Sunday, August 5, 2012

Eureka, CA - Santa Barbara, CA (721.5 miles!)

Eureka CA, - Redway, CA (81 miles!)

It started off like any other morning!  A 5:30am breakfast, a devotion led by Allen, and then a prayer to send us off!  Everyone was in a great mood because of the rest day yesterday!  Leaving Eureka started off with a cool foggy morning.  Most of us didn't drink a lot of water, including me, because it was so chilly!  The rest stops came slow throughout the morning!  We rode mainly along the Redwood forest and saw some beautiful sights, along with some huge redwoods!  The morning light shown through the fog leaving a misty forest, dream like sight!  Mike, Luke, Eric and I even rode our bikes through a redwood!  It was very shady in the forest, but the sights were surreal and wonderful!  I was very amazed by the size of the trees, some were over 900 years old! There were a few climbs early in the day through the trees!  At about noon God finally removed the foI
g and the sun came out!  We were happy to experience the sunshine in between the patches of trees!  Everyone's moods because even more joyous!  However, by the final rest stop my friend Eric had become dehydrated!  Not wanting to quit was completely understandable, especially with only 12 miles to go!  I volunteered to ride with him and try to keep him positive!  We drank extra water and were pushing hard up some of the hills on Highway 1!  The temperature had already reached well into the 80's by this time!  After climbing for about a mile or two we finally reached the town of Redway!  We coasted down and stopped with some riders at a restaurant for a milkshake and fries!
Then a mile later we found ourselves climbing up a 15% grade hill to the church!  Carmen had got a flat and was walking her bike up!  I met her at the top and volunteered to change it!  While we were changing the tube we noticed the church in front of us, about 100 feet ahead!  We were very happy to make it to the church!    Eric was hydrating up as he laid down, too tired to even shower!  The rest of us went to the local trailer park for showers!  Then returned for a delicious potluck meal provided by the church!  We ate very much and very well!  Afterwards we all found a nice quiet place on the floor and called it a night!  

Redway, CA - Ukiah, CA (97.5 miles!)

The earliest morning so far!  We started off with a 5am breakfast!  However, I was on breakfast duty, so my group had to get up at 4:15am to crack about 80 eggs for scrambled eggs!  We finished them just in time for breakfast!  Everyone was pleased to get some protein for such a long ride!  We ate up, filled our tires, and were sent off again with a prayer and devotion!  Going down the steep hill from yesterday was fun, but also kind of scary!  Getting up so early was exhausting all in itself, I remember thinking "i'm tired before i've even begun the ride!"  I prayed a lot for strength today, and was given much, for the hills, the sun, and the weather!  It was tough to overcome, but God does provide!  Sarah and I took the first 25 miles together easily!  The rode was pretty bumpy and took a toll on waking you up when you didn't want to!  We finally got on a regular smooth rode, but still had to climb a whole lot to reach the first rest stop at 25.  I was tired, but we were riding with Luke, who hadn't been getting much sleep the past few nights.  And there is something about seeing someone struggle more than you that will give you energy!  Luke, Sarah and I rode for about 75 miles during the day!  The view from on top of the climbs were very beautiful!  At about mile 80 there was a 5 mile down hill which was a very huge blessing to help us rest and recover!  We stopped at the last rest stop for a while and then finally made it to the church!  We missed the last turn to the church and Sarah and I finally saw Tom, who brought us back to the church!  Showers were all over the town at various places and houses.  Sarah, Tim and I were sent to the pool down the road!  A woman from the church gave us a ride there!  After the shower we all had to work up the energy to walk back and not fall asleep!  We had a delicious casserole provided by Ukiah Methodist church!  We gave a 30 minute presentation to their church about the Fuller Center!  Afterwards we all went to bed, some of the riders even slept outside!  

 Ukiah, CA - Santa Rosa, CA (67 miles!)

