which is very short for a ball game. A few of us took off to the Farmers Market and Jazz Festival I read about. We ate strawberries, cherries, grapes, and blueberries. After checking out the band at the farmers market, we spotted a lady braiding hair. Someone joked that I should get my hair braided. So...I did. It is in 6 corn rows. I saw Red Planet and The Peterson Family at the festival.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Minnesota...Watch Out

We have arrived in the big state of Minnesota. I just got done with a big rack of ribs from Famous Dave's BBQ. I will post more later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Goodbye Wisconsin!

Tomorrow we will be leaving Wisconsin. This has been our most beautiful state to date. We have had amazing scenery, rolling hills, and lots of great cheese. Today we stopped and had our best ice cream. Also, we all tried cheese curds, which most of us had never had before. They are amazing! They even squeak when you bite into them.

Today I had to ride in the van for the first part of the day. I am not exactly sure what happened, but I guess I ate something I should not have. I woke up with terrible pain in my stomach. I tried to ride, but only made it five miles and decided that I better sit this one out. By the time we arrived at our lunch spot, I was all better. The pain had gone away. Who knows? I finished the day up and to make up for the 40 miles that I missed, I climbed a nine mile hill that everyone else rode up in a car.

We all are looking forward to our day off on Thursday. It will be much needed.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Hilly Wisconsin!

When did Wisconsin grow hills. I always remembered it being flat. I guess I have never driven through the western part of the state. We climbed some good hills today, on our way to the town of La Crosse, WI. It was absolutely stunning at the top of some of the rolling hills. Everything is so green.

We saw lots of Amish country today. It seemed to be more prosperous than the Amish country we say in New York. On the way into town I found a one hour photo place (the guy made me a CD in 15 minutes). I do not know when I will be able to load them, but I am sure it will be soon.

Beautiful Wisconsin...

I tried to leave Madison a couple of days ago. I woke up and had a flat to repair. Yea! This really proved to be my lucky day. When I was putting my wheel back on my bike, I noticed that a leg on my fork was loose. The leg on a fork is not supposed to be loose. I touched it a few times and the leg came off the fork. This is REALLY not supposed to happen. Now I could not ride. Oh no!

I was getting frustrated. It was Father's day and I knew that bike shops would not open for a while. I was dropped off at a bike shop in town and the van drove away. All the other riders had started riding about an hour before this. I had to make something happen or I would have to call the van from our next destination to come back and get me.

So...I waited. I talked on the phone, ate three-quarters of left over pizza that I pulled out of the van before it took off, and waited some more. After two and half hours the store opened. I spoke with two different managers and was not getting anywhere. They wanted me to buy a new fork. I wanted them to take a fork off a bike that is identical to mine and put it on my bike. Then I would have the warranty replacement sent to them. My idea would require an act of good faith, but I am traveling for Habitat.

Finally, the owner showed up. He was trying to leave town, but he listened to me anyway. I got him on the phone with a bike shop in New Haven, CT and the deal was struck. However, he told me that I would be paying for the fork, but I would be paying for the labor involved. This included taking off a fork, putting it on my bike, and then reinstalling a fork when it arrived. I said ok, since I didn't have a choice...I wanted to keep biking.

The next problem was that the fork I needed was at a different store. They told me to get on a bus and go to the other store, with my bike. Luckily, minutes later a manger came up to me and told me that he would drive me and my bike. Things were starting to get better. Already two people told me how lucky I was that the fork didn't break while I was riding. That really could have been ugly.

I arrived at the other store and they went to work. Within 30 minutes my bike was fixed and ready to ride. The manager at the store told me not to worry about the labor costs. Oh yea!

I stepped out of the store about 1 PM and started to make my way to the planned route for the day. We were going to Richland Center, WI and I knew that most people would be finishing about now. I ended up having a great ride through some beautiful areas. I stopped at a house to get some water and the lady came out to see what I was up too. She ended up giving me some different directions around an upcoming detour. This saved me a few miles and some hills. Awesome!

I arrived just in time for dinner. It was a magnificent feast, as always. So, my doomed day went better than I could have imagined. I have a working bike again and it didn't cost me a thing.

Sad News from the HBC

Yesterday a tradegy occured on the HBC South trip. A girl was traveling in a pace line and hit the front tire of her teammate and went down. She fell in front of traffic and was struck by a car. The girl did not survive. She was a going to be a senior at Yale.

