Missouri, 2018

(June 26) Our rest day in Kansas City was full of excitement and good times, as we watched our third baseball game of the trip and smashed enough of their world famous BBQ to make any doctor cringe haha. We left in our wake many precious memories and connections for future Bike4Alz riders. As we pedaled through our sixth state on the ride, we were able to hop off of the highways and onto the Katy Trail, a 300-mile bike trail running from Kansas City to St. Louis. We only rode a small portion of that as we left from Kansas City, but what we did ride was fun! There was inclimate weather as we left the city, and after a couple of hours of sitting around, we outlasted the storm. Even though it was a little delayed, it was nice to hop back on the bike and ride the 85 miles to Windsor.

IMG_1400.jpg

(June 27) One thing that we didn’t know about the Katy trail before we decided to take it was that the trail is completely gravel… and our road bikes don’t have much suspension to smooth out the ride, so we felt every single bump on the rocky terrain... for 300 miles haha. The trail followed an old trail route through the woods, which inevitably led to sticks and limbs covering the road. Although the entry hazards were a bit bumpy, they simultaneously trained us to be the next batch of Japanese ninjas, as our reflexes are now faster than Jackie Chan’s haha. The Katy trail is also where we started to hit humidity for the first time, and it hit hard. But thankfully the trail is shaded and off the road, allowing us to avoid the heat from the pavement and permitting us to press through the 80-mile day from Windsor to McBaine.

IMG_1399.jpg

(June 28) We once again saddled up and road the entire day on the Katy trail for 85 miles from McBaine, MO to Treloar, MO. These towns are very interesting because they are made almost solely for bikers on the Katy trail. It was a fairly uneventful day. After patching a few tires and replacing several tubes, we made it to our final destination. We had to drive a few minutes away from the trail to get to our lodging at Life Stream Church. We are thankful for you guys for showing us God’s Love and allowing us to crash at your beautiful church!

IMG_1406.jpg

(June 29) This was a very anticipated day, as we traveled from Treloar to St. Louis for another rest day! We road the Katy trail again and after a brief 67 miles, we reached the “Gateway to the West!” A former Bike4Alz rider, Seth Bland, was gracious enough to let us crash on his pad and feed us for two nights! We couldn’t have asked for a better way to kickstart our rest day. On our rest day, we visited an assisted living facility and got to visit with Jeremy’s grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. It was also Wil’s birthday! And because of that, we went to yet another baseball game, the Cardinals vs. the Braves. It was a great day to fight Alzheimer’s and we look forward to returning to our home states here soon!

Arch.jpg
IMG_1415.jpg

(July 1) After a great rest day, we embarked once again on our ride and rode to Murphysboro, Illinois. The rides after rest days are always to hardest, but we crushed this 90-mile day fairly easily and enjoyed the muggy southern Illinois weather. The scenery was starting to look very similar to what we are used to in Kentucky, and that excited us even more for the upcoming promised land. With some luck, we found lodging in the community civic center, where they fed us some wonderful food and took great care of us! Only one more day until we are back in the Bluegrass!

IMG_1521.jpg

Kansas, 2018

(June 20th) We started the day by driving back to the Kansas state sign where we had stopped to finally put a cap on our longest day. What we didn’t realize is we ended up creating back-to-back 100 mile days for ourselves. After a few detours and some long stretches of biking into the wind, we ended up biking 119 miles into Hoxie, KS. Most of us finished around 9:00 P.M. so you can imagine how tired we all were. Fortunately, we were met with a warm meal at the Methodist Church while gathering around to laugh at The Office. All of us went to bed and slept very well.

IMG_1428.jpg

(June 21st) The next day, we woke up to one of our best breakfasts yet! All of us had biscuits and gravy to fuel us through the day! Despite back-to-back long days, we woke up ready to go the next day! We biked another 95 miles through some hilly terrain to get to Osbourne, Kansas. Most of us realized that music just wasn’t getting us through the day quick enough. Podcasts were our solution. We’ve actually become podcast critics on top of being cross-country bikers. As we rolled into Osbourne, a few of us were able to receive some quick tune-ups on our bikes. Most importantly, the Wesleyan church provided us with about 30 gatorades and more food than even we could eat! We are so grateful for the generosity of the Church and the kindness of the town!

