Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 27 & April 28 - One Day in Two

We left Lockhart at the normal time on April 27 - about 7ish AM.  All was normal - cool in the morning and no wind.  We rode through downtown Lockhart and we all wished we had known about it the night before...and that weren't so tired the night before.  It is a cool old downtown with a lot of shops and stuff to look through.  Oh well, maybe another time.

The wind picked up about the time we hit Kyle, TX.  We spent a little time in Kyle.  Our Kyle took some pictures - one was in front of the Kyle City Police Department.  I went inside to see if they had any badges we could have and the cool officer in there gave me three Kyle PD badges and made Kyle an honorary deputy.  We all wore them with pride.  Kyle has pictures.

The wind picked up and so did the hills.  We were invited to dinner at the Comfort Baptist Church at 6pm so we had to cut the day a little short in order to make dinner.  The Church cooks dinner for local families every Wednesday and this week they had spaghetti with chicken in a white sauce, lettuce salad, garlic bread and desserts.  We did not go home hungry and the company was great.  The Pastor has been at the Church for 30 years and had a lot of stories about Texas and the town.  The people were all very friendly and I think everyone was glad we made the decision to stop riding at 70 miles.

April 28
Shannon, Kyle and I got up at the normal time and Bill got us to the place we stopped yesterday by about 7:05AM.  We started riding and it was a little chilly and calm - perfect weather for Shane.  The hills were there but they didn't seem as bad without the wind.  funny, huh.!?

During the ride, a deer jumped across the road in front of me and then I heckled it until it finally cleared the fence.  I saw movement on the hill and saw about 30 more deer running to my left.  Then I saw three more running to my right.  It was really cool to see them alive instead of smell them as road kill.  We did see one road kill deer a little later.  It must have been hit by a semi-truck as it was in two pieces and very mangled.

I also saw this old house and these cool sheep.  The house is made from Texas Limestone and I think looks pretty neat.

We finished the 30 miles in under two hours then showered, did laundry and cleaned the bikes which left a very lazy afternoon.  At about 4ish we walked around downtime just in time to see it rolled up at 5pm. 

Now, Mona is making another good smelling meal and learning how to make creamed peas.

Oh yeah.  Remember the Lady, Karen, who made us the sign and hung it along the highway as we entered Lockhart?  Her Daughter sent Shannon and email and she lives in Lakeside near where we are ending in San Diego!  Coincidence?  I think not!  We are all looking forward to meeting her on May 21 near the Roller Coaster on the beach.  Way Cool!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Ride - April 26

Today, it was hard to get out of bed.  My ankles hurt, my knees hurt, my shoulder hurts and I'm tired.  But, I went to work and am glad I did.  We left Butler at our normal time, about 7am and headed south....then we turned and headed north....wonder why we can't just go west!  Anywho, I was about done by lunch. 

After lunch we got back on the bikes and rode through a couple of Texas State Parks.  These parks were filled with pine trees and smelled just like Arizona.  They were full of hills and free of any air movement (aka wind) which made it very warm.  Once out of the parks we headed southwest again.  Les and Mona went ahead to Lockhart where we ended our day and called back to Bill to let everyone know there was a sign for POP's on the side of the road about six miles outside of Lockhart.  Shannon said, "I bet that is Karen's place." 

Knowing the sign was there and someone local was excited about Our Ride gave me the energy and motivation to complete the day.  I rode for several hours in the heat, wind and hills to be on the bike when we got to the sign.  Guess what - when we got to the sign, Karen was waiting for us with cold Gatorade!  Way Cool.  She was so excited about meeting us and what we are doing.  Funny thing is, I don't think she realizes how important her sign is to  At times, I have felt as though what we are doing is really only being noticed by our friends, family and a few others who have randomly found out about Our Ride.  She explained she learned about Our Ride from a flier she saw at a local BBQ joint in Lockhart.  She then went to our website, read about us and sent Shannon an email.  Karen's Mom has PD so she is very interested in what we are doing and about how we are trying to spread the word about PD and the treatments available.

Karen and her Parents met us at Chisholm's Trail BBQ for dinner.  We were all honored to meet her Mom and Dad and spend some time with them.  Karen surprised us again at dinner when she said she was buying.  Such a humbling experience.  We have met some very neat people so far on the trip and they have all blessed us in different ways.

Karen - Thank you taking the time to make the sign for us.  Thank you for your words of encouragement and support.  Thank you for dinner.  Meeting you today has provided me with the energy to tackle another day...week...the rest of the trip.  I wish your Parents and your family many more years together.

Karen's Sign with Dad and Karen.  She had everyone's name listed on it.  Way Cool.

