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Taking Control 11/17/2009
 
I've been struggling through a roller coaster of life changes and emotions since returning from the bike ride 2009. Today I spent the day working on the site, we've enlisted the google web technology to help us get a better idea of what is happening with the site. Who, Where, Why and most importantly HOW to get the hundreds and hundreds of visits we have to the site converted into donations. 


After working on the business plan for 2010 and having meetings with heads of national charities I've decided that we haven't done a good enough job not only telling people what this fund is about but showing them. Truly showing our visitors what it means to be in the situation of a struggling cancer patient and better illustrating how there donation dollars are effecting people in their back yard. 


I took the afternoon and chatted with Erin Plummer at the Meredith news, having lost my phone I missed the check in's last week. Look for the article this Thursday in the Meredith News. It's getting late and I'm going on a long bike ride to Plum Island and down the MA seacoast tomorrow. Last week I was able to get a 50 miler in one day with a loaded bike. Someone has to take advantage of this nice weather. 


The mind set on the bike now is get ready for skiing the big mountains legs and cardio are my mantra.


Stay posted!!! We have some big surprises in the works It's just to soon to go public yet. 
 
 
Feeling very defeated we made it to DC. Hitting up the cheapest hotel we could find we spent a night working on strategy of how we were going to continue. We are both dead set on making this transcontinental trip happen. Not only just making it happen but making it a wildly successful fundraising event. 


We've decided summer 2010 will be take off time for our trip. We have also decided to leave from Cape Neddick Light in Maine and head to San Francisco, CA on a northernly route. It was Liberty we chose as a way to cut off a few miles and save us some time as were headed through the Mojave in already cold temperatures.  


Since our return we've already continues our fundraising efforts and we will work dilligentley at creating an even bigger buzz for next year. We have also recruited a few more riders to join us for different legs of the adventure. I hope that we can continue creating a viral buzz in the community to spur support for the cause. 
Our epic trip is only a stunt that gives reason to publicize the Anderson Oncology Fund. There are a few things that bring me great joy in the world. Marketing something I fully stand behind is so much fun for me. Traveling and exploring new places always changes my look at the world. Having the opportunity to do both of these things simultaneously is amazing. 


It has been only a few days since I've been back and not many days on the road but this years trip has changed my life for the better. Why? I haven't quite figured that out yet. 


Having "failed" (in my eyes at least) we still created a great thing. It wasn't weather, difficulties on the road, or fitness that kept us from going across the country but the harsh reality of funding pitfalls. Ryan and I have invested our every penny in this and our hand was forced. With that knowledge I'm able to be OK with having not made it this year, knowing that we will be that much more prepared for 2010.


This trip has sparked my personal energy and focus again, something I had lost somewhere along the way in the last year. I'm driven to eat healthy and maintain the fitness level I've returned to. Since being home I've biked at least 20 miles daily. I wake up and want to ride all day. I'll say that biking around without 55 pounds on my bicycle is amazing, I feel like Lance Armstrong. 


I'm not sure how so much changed inside for me in one week but it has. I'm happy again and life has taken a positive turn, with this sack of lemons i'm gong to make the best lemonade I can. 


Follow our blog and the road to 2010 on this site. Keep spreading the word and contributing to our community through the Anderson Oncology Fund!~
 
2 DC, I suppose 11/04/2009
 
We awoke the next morning and headed back to McDonald's. I thought maybe if we cut out the rest days and tried to push for longer days we could do it. grabbing a pen and paper we worked out the math. It wasn't pretty. We went over more and more options, the only one that was making the trip feasible was wishful thinking and that was no longer an option considering the fallout if it didn't work. 

We had both left on promises of a few more sizable donations from friends and acquaintance that never materialized. It was those things that finally convinced me that I could go, if you remember I had pulled out due to funding issues early on. Having heard all the right sounds from a few more people I jumped back on the bus and we took off together. 

We changed plans that morning and decided to head back east and make our trek to the White House. Liberty to the White House that is a good pedal, two great start and finish points and we were sure to be able to get some sort of transit back home. 

Off we pedaled through some beautiful Maryland country side. Spendng 
 
 
We woke up from our rest at Alex's house to a great breakfast and headed down to his shop for a bike tune up lesson and gift of free chamois butter. I now understand the difference between goldbond in my bike shorts and the right stuff. If you are a biker go with the Chamois cream, Feels awkward at first but it gets the job done much better. 
The day was overcast and the weather predicted a clearing. Mistaken was that weather man, we left Race Pace bicycles with bikes that shifted again like they were supposed to and newly trued wheels. It was a fast day and we covered 20 miles in under two hours through the rain. 
Stopping finally at a MCD to take stock and get a McCafe before our push over the Potomac. I had been doing some math our the ride and the brutal truth was becoming increasingly evident. With out continued donations we were going to run out of money at less then 75% through the trip. And I mean really really run out down to 0 in the bank. 