Several of the people on my trip know this girl directly or through friends. We have all been saddened by this news. I am sure the next few days will be difficult as people deal with this news.

This is all I know so far. If you have any more specific questions, just email me.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Hangin At UW

I am drinking a Caramel Creek malt at the University of Wisconsin. It is good stuff. I rode from Lake Geneva this morning and arrived about 1PM. The day was beautiful. It was fairly flat, cool, decent roads, and not too long (only 78 miles). I never would have thought that 80 miles was a short distance on a bike, but it is becoming that way. I know that I will get there and that I won't fall over from exhaustion when I arrive. That is only partly true. I rolled up to the Habitat office, where we are staying, and fell over onto the grass. I was tired. However, I quickly got up, helped unload the trailer, and made my way to downtown.s

In Lake Geneva, I watched the sunset on the lake and had a wonderful pasta dinner. It was also mail drop day. This is always exciting! Everyone loves opening up all their packages and sharing all the food that parents and friends send to us. We have so much stuff we had to rethink how to load are trailer.

On a sad note...one of our riders has left the group. On the way into Chicago, Victoria Nieman, took a spill and broke her elbow. She is hoping to rejoin us towards the end of the ride or at least meet us in Seattle at the end of July. We all miss her greatly. Victoria...heal quickly!

As I said before, Chicago was awesome. Many people went to a barbecue at one of the riders houses. They also visted the Art Institute and had deep dish pizza. These are all essentials when visiting Chicago.

Friday, June 17, 2005

I Love Chicago!

I just left Chicago this morning. I had a blast! I went to a Gov't Mule show at the Navy Pier, ate great food, and got to hang with some great friends. I am now in Lake Geneva, WI and will head to Madison tomorrow. I don't have much time tonight, so look soon for a new post.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Over 1000 Miles Completed

Today we have arrived in Westville, IN. For those of you who don't know where that it is...neither do I. I do know that it is close to Gary, IN and about 60 miles outside of Chicago. I have not had acess to a computer for a while, so here is a recap.

I stopped in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, and Benton Harbor, MI over the past few days. Our build day in Ann Arbor did not work out. The Habitat chapter did not have enough for us to do. We were all very dissapointed, but we got lots of errands and cleaning done instead. The 90 mile, followed by an 80 mile ride over the last couple of days, has worn many riders out. Today's ride was only 50 miles and I felt very refreshed this morning. I am not sure if it was from relaxing and watching the sunset on the beach in Benton Harbor or that I just slept well, but I took off this morning. We had a head wind almost the entire way. I went so fast that the van never past me, which meant that I never got lunch. With only 50 miles to do this is not a big deal; I had a couple of Cliff bars on me. I arrived at my destination before 10 am today. This is partly due to the time zone change, but I have been here an hour and no one has shown up. A lady inside told me I had found the right place.

I was hungry when I arrived, so I found a local diner and had an omelet, a biscuit, some hash browns, 3 glasses of water, and several pieces of toast. I can't wait till our next meal:)

I will be going to Chicago tomorrow. We have our first official rest day there. I will be staying the night with some good friends there. I have been looking forward to this part of the trip. I should be able to get some new pictures up on the site, during my stay there.

Funny story...yesterday when we left Battle Creek, it was raining. This was most of the riders first time riding in the rain. We all got drenched. I got a flat about 10 miles away from lunch. It took a couple of tubes, but the tire was ready to go. Three of us get back on our bikes and go about 20 feet and someone else gets a flat. While my friend was changing her tube, I was doing circles in the parking lot. My gears were off a little and I was making adjustments and checking my work out. I was not looking up, since I was looking at my gears. All of a sudden I hit the ground. I looked up and realized that I just ran myself into a concrete slab that was holding a handicap parking sign. I had hit my head and then my shoulder on the pole of the sign, as I went over my handle bars. The two people I was with did not see it, but I couldn't stop laughing at myself, so I told them. My shoulder is a little sore and bruised. Note to self: Look up occasionally to see what is coming.

You might have thought that was bad, but the other riders had similar horror stories. One guy got six flats. I think we had about 10-12 flats yesterday in total. Also, one or two other people had minor spills. All in all the second half of yesterday was great. The rain stopped, the sun peeked out for about 10 minutes, and we all got to play in Lake Michigan.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

We All Love Our Directions...Not!

