latola2011

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 23 Kansas City, MO to Lyndon, KS 70 miles riding

My flight got into KC pretty late. I got stuck on the runway in NY for two hours and ended up not getting to bed until about 2. I woke up at 745 and started rallying. Breakfast was great, I said my goodbyes to Shaun, Sterling, and Thomas and all my other friends at the Courtyard KC. Great people.

It got hot and the going was slow. Navigating solo was no fun and getting through Kansas city was not fun at all. I ended up having to go the wrong way on a highway with no shoulder, thanks google maps. Again, no fun.

Eastern kansas was suprisingly hilly and littered with dirt roads. It was over 100 with the heat index and things just weren't working out. I grinded about 70 miles because of bad directions and attempts to dodge dirt roads but still had 38 to go. It was after 8 and I was looking at a very late night. Then I met Nancy. What an awesome woman! She gave me gatorade, made me a sandwich, and brought me all the way to meet greg! Sure taking a ride was soft, but given the heat and time it was necessary. reunited and it feels so good!

Love
Jason

Sunday, June 26, 2011

day 22+: Augusta, MO to Boonville, MO and beyond. around 150 miles of biking.

The day started off interestingly. We had incredible thunderstorms all night and when I woke up I couldn't find my tent bag. Not good. After searching for 20min with Greg I found igt in some bushes around 100 yards away. It was like winning the ultimate game of capture the flag.
Then Greg and I rolled along the Katy Trail. We moved a bit slowly but still put up some miles. We stopped at a place callled trailside tavern for lunch which was pretty good. Then I got a call from my mom saying that my uncle who had been on the bad side of a battle with cancer had taken a turn for the worst. I decided I needed to bike 170ish miles more through the night to Kansas City. After a debate with mums and discussion with Greg, this seemed like the best option.

I rode pretty hard. I decided to double check the mileage and it was a lot more than I thought. I regrouped and with mums help decided to pick up a bus in boonville and ride that to kc. Riding at night was spooky. I had to shoo 6 deer and countless other critters away. I finally got to boonville and couldn't locate the bus stop. The directions took me to a storage center/garage. I drove around and around before getting confirmation that this was in fact the spot. I got back there 5 min before the bus was supposed to leave, but the bus never showed. I was now exhausted and upset. I passed out on the sidewalk like a hobo for 45min. Then I rolled to a gas station and got breakfast and a cab ride in a sketchy van with a dude named marvin. I put my stuff in a courtyard hotel for free thanks to a kind man named sean jackson. I chilled at the airport for 3hrs and flew to ny. Ny held a few delays but I eventually landed at 1230 and made it to the hospital by 230. I spent the next 3 hrs with my uncle and slept at 6 after being awake for nearly 47hrs straight. Long day. Hopefully ill be returning to kc Tuesday night and riding Wednesday.can't wait.

Love
Jason

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

day 21 Highland, IL to Augusta, MO 84 miles

Sweet day. We woke up at a decent time and got on the road quickly. We missed the hotel instantly. Rolling into St. Louis was cool. Crossing the mississippi was fun and seeing the arch was also a thrill. Then we had a bad mid day lull. It got hot and we couldn't find anywhere suitable for lunchin. After lunch things got better. We cranked out some miles and got the katy trail whuch is a touring biker's paradise. We rolled into the evening only to find that all stoores and restaurants close really early in Missouri. We had to eat at a snack shack at a younng girls softball game. Talent was lacking. We then had to wait out everyone so we could sneak onto the field to camp. Great success!

Love
Jason

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 19 Greenup, IL to Highland IL 92 miles

Another night of low sleep. The hotel was solid, but more violent thunderstorms woke me up in spite of earplugs. Breakfast was some krispy kreme donuts. First ones ever and they were rock solid. We started out in the rain. It was meh. We saved a turtle named Shelly, that was the highlight of the day. Everything went smoothly today and we made great time. We had lunch at some mediocre place in Altonville or something. It wasn't anything special.

We kept on rollin all afternoon. Our pace was solid and we dealt with the heat very well. We got into Highland at 620ish. We're at a holiday inn which is awesome. We even got to go swimming. Dinner was italian food, it was alright. Enjoying Miss U.S.A. and headed to bed soon. Headed through st louis tomorrow and crossin the mississippi river. Can't wait!