IMG_1378.jpg

(June 22nd) We took off on another long day, yet again (75 miles), from Osborne to Miltonvale, a town with an astounding 539 people haha. The scenery was beautiful this day with more wheat farms and cows blanketing the landscape, and the town of Miltonvale was just as pretty. Podcasts once again got us through the day, and led to many hilarious conversations afterwards. We were fortunate enough to bike through Cawker City, where the “World’s Largest Ball of Twine” is located, and had a blast making the ball a little larger. We SMASHED some grub at a local Bar & Grill that night before returning to the local methodist church and calling it a night.

Ball of Twine.jpg

(June 23) The trek from Miltonvale to Rossville was a crisp, 95 miles. We were able to enjoy a (slight) tailwind today, making the ride easier than the day before, and we are extremely thankful for that haha. Before we knew it, we had crushed all our miles for the day and returned to Manhattan, Kansas to stay the night with the Kansas State Fiji chapter. They were extremely hospitable and we could not have asked for a better place to stay!

IMG_1376.jpg

(June 24) Today was our last day in Kansas, as we marched ourselves down the highway from Rossville, KS to Kansas City, MO. It was supposed to be an 80-mile day, but we encountered our first batch of very rough weather, with thunderstorms swiftly closing in on us. After being pelted with rain for an hour or so and with the weather showing no signs of stopping, we decided to call it a day and pack up. Although this was a minor setback, we were able to kickstart our rest day in Kansas City and explore some of Missouri! Kansas was a beautiful place and treated us like kings! Thanks to everyone who made it so memorable!

IMG_1354.jpg

Colorado, 2018

(June 9th) The first full day of Colorado very much resembled the scenery of Utah.  The sun was hot, air was dry, and red-tinted rocks were jutting out of the earth, making for a beautiful ride.  Alongside us entering a new state came a renewal of morale and spirit, for we had all been looking forward to Colorado and the sights it contains.  We knocked out the 68 miles throughout the day and found ourselves in Craig, where we stayed at Craig Christian Church. Later that night, Hunter Hallorin joined us, as he was going to take videos and pictures of our journey over the next week.

IMG_1179.jpg

(June 10th)  Today, the Bike4Alz team departed Craig and made our way to Steamboat Springs.  The 45 miles we biked seemed to fly by, and we finished up the day’s biking by early afternoon.  Lucky us because Steamboat Springs, as we found out, is a beautiful place that felt very big for a small town.  Our long afternoon in Steamboat Springs was rejuvenating. We all walked the lively streets, explored the countless shops, and ate at delicious local restaurants.  At one point, many of us decided to hop in the frigid Yampa river, which flowed right outside the town. This jolted life back into our worn out bodies, which was much needed in light of the quickly approaching Rocky Mountains.  That night, we stayed at the elegant Holy Name Catholic Church right outside of town, which we were very thankful for.

IMG_1207.jpg

(June 11th) Today was one of the days that we were excited but nervous at the same time. The trek from had a steep 5-mile incline climbing 2,500 feet. We hopped on our bikes headstrong and ready to face the mountain. Beautiful scenery over our right shoulder made the climb a little easier. We made it to Rabbit Ears Pass, and were rewarded for our struggles by a long, progressive, 2000 miles downhill over the next 40 miles. We saw beautiful fields and vast canyons and the smell of the pine trees was intoxicating. We rode the rest of these 55 miles to Gould with ease and stayed in Walden for the night. We crushed some great BBQ, watched a beautiful sunset, and called it a night.

IMG_1826.jpg

(June 12th) After an awesome night with some beautiful views in Walden, CO, hopped back in the car and drove back to Gould. We were especially excited for this ride because we were going to reach the highest elevation on this trip! Everyone hopped on their bikes and went headstrong up the mountain for a 79-mile day. While scaling the mountain, the snow-capped tops of the Rocky Mountains. We kept on truckin’ and then we saw the big green sign that said “CAMERON PASS SUMMIT ELEV 10,276 FT.” We jumped of our bike and started yelling. An outsider probably would have thought we were lunatics, but we didn’t care! From Cameron Pass all the way to Fort Collins was smooth sailing. We followed a beautiful white-water rafting river as we dropped 5,000 feet of elevation to Fort Collins. We all coasted into the United Methodist Church of Fort Collins and were craving some southern food. We grabbed Raisin’ Canes and went back to the church to relax.