The dinner crew at Chisholm's

Today, I would like to recognize all those from Safeway NASC who have helped with POP's Ride fundraisers and organization.  Specifically - Mona, Sue Mac, Sue R, Jody, Patti - for the many hours you put in to planning the various events.  Thanks!

Monday, April 25, 2011

boll weevils, cows and chickens

Hello Again.

First, we are all well, showered and fed.

Second, we are staying at the Inn at Indian Creek in Burton, Texas.  This is a very cool B&B just outside of Burton with three nice and clean cabins, a pond and lots of room to chill and relax.  Mr. Kennard Lawrence is the Innkeeper and if you are ever in the area and need a place to stay, you should stay here.  Why?  For the reasons already listed and because he generously did not charge us for our stay tonight.  Incredible!  What a blessing.  Please check out his website,, and stop by for a night or two and let him know you are friends of POPs Ride.  Rachel Baderman - another success!  Thanks.

Now, on to today's travels.  Today we rode through the Sam Houston National Forest.  A great surprise and very cool place.  We even had to cross a lake.  The rest of the day was filled with hills, wind and gusts of wind. There are a lot of very neat ranches in this area.

At one point, we stopped to take a picture of an old grocery store and this pickup passed us.  It was going slow around the corner and I noticed it was a state vehicle.  The driver worked for the Texas boll weevil education department.  Seriously, Texas has a department dedicated to educating people about boll weevils?  Sounds like a potential budget slimming opportunity.

Cows.  Most of you reading this have probably never passed a heard of cattle (cows) on a bike.  I'm here to tell you they watch us.  They stop eating and watch us until we are gone.  They stop eating and some rubber neck until we are out of site.  I wonder what they are thinking.  I wonder if they moo to each other and make sarcastic comments about three men riding bikes in spandex.  I know we heckle them so am pretty sure they heckle us in cowese.  Maybe they hawk some cud at us in disgust as we pass.  Who knows - just something I thought about today while riding up and down and up and down and up and up and up.

Today, we thank my Staff at Safeway.  We have pretty much decimated the basket and box of goodies you sent.  The GSC's are very popular and so is the homemade trail mix.  Thanks for everything!

Chickens - not much to say here other than there is a really cool one at the entrance to the Inn.  Mom, this rooster is for you.  Miss ya.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

April 24 - Easter Sunday, A Day of Rest

Happy Easter Everyone.  I trust you all had a great day with family and friends eating ham and all that good stuff.  We went to First Baptist Church of Willis this morning.  Good service and really cool skit type thing by some of the youth.  They darkened the church, turned on black lights and the kids were all wearing white gloves.  They made words, symbols and different designs to a song the choir sang.  Really cool.

When we were walking back to the RV after church, one guy asked if we needed a ride and another car thanked us for coming to their church.

After church we said Thank You to our Aunt Sharon for two weeks of cooking and support and then Dad and Bill took her to the airport in Houston.  While there, they picked up Mona, a co-worker and acquaintance of mine, and she will be with us until Phoenix. 

Shannon, Kyle, Les and I went to the laundry where we had a little scare.  We thought the keys were locked in one of the compartments under the bus but after a little encouragement the bus gave up the keys and all is well.  After laundry we went to find lunch but soon realized something really cool.  Most of the local restaurants were closed to celebrate Easter.  Even the likes of Taco Bell and Sonic were closed.  Way cool.  Pretty sure I would never see that in Phoenix.

So, we ended up at the local Kroger Grocery Store for lunch.  We found a pizza and the ladies at the deli baked it for us.  It was quite tasty.  While Kyle and I were waiting for the pizza to cook and Shannon and Les were wandering; a lady walked by, looked us in the eye and quietly said...."Do you know Jesus."  It was neat and a little creepy at the same time.  The creepiness cam from how it was asked, not the question itself.

Mona is busy making dinner right now and it is smelling pretty good.  I think that is all I know for today.  Tomorrow we have a short day...only 85ish miles.  Until then...Cheers


