In Virginia- 5 days until FAA is over!

In the past week we have had some awesome, but challenging times.  In Berea last Monday we had several of the Fiji Headquarters staff from Lexington drive down to welcome us, as well as a couple WKU Alum and a Barb from the Madison County Alzheimer’s Association welcome us at a city park.  J.B. Goll (Director of Chapter Services at IHQ) greeted us with some loud noise from a Vuvuzela!  That evening we drove up to Richmond to stay with fraternity brother Malcolm Lunceford’s parents.  Gordon and Kristi were extremely welcoming and cooked us an amazing dinner consisting of chicken/ steak skewers, twice baked potatoes, and Ale-8-One.  We had all been craving Ale-8 for the past few weeks, so that was a great treat.  Not to mention the wonderful mud pie for dessert.  We watched a bit of the Tour de France highlights and played with their bulldog Missy for a while.  Missy has to be one of the funniest dogs I have ever seen!  Poor thing has a heart murmur, but once she gets riled up her “snorting makes her sound like a warthog!  Haha.  Check out this video to see just how crazy this dog is! :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mych2C-fnZY

The next morning we woke up to drive to Berea to begin our route.  Mrs. Lunceford is a cyclist and after a bit of convincing and realizing she had the day off we convinced her to join us for the first section of the ride.  Little did she know (or us!) that this would be the toughest 15-mile stretch we had seen since Missouri!  Kristi pedaled like a champ up Big Hill (a 3 mile beast!) and grinded out the remaining miles to celebrate her ride with us by enjoying our favorite snack- a Clif Bar smothered with peanut butter!  It was awesome having her join and support us by riding along.  Having people like her who take an interest in what we are doing and really go out of their way to become a part of what we’re doing is what its all about!

After a tough ride into Buckhorn, KY we were greeted by Wade’s parents/sister and both sets of grandparents at this really historic local church.  They cooked some amazing pasta and prepared some homemade ice cream to top off an extremely hot and tough day of riding through Eastern Kentucky. We were so thankful to have their support and went to bed worn out wondering when our next rest day would be!

Wednesday proved to be one of the toughest rides of the trip for me mentally, physically, and emotionally.  We made the trek from Buckhorn to Buckingham, KY- truly finding our way into drug country.  Along the way we encountered several steep Appalachian mountain climbs, numerous road-raged drivers, and several mean drug dogs.  I had my first experience with a true dog chase about 20 miles before we ended for the day, with 3 dogs attacking me at once.  As I un-clipped my cleats to kick and try to scare them away one came from my right flank, jumped up and bit my hand.  When it landed on the ground- I kid you not- I ran right over its neck!  Literally, its head was on the left side of my front tire and body on the right.  After that the dog ran off whimpering, leaving me winded from my efforts right before our last climb of the day.  I struggled to make it up the 2 mile ascent, but was relieved as I coasted into the town we were staying.  Being from Kentucky I never thought I’d say this, but I couldn’t have been more happy to know that we would be crossing out of my home state the next day.  I was worn down and needed some rest.  Since we left E-town we had a problem getting back in the “groove” and were waking up late, taking longer breaks, stopping longer for lunch, and going to bed past our normal time.

Wednesday was refreshing as we knew it was our last truly mountainous day of the ride, as well as the day we would cross into our final state: Virginia!  Our planned lodging at a local church ended up falling through, so we drove about 15minutes down the road and found a Holiday Inn Express to crash at.  The hot tub, laundry, Wi-fi access, and free hot breakfast served us well and we started fresh Thursday morning.  It was my birthday and I awoke to numerous texts/ FB wall posts- seeing how many people commented about the ride and what an impact we are having provided the inspiration I needed to make it 80 miles to Rural Retreat.  One of my good friends told me something really neat about my birthday falling during this trip.  She said something along these lines- “You know, everyone deserves at least one day out of the year for it to be all about themselves.  The cool thing is that you are spending yours serving other people as part of a cause”.  I couldn’t agree more- this birthday was one of the most special ones I’ve had.  No- I didn’t get the farmer’s birthday cake with a tractor in it that I would drive around and ruin the rest of the cake with that I used to always have when I was a kid.  But I did find enjoyment knowing that what I was doing with my day was helping others.  I guess the older we get, the less a birthday means to us.  Besides, that just means I’m getting closer to having to work instead of do fun stuff like ride my bike across the country for Alzheimer’s =P.  I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had and the support from friends/family in everything I do, and that is more than any material present can offer.