I didn't want to talk much about it at MCD's as I was still working on what we could do, if we could cut more costs. Nothing was comming to mind. The rain picked up again and we decided we would try and find some woods. Ryan talked to the local Sherrif about a place to stay she informed us that we could sneak into the park up the street if someone found us it was her on call and not to worry about it presuming we were only camping for the night. We didn't even get to the park when we spotted a church on a hill with an overhang. We made camp under the roof it was nice to escape the rain. 


Then I started talking to Ryan about my thoughts. It was a painful conversation to have as it generally is when facing a reality that you don't want to accept. We left home after pushing as hard as we could on fundraising for two months. The media blitz we created was a success as far as getting the story in front of people but our conversion to donations was not what we had hoped for. 


Having to bike full time during the day and find a place to sleep and eat at night was eating up every bit of energy while we were on the trail, the feasibility of spending time working on donations was not what we had hoped. We had dilligently been soliciting people in the streets and cafe's we stopped at collecting a few dollars here and there but not nearly enough. 


With host families and there food we were still running food costs alone (yes even on just Ramen and Tuna Fish) that were going to cripple us before we made it.. 


We decided to sleep on it and we passed out in the dry under the church roof. 
 


 
 
 
It's been a brutal day. 34 miles into Westminster, MD. Rode all day! 7-4 with only a few stops and we only made it 34 miles. HILLS, HILLS, HILLS, all we did today was going up and down. Fast down and then up and up and up then down a little bit. We made it to a McDonalds and I was toast. Ryan had met a guy while he was out at the bar in Newark, MD who happened to live in Westminster before he went to school. He passed along a few numbers fo people to contact if we made it to this town. At the MCD's Ryan started calling people.
ALEX!!!! came to the rescue and helped us saying we could stay at his place in the back yard. We didn't know what we were walking into when we got here. Turns out the guy is the Oracle of biking, he has traveled the world. Africa, South America, name it he or his kids have cycled it. We've been keeping him up hostage all night in his house peppering him with questions.
Race Pace Bicycles is his shop 5 of them across MD
He's taking us on a tour of the world just with his stories. It's amazing, his wife fed us some wonderful food and he has sat with us and looked over maps. I feel revived this man's traveled the world, lives frugally, is clearly successful. I'm sitting in the living room with him now listening to stories about how there is no restaurants in Morraco.

He's planning to take us to the bike shop tomorrow and get us tuned up. I'm excited after such a long day not making much progress. We've planed to get ourselves down the Shenondoah Valley to the Blueridge Parkway.

It's late and i'm exhausted so this entry i'm sure is a little delirious so it's time for me to call it for the night.

From our lunch break with Shorty... to dinner with Alex a day on the road never fails to disapoint.
 
Shorty's 10/26/2009
 

On the corner of a back country road we wanted to turn left a man tended a pit beef barbeque, long dreaded hair he called out  ' Try a piece it's free' You don't have to ask twice my friend! He invited us in side and told us wuite a a story about his life. Seems he is making a movie about racism in America ' Letters to Zion by Rob Fix (Spring of 10') the other simply 'Racisim in America'. He's taken us into his country store provided us with a bit of food and a computer to update the blog with.


Last night we didn't quite make the destination. We knocked on the door of farm house and asked if we could camp in the yard. A nice man named Al set us up behind a farm house under an ancient oak tree. It was beatiful, we set off early and have been peadling through the Maryland country side since.   We must take off and get back on the road but wanted to take a minute to keep ya'll posted.

Check out some of the n

 
Day 3 10/22 10/23/2009
 

At a McDonalds enjoying a McCafe 1 PM we've been biking all morning. We biked from Newtown back to Trenton to get back to where we lost the trail. Finding out that it ends right were we got lost, figures. I hit up the Trenton library and wrote turn by turn directions down all the way to Willmington, DE.  Only make a mistake once. It took a good amount of time but well worth it. The signage in PA for the bike routes is fantastic (Kudos to whomever is running that show) we didn't need the turn by turn but hell I wasn't going the wrong way again. Not having showered yet I was on a mission.
Over our coffee stop Ryan and I talked some shop about good biking technique and tried to dispel to him some wisdom from the days when "Katrina" my old Mtn. Bike and I would take pedals from Meredith Neck to Sandwhich coincedintly to hang out with Kasey and Kelly... Oh how history repeats. We both made quips about the plane ride home and I thought 'HA, day 3 and i'm already thinking about that flight. I tried to get it out of my head quickly 5 hours in a comfy seat, covering the land it just took me 60 days to do.