April 23

This morning we left Silsbee, TX and headed west.  West is good as the wind comes from the south.  The morning was nice with cooler temperatures and a slight breeze.  We made it to the lunch stop at about 56 miles by 11:30. 
Just as we were about to leave for the afternoon ride a truck pulled up and a guy started asking us about where we were riding and the Mother Ship.  He explained he had raced BMX as a kid and his daughter was kind of into it and his son has been asking more about racing.  He said he still has his Redline BMX bike.   The guys name is Allen Brock.  Allen explained how when he was a kid he walked into a bike store and picked out the bike he wanted.  A gentleman there said he would help him get the bike.  The gentleman took Allen to Wal-Mart and bought him a lawn mower and a gas can and helped him earn the money to buy the bike.  We gave Allen some of the BMX magazines and stickers we had and then parted ways.
Our afternoon went fast.  We were done riding by about 3:30.  The roads were a little rough but we survived.  Fewer road kills today.   Not sure if the animals are more alert or there are just fewer of them to take out.  Maybe since Texas is an old state, Darwin’s evolution process has progressed more than in the earlier states.  Who knows, maybe the animals were just smarter to start with.
We are now on the road to Waller, TX where we have been offered some Texas Hospitality and a Texas Meal.  It is about 60 miles from our hotel but I think we will all appreciate the meal and company tonight.
We just left the Spier’s house and it is after 10 PM.  For dinner they smoked a brisket of beef and we had potato salad, cucumber salad and bread.  For dessert, Julie’s husband Derrick made homemade ice cream and a cherry and blueberry cobbler in a Dutch oven.   All was very good and much appreciated.  The great food was followed up with good conversation.
Tonight was another reminder of what a great country we are blessed to live in.  Until tonight, Julie and I had never met in person – we were co-workers who had talked many times on the phone, via email or instant messenger.  Yet, she and her family opened their home to us.  We live in different States and have completely different backgrounds.  This community part of America has always amazed me.  The way we can come together to support others who are in need or share what we have with others who have less.  I’m sure this happens in other countries also, but does it happen to the extent it does here in the U.S.?  I don’t know.
Tonight I want to say thanks to Melody and Melinda Schlosser for their help with POP’s Ride.  Last weekend they had a garage sale for The Ride.  In addition, they have been very helpful with the organization and operation of our other fundraisers.  They also spent many hours searching for all of the schools we would be riding near and sending letters to them describing our little adventure.  There support, prayers and words of encouragement are unending and we are honored to count them as our friends.  Thank you Melody and Melinda for all you have done.  You have helped make POP’s Ride a success!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Ride - April 22

Today we rode from Mittie, LA to Sillsbee, TX.  Yes, we have entered the Lone Star State!
Texas has so far not been very welcoming to us.  We were greeted with wind and wind.  How much wind?  You know how rain rolls across a car’s windshield as you drive down the road?  At least those who live outside of Arizona probably know about rain.  Anyway, that is how the sweat on my face was today also.  It was rolling from the left side to the right side.  Kind of a strange feeling.
We took some pictures at the Texas state line.  Today we wore our Davis Phinney jerseys so it is a fine looking picture.
I counted nine road kills today – two of which were rather large birds.  I believe I smelled at least another five or six but didn’t see them.   So on average, that is one road kill for every 10 miles traveled.  Not sure why I tracked that today but I needed something to focus on besides watching the miles add up on my GPS. 
While riding through one of the towns I saw an old Hinke Dinke grocery store where the words were actually painted right on the building.  Most have probably never heard of this chain but it brings back memories to me. 
We also saw some Oreo cows.  I’ll upload the pictures when I have internet again but these cows were black on both ends and white in the middle.  I’m not sure if they produce the milk to go with Oreo’s or what but they sure were cool to see.
Shannon stopped to talk to a turtle and take some pictures.  Apparently it was a snapping turtle and he didn’t like all the attention.
The hotel we are staying at, Pinewood Inn & Suites, is a nice place.  We spoke to the owners for a bit and they wanted to see our bus.  They are nice and bought a few of our shirts. 
We ate at Novrosky’s, a local joint and I had chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and gravy.  Mr. Estle paid the tab and I think we all enjoyed our meal and had a good time.   Mr. Estle has a good sense of humor.  He takes our jokes and jabs like a man and dishes them out when he can.  Thank you Eileen (his wife) and Kendra (his daughter in law) for lending him to us.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Ride - April 20 & 21 - Gorilla in the Mist

The above picture is how we started our day on the 20th....beautiful and peaceful.  A little light morning fog but definitely no chill in the air.  It was muggy and quickly became warm.  Dad and Shannon rode the tandem until lunch then Dad spent the afternoon in the RV with his sister Sharon and their cousin Les Stutzman.  Les is now the Mother Ship driver and will be with us for about 2 1/2 weeks.  Thanks Jan for letting us borrow your new husband!

We rode to Plaucheville, LA and spent the night at the Paragon Casino RV park in Marksville.  I was a hot and tired by the time we hit the RV park and was not in a good place to be challenged by the desk agent at the RV Park.  We walked in and she asks our name but couldn't hear my response because she was chewing on something crunchy.  Then it went downhill.  "I need your credit card and ID."  She took a copy of my drivers license and I asked why they needed that.  Her response, "Its our policy."  Not a good decision on her part to hide behind "policy."  My co-workers will tell you that is not a good way to answer my question.  The agent had no clue so she said we could ask her supervisor.  First, my opposition to the photo copy was now someone has all of my ID information if they want to become Shane and I didn't like that much.  Her supervisor was sitting to my left, on the computer, playing (yes playing) Solitaire.  Seriously, you are playing Solitaire where a customer can see you?  That did not help to gain her my respect.  The supervisor said they needed the copy in case I came back in a few months and said it wasn't me who made the charge.  They had my ID to prove it was me.  Well, only if that ID wasn't forged or stolen!  duh.  Anyway, I pointed out the video camera behind her had a picture of me and that should be better than my ID.  She was a tool and I gave up.  Such is life.  I would have like to show her some policy!