IMG_1331.jpg

(June 13th) Today was a much needed rest day after an unforgiving eight straight days of biking, so naturally we spent the day doing laundry and sleeping haha. We roamed around the city for the rest of the day, absorbing all of the sights, sounds, and smells of all the outdoor shops, restaurants, and breweries (now that Rudy is 21.) The local Alzheimer’s Association chapter hosted a potluck for us that night at their house, so we met with several of the local workers and scored some free dinner in the process. After visiting with some of the local people for a few hours, we headed back to the church for the night.

IMG_2117.JPG

(June 14th) Our 75 mile bike ride today kept us a little busier than we were hoping, as we battled rain and wind for the majority of the day haha, but we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains throughout the entire duration of the ride. As we outran the storm, we reached our hosts’ home just in the nick of time. Andy and Rick cooked us phenomenal meal for dinner and watched Tomb Raider with us that night. It was also the eve of Rudy’s 21st birthday, so we heckled and celebrated with him all night.

IMG_1331.jpg

(June 15th) June 15 marks our second rest day in Colorado. We awoke to a delicious breakfast cooked by our hosts, Andy and Rick, which we scarfed down quickly (of course). After breakfast, the team traveled into town to set up an informational/merchandise table in front of the Denver Bicycle Cafe. Here we were able to chat with people about our mission and raise a bit of money. As we wrapped up the event a couple hours later, we were able to explore Denver a bit more. Exploration included eating hot dogs and donuts, seeing the Rockies baseball stadium, and driving to Red Rocks amphitheater. We returned to our host home to spend time with our wonderful hosts and enjoyed yet another delicious meal.

IMG_1156.jpg

(June 16th) After two much needed rest days nearly back-to-back, we pressed through to our third major city in four days: Colorado Springs. We started from Denver and biked 72 miles to Steve and Deborah Hawkins’ house, our host family. Although this ride wasn’t too terribly far, it turned into one of the hardest days we’ve biked yet. There was a vicious head-wind that bombarded us all day, and to make matters tougher, there was upwards of 20 miles of unpaved road that was essentially just a mixture of sand and dirt. But we persevered and after 9 hours on the bike, we collectively reached our destination. Our hosts graciously provided us with dinner and breakfast twice! They hooked us up with some of the best BBQ we’ve ever had and served up enough laughs to match haha.

IMG_6377.JPG

(June 17th) The 13 of us woke up early on our rest day to drive into the heart of Colorado Springs for our fundraising event: Yoga in the Park!! Although the yoga was tougher than our biking, we had a blast and felt refreshed for the rest of the day. We had an associate at the Alzheimer’s Association named Charlotte Long, and she had arranged a visit to a memory care unit in town for lunch, so in our two hours of free time, we decided to embark on a journey to Garden of the Gods. The rocks were redder than rubies, reminding us how blessed we are on this father’s day. After lots of exploring and goofing off, we drove back through the rain to Brookdale Bear Creek’s Memory Center, where we ate lunch and visited with Alzheimer’s patients. It was also a great reminder of the impact we have within a community. We explored the rest of the downtown Colorado Springs and made our way back to Steve and Deborah’s. It was the eve of Stackhouse’s birthday, so naturally we ate a tray of veggies and played with the dogs for way too long haha. All in all, our stay here was fantastic and we wouldn’t have traded our experiences here for the world! Thank you for making it so special!!

IMG_1308.JPG

(June 18th) After having our third rest day in Colorado and celebrating Speed Demon Stackhouse’s birthday, we hit the road again headed to Punkin Center, CO. As we transitioned from the west side of the state to the east, we saw a dramatic shift in landscape. While we were climbing mountains in Saratoga Springs, the land became flatter with rolling hills as we moved closer to Punkin Center (which we were all thankful for). Since Punkin Center is literally just a four way stop, we had to drive about 30 miles north and stay in Limon, CO. We were fortunate enough to stay at First United Methodist Church, which had plenty of room for all of us! Thank you to FUMC for being generous enough to let 13 college guys stay the night! We all got to sleep very early in preparation of our longest day of 120 miles!