The climbs that day weren’t as tough as we anticipated and the first rain of the trip was actually enjoyable as it cooled us off.  I have to admit that Virginia could be the prettiest state of this trip!  That could be due to excitement that the trip is almost over or how frustrated I was in Eastern Kentucky, but nevertheless the mountains and grassy knolls (shoutout to Jo-mint!) here are gorgeous!  That night we met Fiji graduate brother Dana Hesse (who is so graciously joining us for the rest of the trip!) and went to dinner.  I was surprised by a wonderful birthday cake with 20 candles, all of which I blew out on the first try.  For some reason I forgot to make a wish!  We went on to our campsite for the night and I’m so thankful it was primitive.  We hit the hay early looking forward to riding into Blacksburg the next day, with a rest day almost in grasp!

Friday morning was a special occasion for me as well. And no- not because it was the day after my birthday and I wanted to continue celebrating! It was July 10- the one year anniversary of my Papaw’s death.  We rode in honor of him and were welcomed in Blacksburg by fellow Fiji brothers from Virginia Tech.  Today we took a tour of the campus and got to see the memorial from the VA Tech- a very special experience.  After watching the World Cup at a restaurant in downtown Blacksburg we came back to the condo to hang out, catch up on laundry, and cook a nice spaghetti dinner.  Its been great resting here and meeting several other fraternity brothers, but I’m looking forward to getting on the road and knocking out these last few miles before its all over.  We’ll see what this week has in store for us!

Pedaling on,

Tyler

BTW- if you want some GOOD entertainment, please watch this!  This is how we get our energy up in the mornings when no one feels like riding =P

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Brought to you courtesy, of the Red White and Blue!

I had to title this post in honor of one our favorite songs to sing as a group while riding.  If it isn’t already posted, there should be one of us singing this song on our YouTube channel soon! Not to mention, it is Independence Day!!!

I’ll recap our ride into E-town last Thursday and what happened over a few rest days.

On Thursday we woke up to a 45 mile ride into Elizabethtown. It was tough to leave Rough River behind (I’ve been wanting to go out on the boat allll summer!), but knowing we had friends/family waiting ahead for us was more than enough motivation. I found it interesting that as a child I used to think the drive to the lake was so long and always found my self asking my parents the infamous “Are we there yet?!?!”. Today was different because it was only a 45mile ride and therefore one of our “short” days on the bike. Haha. About 20 miles into the ride we approached the Hardin Co. line so Cameron, Justin, and I posed for a picture as we talked about how amazing it was that we have ridden from the Pacific Ocean to home. I think we all have begun to realize that the trip is winding down and are really trying to soak it all in. With 23 miles left my mom dropped off Austin Howell (friend, former fellow Etown baseball player, fellow Hilltopper) to join us on our ride in. It was nice to share stories and see how supportive he was of what we’re doing. At the 14 mile mark we met Cameron’s family and 11-year old family friend Matthew Coolidge, who rode in with us from there. We took it nice and easy (about 11mph) from Four Corners to Elizabethtown, enjoying the camaraderie by swapping stories and singing various songs. As we approached the city limits a police escort picked us up and led us into town on one of the main roads. I think a lot of people really took notice of what we were doing as we rode in on 62- I know I got a few texts from friends who saw us making the final ride in!
One of the most special moments of the day (and this trip) was stopping by my grandfather’s grave. It was right along our route into town so we stopped to take a look for a few minutes. After locating the grave and gathering everyone around I tried to say a little something explaining how he was the inspiration for the cause and how appreciative of all those who have contributed to the cause. Without other riders who were passionate about making a difference, amazing support from friends/family, and financial support from sponsors/donors this ride would have never happened. Seeing how much it has grown and what an impact it has had is a true testament to how blessed we are to have such amazing people in our lives. As I tried to explain this to those gathered round I got a bit choked up, but I think it was one of those things that was just understood. A year ago this ride was just a glimmer of hope. Today it was reality.
Our last 3 miles into town Cameron’s sister Olivia joined us on her mountain bike. Seeing them ride together and share that experience together was very cool. We were greeted by 30-40 people at Pritchard Community Center in Elizabethtown as we finished up the days ride. Family, friends, awesome signs, and big surprises (Wade’s girlfriend Kaylee drove down from Michigan and was hiding in our support trailer! =P) awaited us. That evening we got haircuts, had a nice cookout at my house, and then went up to the Radcliff City Pool to enjoy a pool party and some of my grandmother’s homemade peach ice cream.