On Thursday the 21st we rode as normal.  Kyle started talking back to the dogs that chased us and encouraging them to run faster.  We had a few come after us but nothing real exciting.  Dad and Bill stopped at the end of one driveway where the dogs at the shock collars on.  The kind where if they went beyond a certain spot they were shocked.  The dogs just stood there barking as Kyle talked smack to them and we filled our water bottles.

We met Roy today.  Roy is riding the same route as us only solo on a recumbent bike.  He stopped at the flex and we talked for a few minutes.  We shared some ice and water and pretzels after a bit and headed on our way.  He ended up staying at the same hotel as us tonight and explained how when we met him on the rode, he was just about done for the day.  Done as in ready to quit.  He said there was something about the cold water and pretzels that helped him finish the rest of the day.  We invited him to spaghetti dinner in the Mother Ship which he accepted.  He explained how his father (I think) had PD and how he was going to blog about meeting us and share it with all of his FB friends.  I guess we were someone's angel today.  Pretty cool.

Dad and Les left about 20 minutes ago to find some ice cream.  I have seen the Flex pass through the intersection in front of the RV twice now and we still do not have any ice cream.  I think they are making this errand more difficult than it needs to be.

Well, that is all I have to say.  Keep praying for us as we are in our third cycle of riding and are all tired and sore.  We have a good meal waiting for us on Saturday night and we are all excited about it.  Sharon because she doesn't have to cook and the rest because I have been talking it for a few months. 

One last comment.  If you know Sarah Worley, let her know what an incredible wife (to Kyle) and friend (of Shane and Shannon) she is for agreeing/encouraging/supporting Kyle and Shannon and I on this adventure.  Kyle being here is very important to our success.  He is a great friend.  Thanks for coming along.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19 - Rest Day

Today was a good rest day.  We did some RV cleaning, laundry and eating in the morning and then kicked back the rest of the day.  Dad and Bill took Jerry Hogg to the airport.....and dare I say a tear or two was shed.  Jer had been with us since the start and is the first support team member to head home.  Personally, I will miss his smile and his humor.  I learned during our drive to Florida why Jer, Kyle and I get along so well.  Jer can explain the physcology if you are interested.  It is actually very enlightening.

While at the airport, Dad and Bill picked up Dad's cousin Les Stutzman.  Les will be with us for the next couple of weeks.  Good Times.

Kyle, Shannon and I walked "up town" to get some lunch and found it at the Valero on the corner.  We had Po Boy sandwiches.  On our way back to the Inn we saw a Jeep Wrangler with blue flashing a Police Jeep.  It was the Constable's Jeep and it was sweet (Kyle posted a picture on FB).  So the Contstable gets to drive a Jeep (he only had the bikini top on today), has a sweet badge (like a Texas Ranger) and carries a gun.  Kyle found his perfect job!

Here are a couple of pictures.
  The entrance to the Wildflower Inn.

Like the cat, we had a lazy afternoon.  NIIICE.

Here is Les.  Chillin' already.

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18 - Ride Day

Today was cloudy and humid.  We were rained on some, more like drizzle I guess.  Not enough to need to pull out the rain gear thankfully as that would have been incredibly hot.  Jer and Bill re-routed us some to cut a few miles off which was much appreciated given the humidity.

Tonight we are staying at the Wildflower Inn in Clinton, LA.  As the hostess described the town, we are in the middle of no where.  lol...we already knew that.  How no where are we?  Verizon doesn't even service this area so all of our phones are useless.

Today was Jerry Hogg's last day of driving for POP's Ride.  Thank you Jer for helping me drive the Mother Ship and Flex to Florida and sticking around for another 10 days.  Your support and MacGyveristic talents have been a great benefit.  We'll see you in San Diego in May.  Mrs. H, thanks for lending us Jer!

Today we saw more roadkill, a big bull, some cool old buildings, a really old church and some cool artwork.  See below.

I'm thinking this is one grocery store I will not be visiting.

 yummmm, armadillo!

 We were thinking of driving back to see how rockin' this place gets.....

since 1863?  WOW.  That is incredible.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday, April 17 - Ride Day

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  So here are a few thousand words of what I saw and experienced during our 113 miles today.  Enjoy.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Below Sea Level - April 17

Well, today was my first day back on the bike after four days of mandatory rest.  I felt good during the ride and feel good tonight.  Hopefully, I will feel good tomorrow and Monday and then we have another rest day on Tuesday.

