Hard to believe that my journey has ended! So many people, events and memories that will be with me forever. I'll be posting more about my journey in the coming days but wanted to share what I've to decided to do with my bike.
As I rode from the beach to the bike shop where I was planning to ship my bike back, I was reflecting on the past 3 months and all the incredible people I met along the way. When I got to the shop I was greeted by Jonathan and after telling him about my ride, I asked him if he knew of any local organizations or if his shop had any programs to get bicycles to people that may not be able to get them any other way. He told me about a number of organizations they've worked with including a gentleman named Frank from a local church. We started talking about the program and he called Frank asking him if he was available to come to the store which he did about 20 minutes later. We talked about my ride, why I did it and I told him that I was interested in donating my bike so that someone else could experience the joy of cycling that may not otherwise be able to. After several minutes of chatting together he mentioned that he works with veterans and wounded warrior groups in the community. That was all I needed to hear! I told him if he could get the bike to one of these heroes I wanted to donate it. He said that he would hold onto the bike for as long as necessary until he finds the veteran that will appreciate the bike and the story behind it.
When he finds the perfect person, he will contact me with their name, telephone number and will email a photo of them with their new bike.
To all the men and women of our military, thank you for all you do. It's because of you that I was able to complete this bike ride and I am honored to do this on behalf of my brother Bob and my son Nick. I hope the person that receives the bike enjoys it as much as I have and draws inspiration from the history of it .
Thanks to Jonathan at Two Wheeler Dealer for your help.
Was looking forward to a nice long day on the bike with hopes of covering a lot of miles. Unfortunately, that all came to a grinding stop about 30 miles into the day when my saddle broke. I tried all the roadside repairs I could but nothing was working. So, I stood on the pedals until I reached next town.
No bike shops to be found I posted the photo of the broken saddle on Facebook looking for suggestions. My co-workers came through again! Thomas made some suggestions for repairs to get me down the road and Jeff suggested getting a new one at Walmart or some other store. So, I located a Walmart and was able to find one that seemed to work. Hopefully this will get me through the final 120 miles without any additional repairs or delays!!! Thanks Thomas and Jeff :)
If you've been following my journey for any amount of time, you've likely heard me talking about my friend Doug. We've been friends for over 17 years after we met at a previous employer. I detoured off the TransAm route and went down through Tennessee and North Carolina so I could see him and his family. The moment you walk into their home you can literally feel the love of this family!
Doug has been going through cancer treatment and is such a fighter! His attitude, faith and determination have been and continue to be such an inspiration to me. Doug, Janette and Ashley...I love you all so much and am grateful to have such incredible, caring friends that inspire and motivate me. Continued prayers for your family...
Today I was finally able to get back on the road after a couple days waiting for the remnants of hurricane Irma to pass. The ride today was AWESOME!!!
I'm now only 69 miles from Charlotte where I'll be able to see my dear friend Doug and his family! I can't wait!!!
In just 12 days I will be back in Boise, returning to work and seeing my son Nick...Each of the final miles are bitter sweet. I'm looking forward to completing this incredible journey of a lifetime but will also miss the people, scenery and life experiences that this trip has blessed me with.
Final 350 Miles Proving to be the most difficult!
I've been at a Warmshowers hosts home for the past 2 nights and they've been wonderful! Mark and Barbara have been so helpful as I wait out the remnants of hurricane Irma. I was hoping to get back on the road again this morning but because of high winds, rain and road closures due to debris I am not able to which means I'll be here for 3 nights! I'm so thankful for the hospitality that Mark and Barbara have shown me!
I contacted my friends in Charlotte letting them know that I will be arriving several days later than I had originally planned. All the delays due to weather have me stressed as I need to be back work on the 25th. I have roughly 350 miles to complete in 8 days or so which is easily doable if the weather cooperates but it doesn't seem to be. So, I am looking at alternative options for return transportation to Boise including airlines. The bus takes about 4 days to get to Boise so flying would give me up to 4 days longer to deal with the weather, complete my trip and still return to work on the 25th. The issue with flying back is the costs this close to date I would be flying out. I also need to ship my bike back from North Carolina.
Weather I Didn't Expect
Weather was an issue at the beginning of the trip causing me to stay in hotels that I hadn't planned or budgeted for and now it's also playing a role at the end of the ride but in even greater terms because of the hurricane and more in the forecast. Mark was just telling me that local officials are urging residents to stay off the roads due to fallen trees and other debris across the roadways due to the wind. Flying back to Boise is looking more and more like the best option but is also the most expensive and I'll need to make reservations in the next day or two or the rates will be even higher. I'm so appreciative for all the support I've received for all these unexpected expenses!