I am sitting at Maeve's Aunt and Uncle's house in Michigan. We are just north of Detroit. I am staying at a church in Orchard Lake, MI...if anybody knows where that is. We had a very long day.

We got up at 4:30 a.m. and were eating breakfast at 5:30. A little after 6 we were on the road. The morning was great! We went to a ferry to cross back into the US. We could not cross over a nearby bridge, since there was construction and they refused to give us an escort across. Oh well. The ride to the ferry added about 25 miles to the days mileage. Ouch!

We waited an hour at the ferry, since a rider got a flat and it was her first time changing a tire on the road. So, we finally made it back in the US and started heading towards Detriot. Throughout this trip we have had great stories of getting lost. Our directions are often wrong. Sometimes it is only the distance. Other times we are missing turns and streets all together. Today both the mileage and streets were wrong.

We made it too lunch with only the mileage being about 15 miles off. That was ok. Lunch was awesome. We broke out the grill that Brock had bought the other day and made steaks, hotdogs, and various other foods that we decided to grill. There was a smile on everybody's face watching Colin light the grill and proceed to cook his steak. Colin had the biggest grin...it stretched from ear to ear. That is a long way for Colin (he is a big guy)!

Several of us took from lunch and pushed on. The sun was out and the heat was rising rapidly. We all knew from the past two days that today was going to be a scorcher. We made it to a road that was a dirt road. The directions said to go on this road and we did. This road will be forever remebered. It was only a third of a mile, but was so bumpy from tire ruts, that we all went down yelling and screaming, sounding like we were being shaken violently. And we were! As we reached the end, the van was turned around and decided that it was lost since it could not find the next road. I told them that there were some people in their yard back on the road we just were on and that we should ask them. So...we all headed back down this bumpy, dirt road screaming and yelling. This time we started started saying phrases about how wonderful the road was. It sounded like, "IIIIIIIII LLLOOOOOVVVVEEEEE TTTHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIISSSSS RRRRRRROOOOOOOOAAAAAADDDDDD!" I beat the van to the house, since it had to go slow with the trailer bouncing behind it. The lady told us where to go and we were now once again going down this wonderful, bouncy, road. The directions had forgotten a road and now we knew where to go, or so we thought.

One of the riders I was with told us about her Aunt and Uncle's house that we should stop at and cool off. We were starting to fry and loved the thought of ice crem and ice water and really anything with ice in its name. This house was only four houses off our route. It couldn't get much better. We sat around for over an hour cooling off. We ate, drank, and even played some guitar.

During this rest time we received a phone call to tell us that the directions were wrong, but they didn't know where to go. We said ok and continued to sit around and let everyone else hang out in the heat.

Eventually we were told where to go. This worked for about two miles. We then started making a big circle, that got us no where fast. I stopped at a perked ambulance and asked the paramedics. They were very helpful and got us going the right way. I realized that they showed us the long way around. I am glad they were not driving to save me! We eventually found a road that was on our directions after asking a couple of more people about how to get to where we were going. The directions said 2.5 miles down this road. After 5, we still were not there. We had been on the road for over 70 miles and were getting tired. We arrived safely at our destination and I immediately threw myself in the lake. Then someone came out and said that it was ok to use the lake. Thanks!

Anyway, it was a fun and eventful day. This has become typical fare. Getting lost, asking directions several times, and somehow ending up where we are supposed to be.

Now I have gotten to shower, shave, eat, and even do laundry at my friends relatives house. It doesn't get much better. Tomorrow we will have a short day to Ann Arbor. Saturday will be a work day on a Habitat house. That will be much needed day of rest for our legs.

Oh yea. yesterday someone did get in an accident. A girl went down a scraped one side of here body really good. She is fine. I don't think Steve will grab her handle bar any more. I think he feels a little bad about it. Also, I found out that on the Central and South trips, that they have had their share of emergencies. Someone's appendix burst and had to be rushed to a hospital. Another person was hit by a car and needed hospital care, but I am unsure if they will continue the ride. It made us all feel lucky that we were not hurt, except for few scrapes and bruises.

The bright side of today, is that it was not windy.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

We Are Getting Smarter...Finally

Today we woke up extra early. I had requested it, since the winds and heat have been rough. We were biking by 6:15 a.m. I was done at 11 a.m. and it was wonderful. It is supposed to be about 100 degrees today and the winds were just getting to be strong when I finished. Now we have the whole day to sleep, relax, eat, and play.