We are out of Florida and into Alabama.  We are 1/5 of the way to San Diego!  One week done and four to go.

Today was spent riding into the wind along the Gulf Coast.  The temperature was great but the wind was a tad monotonous.  Plus, I spent most of the day riding below sea level even though I was within site of the ocean.  Not sure I understand how that works or want to know but the GPS showed I was anywhere from 4 to 17 feet below sea level.  My guess is, today was the closest I have come to understanding what it is like to live with PD.  The wind was restricting my movements and there wasn't a dang thing I could do about it but try harder and that just tired me out.  Then, my GPS said I should have been under water so I was wondering what in today's adventure would go out on me next.  For the PD patient, the thoughts are will it be my speech, my memory, my arms, my body.  I definitely better understand the challenges my Dad faces every day.

The ferry ride to Dauphin Island was great.  We met a Dr from Birmingham who had actually heard of POP's Ride before.  Hmmmm, I wonder how he heard of us?  He took one of our posters to hang in his office and he was going to encourage his PD patients to donate and spread the word about Our Ride.  While on the ferry, we had a few more people come up and ask us to "Tell us what you are doing."  They were amazed at what we are attempting and excited about Our Ride.  The picture above is the bridge from the Island to back to the Mainland.  It was a big hill.

Towards the end of the ride today I took out my ear buds and just listened to the sounds around me.  I heard a lawn mower and smelled the fresh cut grass.  I looked and there was a teenager riding an old rider, nothing new and fancy but it sure did get the job done.  I heard the birds singing and didn't hear a single siren or car horn...that was nice!  I smelled the fresh air with a hint of something sweet blooming.  The slower pace of life with wide open spaces and star filled nights.  Makes me miss the years I spent growing up in Nebraska.  Some will probably say its a sign I'm getting older.  For me, its a reality check that I need to make changes and find a place which has the surroundings I enjoy.....regardless of the income.

....I wonder what else I will learn on this Ride?  I think Mike Magnusen was right, life is simpler on the bike and the bike can cure a bad day.

Thanks for letting me ramble and I hope you are all having a good day.

Until next time....God Bless.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Rest Day, April 15

Hello All,

Today was our first official rest day.  Not a lot of resting happening but we at least we didn't ride bikes!  We woke up later....8am to a good breakfast of eggs, pancakes and bacon.  We then divided up and conquered laundry and grocery shopping.  By the time we all got back it was time for lunch - grilled hot dogs.  Not fancy but they hit the spot. 

Then the guys headed to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola.  We drove right on the base and the museum was entrance fee was $0.00.  Military aircraft amaze me.  They are so big I am amazed they fly.  Plus, the skills the early pilots had to fly the plans with limited creature comforts or technology.  We met an older gentleman who was about 80+ years old and was a Naval Aviator when he was young.  He explained how he loved being a gunner but did not like being a radio operator.  He shared with us some cool stories of flying in the older planes in WWII. 

We then saw the IMAX movie about the Navy Blue Angels.  IMAX is way cool.  We were in line getting ready to pay and the lady behind the counter asked about our group.  We explained what we were doing and she told all of the agents to stop and give us the special group rate.  She then looked at Dad and said, "my grandmother had Parkinson's.  I understand."  We continue to be amazed, like we have been for the last year about how many people know someone with PD.  I wish that wasn't the case as then PD wouldn't be such an issue. 

Our waitress, Bree (I spelled her name wrong last night, sorry Bree), sent me a couple of emails today and offered some help with lodging.  We live in an amazing Country and are truly blessed.

For dinner, Aunt Sharon made minute steak in the crock pot with cream of Celery and cream of Mushroom soup.  It cooked all day and tasted incredible tonight along with the Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, fresh strawberries and salad.  Another great meal from our Aunt.

Today's picture is from the museum.  An incredible awkward looking airplane that serves a specific purpose.

Oh yeah, POP's Ride has gone INTERNATIONAL!  Yes, INTERNATIONAL!  Tony, the guy we bet from Britain yesterday blogged about us last night and one of his friends has already made a donation.  Incredible!  Here is Tony's website -

Thanks again all for your continued support and prayers.  Remember, this is OUR RIDE and YOU ALL are included!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14 - Ride Day

Today was my last day of mandatory recovery before I am released to ride.  Tomorrow is a rest day here in Pensacola.  We are staying at the Ensley Nazarene Church.  Tonight we went with the Pastor Brian and his wife Missy to Crabs for dinner.  Crabs is a non-chain local seafood place right on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico.  You can actually eat right on the beach.  The sand is amazing.  Brian said it is approx 97% quartz from the Appalachians. 