Love
Jason

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 18: Spencer, In to Greenup Il - 83 miles

Last night was a disaster. Thunderstorms alright and poor tent skills led to me getting soaked and not sleeping well at all. Thunder and lightning lasted from when we went to bed till when we got up. Absolutely vicious. Earplugs did nothing to help. We started slow and feasted at the campground cafe. Then the rain stopped and things were looking up. We bought a hotel for $40 for tonight and headed out.

Things were good. The weather was fine and things really went our way. We went through Terre Haute which was very blah but not as bad as Akron or anything.

Crossing into Illinois was spectacular, we gained an hour of time. That really helped our pace.

Lunch was at the family restaurant lounge in Marshall. We got burgers that were ok. I called that our waitress had a child (she was young). Heck of a call. We eventually found out her uncle lives in Auburn which is neat I guess. Later we ended up talking to all the restaurant patrons who were fascinated by us. Good times.

We were chuggin along through Martinsville when we passed by a festival. someone yelled and asked if we wanted free drinks. We ended up getting free orange drank, cookies, and popsicles. What a stupendous group of people! We chatted for 20 min, they announced us over the PA, took pics of us for the newspaper and sent us on our way. A woman also is going to try to help me with a lead on a job in chicago. Surprise win.

The rest of the ride was great and we rolled in at 630 central time. Our hotel is actually pretty nice. We rode around town and stopped at an ice cream store for an appetizer. I got an awesome root beer float. Then we got dinner at Pank's which was solid. Now it's bed time for bongo.

I didn't take any ibuprofen the last two days. That's encouraging. My knee's still a bit sore, but hopefully things are getting better.

Pumped for tomorrow. 100 miles but another hotel compliments of mmums for a bday gift. Awesome.

Miss you all

Love
Jason

Day 17 Muncie, IN to Spencer, IN 117 miles

We woke up an ate an incredible breakfast. The Harveys are the best. Michael rode with us for a while and showed us around town and an amazing trail called the Greenway. It did take us a bit out of our way and made for an extremely long day.

Michael set us up with Hault dog spray. It was basically string. We get chased by dogs and this is supposed to stop them without hurting them. Fair results. Greg and I usually just yell hault with moderate effectiveness. It's especially effective on trees and chained dogs. The hault did help us on a couple of occassions.

Lunch a 3rd generation. Mediocre.

We had an awesome drive by where a guy in a van handed Greg two coupons for free sandwiches at chick fil a. So clutch and magical. I enjoyed the sandwich late at night in the rain. The sandwich was still very enjoyable.

The day turned sour around 7. Dirt roads, rocks, rain, thunder, and lightning all combined with darkness to make us miserable. We got in after 10 and passed out quickly. A very forgettable evening to say the least. Looks like a rainy night.

Better things tomorrow

Love
Jason

DAY 16: rest day in Muncie, IN

Woo slept in, felt great. A beautiful day in Indiana. Mary Ellen took us on a tour of Ball State with Michael. Beautiful campus. We got awesome smoothies and Michael even got us BSU tee shirts. What a gy. Then we ran somme errands in Muncie, Greg got a new rack and I bought water shoes. I call it a tie. We eventually had an incredible dinner of spaghetti and jambalaya. Then we capped it off with a long walk around town. Sleep is bliss, big day tomorrow.

Love
Jason

Friday, June 17, 2011

day 15 Bellefontaine, OH to Muncie, IN 104 miles

We awoke from the Raven cabin at a moderate hour. Greg wished me a happy birthday and we said good bye to shawnee nation. On our way out Greg made friends with a man named Bearcoat. We then determined that the native american naming system is just the combination of an animal and article of clothing. I named greg buffalo crabpants and he names me muskie socks. Haha. Better than instant bingo.

Of course we ran into our first rain on my bday. It lasted for an hour ish and was manageable. We cruised pretty smoothly. The wind was at our backs for a bit which was nice. It of course switched to a headwind but oh well. We ate lunch at lake larrame and continued triumphantly to Muncie. We got to stay with the Harveys which was awesome. Michael and Mary Ellen even had a cake and card for me. That was just great. We had hot showers and nice beds, a happy birthday indeed. Rest day tomorrow, can't wait!