IMG_1817.jpg

(June 19th) Our longest day of 120 miles. Need I say more? This day absolutely wore us out as we finished out Colorado for the first 100 miles and crossed over into Kansas for the last 20. Sticking with the theme of our longest day, we decided to do a massive fundraising effort where we asked all of our supporters to donate $1.20 in honor of our longest day. Through this effort, we raised hundreds of dollars to put towards the Alzheimer’s Association. Thank you so much to all those who donated! Unfortunately, we were hit by a massive thunderstorm with about 20 miles left of our day and had to pack up and finish early. Luckily, we backtracked the next day and made those miles up to finish our our longest day. As we rolled into Sharon Springs, we were met by Gaylen, the pastor of the Methodist church in the town, and his family who had prepared an awesome meal for us! It also happened to be JB Carter’s birthday so Gaylen made sure we celebrated accordingly. (Happy birthday, JB! Thanks for being an awesome driver!) Thank you to Gaylen and his family for opening their doors to us after such a tough day!

IMG_1325.JPG

Utah, 2018

(June 1st) Today proved itself to be one of the most scenic and beautiful days that we have had yet! It was thankfully filled with lots of downhill very little wind, making the 60 mile day a little easier. As Erik said, the landscape matched that of “Tatooine” in Star Wars haha full of desert and hot air. Today also marked our first official day in Utah! And with that, we were graciously hosted by Dick Dzuik, who cooked dinner for us twice and allowed us to crash at Delta High School! After some much needed laundry and late night basketball at the gym, we fell asleep on the hardwood in preparation of day eight on the bike.

IMG_0725.jpg

(June 2nd) This Saturday took us from Sunstone Knoll to the small town of Lynndyl. The ride was exceptionally flat and the hot, but stuffed with beautiful scenery. There was farmland paralleling the road for miles and the occasional antelope spicing up the landscape… when they weren’t on the side of the road as roadkill haha. It was a 30-mile bike ride of Sunstone Knoll to Delta, and there Dick biked with us into Lynndyl, another 20 miles. His family fed us a terrific BBQ dinner that rivaled that of any Memphis BBQ, and before we knew it our time had run out in the beautiful town of Delta. We said our goodbyes, and packed up our stuff that night in preparation  for our ninth straight day of biking.

IMG_1068.jpg

(June 3rd/4th) Our last day before another rest day was another beautiful ride, yet again. We were also lucky enough to finally get off Highway 50 and pedal into Salt Lake City for our first rest day in 9 days! After one long climb, were we rewarded with a nice 15-mile downhill stretch that bled straight into Saratoga Springs. We stayed in a mission house provided by Hilltop United Methodist Church for two nights and we’re extremely grateful for that! We visited the Local Alzheimer’s Association Chapter in Salt Lake City, where our fires were rekindled for our mission. Next, we decided to explore the rest of the city and saw some incredible sights from downtown Salt Lake. Thank you to everyone who made our visit so enjoyable!

IMG_1120.jpg
IMG_1137.jpg

(June 5th) After our much-needed rest day, we embarked on our shortest ride yet, a mere 39-mile ride from Salt Lake City to Heber City. The ride compensated for its lack of distance with picturesque scenery and ample bike trails. Because it was such a short day, this granted us extra time to relax and absorb the atmosphere at Heber City. We stayed at an RV park, that had a swimming pool, basketball court, and (thankfully) showers haha! Such a fun night with the crew and a great way to spend a day in Utah.

IMG_1147.jpg

(June 6th) Wheel Team Six got a NICE wake-up-call this morning while en route to Strawberry, Utah with a nice 2,000 foot climb right out of the gate. This 15-mile stretch was the hardest climb we have had yet, but as with every uphill, there was an awesome (55-mile) downhill that follows, making all the work put in worth it. We also had a 25-mph tailwind for most of the day which really helped us “breeze” through the day haha! Our biking, however, was the only thing that went according to plan, as when we reached our campsite at Starvation State Park, a new debacle unraveled itself. After setting up the tents, we left to grab dinner in town a couple miles away, completely forgetting about the wind that had been so helpful to us all day. So when we arrived back at the site, we shocked to see our tents in a heap on the ground. Our poles could no longer hold the tent up, so we resorted to sleeping in hammocks, on air mattresses in the car, and under the mesh screen on the tent haha! Needless to say, this night is one that we will not soon forget!