Friday-
Mitch, Wade, and I woke up around 730 to go do an interview on 98.3 WQXE’s morning show. Cameron met us there (since he stayed at his house) and Chaz and Justin were MIA. I guess they had partied too hard in Glendale at Justin’s house the night before and just couldn’t make it ;). We spent a few minutes talking about our cause and promoting our event at Best Buy to be held later that day and then went back home. Our event at Best Buy was from 11-1…..the radio station was there with live coverage from 11-12 and Best Buy donated a big screen TV for a giveaway. By selling chances on the TV and getting Best Buy employees to volunteer we were able to raise over $5200! We donated the money from that event to the Greater KY/ Southern IN chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to be used for local services. I would guess that over 200 people came in and out to visit with the riders, enjoy some great food, and to take a shot at winning the 42″ TV. Fraternities brothers, friends, and family from all across the state showed up to make this an awesome event that provided great motivation for us to finish this ride strong.

Saturday-

Led most of the riders down to Bowling Green for a much needed work day on our fraternity house. Fire caulking, re-wiring, moving monster radiators/ boilers/ pipes, and cleaning were just a few of the things we accomplished.  In the midst of our work day the riders went over to 930AM WKCT to do a small interview for the morning show on Monday.  After getting back to the house and knocking a few more things off the “to-do” list it was time to head back to E-town to prepare for the ride ahead.  I am looking forward to getting back down to BG to help on the house after the ride is over- it has so much potential but not nearly enough man power.  Besides, it provided time for my Dad to teach me some cool stuff :).

Sunday-

We started out from the Schwinn Shop in E-town at about 8:30.  Our posse of friends and family waved goodbye as we pedaled off- only 12 days remaining until we hit the Atlantic.  Today was a very special ride, though.  Besides being the 4th of July and riding on routes that I used to train on, we had some awesome people join us.  Chaz’s father (Dr. V as we call him) hopped on his 1940’s road bike rocking some khaki shorts, tall white socks, and a pocket tee……pretty much looking like a boss!  Haha.  It was cool to have him join and I know Chaz really enjoyed sharing 31 miles on the bike with his Dad.  Also, our past fraternity adviser, Bob Anderegg, joined us for those first 31 miles.  Riding in honor of his mother, Mary Fran, who has Alzheimer’s, he had raised pledges in the amount of $10/mile.  After the first stop (11 miles in) we made some phone calls, Twitter updates, and Facebook posts showing what Bob was doing in an effort to gain some more support.  Some friends came through and offered up a total of $100 per mile for every mile Bob rode after those first 11, but the trick was we weren’t allowed to tell him!  Wade and I spent a lot of time at the back of the pack encouraging Bob and telling him every half a mile that he had raised another $5 for Alzheimer’s!  His goal for the day was to ride 20 miles.  My goal for him was 25.  He proved all of us wrong and made it to the 31 mile mark before calling it quits.  Bob’s riding alone raised $2300 today and really inspired me to go after these donations to meet our goal for the trip.  I know a year ago if I had been riding the bike he had, I never would have made it 30 miles.  That just goes to show when you do something for a cause, have unselfish motives, and rely on the Lord’s strength you can do anything.  Austin joined us again for the ride (all 47 miles!) and my friend/ fellow co-worker from the pool last summer, Alex Burgess, came out 9 miles into the ride (after sleeping in a bit!) and finished the rest of the day with us.  After winning her age group in a triathlon a few months ago without much experience on the bike I know it was good training ride for her.

