Wind

This week we have seen tailwinds and crosswinds, but also plenty of headwinds. At first, the wind destroyed our spirits and felt insurmountable. But just like the rain, we have become accustomed to the conditions and grown stronger. Passing through the plains of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, I have seen countless acres of soy and corn as I battle the relentless wind. Tomorrow is a short day, so we will use it to recover.

The only hitch in tomorrow’s activities is that we have to exterminate the bed bugs that have infested our vans and trailer. Thy will have to be cooked at some extermination facility for six hours while we ride. We will be unsupported, but, again, it is a short 53 miles (94 miles yesterday was long).

Here’s some more pictures you may enjoy.

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Posted in BIKEtheUSforMS, Road | 1 Comment

First trip update!

Okay everybody. I apologize if you were counting on this site for updates on my trip from Maine to Seattle for MS. Until last night (after the purchase of this lovely iPhone) I was unable to access the Internet to tell you all how it is going.

We have already covered 1,000 miles. But the larger feat is that BIKEtheUSforMS has raised over $213,000 for multiple sclerosis this year. Thank you to all that have contributes!

On to the trip itself, which will have more detailed coverage following this hopefully brief update.

The trip started out strong. The first day went off without a hitch and we all had a good time getting to know one another in Bar Harbor.

Then we quickly met the worst of our hardships with both heavy rains and tall mountain passes in the first week. But we are all stronger for it and it has been no comparison to the struggles of MS. So we are proud to help the cause.
After the mountains went in the rear view, the weather has shaped up and so has our fitness.

I’ll share some stories later, but for now, here are some pictures.

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Posted in BIKEtheUSforMS, Road | 1 Comment

One Week To Go

We depart from Bar Harbor, ME in 6 days and about 10 hours. That seems all too close. But I am prepared. 6 of my last 9 rides have all been between 50-100 miles. The first couple were really hard, as the first long rides of the season always are. But I’ve reached the point where I am actually awake at the end of the day. No longer do I eat everything in sight following a 70+ mile ride.

I still eat a lot during training, but I am becoming more efficient.

More important in my preparation, I have reached my fundraising goal! Over $4,295 now–well once everything is processed. Thank you to everyone at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church and my family who have helped with my final push of fundraising! You all have already helped the lives of so many affected by MS.

On Friday morning, I’ll get on the Bike the US for MS van when it passes through Hagerstown, MD on its way to Maine. This is just 4 days away. It is both coming too fast and cannot come fast enough.

I often forget that I go on incredible trips every summer. But this one tops them all, having yet to commence. I will miss all of my friends and family this summer. But I will come back with great stories to tell.

Thank you all for your support. I cannot wait to get on the road and tell you all of my adventures.

–Jason

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100 Miles of Nowhere, Tour de Donut edition

Note:

I am now up to $3,373 of my $4,295 goal of one dollar per mile. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. I could not do any of this without your kind support! Let’s end MS!

This weekend, three friends (the Ironman, Twin, Roomie) and I will do FatCyclist.com’s 100 Miles of Nowhere (100MON) with a “Tour de Donut” twist.

To be clear…

100MON is a race formed to raise money for cancer. This year, Fatty (the FatCyclist) is putting all the money towards Camp Kesem, which offers a free summer camp to children affected or whose family is affected by cancer. Fatty’s first wife passed due to breast cancer about 4 years ago. He has been Livestrong’s biggest contributer ever since thanks to events like 100MON. This year’s 100MON could open an entirely new Camp Kesem campus. So we race for that.

100MON races are meant to be on painfully small courses. We are using the Western Maryland Rail Trail. It is flat, straight, and downright monotonous. But a simple place to rack up 100 miles. The race takes place where ever people happen to be racing, normally within a month either side of the “official” date of June 2.

Our Tour de Donut will be a competition between the 4 of us. All donuts eaten will subtract two minutes from our overall time. So if we finish as a pack, which we easily will, donut consumption will be the deciding factor.

We all like donuts and the ride will be a little over five hours long. The main limit will be how many dozen donuts we buy. Also, on such a lengthy day and given the fact that my friends have, more or less, not trained one bit this spring, we will all need to eat more than just donuts this Saturday.

–Jason

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Train Hard, Rest Harder

I am well over the suggested 500 miles of training for the trip (703 as of April 23rd). So with some 35 days to go, every mile is more than enough.

I did 86 miles on Saturday the 14th and have been resting hard ever since. It may sound lazy, but they say you must train hard and rest harder. Also, there are five weeks to go and I am much ahead of schedule. On the bill are still the 100 Miles of Nowhere and an overnight trip to Western Maryland and back. Those alone will bring me up to 950 miles.

As for fundraising, I have reached 67%, with recent contributions coming from my church and extended family members. Thank you all that have contributed! I will have to keep reaching out to more groups and start visiting a few local businesses to keep fundraising going.

Today I stopped by the bike shop for all the essentials to get my bike ready for the road. On the agenda are a new chain, a new and bigger cassette (lower gear for bigger mountains), and a shiny new seat. It’ll be a Fi’zi:k Arione, which looks like a tiny blade. Surprisingly, it is super comfortable. I ordered a white one with a black stripe down the middle. But I may be able to get a blue one with a white stripe that was lying around the shop. Reduced pricing and I’m there!

Evelyn (aka the best bike ever (and the bike one has is always the best bike)) will be ready for some serious miles! I cannot wait for this trip to begin!

Gorgeous, right?

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Spring Training

My training is going incredibly well, as is my fundraising. Once I mail in some checks I’ve been given, I should be up around $2700 and 62% of the way to my goal of $4,295. Thank you to all who have donated. I like to say that 400,000 Americans and their families thank you!

This past week I got to ride in the Shenandoah Valley and it was beautiful riding. 65-80 degrees the entire week and it was important to change my scenery while trying to rack up the miles.

Always take the business route.

I’m up to 350 miles of the suggested 500 miles before crossing the country. My goal has been to hit 1,000 miles. In three weeks I’ll ride the entirety of Skyline Drive down in the Blue Ridge. And then my roommate and I will do the 100 Miles of Nowhere that Fatcyclist.com puts on. On top of that, I have the best class schedule for putting in some serious mileage. So training is going well and shows no signs of slowing down. My final test will be to ride out to some family friends’ house 75 miles west. I’ll stay there the night and come back home. After that, I’ll be more than ready for Memorial Day to come.

Our departure is just two months away and I could not be more excited. I am proud to join the fight against MS.

–Jason

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Fundraising Push

30 letters, or so, are about ready to be mailed out. Hopefully this will get the ball rolling for my fundraising efforts. It is time to start making a difference for all those affected by Multiple Sclerosis.

Hopefully my friends and family will be inspired to contribute and really help bring a bright future to over 400,000 Americans and their families.

Also it looks like I will be able to make a bike holiday of my spring break and get some serious training in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is going to be a busy, yet fun spring.

Don’t forget to donate!

–Jason

http://www.biketheusforms.org

Enter my name, a dollar amount, and click donate.

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