We will be heading back into Canada tomorrow. We will be heading south-west towards Ann Arbor, MI. At Ann Arbor we will have our second work day. Also, sometime in the next week we will get to camp for the first time on our trip. we are all excited since Brock showed up yesterday with a camping stove tied to his handle bars. I think we are going to get some beer and make steaks tonight. I think that is great biking food.

Our tan lines are getting better everyday. I hopefully will get to share some pictures that I took yesterday. Steve A. has the best lines.

Today we rode through Adelaide. I immediately turned my Ipod onto the song Adelaide. I thought it was only appropriate.

There were no crashes today, but there were some near misses. David Brummet has the best save award for not crashing today. He rubbed tires with the bike in front of him and swerved way out. The car behind us swerved way out and David swerved back in and then out again. I was right behind him and luckily had my hands near my brakes, so I backed off quickly to avoid the mess that I thought was surely coming. However, it did not. We all stopped and allowed our heartbeats to drop back down to biking speed.

The US better watch out, because we are coming back and are ready to pedal harder than when we left!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Wind, Wind, and More Wind

today we only rode 55ish miles. But we had the same wind problem as yesterday. It is amazing how the wind is constantly blowing. Going down a hill, you must pedal to get past 10 mph. The day was broken up by a wonderful side trip to a home-made pool. Someone stopped on the side of the road, where we were eating lunch and invited us to their backyard. In this backyard was an olympic size diving platforms and a huge pond. They used to have a two week training camp and that is why they have this in their yard. It was very refreshing. The temperature reached 96 degrees today. I am sure glad that I am not on the South trip, they must be burning up.

My host family was amazing last night and this morning. We had a hot tub to rest our sore legs and a wonderful dinner after we got cleaned up. For those of you who know how picky of an eater I am, I ate salmon for the first time at dinner and liked it!

I hope you are enjoying the pics.

I am in London, Canada tonight. I went through Woodstock today, but it is not the real Woodstock, but I pretended by listening to Jimi Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner on my Ipod as I rode through the town. I will stay in one more town tomorrow night in Canada and then back to the USA for me. Hopefully the wind dies down or changes directions, so that tomorrow I will get to see the country side, instead of keeping my head down, so that the debris from all the fields is not in my face.

For fans of Yogi Bear...this is for you. I have my two imaginary friends next to me. All I can say is that it was really hot that day.

This was our lunch spot a few days ago. After I ate, I laid down on a rock in the middle of this stream and took a nap. The water put me right to sleep.

This was near Corning, NY. It was early in the morning and the fog over the mountains was incredible.

This is at Niagra Falls. I promise I was there...this is not a cardboard cut-out.

A few more people joined Dave and I at the waterfall. They did not get wet. But the scenery is enough.

Several of us biking in NY. This was on the way to Binghampton.

Dave Brummet and I went to cool off in the waterfall. It was freezing!

Our daily morning ritual

Monday, June 06, 2005

Oh Canada...how the wind blows

Today we left Niagra Falls and entered into Canada. We had a 70 mile ride ahead of us and we all felt great. After crossing the border, we found the wind. The wind was blowing at from the side and from the front. It was brutal. As we tired, the wind never did. I think most of us would agree that today was our hardest day yet.

Also, I had my first crash today. I hope it is my last. Someone in front of me crash when he hit a bad spot in the road and I went down on top of him. The person behind me was able to swerve out of the way. I came out of it with only a scratch on the leg. Akshay, had a few scrapes on his elbow and knee, but nothing serious. However, my bike now had a bent spoke, which made my tire wobbled the rest of the ride. I was able to get it fixed at The Bicycle Shop in Brantsford. They made it good as new.

Yesterday we checked out Niagra Falls. Canada got the better end of the deal. I saw the falls a couple of years ago, but only on the American side. The Canadian side has the majority of the falls. They were spectacular and the mist felt great on such a sunny day. We had dinner in Canada and then went back to the US for some sleep.

I should have some more pics up soon.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Heading into Canada soon...

Today we arrived in Buffalo, NY. We have an easy day tomorrow...only 35 miles to Niagra Falls. We will spend the night in the US and then head into Canada. The last few days have consisted of me and several others getting lost. Today we did an extra 11 miles. We ended up in Strykesville, NY for lunch. The van was about an hour away, so we stopped at a pub and had a wonderful lunch (much better than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that we would have normally had).