One of the funniest moments of the ride yesterday was at the end, and yours truly provided the entertainment!  First off you have to understand- Austin rides a HUGE mountain bike.  After riding a road bike for 6 weeks straight it seemed like fun to want to hop on his bike and take it for a spin, so Cameron and I both took Austin’s bike for about a 10-12 mile portion of the ride yesterday while Austin tried out the good ‘ole road bikes.  I had the bike for the last 12 miles of the trip and had a blast riding on it….off-roading, running over aluminum cans, etc.  But the EPIC moment came at the day’s in.  Chaz and I were coasting down a hill into McD’s parking lot in Springfield when the opportunity presented itself.  He was making the turn just before me when I saw a shortcut to the truck so I could finish before him.  There was a small downhill leading into a ditch, up a little embankment, and then a curb between me and the trailer. I decided to take this route to cut off some time and get some true use out of Austin’s mountain bike.  As I rode down the bank and into the ditch I realized it was full of mud.  Before I knew it the front tire of the mountain bike was stuck halfway in the ground and I went flying over the handlebars and did a face-first dive into the mud!  What a sight it was!  Several of the people in our group saw me, and for those who didn’t it was pretty obvious I had gone “mudding”.  Hahaha.  After using McDonald’s spicket around back I cleaned up and we used a $50 gift card given to us so graciously by Larry and Vicki Schmidt after they won it at our Best Buy event on Friday.  By the time all of us had ordered our food, 11 cents remained on the gift card.  Thank you Larry and Vicki- it was the perfect amount!  Vicki- I will still buy you coffee from there after the trip is over =P

We packed up and drove down the road a few miles to Cameron’s fraternity brothers’ farm to stay the night tonight.  Tomorrow we head to Berea!

Happy 4th of July!

Pressing On,

Tyler

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The ride is over, but the fight is not!

Well, ladies and gents…..this is my first blog after concluding our cross-country ride.  This will be my last entry on the ride this summer, but I plan on continuing my blog to keep everyone updated on how the Lord is working in my life and our plans to continue in the fight against Alzheimer’s, so please keep in touch!

I’d like to start off by extending some much-needed “Thank You’s”.  Thank you to the other riders, who committed themselves to this cause and put their hearts and souls into FAA to make it an amazing success.  Thank you to our families, for allowing us to leave home for the summer and encouraging us along the way.  Thank you to our fans, without your constant support we would have had no reason to keep pedaling as we faced some of the greatest physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges of our life.  Thank you to our sponsors and donors, for providing the financial resources needed to cycle cross-country and raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

As I sit back and recollect the development of this journey, it is hard to pinpoint exactly when FAA was started.  I tell people all the time that cycling cross-country was #7 on my bucket list and I wanted to do something to honor my grandfather after seeing my family suffer from Alzheimer’s.  What most people don’t know is exactly when the ride came to be.  The reason for this, to be completely honest, is that even I am unsure!  The Lord really laid this idea on my heart over a year and a half ago, and through seeking advice from family/friends and constantly praying about it, the ride just seemed to unfold before my eyes.  Looking back at it all, I feel as if it was almost a dream (especially since I didn’t lose a single pound on the ride!).  Everything seemed as if it were just meant to be.  I am certain many of the situations we were placed in and people we encountered did not happen by chance.  We certainly spread awareness for Alzheimer’s to many people with our venture, but we were all inspired by the incredible kindness and generosity of individuals all across America.  Lessons from this trip are ones that I know each of us will carry with us for the rest of our lifetimes.

A point I would like to make is that I am not a cyclist.   Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy riding my bike and the solitude I can find out on an old country road with the sound of my tires rolling on fresh pavement.  But it’s not about the bike.  The day I begin to idolize my bicycle rather than use it as a vehicle to promote a good cause, whether it is Alzheimer’s, personal fitness, or anything else, is the day I need to stop riding.  Cycling has helped me get in better shape, explore parts of my state and country that I would have never seen otherwise.  It has offered me an opportunity to meet some amazing people and share our story to so many.  But what is most special to me is that Alzheimer’s gave me a reason to ride.  At first it was because of my grandfather, but as the trip progressed I learned it was about so much more than that.  After hearing some pretty serious, tear-jerking accounts of how people have suffered through Alzheimer’s, I actually learned how blessed my family was throughout the whole process.  I can honestly say that without the daily dedications and morning devotionals there would have been some days that I couldn’t have made it.  Knowing that we were riding for something bigger than ourselves is what kept us going.  To the thousands of you who followed our ride, sent us texts of encouragement, or even “liked” our Facebook statuses…….each one of those meant the world to the guys.