IMG_1164.jpg

(June 7th) Today was another fun day on the bike! We went from Strawberry to Vernal and passed through a couple of small towns along the way. At our lunch stop that day, we were lucky enough to meet a few members of a local Native American tribe! They were very outgoing and had smiles that could outshine even the darkest days! As we pressed on through the heat, we finally reached our campsite in Vernal. Our host, David Sam, graciously provided us with dinner and cabins to stay in at the campsite. He even rode with us out of Utah an into Colorado! We appreciate all the help you’ve provided Bike4Alz!

(June 8th) During our last day in Utah, David guided us through the city of Vernal and all the way to Dinosaur, CO! We stopped at a local sandwich shop for lunch and devoured most of its produce with our dinosaur-sized appetites haha. We bid our farewells to David and continued another 20 miles to the very small town of Massadona, which has a whopping population of 5 people haha. Overall, the people in Utah were extremely generous and kind and we are lucky to have biked through there… despite all the roadkill haha. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

IMG_1182.jpg

Nevada, 2018

IMG_0902.jpg

(May 26th) Back on the road again! Today, we biked from Carson City to Fallon, NV. We were well-rested from our climbing and it was good to get our legs up and moving again. We went through several cities on our ride including Dayton, Stagecoach, and Silver Springs. We were lucky enough to stay with Donna and Gay at Epworth United Methodist Church. They took great care of us: making us both dinner and breakfast. Thank you so much for graciously opening your doors to us, Epworth!

IMG_E0989.jpg

(May 27th) Today brought us onto the loneliest road in America, Highway 50, and in similar fashion, it led us away from nearly all civilization. We landed in Middlegate, a small “town” with a whooping 17 residents. Although they lacked in numbers, they more and made up for it in accommodations and spirit. The stop had a campground, gas station, and a restaurant/general store/bar all wrapped into one. We were lucky enough to enjoy listening to a live musician, interact with other travelers, and play basketball in the parking lot before we crawled into our tents for the night. On a separate note, the day was also very cloudy, and in lieu of that, many riders neglected to wear sunscreen – HORRIBLE IDEA. It wasn’t until we reached Utah that the peeling finally quit and the aloe could be put away. But now we’ve all got some wicked tan lines that we can flaunt everywhere we go.

HPIN4297.jpg

(May 28th) After taking down our tents and enjoying an incredible breakfast at Middlegate Station, we made our way to Austin, NV. There we stayed at Austin City Town Hall and thankfully had much needed showers at Austin Baptist Church. After having a great dinner at Silver State Café in downtown Austin, we headed to a nearby gas station to get snacks for later that night (to make up for all the calories burned throughout the process of biking) and were able to catch an incredible sunset overlooking Austin. Small things like snacks and incredible views are always a great way to end a day full of biking. We are so appreciative of the hospitality from the city of Austin!

EHIX9384.jpg

(May 29th) As one day melted into another, the team began to settle into a routine. Wake up. Eat breakfast. Bike (drive) on Highway 50 all day. Sleep. Repeat. Although the scenery was beautiful, it did not change much, allowing for lots of introspection and team bonding on the bike. The highway also placed another obstacle in our path: wind. We biked into a headwind for the next week, forcing us to bike later and later each day. But after a 65-mile day, we finally reached Eureka, where we stayed at Diamond Valley Church. After a gourmet spaghetti dinner, we were blessed to see another breath-taking sunset as we settled in for the night. Thank you, Eureka for treating us so well!