Brian's uncle has PD....another connection.  Our waitress at dinner, Bri, saw our shirts/hats with Pedal Over Parkinson's and said her grandfather has PD.  You could tell her grandfather means a lot to her and his PD has an impact on her life.  We explained what we are doing and she made several supportive comments.  We shared with her some of the information we have learned about PD, some of which she was not aware of.  Hopefully, some of this information will help her grandfather.  We gave her one of our cards and encouraged her to contact us and we will share more about the resources we know about.

Kyle and Shannon finished the day strong.  They arrived a the Church about an hour before we expected them.  It helped that we cut about 17 miles off their ride today by "straightening" out the course a little.  As this was their fifth day, we felt it was important to get them off the bikes as soon as possible.

Tomorrow we will be running errands in the morning - laundry and groceries - and then go to the Naval Air Museum in the afternoon.  Missy is letting us use her Suburban tomorrow so we do not have to empty the Flex.  Another huge blessing. 

Well, it is late and it is time for bed.  The trip has been incredible and I am still amazed that we are actually doing this.  We are biking across the USA!!!!!!!  What a Country!.  Small town America is alive and well and going strong.

Here is an interesting picture from the day.  We also saw a wild land fire.  Good Night.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday, April 13

Well, another day recovering from my first two days of riding.  I promised my Mother I would not ride until after our rest day this week.  It appears everyone else who is along also promised her they would not let me ride.

Today, I was the navigator for Jer....that is until I fell asleep and Jer pulled the map book from me.  So, I went to take a nap on the bed in the back of the RV and there I tossed and turned and never fell asleep.  So, I went back to the front seat and fell asleep again.  I don't understand it.  Must be something about the front seat.  I may retest this hypothesis tomorrow.

We stopped at Wal..... to get some supplies. 

Other than that, I didn't do much today.

Kyle and Shannon did really well.  They looked a little rough at lunch but finished with power.

Later - Shane

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday, April 12

Well, today did not start as I had planned.  The heat and the humidity of the last two days has taken its toll on my body.  I was able to force down about two bites of pancake, looked at Shannon and said "I'll join you in the afternoon."  After a couple hours in the RV sleeping, the adults decided I should go to urgent care to make sure all was ok.  The Doc said I was mildly dehydrated but not enough to warrant IV's at the ER.  I have to take the next few days off to recover.  Doc told me not to go back until I feel completely well.  I will take off Wed and Thurs, Fri is a scheduled rest day and I will start riding again on Saturday.

Yes, I am bummed and not pleased.  But, I guess that is life.

So, I spent the day sleeping a lot and I have nothing more to add.

Jerry said he saw a squashed armadillo being snacked by a vulture. 

Meals:  Breakfast - pancakes, eggs, bacon;  Lunch - Lindy's Cafe, i had fried pork chops...tasty;  Dinner - roast beef, green beans, carrots, potatoes, cottage cheese, lettuce salad and ice tea.

Monday, April 11

We started earlier today….about 6:45 and were able to ride in cooler temps for an extra hour.  We rode today in some stronger breezes most of the morning.  I say stronger breezes because the afternoon became windy, and hilly.  Those two always seem to go together when I’m on the bike.  Add in some good heat and you have a perfect storm to take Shane out early.  I road 94 miles today.  Kyle ended up finishing solo and he did it like a champion.
Road Kill:  2 critters plus a opossum that wasn’t quite dead yet when we rode by.  We thought he was out but then he lifted his head, with those pitiful eyes and whispered, “Help Me.”  Then just that quick he was gone.
Well, it is 8pm here and I have been fighting to stay awake for two hours.  I think it is time for bed.
Thanks for your support and prayers.  Two more days and then our first rest day.  Mom flies out on Wednesday morning and she will be missed.  There is just something about having your Mom around that makes the pain hurt a little less.
Meals:  Breakfast – Eggs, bacon and toast.  Lunch – Hot ham and cheese and Jell-o salad.  Dinner – Fried chicken, potatoes, gravy and lettuce salad.

Sunday April 10 - the first day on the bike

Our first day on the bike.  We left St Augustine at about 8:15ish after some pictures on the beach.  Shannon has a really sweet team picture we will get loaded once we have a good Internet connection.  Right now we are using Kyle’s Hotspot from Verizon to make some quick updates. 
We crossed two high bridges and experienced a lot of heat.  The locals say they usually don’t see the low 90’s until August….sweet!!!!!  See, we are special.  J  We had some mild breezes but nothing too bad.  The heat and humidity took the greatest toll on us dry weather boys.
Bill and Dad are doing well with our SAG and directions.  Mom, Sharon and their chauffeur Jerry are doing an excellent job feeding us and being there at the right time when we need a little something more.
I rode about 99 miles yesterday.  I missed out on the last 10 miles as my body said no more.
Shannon and Kyle met someone about 6 miles from the finished and he pulled them in.  Guess what, his name was Carl.  Once we arrived at First Nazarene Church in Gainesville, this
Road Kill:  1 flat armadillo
Meals:  Breakfast – Hotel provided continental breakfast, Lunch – Ham and Swiss and chips, Dinner – Sloppy Joes and baked beans.