Love
Jason

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 14 Orrsville, OH to Bellefontaine, OH 119 miles

What a day! We woke up at 5 and were on the road by 630. Earliest start by far. We came across some folks biking from LA to Boston. Except, they were in a group with chase cars, planned meals, and hotels! What???? So soft. We're going further, carrying 50lbs, navigating ourselves, camping, and never knowing where our next meal will be. I'm upset that we share the same accomplishment.

I taunted the rest of the pack about only going to boston and having to ride through Amish country.the morning was hilly up to Mansfield. Greg's kankle was bothering him a lot and u was legitimately worried about him. I had taken ibuprofen for my knee so I was fine, but he was another story. He sucked it up and was doing ok by the late afternoon.

Lunch seemed like it would never come. Finally we got to a place with no name in a nameless town,. Our horses also had no name... anyway I ate a couple gyros and we soldiered on. The road got flat and we crushed miles to Bellefontaine. It was awesome. We made it by 8ish, I got pizza and we stayed at some random Shawnee indian campground. Zane's shawnee caverns I think. Weird place. We stayed in a cottage that had lots of flies. It was named raven. It was so raven. I mowed em down with a sandal and carnage was in the dozens. We passed out early and were really excited that we did 119 miles. That's about 4 times longer than any ride I had done before the trip. Awesome.

Love
Jason

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 13 Hubbard, Oh to Orrsville, OH 76 miles

Well today was awesome. We woke up and got to chat with Gram on our way out, what a lovely woman. We also got a suprise bag of granola from Ali. She's just too perfect.

The day started out a little hilly but wasn't too bad overall. The weather was beautiful. Ohio's still the flattest state so far.

Things went pretty smoothly. No issues with directions or the bikes really. We ate lunch at a place called vthe sandtrap in Lake Milton. Mediocre eats and I didn't like the waitress. She called me honey bunches. I am not cereal.

The afternoon was decent and we rolled through Akron. Great place, except by great I mean terrible. We were welcomed by an 18 and up arcade with the slogan "better than instant bingo". That's catching on. There was a great side convo between two obese women. One was pelvic thrusting while the other yelled " nawwww I was on birth control!!!!". Good times. Then we saw a great bumper sticker that said loong haired tattooed white trash. It might as well of just said let's not be friends. We continued through farm land and arrived at the campground in Orrville. Eric was great to talk to and he gave us a ride to the grocery store. We crashed early, big day on Tuesday.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

day 12: titusville, pa to hubbard, oh 65 miles

Woo crossing borders on the reg! Today was an odd day. We got a lazy start after our late nuight. It poured rain so of course we were a bit soggy. When we finally hit the road it was slow going. Western pennsylvania has an aversion to pavement so we got stuck on some crappy dirt roads that slowed us down significantly. We saw many amish folk and the title of my book was born. Toull have to wait and see, but its gold.

We narrowly escaped some angry dogs. The leash craze hadn't reached the area I guess. Needless to say on a couple of occassions we almost lost our ankles.speaking of ankles haha, my knee is back to sore shape. Hopefully it gets better, but today was a bit of a grind.

We had a great early stop at the enchanted florist convenience store. The woman in charge was great, but thenThere was nothing for a solid 45 mile stretch. We saw more woodchucks than people, seriously. We eventually found society and triumphantly entered ohio. My first time in the state- we are far from home. We hit the campground around 7. The woman in charge is wondeful and was great to talk to. We made two awesome friends- Ali and Nick who also just finished up college. They took us to the grocery store in Nick's sick camaro. Great times. Bed soon, tomorrow we continue the assault on ohio. Miss you all.

Love
Jason

Day 11: Salamanca, NY to Titusville, PA

We started fairly early once again and headed towards PA. The directions from google mpas were weak so we kinda had to put in some work on our own. We were pretty successful and got off to a decent start. Some hills, but we certainly had seen worse. We rolled mightily towards our next border.

We were also having an oddly humorous day and gave each other nicknames. I am Sluga and Greg is Navajo. We're also going with Peaches and Cream, especially if we start lives of crime. Weird stuff on the roads.

We ate lunch at the boomerang cafe. It was alright. Located in Busti, New York. From their we had a dissappointing border crossing- no welcome to pennsylvania sign. It's lame feeling unwelcome. Tough chirp.

Around 5 things went downhill. I got a flat that we had to fix on the side of the road- lame! Then we lost reception so google maps kinda hung us out to dry. Our fortunes improved when we got dinner at pasquales in downtown titusville pa. The woman working behind the counter gave us some delicious strawberry shortcake and ended up buying us dinner. Incredible, we're so lucky. Hit them up if you're ever in northwestern pa. We ended up getting to the oil creek campground after dark. We got a muddy site but oh well. Sleep was nice.