We biked through Tacony, PA. It is interesting to go through such rundown places on a bicycle. My travels have been fairly broad but fortunately often in luxurious hotels and beautiful destinations. When your are on the bicycle you are a part of the street. Smells and sounds take you over. Blocks change quickly in places from destitue conditions to beautiful neighborhoods. Our cities are strange like that. I was unable to get a quality camera before the trip to complete my planned photoessay I thought much about how I wanted to capture the places we pedaled through. After Philly we were hauling to try and make it to Willmington before dark. 
Chester i'm not sure if it is PA or DE was a place like i've never seen. Almost alien terrain. It runs along the river and has been completly developed into refineries, 5-6 maybe more miles worth of piping. Cooling towers stretch to the sky and at dusk the lights were all on. I thought this is what it will look like when we colonize Mars or the like. We were catching the change of shifts, traffic was headed all in one direction, out! 4 miles left to destination and I hit something in the road, big, instant rear flat!  I did my best Nascar pit crew speed tube change and we took off again. 1 mile covered, fast. Blew the tire again!!! AGHHH soo close yet so far!!!    Changed tube again at a glf and realized what ever I hit shreaded my tire and cut the rubber in half. Rendered unrideable we called Kasey for rescue. 5 minutes later we were loading bikes into the truck. THANK GOD!! Lesson 2: What to do when a tire shreds?  Note to self to find out tommorow. 

We made it to Kasey place and at everything we could find. It was great to see these girls again, they were best friends of mine growing up and we haven't excahnged much of a word in years as life has taken us all different directions. Ryan clammed up, we had a minute alone and he caught me "You didn't tell me they were beautiful" He scurried to the shower. I chuckled. The girls went out and we lazed around trying to catch up with our chores and clean up. A comfortable night and some cushion to sleep on.... I didn't fit on the couch and Ryan passed out mid sentance on the futon I had called fives on earlier so I slept on the floor on top of my mummy bag. More comfortable then the door mat and asphalt of night one. I couldn't sleep for hours, I'm always jealous at how quickly Ryan passes out and how soundly he sleeps. No more late in the day McCafe's for me.

 
Day 2 10/23/2009
 
10-22

Next am we hit up a campus coffee joint (A Small World Cafe) passing out our information to everyone inside. Made plans for the day and set off. 11am by the time we were headed in right direction. Found the East Coast Greenway, a trail we later learned we could have followed all the way to Princeton. It was beautiful, a shale path that followed a canal for miles to Trenton. Were we took a wrong turn on some directions for a not so reliable character in the street. It was a beautiful day spent pedaling fast and covering lots of ground.. When I finally decided to stop and have a meal about three and check the GPS I couldn't believe my eyes... I had to check it three times! WHAT WE TOOK THE WRONG TURN for 20 plus miles. We made a V Princeton to Trenton to Washington Crossing. UGH.. read Ryans bolg for more, we crossed the Delaware and spent the night in a state park in Newtown PA.
I was defeated and very frusterated, I took space from Ryan in a local Starbuck and gained my sanity back with a good conversation with Alicia (Thank you for your rationality)  'Well let's chalk that one up as it is and move on' Ryan said and I came back from frusteration. I learned it from Mike Murray 'It is what it is'
 
Day 1 10/23/2009
 

I'm keeping a hand written journal for the times when I can't get to a computer. When I do I am going to transpose it to this blog on a day by day post.

10-21-08
After a last meal and a night spent w/ Kelli and Brian we set off from the Statue of Liberty with plans to make it to Philidelphia....  We ended up getting a late start after enjoying an amazing goodbye breakfast caserole! (Thanks Kelli) 
At the park as we were loading up our bikes a man on his bike asked casually were we were headed. He was poliete and very friendly and we began telling him our story. Learning his name was Deryk he told us a little about his long rides. With out even saying anything he went to his car and retuned with a present! State maps of every east coast state we planned to bike through! What a life saver. We had grand plans to use Ryans phone and my GPS... Turns out, in our haste to pack Ryan forgot his charger and the latter is harder to keep charged then I planned. Alas we were off. Biking through Newark and Jersey City that was an adventure taking downtown roads and dodging fast traffic across a bridge definately not made for bikes.
We kept going and going. Getting out of the city it was a nice change of pace to be on smooth road. I had a message 2 dear old friends of mine were traveling south from NH and we made plans to meet in Princeton(What a beautiful place). 
Kelley and Kasey the ever inseperable treated us to a fantastic dinner after we booked it for a few solid hours in the dark. 
Almost being taken out by an 18 wheeler on my frist night.... it had to screech to a stop... then later some deer on the side of the road ran next to us that scared the hell out of us both! 
We made camp in an alleyway on Princeton campus next to the main church. See pictures, it was beautiful so we unrolled our bags and I slept on a door mat of a tool shed.    Ohhh how this adventure began. 


 

 
Leaving!!!! 10/20/2009
 
 In CT. Headed to the cityin a few minutes! holly molly wooooo
 

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    20 Something male on a traveling mission! Exploring this country as much as possible. Follow most of my days here and be sure to leave comments. I'll be working on and riding in a 3,500 mile bicycle ride across the USA.

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