IMG_1007.jpg

(May 30st) Today began our 80-mile day from Eureka to Ely.  Eureka itself was a quaint, old western style town that was very neat to bike through.  Once we climbed our way out of the town, we faced the long and lonely Highway 50 for the rest of the day.  Twisting and winding through valleys and over hills led us to our destination: Ely.  The population of Ely was much bigger than the previous towns we stayed at, leading us to our first McDonald’s in quite a while (we may have consumed all the chicken nuggets in stock at this restaurant—oops). We were fortunate enough to stay at Bayside Church for two nights, and they hooked us up with an indoor place to stay along with a TV for us to have a team movie nights! We are certainly grateful for your hospitality!

 

(Mat 31st) As we hopped on the bike for the sixth straight day, we were greeted with a nasty 30mph crosswind that lasted the entire day. The wind took a toll on our already exhausted muscles and in turn led our first major biking accident of the trip, leaving Griffin unable to bike for the next 5 days. Thankfully no-one was injured! Seeing as we were caught in the middle of absolutely nowhere, the closest place for Griff to get his bike repaired was in Salt Lake City.. 150 miles away. But he was a great sport and rooted us on as we continued our ride. We also encountered some wicked climbs (1100 feet and 1500 feet respectively) directly into the wind, making this our most difficult day yet. But our determination to succeed was stronger than the wind and the mountains, and before we knew it, we were welcomed to some beautiful sights right on the Nevada/Utah border.

IMG_1076.jpg

California, 2018

(May 14th – May 16th) After very little sleep, 50 hours in the car, and some very sore butts, Bike4Alz6 is officially underway! We decided to take the scenic southern route and saw the beautiful states of Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico! We ran into a nasty thunderstorm in Oklahoma and JB bravely conquered it while hauling the trailer for the first time haha. After very warm weather and expensive gas prices, we finally arrived at the University of California Berkley Fiji Chapter’s House! Because we drove straight through the night both nights, we were rewarded with a couple of free days in San Francisco! While here, we explored the cities of Oakland and San Francisco, ate some great food, experienced Chinatown, and caught a San Francisco Giants game! On May 17, we went on a practice ride around the city and saw some incredible views along the way! The team biked 30 miles and had a blast along the way. We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsor Nats for hooking us up with some sweet jersey’s and providing us all of the biking supplies that we could ever need!

IMG_0968.JPG

On the 18th, the big day finally arrived, the journey begins!! We strapped our helmets and jerseys on and set off from the west coast in pursuit of the east coast. With tires sinking into the sand of the Pacific Ocean, the team took off! Many of us had to wear undershirts because it so was cold, but I guess that’s why Mark Twain wrote “the coldest winter I ever experienced was a summer in San Francisco” haha. Our first ride was from San Francisco to Vallejo. Although the ride was only a shade over 30 miles long, the crew rode over the Golden Gate Bridge and followed the coast through some beautiful cities. Once we arrived in Vallejo, Bob Arp, a Fiji graduate of UCLA, barbequed for us and allowed us to stay at his house for the night. Thank you, Bob, for being so accommodating to our group!

IMG_0782.jpg
IMG_0783.jpg

(May 19th) Saturday took us to Davis, CA, a town 56 miles away and home of the bicycle hall of fame! Dennis Whitcomb, aka “Uncle Dennis,” hooked us up with a very nice place in West Village, an apartment complex on the campus of UC Davis. Our timing was very lucky, as we were able to attend watch the UC Davis Fiji colony receive their charter!

(May 20th) Sunday was our first rest day of the trip. It was very nice to have everyone together for a day to experience the city together. Uncle Dennis and his wife Trish took all 13 of us out for breakfast that morning at a restaurant called Froggy’s and also arranged a fundraiser at another restaurant called “The Graduate,” where we got our first taste of advocating for our cause. Dennis also contacted Bob Bowen, who gave us a private tour of the bicycle hall of fame, giving us even more encouragement in our biking endeavors. One of our support vehicles had lost its ability to reverse, so Seth and Jeremy took it into the shop to diagnose the issue. After a couple hours, they broke the news to us that our transmission had to be rebuilt, which would cost us nearly $3000.  

In less than 24 hours, generous contributions came from all over the United States to cover our mechanical issues in full. THANK YOU to anyone who gave, shared, or told someone about our fundraising need.