Love
Jason

Friday, June 10, 2011

DAY 10: Bath NY to Salamanca NY- 99 miles

We were up at 6 and on the road a little after 730. Thats by far our earliest start, but we knew there was a big day ahead. We said our goodbyes to camper's haven and headed out. The hills were brutal early on. It took us 45 minutes to get our first 3 and a half miles in. That's not good. Also, the pain in my knee came back a bit, but not as severe as pre-Ithaca. I took two Advil and was fine the rest of the day.

After the first 15to 20 miles or so things got much better and flatter. The towns were all very "rural" and similar. We ended up getting a great lunch at black eyed susan's cafe in Angelica, NY. I housed a burger, sandwich, side of home fries, and chips. The afternoon was high mileage, but the riding was pretty nice. We rolled through NY steadily until we hit Salamanca- what a horrible place. One of the absolute worst towns I have ever seen. Dirty, abandonded, smelly bleh. The RV place we're staying at is fine and out of town a little. Tomorrow should be another 90+ mile day so it's off the bed soon. Hopefully my knee feels ok. We're crossing into PA. Very exciting. We also had some issues with motorists, hopefully that doesnt continue. Thanks everyone for the continued support.

Love
Jason

Day 9: Ithaca, NY to Bath, NY- 64 miles

Grueling day. We awoke and had an awesome breakfast at Carla's saying bye was rough but it was time to get on the road. After a victory lap around the parking lot downtown (thanks google maps) we were on our way.

It got warmer and warmer all day. Hot and humid. Lunch was great at a little place in Burdett that called itself "a bike feed zone". We spent the entire day climbing and riding down mountains, mostly the former. The peaks were non-stop. The views were majestic but the hills were insane. I guess we dropped the ball on directions. The hills after Watkins Glen were especially treacherous.

We wound up at "Camper's Haven" campground. Rock solid tenting in our own private area down by the creek. Crashed early knowing that the next day would be early and long. It was not our best day and spirits were a little down. My knee felt much better after some rest. Hot, humid, hilly- the bad 3 Hs.

Love
Jason

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DAY 8 REST DAY IN ITHACA!

Wooo rest! We certainly earned it. We got to sleep in, I made it to 9:45. College Jason would cringe at such a number, but it's the latest I've slept/will sleep for quite a while. We had a great breakfast and went into town to swim at a place called first dam and get lunch. The dam was fun and we ran into new friends Kaiya, Emily, and Abby. They were great and got lunch with us on Commons. It's kinda like Church St. but not as good. Sorry Ithaca, I love you, but you're not Burlington.

After lunch we headed to see some gorges. I was in full tourist mode with my camera and the views were breathtaking. We then fixed the bikes. It was weird because repairing the bikes was the top thing on my mind all day. It's become a lifestyle. We successfully changed a tire (that's for you Dave and JP), changed seat levels, put some air in the tires, and just generally provided some TLC. Then we went out to dinner at a place called Ciao. Solid.

For the nightcap we went back to the ice cream place Purity. Excellent, and the highlight of the night was getting to see Abby Gilbert who came to visit. I haven't seen her in a while and it was excellent to catch up and reconnect. It was wonderful and I am so glad she took the time to come visit.

Ithaca has been a blast but now it's time to move on. We're looking to get well past Corning, NY tomorrow and then into PA Friday. From there we're cutting southwest through Ohio in hopes of reaching our next significant destination of the Cincinatti area by early next week. The terrain gets flatter, the bikes are fixed, and my knee got rest- things are looking up.

Thank you so much to Carla and her family for being tremendous hosts. Words cannot express my gratitude and I hope you can get some satisfaction in making this trip possible.

We are still working on charity stuff. We finally got verified by google today, by the app will not work with blogspot according to our PR guy Woody. We are now setting up a paypal which will definitely work better. We just need to get verified and we will finally be able to get the ball rolling. Paper donations can be sent to Jason Parker at 69 summit st. Auburn ME 04210 and the funds will immediately be placed into the account. All money is going to make a wish, not greg or I.

Thank you everyone for the support and encouragement. It makes a huge difference, especially when adversity strikes. I am lucky to have such great friends and family.