From a cheap website to a t-shirt design, from Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walks to a cross-Kentucky training ride, this ride’s foundation was laid. Family and friends prayed for the ride and provided support, which we needed to boost our confidence during the winter months as the idea for the ride almost dissolved.  However, despite one of the busiest semesters of our lives (Fraternity Chartering, full class schedules, training/logistical planning/fund raising/ media attention for the ride), and through generous support from our sponsors and individual donors, we were able to persevere and pass our finals just in time to set off on the adventure of our lives.  Starting in the Pacific Ocean, through the Mohave Desert of Arizona, over the 11,000 –foot pass at the Continental Divide, against the 20mph winds in Kansas, up the steep inclines of the Missouri Ozarks, through our beautiful homeland of Kentucky, and over the grueling Appalachians, we finally found ourselves at our final destination.  Fifty-five days of riding and over 3000 miles of backcountry roads and state highways got us to Yorktown, Virginia.  As we stood on the beach of the Chesapeake Bay, we reminisced on how America had won our freedom from Britain in Yorktown, VA  so many years before, and were inspired as the ride, similarly, has become a part of the fight to win freedom from this awful disease.  With that, we understand that the fight is not over.  Millions of families are still suffering from Alzheimer’s while someone is being diagnosed with the disease every 15 seconds!  Our fight is not over.  We may have completed the trip, but we will continue to advocate, spread awareness, and raise funds for research until there is a cure for Alzheimer’s

What is in the store for FAA’s future?   Keep in touch……we have some  pretty awesome ideas! J

Lastly- this really was the trip of a lifetime.  One blog  can hardly do it justice.  I love talking about our journey and sharing experiences with others, so if you are interested in hearing more over a cup of coffee, lunch, or even dessert (though I might have to ride there to burn it off!), I would be overjoyed to do so.  I have tons of pictures, videos, and stories that most people have not seen or heard.  Feel free to contact me via email (tyler.jury@gmail.com), Facebook, or phone (270-766-7121) if you would like to hear more Jamazing ideas! J

Thank YOU and God Bless!

Sincerely,

Tyler Jury

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Home Sweet Home!

Today we rode 70 miles from Beech Grove, KY to Rough River State Park.  We were joined by one of our biggest fans, Norma Henry, for the last 30 miles of our trip.  It was so refreshing to have someone along for the ride to share our stories and experiences with.  Norma was so sincere when speaking about our ride and really helped us realize how big of an impact this ride is making.  She told us of friends in Minneapolis to friends in Texas that are following our blogs/ videos!  And, rather than look at our big climbs as “tough hills”, Norma helped us be optimistic and challenged us to look at them as “character builders” :).  We are so fortunate to have that kind of support- it really does keep us going!

About 30 miles in today Mitch’s dad, sister, and uncle surprised us en route.  It has been so neat these past 2 days in Kentucky seeing people we know, having multiple interviews with media outlets across the state, etc.  Yesterday we rode right through the town my grandfather (the one who died of Alzheimer’s) was raised in, and past a farm he used to own.  We stayed at Mitch’s girlfriend (Jessica)’s home last night, and tonight my parents joined us here at the lake.  I know each of us is looking forward to getting a taste of home, but after this weekend we’ll be ready to get on the road and finish strong!  I have to say though- I am definitely looking forward to spending some time with my grandmother.  And her homemade peach ice cream! =P

Tonight we are staying at David Chandler (my Dad’s boss)’s lakehouse on Rough River.  It is so incredible to look at a map of the United States and see that we have come this far by bicycle! Tomorrow we will ride into Elizabethtown (45miles) and will have friends joining us for the last 20miles of the route.  I’m excited that people want to join in and take part in our cause and do their part to help us raise awareness for Alzheimer’s.  Between riding tomorrow and our event at Best Buy on Friday (which you should definitely come to!….11-1 EST cookout/ live radio coverage/ FREE big screen TV giveaway!) I think we have some incredible opportunities to spread our cause this weekend as we take a 2 day “break” from the ride.