Strykesville was having a garage sale. When I mean the town was having a garage sale, I mean that everyone in the town was having a garage sale and people from all over were coming. This is an annual event. I have never seen so many people having a garage sale at once, it was really cool. We got lots of looks and questions as we rode through the town at a slow pace.

I am constantly suprised by everyones helpfulness across the US. We have been asking for directions constantly, since we were lost, and everyone has been very eager to help. Today, a gentleman gave us his entire map book of the Buffalo/Niagra area. He said we needed it more than he did. This has been a repeated theme as we have traveled west. Also, we ran across some kids having a bake sale, trying to raise money for camp this summer. We all stopped for bbrownies, cup cakes, rice krispie treats and more. I love being able to eat whatever I want and as much as I want!

As we approached downtown Buffalo, two kids tried to race us. When one of the kids declared victory by throwing his hands in the air, we told him how fast he was, and then proceeded to race him down the street with no of us using our hands. He thought it was awesome...so did we.

Tonight we had buffalo wings in Buffalo. They were from the place were buffalo wings were invented. They were great. I had at least 15 and then followed it up with a few slices of pizza, some fruits and vegetable, some cookies, some pieces of bread, a chocalate bar, and several glasses of water. I think that was most of it:)

After dinner we headed out to a bar, named Colter Bay. I had a drink and then went on to a blues club, to see some live music. The Chris Beard Band was playing. We danced for a while and then headed back to the church we are staying at this evening.

I hope you enjoy the photos. If you click on them, they will enlarge. Also, I will be out of cell phone contact while in Canada. I hope to find a computer, but can not make any promises.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Pictures are here!

Ok everyone. I have pictures up on the blog. I am in Buffalo, NY and will head to Niagra falls tomorrow. I will write more later tonight.

We were waiting to cross the Hudson River and took shelter in a train station. Some of us take every opportunity to catch some Z's.

Some friends and I in NY. We were taking in the view.

The HBC North Trip...We rock!

Me at the Atlantic Ocean in New Haven, CT.

Brock, Victoria, and I at Yale. We love our curly, poofy hair!

Zach, Adam, and I hanging in Boston. Zach and Adam are students at CU. I was their RA this past school year.

Diane, Dave, and I at a Japanese restaurant in Boston.

Downtown Pittsburgh

I found this while biking in Pittsburgh. I had to turn around.

Me after crossing the Hudson River.

Read above for description of pictures.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I went further than I ever have!

Today I traveled 91 miles! That is two miles further than the longest ride I have ever done (89 miles was accomplished last august in Oregon). I am getting stronger and faster every day. I am still eating constantly. I have equivalent to two entrees for three meals a day, then I eat in between meals.

The day before yesterday, four of us were riding together to Binghampton, NY, we got pulled over by a state trooper. We had made a wrong turn and ended up on a highway that we were not allowed to be on. The trooper asked where we were headed. And when we repsonded that we were going to Seattle, his eyes got real big and he just chuckled at us. After getting his composure, he sent us on our way, after we promised to get off at the next exit. That was a close one. Actually, today I ended up getting lost and on another highway that I should not have been on. Some Pennsyvania locals got us in the right direction. This time the trooper just went right past us as we traveled on the highway.

Yesterday we had our first day off. We went to a Habitat work site in Binghamton. We organized a warehouse full of all things to do with houses. We had to get it ready for an auction that is taking place on June 18th. It was quite remarkable the transformation from piles to sorted and neatly placed items. The placed looked great when we were finished.

Also, it is official...I am going to Africa next year. I will be traveling from Cairo to Capetown on my bicycle for four months. I am sure it will be amazing! You can learn more about it by clicking on the link on the right side of the page.

Tomorrow we are heading to Howe, NY or Houghton, NY. I am not really sure. It is really nice waking up at 5 a.m. and not having to know what day it is or even where you are going. We receive our directions just minutes before we head out on our ride in the morning. At that time we learn where we will be going and how far we have to travel.

You can check out the blog for the North Trip at the link on the right side of the page. It is written by various riders on the trip. Also, I am trying to get some pictures, but it has proved to be a bit more difficult. I know I will find a way soon. Thanks for everyones comments and support.