If anyone has any connections in northwest PA, most of Ohio, or Southern Indiana please let us know! Staying inside is awesome for us. Continue to like the links and love the journey!

Love
Jason

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

DAY 7: Morrisville, NY to Ithaca, NY- 61 miles

BEAUTIFUL DAY AGAIN! WHAT A STREAK! man the weather has been a gift, we can only hope to maintain our good fortune. We awoke early and got a solid start. Dan saw us off and we promised him updates/a postcard at the end of the trip. We went to the Valero and I housed 14 donuts for breakfast. mini donuts but still, I was feelin good. Greg's clip had an issue on his pedal so that slowed us down a bit. He was forced to ride with only one clip and handled it like a champ. respect.

my day started out kinda rough. my knee was worse than yesterday and really slowed me down early on. i had to force myself to walk a couple of hills so that I didn't stress it out. Eventually I took a bunch of Advil and was good to go. For lunch we stopped at the red and white cafe in deruyter. it was pretty neat, I had two sandwiches and a smoothie. then we really hit our stride and crushed miles all the way to Ithaca. We went through Cortland, which was another kinda crappy, outdated city. The weather held and we drank a good amount of water to combat the 90 degree heat. I did get a flat tire a mile and a half from Carla's.  We will deal with it tomorrow.

man is it great to see Carla! What a great woman! So much hospitality and an incredible dinner. She also drove Greg and I to see Glenn the bike wizard. He replaced greg's fork, redid my griptape, and installed the new back rack that I bought. All of this was huge and will definitely pay off for a while. It was like this black market bike shop a little ways outta town that Carla drove us to. Way cheaper prices and great service.

We saw two more deer.

Then we went out for ice cream and got a great driving tour of Ithaca. I'm really pumped to hang out here and rest. We will be new men for Thursday. Overall. today was probably our smoothest day and the terrain got much easier after the first 10-15 miles. We're already jonesin to get back on the road.

Ill post about my travels tomorrrow!

Love
Jason

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 6: St. Johnsville, NY to Morrisville, NY- 65 miles

first of all happy 67th anniversary of Dday. today was a good day, the smoothest yet. we awoke late because of last night's struggles. greg and i fixed me rack by moving some metal and taking a screw from my fender. its a temporary fix till ithaca. we got off to an ok start, decent pace but my knee was very sore once again because of last night. we rolled through some hilltowns and closed in on utica. what a hell hole of a city. sorry if you live there, but it just seemed like an awful place. bad smell, sketchy people, many haggard abandoned buildings. we ended up making it through and headed through more farmland and small towns. clinton, home of hamilton college was pretty nice. lunch was in ilion at a discount grocery store. we bought food and made sandwiches. i had 3. they were not the best...

the day continued to be smooth. we saw more wildlife, 3 deer at various spots. wemve been seeing all kinds of game. we also traveled along a beautiful creek. we carried a decent pace. the headwind was lighter, the sun was out in force, and the riding was pretty flat. a lovely day for a bike ride. we then rode triumphantly into downtown morrisville or mo vegas as i like to call it and settled on subway for dinner. there we met dan. a giant man with a giant heart who took us in. he ate dinner with us, he got chinese next door, and is letting us stay in his backyard. we are right on a creek and its pretty greatwe made our first new friend. we love morrisville. off to ithaca to stay with carla tomorrow. so pumped.
love
jason

DAY 5: Nassau, NY to St. Johnsville, NY- 86 miles

quite a day folks. once again droiding so bear with me. the day started off solid but slowly. dave rode with us again for a little at the start which was awesome. having that harmonica in the background created a smile on my face that i just couldnt hide. dave and greg also managed to cause a rucous about maps with the owner of grampys gas station. solid start.

we said goodbye to dave and meandered through NY. we eventually hit the ghettos of albany which were just great. we were out of place but it was still so lovely. as we got outta town we stopped at subway and got lunch. solid crew and we chatted for a bit. i got to see aaron bernstein who came by to say hi. great guy. it was great to see him. next we got to enjoy the mowhawk bike trail along the hudson. awesome. for a while till i crashed because of random cement barriers that block the trail around a blind turn. just a bruise and scrape on the arm no big deal. however i bent my back rack and that got progressively worse.