Below is a map of the remaining 354 miles of my cross country bicycle ride!
Last week was the 15 year anniversary of Bob's passing. It was a very emotional day but one that I felt Bob with me more than any other part of the ride. Each year on the anniversary his grandkids release balloons as a way of saying hi to their grandpa.
September 10th marked 3 months on the road of this amazing journey! The people I've met along the way will be a memory I'll cherish for the rest of my life. To adequately express my appreciation for the kindness and generosity of people across America is difficult to do on a blog but I am forever grateful. The unique beauty and diversity across the states has been incredible to experience. The physical and logistical challenges have helped me learn to dig deeper within myself while not being afraid to ask for help if needed.
2 sore legs and Irma...
For the past few days my legs (quads) have really been hurting. Yesterday was particularly bad when they would cramp up forcing me to stop every couple of miles until the pain subsided a bit but 2 miles down the road I was needing to stop again. Friends came out on Facebook with some great suggestions to overcome this which I will be doing. I had contacted a Warmshowers host in Asheville, NC. about staying with them which he said would be fine. He was telling me about the storms coming through the area as a result of hurricane Irma and was especially concerned about the high winds that were expected in the area. I had ridden about 40 miles so far for the day stopping more often than I had any other part of the trip. It was doubtful that I would have made it to his place before dark. As a result, plus with the weather alerts he picked me up and brought me to his home . After a good night's sleep I'm feeling much better this morning but due to the weather am unable to get back on the road today.
I now have about 350 miles left to complete my coast to coast Journey. My next goal is to get to Charlotte, North Carolina to see my friend Doug who is undergoing cancer treatment. From there I will head to Wrightsville Beach, NC to dip my wheels in the Atlantic ocean. Then ride back to Wilmington, NC to a bike shop to ship my bike home and the final part of my journey will be the 4 day bus ride back to Boise.
The kindness that I've been shown on this journey has been incredible and has come in so many ways.
Then the people that have made cash donations to show their support for my journey. Generous donations have come from friends, family, co-workers and total strangers from across the country. Some even donating more than once!
I've changed the final leg of my route to go through North Carolina and completing my cross country ride on the North Carolina coast. I am on track to complete my journey around the 18th of September. I will be shipping my bike back and will be arranging return transportation to Boise most likely via bus...it will feel good to sit back and relax!
Thank you so much to everyone that has supported my journey in so many unique ways :)
Yesterday I was riding on a very narrow road in Kentucky on my way to the state park to camp. The road was packed with holiday travelers heading to the same place with their boats, campers and trailers. There was absolutely no room for cars/trucks to pass me when there was oncoming traffic. Several times I was forced off the road and narrowly missed getting hit a couple times. I decided it wasn't worth the risk and pulled off to the grass on the side of the road and waited for a chance to turn back and return to the small town I had left from a couple miles back and was going to head out early today before the traffic got heavy. I pulled into the convenience store parking lot and rolled up to a truck that a gentleman was sitting in. We started talking about the traffic and the road I was on. He told me that he had lived in the town all his life agreed that it's not a safe road for a cyclist to be on during a holiday weekend. The next thing I know, he is helping me put my bike in his truck and says "come on I'll get you there safely". He drives me to the park in no time and asks where I was going to camp. I told him I was aware of several campgrounds in the area and he says let go into the office and see what they have. He knows the gentleman working there and asks him what are the camping options at the park for cyclists? He said there is a small airport for private planes and most just pitch their tents there. He said there is a $10.00 fee...I said that would work great and reached for my wallet and Frank told me to put it away that he was taking care of it. When we got my bike and gear unloaded he handed me $20.00 and told me that I had to promise him one thing. There was a lodge at the park that had a dinner buffet and he said "I want you to take this and go enjoy yourself at the buffet, but you need to promise me you'll go". Well, I went to the buffet and it was awesome! I haven't ate that much the entire trip. If all this wasn't enough...wait, there's more!!! This morning at 5:00 AM I hear someone outside my tent saying "Dan, Dan, it's Frank". I opened the flap on my tent and Frank is standing there and tells me "It was so great to meet you and when I got home I felt so good I wanted to see you off and buy you breakfast". Are you kidding me??? I get my shoes on and get in his car...he drives about 10 miles to the only place he could find open at that hour. I can't get over the kindness and generosity of this man! We exchanged phone numbers and he asked me to text him the picture in this post. He shared with me some of the challenges his girlfriend is facing and is doing all he can to help and comfort her. Frank is so caring about everyone he comes in contact with and I will never forget him! He is a long haul trucker (the second one I've met) and I told him if he is ever in Boise he better get in touch with me!
THANK YOU FRANK!