As the days add up, the hills get longer, and our bodies continue to wear down we will continue to rely on the one thing that has gotten us this far- the Lord’s strength.

Tyler

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Glass is Half Full

Although half of our journey is behind us, we still see so much that can come out of this ride.  The other day at lunch we all discussed future potential for our cause and how we can continue to make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s once this summer is complete.  We have been so inspired by the response and support we have gained!

Anyway, I apologize for not updating the blog too often.  It is tough in the midst of riding, posting videos/ pictures to Facebook and Youtube, fixing food to eat, etc. , etc.  To entertain everyone I do have a video recap of the first half of our ride that I made during our rest day today in Wichita, KS.  Please check out the video and let us know what you think!

Also, in terms of the “whats next?” question I said the riders have been pondering….we’d love to know your thoughts!  What potential do you see/ would you like to see come out of FAA?!

Tomorrow we drive from Wichita, KS to Cassoday, KS  “Prarie Chicken Capital of the world! to start back on our route.  It should be a relatively easy 60 mile day ending in Toronto, KS at a state park.  Wish us luck and hopefully the winds won’t be too strong!

Tyler

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Enjoying a long break, but ready to get back on the bike!

Hey everyone,

Currently I am in Dillon, CO in the midst of a 4-day break. Chaz had to fly back to Louisville to participate in one of our friend’s weddings. Congrats to Eric and Jessica on their special day today! 🙂 We’re staying with Bill Hebb, owner of Hebb E-Bikes and sponsor of Fijis Across America. He has been an amazing host to us….making incredible smoothies, mouth-watering brats, “beer-up-the-butt” chicken (haha), and some amazing sweet corn that rivals anything I’ve had in Kentucky!

I’ll recap the past couple days for everyone:

Tuesday- FIRST SITE OF SWEET TEA= Alamosa, CO. Shoutout to Alamosa’s Wendy’s for winning the contest. We have literally asked every place we stop if they have sweet tea, and this was the first!

Wednesday we completed a 110 mile day from Fort Garland to La Junta. We finally got out of the mountains after making our final mountain pass (around 9400 ft) and started encountering the kind of terrain we expect to see throughout Kansas and Missouri: rolling hills. The last 35 miles of the day a storm ran parallel to us, but we only had a few drops hit us. Everyone was tired by the end of the day and after a 2 hour drive to Colorado Springs we all crashed soon after arriving at our hotel.

Thursday morning we set a goal of sleeping in until 9:30.  However, after waking up around 5:30AM for 3 weeks straight I think our bodies won’t allow that anymore!  Mitch, Jordan, and I went on a venture about 8:30 to find an AT&T store so Mitch could buy a new battery.  I kid you not- we went to 3 different locations, all of which were non-existent.  This was the first instance my iPhone had failed with directions…..but we enjoyed the trip nonetheless.  After returning to the hotel we gathered everyone’s stuff up and checked out.  Chaz and Jordan had flights out of CO Springs mid-afternoon, so we decided to do some site seeing beforehand at Garden of the Gods.  It was a beautiful place, right at the base of Pike’s Peak.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  Rock-climbers and artists occupied the park as we toured around and enjoyed God’s creation.  After touring for an hour we went to Wines of the Colorado (recommended by Chaz….glad we listened!) and enjoyed a tasty buffalo burger while dining next to a nice little creek.  After lunch we dropped off Chaz and Jordan, hit up the bike shop to get some maintenance done, stopped by REI (where I finally bought my BUFF (been dying to have one for months!), and drove up to Dillon. On the way up here we drove through the Rockies and it was incredible! Just check out this sunset:

After meeting Bill we were all tired and wanted to hit the hay. We knew the next day would be one to look forward to!

Friday morning we woke up to go whitewater rafting on Clear Creek River. I had only been once before, but this was soo much better. Our guide told us that the water we were rafting on (38 degrees Fahrenheit!!!) was snow 6 hours ago, we were rafting on it then, and tomorrow it would be Coors beer! Haha. It was a great trip, but after the ride was over we were all freezing and extremely hungry. For lunch we went to a pizza joint in Idaho Springs. My feet were so cold that when I went to the bathroom I threw hot water on the floor until I had a nice puddle to stand in and warm up! The pizza and fellowship was great, but by the time we got back to Bill’s house, as Cameron said, “We had followed the exact recipe for a nap.” Friday evening all of us (except Wade….since he promised his girlfriend he would wait to watch the movie with her!) watched Invictus- a movie I would highly recommend if you have not seen it.