(May 21st) On Monday, we had the pleasure of being interviewed by Good Day Sacramento which you can watch online! After that, we had a beautiful and (thankfully) easy ride into Folsom, California. We were able to stay with the very generous LeBlanc family and got to know Jason, Michelle, and the rest of the family. Also, Jason allowed us to store our trailer at his home for the time our vehicle was being worked on. Thank you so much to the LeBlanc family for being so hospitable and accommodating. They have quickly become some of our best friends on the trip.

IMG_0967.JPG

(May 22nd) On Tuesday, was a tough ride from Folsom to Somerset, CA. This was our first taste of some very long, winding hills but was a simple snapshot of what was to come the next day. Somerset is home to Mr. Tom and Katherine Turner who were nice enough to let us crash with them for the night. Tom and Katherine had a beautiful property that sat in between some of California’s most beautiful vineyards. After Tom entertained us with some of his legendary fishing stories, they cooked us both dinner and breakfast (and we needed it). Thank you so much, Tom and Katherine! Can’t wait to see you soon!

(May 23rd) Our next day was our toughest yet—the Sierra Nevada’s in Kirkwood, CA. We climbed about 6,000 feet this day. All of the riders agreed it was one of the toughest challenges they had ever faced physically, but the views at the top were incredibly rewarding. We were able to stay at Kirkwood Resort—a luxurious ski resort that is the staple of Kirkwood. Thank you to Ben Hutchinson for taking such good care of us after such a tough day!

 

(May 24th) What a rewarding day. Most of this Thursday was downhill through some of the most beautiful mountains on the earth! We got a great picture at about 8,500 feet of elevation. It was an incredible ride in which we got up to about 50 mph going downhill and rolled through California and into Carson City, Nevada. The views were absolutely gorgeous and made the climb totally worth it! (May 25th) Also, we received a much-needed rest day in Carson City. The O’Neill was nice enough to open their beautiful home to us that sits right on Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, NV. We enjoyed staying with them and getting to reconnect with our main man, Dennis Whitcomb for a few days. 

Thank you to everyone that made California so incredible! Stay tuned for our Nevada adventures!

IMG_0521.jpg

Utah

Utah

On to Utah! After a challenging but fun ride through Nevada, the relative ease of Utah was a beautiful sight. Our first two nights in Utah were spent in Delta, and after a few nights of camping and long days of biking to close out Nevada, we decided to "treat ourselves" to a couple nights at the Triple A Budget Motel. While it was a bit of a squeeze to fit seven guys into one tiny motel room, just to be indoors was worth it.

Nevada

Nevada

First off, I want to apologize for not keeping you all as updated as I had planned. We haven’t always had Wifi to post blogs or even the energy to write them. Our new plan is to post state-by-state updates.

While we are keeping busy on the road, there is still plenty of downtime, especially for Adam and me. The most rewarding waiting periods through Nevada (when I’ve had cell service) have been phone calls with family and friends. After a hectic, challenging semester, the slower pace has allowed me to catch up with loved ones and with myself, though I may feel bored at times.

California

California

After a long and treacherous journey out west, Bike4Alz 2017 is finally in full swing! If you haven't read Tommy's blog post chronicling our adventures during the trip out, be sure to do that, because I promise you don't want to miss hearing all about it. But let me tell you, we have certainly been spoiled throughout California. There are so many events to recap and so many people to thank, but I think you'll enjoy reading about our California adventures!

Departure Day: And we’re (slowly but surely) off!

Departure Day: And we’re (slowly but surely) off!

When I started writing this blog post, it was Mother’s Day, and I was at home in Louisville, KY. My, how things have changed. It’s now five days later, and I’m in Berkeley at a Phi Gamma Delta chapter house. There’s too much to catch you all up on. I’ve actually tried to write and re-write this post about five times to update you all on how we are doing. It seems that a new crisis comes before we have time to fully process the previous one. Our planning and preparation feel almost pointless, because nearly nothing has gone as expected.

Before we started, I had gone through the phases of terror, worry, even helplessness as this massive project loomed over me and my friends. With those fears also came moments of glee and anticipation, too. By Sunday, I was simply ready to hit the road. Adam Moore, our other driver, said it best: “I’m sick and tired of talking about the ride. I’m ready to do it.” While we were not fully prepared, I am at least happy we are here.