we then took rte five to the eerie canal  bikeway.this is where greg decided to ride into a wooden post and bend his fork to an almost unrideable state. its ok for now, we will get it checked in ithaca. we saw a fox, that was cool.

we knew we had a long ride and rode into the dark. my rack got worse and eventually began rubbing against my tire really slowing us down.it was like an extra qpp pounds was on the bike. but we made it and its about time for bed. tomorrow will be better. spirits are fine and we will handle stuff in the am.

love
jason

Saturday, June 4, 2011

day 4 amherst, ma to nassau, ny 70 miles

only a quick update tonight cos im doing it by phone and were starting early tomorrow. the morning started slowly with an excellent breakfast made by daves dad. i ate a ton and then he helped me tie down my bags with a better solution than duct tape. clutch. i am extremely grateful for his help.
the best part of the day was the honor of having dave ride with us. he played harmonica while riding all day- it was awesome. we were like a parade rolling through towns though the fanfare was minimal. climbing the berkshire mountains was rough. an underrated chain if i do say so myself. the views were nice but it took a heavy toll on my back. miles ten through fifty were rough. lunch at the old country grocery store was awesome. we met some supportive people and ate delicious food. the afternoon was smooth and we made it to ny. the highlight was meeting some hippies in lebanon who gave us great advice- if you run out of money, just make a cardboard sign that says broke, biking across the country. we will keep it in mind.

the campround is great in nassau. it is run by a guy named the head ramrod. hilarious. everyone in town is off at the nascar race. you cant make this stuff up. hopefully we can dodge him in the morning. our exact destination for tomorrow is unknown. as always thanks for the continuous support, i love it.

love
jason.

Friday, June 3, 2011

DAY 3: LITTLETON TO AMHERST, MA 70 miles

Hello friends and fans,

Today was a bit smoother. We got off to a later than ideal start but it was well worth it. Sabby made us an incredible breakfast and I absolutely housed it. I can eat more than a small family. 3 eggs, 5 pieces of bacon, and a bagel with peanut butter. The journey started out extremely smooth. Low 70s and sunny but again with a headwind that accompanied us most of the day. It did calm down as we got closer to Amherst.

Google Maps only sent us down one bad road that only cost us a mile or two. Much better.

The morning was fairly uneventful. We had a great lunch at Mike's in Westminster. A huge italian and another order of fries. We were warned about hills that loomed on 202 so we didn't push the pace very hard. The highlight of the early afternoon was getting complemented on my backside by a strange obese woman.  She begged me to ride a mile for her because she was "too overweight to do so herself". Solid pickup line. I did ride a mile for her.

Some neat small villages made up the mid afternoon and then we met the Daniel Shays Highway. Tough. 3 or 4 hills that were each a mile or two long. They were long and gradual and very tough but we handled them like champs. The downhills were epic and I hit a new record speed exceeding 35mph. WOOOO

Then we met Prescott ave. sooo many steep hills- a solid 6 or 7! Absolutely absurd. Around every bend I thought it would level off, but no! My dreams were shattered. I almost made it up all of them but cracked a third of the way up the last one and walked. It was demoralizing. I still did well to make it as far as I did.

After that it was a solid coast to Dave's over some sketchy dirt roads. We made it around 730. Lauren is around for the night which is awesome. Her smiles complete me. hahaha.

Starting to get a bit sore. My achilles and area where my quad kinda meets up with my knee are a bit sore. My back has also been struggling each day from around mile 40 on. Such is life. Can't stop, Won't stop. We're currently working on figuring out the next few days of the journey to Ithaca.

I think the most random thoughts on the road! Today the highlights were the songs Swing Swing by the All American Rejects, that stupid song about hearts not breaking even or something, and the movie/book Holes. I'm a strange creature.

Thanks to everyone for their support. The Littleton crew (Mike, Sabby and family) and the Baecher's have really bookended the day with excellence. All the text messages, calls, and facebook stuff has been huge and really matters. It honestly got me up a few hills today.

On to New York tomorrow hopefully. Breakin borders on the reg.