Saturday (today) has been pretty lazy. We’ve all kinda just lounged around, took care of laundry, read a book, updated pics/videos/blogs, etc. It has been an ideal rest day for sure! For lunch Bill took us to Ullr’s sports bar in Breckenridge, CO (one of the best ski resorts in the country!) where my parents met us (great to see them!) to watch the England vs. USA world cup game. There were several Brits in the bar, so it was entertaining to have fans from both sides!

Tomorrow we head to Denver to pick up my parents as they will be driving support for us this next week until we reach Wichita, KS and Jordan returns. He is enjoying a week with his family on vacation in Destin, FL. We’ll all miss his company, but look forward to a safe return and strong finish to the trip. Chaz will meet us in Colorado Springs tomorrow evening and we’ll head on down to La Junta’s KOA Campground so we can be ready to hit the road Monday morning. My knee seems to be better, but please pray for good health and nice weather :). It’s been a great break, but I know we’re all itching to get on the bikes and knock out our next stretch and keep talking to people about our cause. Once we pick up from La Junta we will be riding on the TransAmerica trail- the most popular cross-country cycling route. Hopefully we will begin encountering many other cyclists along the way who have connections and are interested in our cause! Swapping stories will definitely be something to look forward to as well!

Without your support we wouldn’t be here! 🙂

Riding On,

Tyler

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Colorado= Kentucky on Steroids!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Currently Playing: “Free Falling”  by John Mayer

Imagine Kentucky.  Bluegrass, rolling hills, beautiful forests….

Now take that bluegrass and make it just a little greener.  Turn those rolling hills into mountains.  Take all of the beautiful woods and thicken them up a little bit.

That is what Colorado is like: snow-capped peaks, elk crossing signs everywhere….incredible scenery!  Besides Kentucky/Tennessee, Colorado is one place I could definitely see myself living.

Today we are en route from Ft. Garland, CO to La Junta, CO- a 114-mile trek.  This is my 4th day not riding, but I have noticed some great improvements in my knee as swelling continues to go down and my range-of-movement is getting increasingly better. Chaz and Jordan have flights back to Louisville tomorrow (Chaz for a wedding, Jordan for a family vacation), so after we complete our ride today we will travel approx. 2 hours to Colorado Springs.  Before their flight tomorrow we have plans to go to Garden of the Gods and eat Buffalo burgers for lunch!  Haha.  Chaz will return from his friend’s wedding on Sunday and we’ll pick up the ride in La Junta again Monday morning.

With our 4-day break we plan on staying with Bill Hebb (owner of Hebb E-bikes…one of our sponsors for the ride!) in Dillon, CO.  I believe he has reservations for white water rafting on Friday, which all of us are extremely excited about!  Also, Wade’s birthday is on Saturday so hopefully we can find a way to celebrate that for him.  I think everyone is looking forward to a few days off of the saddle, but once Chaz returns we’ll be ready to go and knock out the last 2,000 miles of the trip.  I can’t believe we’re already over a third of the way done!   I’m hoping this week long break with my knee will pay off and I’ll be able to be in the saddle at 100% on Monday.

We have met some amazing people in the past 2-3 weeks, but now that we are out of the Arizona desert my expectations are even higher.  With the help of Alzheimer’s Association chapters through Kansas, Missouri, and Kentucky, our fraternity connections in Virginia, and the popularity of the TransAmerican Cycling Route we will be taking the remainder of the trip, the possibilities are endless!

Thanks to everyone who follows me on here.  Let me know what you’d like to see more/ less of so I can help make this trip as enjoyable to read about as it is to actually do!

BY THE WAY!  If anyone wants to take a few moments to help us potentially win a $100,000 grant, please check out this link!  You only have to type a few paragraphs explaining why you support our cause and attach a picture or video (which you can get from our website, my Facebook, our FAA’s YouTube channel!)  The Today show is giving the money out to a Pepsi Refresh project that did not win.  The deadline is Saturday!Click Here!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment