Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stave 5: The End of It

The bike ride is finished! We arrived at the San Francisco Bay Thursday evening, dipped our front tires in the water and limped away toward a bicycle shop to have the bikes shipped home - although we'd be lying if we say we didn't entertain notions of tossing the bikes in the Bay and saying goodbye (and good riddance) forever. :)

We are so thankful to finally be finished and so grateful to all those wonderful people who have been supporting us in one way, shape, or form throughout this entire trip...we couldn't have made it without you. We were not cyclists before we left, we're not cyclists we've often said, "we're just two guys with bikes" and although we didn't realize the vast differences before we left we realize that there is a big difference between cycling and being a cyclist...and we are humbled to say the least.

As we departed that June morning (naive and entertaining nonsensical notions) we were under the assumption that this ride would take about 23 or 24 days and thought we would be riding only 6 or 7 hours a day. We believed that once we hit central Ohio it would be flat (until we hit the Rockies) and easy, and those days we would be riding about 5 - 6 hours or that we would put in 7 or 8 and put a ridiculous amount of road behind us. I smile and wince as I write this, because I realize how naive we were. The middle of the country is flat (excepting Iowa which is quite hilly; contrary to popular belief) but riding westward into the headwinds...well, it's as if you're riding uphill all day anyway. Had we thought about it we would have started west and made our way homeward (c'est la vie).

In the end it took us almost a week longer than we had hoped and those 5 - 6 hour days were just fantasy...some days we spent 14 - 16 hours (from sunup to sundown) to cover as close to 100 miles as we could, sometimes walking the bikes uphill and all the time beating ourselves up...becoming more tired and grumpier as we went. We didn't always end the day in a place that was suitable for sleeping and we really have to thank the people we stayed with who would often pick us up and drop us off where we left off so we could continue on our way, it would not have been possible to make it through the more remote areas without help.

Mechanically we did pretty well, I went through 16 tubes and a tire. Greg used about 8 tubes and broke a spoke in Illinois...but other than that we were in pretty good shape. The weather was very cooperative and but for a few minor storms in Nevada and one tornado warning in Ohio, our rain gear was mostly unnecessary.

It was a very difficult trip and we arrived on the west coast far more sunburned, sore, and short-tempered than we imagined we would back in June...but we have too, lots of great memories, many wonderful photos (which we intend to post soon), and an inestimable number of good deeds to pay forward.

joe and Greg

Friday, July 9, 2010

Westward ho-ha!

As we continue our trek westward we want to thank: cousin once removed Cassie, Andy, and the entire Groberg family! The winds have been strong and the mountains steep but we're feeling good and hoping to finish up in anther week or so. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


We are more than half way done with our bike ride but have not yet reached the half way point of our donation goal...if you know anyone who is interested in donating please pass this along. Thanks! :)


So, we've been making good time and feeling okay. When people think of Colorado they usually think only of the Mountains...but there is plenty of grassland out here too, it's not much to look at, but when the wind isn't too bad it's easy to put miles behind you, and that's what we've been doing. And the thing about the Rocky Mountains is that the climb (although constant) is it's not so bad (nothing like the Sierra Nevada's will be) and the beauty of mountains (unless you take the brake pad perspective) is the that once you climb, it's all downhill. We have realized though that "going west" (like young men ought) is a lot more difficult and has made for longer hours and harder days (sometimes from nearly sunup to sundown) than if we had been heading and learn. We would like to thank:

Ray E.
Chris V.
The Cherry Family
Pastor Troy
and everyone thinking about us and praying for us

We could not have made it this far without all the help we've received and we are so very thankful!

joe and greg

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Hats off to heat rash, headwinds, and hills - that terrible triumvirate attempted to stymie, threaten, and plague us (like the ghost of Kerouac's cousin on our heels, the sword of Damocles above our heads, and the gaze of a milky, pale blue eye of the albatross around our necks) across Iowa and Nebraska. However, we're making our way - ahead of schedule - thanks to:

Pastor John and his wife Judy
Jim from the First Christian Church
Bob Moore
Cindy, Jim, and Zach

Thank You!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So we apologize that we haven't written in quite a while. We don't always have internet access. Anyway, since we wrote last we have traveled quite far, learned quite a few things, and have more than quite a few people to thank. It's difficult to remember as we pass through so many towns and meet so many people but we'll do our best to be as thorough as possible and at some point hope to post more photos.

In Ohio: we met Barb and Hope and their beautiful Icelandic horses. When the forecast called for tornadic activity, they kept us out of the weather, fed us, and got us back on the road when the warnings had passed.

We came across two other cross-country cyclists, Adam and Paul who were riding to get bikes for the children of our service men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. We shared a room, some food, and had a great time swapping stories and giving/receiving advice.

We also need to thank Beth from Bryan, OH for the amazing hospitality, kindness, and breakfast!

In Indiana, it was Pops Butz (who I stayed with when I was walking through) who put us up and made us feel right at home. Thanks also to his grandson John, for all his help getting us back on the road.

When we had a little tire trouble near Nappanee, Indiana it Jospeh Miller and his family at Burlington Bike Shop who fixed us up free of charge and got us on our way again.

We met two really wonderful guys at a gas station in Walkerton, thanks for all the help and for going out of your way to help two complete strangers!

Thanks to Paul from Gary, Indiana for the food, kindness, and hospitality and for helping get back on track!

When it rains it pours and when we ran into some bike trouble (flat tires, popped tubes, and a broken spoke) in a very short span we had some really amazing folks who gave up their time and opened their homes and hearts to us. God was really watching over us and we want to say thanks Vic for everything and thanks to Paulette and Brett for helping us get our bikes repaired and getting us back on the road and where we needed to be.

There are of course plenty of other people who have helped make this trip possible and countless others who send good thoughts and prayers our way! Thank you to our families, Ekta and Janene who call or email often to check in and encourage us and send their love and support!

Joe and Greg

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 6: Out of the Mountains and into the Wind

The thunderstorms in the morning brought some strong winds throughout the day so we weren't quite able to hit the 100 mile mark...but if all goes well, tomorrow we'll be on the other side of the Ohio-Indiana border. :) Does anyone have friends or family near Kendallville, IN?