Love
JASON! (DAVE'S CAPS LOCK BUTTON GETS STUCK REALLY EASILY AND I'M TIRED OF BATTLING IT)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

DAY 2: WELLS, ME to LITTLETON, MA 96 miles

Well day two certainly was a mixed bag. We started early at 9AM and really got off to a great start. Justin made us an incredible breakfast and showed us an absurd amount of hospitality. Thanks so much. It was also great to see Josie. We cut through the back roads of Wells and the first 12 miles or so were great. Our bags did come off once each but that was the only time of the day- a huge improvement! Duct tape is a hell of an invention. Then we hit our first detour of the day. This added a few miles and hills and kinda broke our flow. We got back on track and had a couple of great moments. One was a lady asking us "Where ya headed?" and getting to respond "Los Angeles". The other was hitting New Hampshire. Biking out of state. Epic.

New Hampshire was tough. Tons of hills and it just felt like we were always going up. We also dealt with a stiff headwind for probably 80-90% of the day. Tough chirp. Lunch was definitely the highlight of my day. The sandwich/tortellini salad was incredible. Epping Market in Epping, New Hampshire. Really hit the spot and carried me through the afternoon.The afternoon brought hills and more headwinds. That's life I guess. Even a rain shower hit us. We saw a Turkey- our first real wildlife sighting so that was a win. I started hitting the wall around mile 45-50. Then my momentum turned when a strange car driven by two teenagers gave me a hard time and honked at me. I yelled back "Get a job!" to which they flipped me off. This really fired me up and propelled me through the next 40 miles. It was just the kick in the butt I needed. I rode hard and well for really the rest of the day. Google maps sent us astray a couple of times and we messed up ourselves as well. In total we added at least 12 miles, 96 is the conservative total and we planned on 84. Spirits were a little low and we were out on the trail for about 12 hours.

Getting to Sabby's was bliss. He's almost as good a host as he is a friend (and he's a stupendous host...). A solid welcoming crew of Littletoners formed and it was overwhelming. What could be better than seeing all of these great friends? Seeing all these friends and housing 3 burgers at the SAME TIME! WOOO we must tell Gatsby of this day! I think Greg's already asleep and I'm going to do the same. Tomorrow should be easier, a 70 mile journey to Amherst, MA to stay with Dave. There's some diesel hills but at least it's shorter than today.

ALSO: watch out for turtles! I saw a few dead ones today and it was a sad sight. Help em out!

Double also: thanks to our PR guy Woody for putting in some time. It really is appreciated.

I'm working on getting the Google Checkout account set for donations. Just waiting on account/router numbers.

Day 2 in the books. Thanks for spreading the word and keep doing so. The support is amazing. If anyone has any hookups in the Albany area please let us know. Also anything between Albany and Ithaca would be very helpful. Thanks

Love
Jason

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DAY 1 to Wells

Exhausted. That was a long day. We were pretty on schedule this morning but then a vicious thunderstorm with hail slowed our roll. Haha. We hung out at Roger's Haircutters for half an hour and hit the road. Thanks to mums and Woody and his dad for seeing us off. Things started off ok but then we found our biggest problem of the day- our back paniers continually fall off the rack. We stopped between 15 and 20 times to reattatch the packs. It was very frustrating and our goal tonight/tomorrow morning is to solve the issue.

Things were great all the way through Falmouth but Portland was a struggle. Busy streets, unsure directions, and poor roads made it a tough go. We ended up on route 1 and went over a busy bridge with no shoulder all in the midst of 4 lane traffic. Horrifying. After that we rolled to Scarborough with mediocre results. We had burgers at a place called Dimitri's and the owner was really friendly and intersted in our journey. He took a picture of us for their facebook. Sweet.

After that directions were again a mixed bag and we ended up on a bike trail that was great for a few minutes but then scary because it was quite rocky. A popped tire would have been a disaster. Fortunately we were good and continued towards Wells. We tried to get back onto the trail eventually but found sand and unrideable conditions. Greg took a digger in the sand but was ok. Then we got back on track and stayed primarily on route 1. It was long and we really hit the wall around Biddeford. The rest of the ride was a real grind but we eventually made it to Wells around 7. Considering the mishaps and the vicious headwind we encountered all day, I'd consider it a success. We are both absolutely beat. This is much longer than either of us has ridden before. We're getting an earlier start and better directions for tomorrow, so hopefully things will be better. Our destination is Sabby's in Littleton, Mass. Justin's hospitality has been incredible and really boosted our spirits. We ate dinner at a Chinese place in Sanford and hopefully will be heading to bed soon. Day 1 in the books. We learned a lot today and hopefully things will get better going further. Send well wishes of tailwinds, downhills, and high performing equipment.

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