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 8 - Florida tooooooo St Augustine

Hello All....Jerry and I made it to the Hampton Inn on Vilano Beach today at about 2PM EDT.  We dropped the auto transport trailer at U-Haul on our way to the hotel and are glad we are done with it.

Today was not real exciting.  We packed up camp, grabbed some breakfast and I drove the whole 4 hours to St A.  We stopped just long enough to get fuel.  If you hear Jer complain about not getting lunch don't believe him.  He was offered some and declined.  We had a huge breakfast and we lost an hour of time as we crossed into the Eastern Time Zone so we weren't really hungry.

Once at the hotel we took the bikes off the Flex and headed back to Jacksonville to pick up Mom and Kyle at the airport...we turned around and drove right back to St A for dinner.

After dinner, Kyle, Jer and I headed to the beach for a few minutes and are now relaxing in the room.

Shannon and Dad did make it on National Network TV this morning.  They were behind Al Roker as he gave the weather on Good Morning America.  They then went to Central Park and the Empire State Building before heading to the Fox Foundation Banquet tonight.  No word from them yet on how the Banquet went.  They will arrive in FL tomorrow morning.

Kyle just showed me the completed Travelocity video and he will be posting it on YouTube and our POPs Ride FB page tonight.

Like I said, today was pretty uneventful.  We did fix another item on the RV.  The lock on one of the compartments wasn't latching and MacGyver Jerry fixed it - no surprise there.

Ok.  Sleep well America and we will check back in tomorrow.  Until then, say a prayer for your friends and family with PD that tomorrow may be a good day for them.  Thanks.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 7 - More Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida

Yes, we went from spending all day in one state yesterday to rolling along through five states today.  We left Beaumont a little after seven and again had to try a couple of times to find a place for breakfast.  Our first stop was in Orange, TX.  Jerry took us on a nice tour of Orange where we saw a summer Santa Clause.  A local resident was sitting on his front porch wearing a Santa Hat...pretty funny.  We were touring Orange because the Boss Hogg didn't want to drive back about a 1/2 mile on the access road to dine at Gary's Cafe.  So instead we drove around on local roads for 15 minutes.  Its all about the story.

We ended up eating at the Cash Magic Grill.  We talked to a couple of local gentlemen and one of them new someone with PD.  During our meal we found a candy bar named ZERO and found a bigger one named KING SIZE ZERO.  Jer said he loved those growing up.....hmmmm, pretty sure there is a sarcastic comment there but I'll let it go.  He worked hard today.

After explaining what we were doing, we started heading east again.  Jerry drove all morning and who was I to stop him.  He drove through some very narrow construction lanes and heavy traffic.  I was glad he was driving as we crossed some pretty large bridges over some bodies of water.  At one point, we were on an 18 mile bridge crossing the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge over the  Henderson Swamp.  Impressive.

We have seen a lot of roadkill so far.  Jer also spotted a wild turkey and another deer today.  Last night, right before we parked he spotted four deer running across the road.  I hope we never find out how they react with a Holiday Rambler!

We wasted about 45 minutes at a fuel stop because the station's fuel system had a catastrophic technical event which cleared the pump of what we had loaded.  We stood their while they tried to figure out how to recapture our transaction.  We finally explained we needed to roll so they took our information and we will see what happens.  As of this point, we have not paid for approximately a 1/2 tank of diesel.

We ate dinner at Sonny's BBQ in Marianna, FL and are spending the night at Arrowhead Campsites in Marianna.  Our waitress, Ms. Elaine, was really nice.  She asked if we wanted corn bread or garlic toast with our meal.  I asked which she suggested, she made a funny face and said the garlic bread.  Jer and I laughed then I ordered the toast and he ordered the corn bread.

Jer is talking to Carole again and spinning fish stories about how he backed up the RV and trailer for like a 1/4 of a mile.  In reality, it was about 100 feet inside of a KFC parking lot and he did a good job. 

Oh yeah, when we were being held hostage at the fuel station I was walking around the trailer and noticed the front right strap on the Flex was laying on the side of the trailer...oops.  Guess the bouncing road loosened the strap enough to allow it to fall off. 

While I was driving the Safeway Director of Corporate Public Affairs called to interview about the ride.  We spoke for about 20-30 minutes while I was dodging traffic.  I'm pretty sure someone else was helping me drive and keeping us safe.  Check out during the next few weeks and you may see some information about POP's Ride. 

While we were parking tonight the cowboy parked next door was spraying off his white truck on the sandy, dirt driveway.  As he drove around he stopped at us and asked (in his best southern drawl), "Are you guys BMX racers?"  I explained what we were doing about our ride and he said, "You ridin' to San Diego?!.  Wait here and I'll be your first donation."  He never came back...not even with a beer.  Oh well, he may leave an envelope at our door.

Today we replaced the pressure regulator on the inbound water feed and Jer played with the cable connections until he figured out how to get us a good cable picture.  Maybe tomorrow I can get him to fix the passenger seat so my feet hit the floor. 

Time for bed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 6 - Texas All Day Long

Today, Jer and I drove across Texas....allllll day long!  Yes - 10 hours of driving and we still are in Texas!  We made it to Beaumont - our intended target.  We are staying at the Hidden Lake RV Park - a really nice place...more on this later.

We had a challenge finding breakfast this morning.  We stopped at three different exits hoping to get something to eat and finally found an open cafe.  Food was ok.  We fueled up and after Chase finally got my credit card flagged that it wasn't stolen - we were on our way.

We stopped and had burgers at Lucille's Cafe for lunch.  We had ham and cheese croissants twice yesterday (there was no place to buy dinner) so we splurged today.  haha

Today was really windy.  The wind was coming from the south and gusty.  This made it a challenge to stay between the lines but we did pretty good. 

Jer drove through San Antonio (shane found a bypass) and Shane drove through bypass available....ugh.

Now, we are at Hidden Lake RV.  We pulled in and the sign on the office door said closed, please call for after hours assistance.  I called and as the phone started ringing in my ear I heard a phone ringing in person.  The park manager was leaving to run an errand just as I was calling so she stopped to help us.  She asked what we were doing so we explained about POP's Ride.  She was very interested and asked for some brochures and I gave her a poster.  She was going to share with everyone about Our Ride at the Lady's Meeting the next day.  Once we parked, she stopped by with some menu's from a delivery service and wanted to take some pictures of me and our rig.  Then, as Jer and I were prepping the inside of the RV for the night, the Mr RV Park Manager stopped by to let us know there was no charge for tonight.  He said once his wife shared what we were doing he told her their contribution would be to not charge us for the night.  WAY COOOOOOOL!!!!!!!  So, if you are ever in Beaumont, TX for the evening, stop by Hidden Lake RV park and thank them for their support.

We were honored to leave them our first Thank You Gift. 

It is 10:30, Jer is on the phone with Carole talking like newlyweds and I am tired and ready for bed.  So, good night and tomorrow will be a "short" day of driving...only about 9 hours.  Maybe Jer will let me sleep in 30 minutes

Shannon and Dad leave for New York City Thursday morning to attend the MJF Foundation Appreciation Banquet.  Safe Travels, have a great time in NY and see ya in a few days.  Keep an eye out for them on the Today Show on Friday AM, they will be there trying to publicize POP's Ride to the Nation.


April 5 - Eastbound with the Boss Hogg

Well, Jerry Hogg and I left this morning at about 6AM from my place in Peoria, AZ.  First trouble, we had no running lights.  Jerry "MacGyver" Hogg fiddled with it for a few minutes and by then it was light enough we chose not to worry about the lights.  Of course, later that day Jer figured out the problem - a bad ground wire on the trailer - and we had running lights that night.

We each drove for about 5 hours and arrived at the Saddleback RV park in Pecos, TX at about 8PM, CDT.  The park was nothing fancy but we didn't care.  The RV slept well.  We learned on Wednesday morning we had more HOT water than needed.  We will not run out as long as there is water to heat.

Shane drove through Phoenix (rush hour), Tucson, Las Cruces and El Paso.....somehow, Jer managed to avoid all city driving. 

We do get a few looks as we drive by and were asked once if we were heading to a race.  When we explained our journey, the man was impressed and took a couple of flyers to follow us.

A good, safe first day....just what we needed.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How I Roll (NASCAR Style)

This morning I put on my Point B jersey and bibs, covered by feet with comfort from the Sock Guy, put on my LG shoes with Shimano cleats and clipped in to my ride.  My ride rolls on Continental Gator Hardshells provided by Sunday Cycles.  The Gators protect Bontrager tubes and my custom, hand built Bicycle Vibe Mavic Pro wheels.  These wheels along with my Vibe rear cassette and compact crank are attached to my Sunday Cycles Focus Cayo Team Replica full carbon road bike.  The bike and I become one when I sit on my Bicycle Vibe Brooks saddle.  Then we - my bike and my shops - rolll.