67 miles!  What a relief!  We were able to sleep in until about 6am!  Had a delicious breakfast provided by the church of an egg quiche!  It was very nice of them to get up so early to make provide for us!  It was another cool morning ride, me and Sarah tagged along together to the first rest stop!  During the second leg of the day we came to a bicycle race and had to stop.  The officials let us enter the course and follow it for a while until our next turn!  It was very exciting and fun riding with all of the other cyclists!  Some of the rest stop areas were handing out Gatorade and water to us!  It turns out it was the "Vineman" which is an Iron man race in California!  It's a triathlon that consists of a 4.2 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2  mile run!  It was awesome to be able to say that we were in an Iron man Triathlon, even if it was only for a few minutes!  We pushed onward to Santa Rosa, and the rest of the day crossed paths with some of the cyclists and the Vineman route!  We stopped in the town of Ross and Uncle Tom the van driver told us about the city, he used to go to college there.  There were a lot of cyclists there, and some of them said that the cops will fine you up to $345 for running a stop sign!  The sun had come out and at the last rest stop there were dragon flies all over the park next to us!  We only had another 15 miles to go!  When we entered Santa Rosa the hills really started to pick up!  They kept getting more frequent and more steep!  Finally however, we made it to the church!  After showering there at the church Sarah and I were very hungry so we decided to venture out for food!  We ended up at a Mexican take out restaurant about a half mile away!  We got two super burritos for $7 each!  They were huge and covered the entire plate!  It really hit the spot!  Then we went to a "Nick Nack" shop next door and explored the interesting inventory!
  I found a book that explained how to tie a bowling know, along with many other unusual things!  Afterwards we headed back to the church and took a nap outside!  Hannah came to wake us up about an hour later!  We had spaghetti for dinner!  I ate the leftovers after my meal, and then we hung out in the gym.  Carmen was upset because her friends weren't able to come and see her at the church.  We all talked and stretched out all of our problems and then were ready for bed!  Me, Sarah, Eric, and Hannah all decided to sleep outside that night!  It was pretty nice until about 3am when the temperature dropped under 50 degrees!  It was still a great nights sleep in my hammock!

Santa Rosa, CA - San Francisco, CA (79 mile day!)

We awoke early around 4:45am, I had to help make breakfast with my chore group!  I beat Tom Weber to the kitchen, he was very surprised!  We made about 4 dozen pancakes and some oatmeal for the team!  We all ate, had our devotion and then headed out to San Francisco!  We were all very excited because we knew that we were going to cross the Golden Gate Bridge!  The first two rest stops weren't very eventful, Sarah and I hung together again, and then we arrived in the town before San Francisco!  Tom told us more history about the area and about the bridge.  Apparently they are constantly painting the bridge, because once they finish it, the beginning needs to be painted again!  We were about 10 miles away from the bridge after the last stop and were excited!  It had really warmed up, but once we got closer the fog came in and cooled things off again.  The hills before the bridge were pretty steep and tough!
We pushed hard and finally made it onto the bridge!  It was very very crowded!  There were serious cyclists flying by, and tourists who just wanted to ride on the bridge!  It was very narrow at times and really tough to maneuver!  Finally we made it across!  You could see Alcatraz Island off in the distance!  We had to climb even more steeper hills when we entered into the city!  It was pretty much all up hill towards the church!  We climbed for at least 5 miles before we finally made it!  Everyone was in great moods and loud and cheering, but Sarah and I were tired and just wanted to eat and rest!  My laptop finally came in the mail and was waiting for me at the church!  So now I can keep the blogged updated! (Internet pending!)  The church made a wonderful Armenian meal for us!  We ate well and everyone was falling asleep early!  I went with the laundry crew to wash clothes, but we couldn't find a laundry mat that wasn't busy!  So maybe tomorrow on our off day we will venture out into the city!  Ready for bed!

San Francisco, CA - San Francisco, CA (Off day!)

I really was looking forward to sleeping in today and getting my health back up and feeling good again, but I was on the laundry team and we wanted to get it out of the way early!  So we got up at 6:45am and headed to the laundry mat as soon as it opened at 7am!  We loaded the machines and then waited!  A lot of the team went across the street to a coffee shop to hang out, but I had some phone calls to make, so I just stayed.  I called my good friend Kaityln, and had a good talk, then made an appointment with the dermatologist in Radford!  We changed the clothes over to the dryer and then waited some more!  I hung out at the coffee shop and then Allen came to get us!  We loaded up and were back by 9am!  I went right back to bed and slept until about noon!  I probably would have slept there the whole day, but Sue, Carmen, Pete and Sarah all wanted to got to Pier 39!  So they got me up and drug me with them!  Sue made me a turkey sandwich which was delicious and gave me some energy!  We all headed to the bus stop and then road it  to the Bay!  It was a beautiful sunny day!  A little cool near the water though!  We looked at all of the shops, Sarah and I bought some fun socks for biking!  Mine had a moose with sunglasses, hers a cow!  Then we headed down the road to "N and Out" Burger!  It was a first for both of us, and it was delicious!  We filled up and then went to hangout on the pier!  We looked around some more and then went back to get a bus ride!  It was tricky trying to figure out how to get back, and we had no map!  After asking someone and waiting for awhile at a stop, the bus came!  But, the bus was full and couldn't pick anymore up, so Sarah and I decided to get a cab back to the church!  We arrived in a fast manner, and then got ready for bed!  Another semi-long day tomorrow, but the rest today was very nice!

San Francisco, CA - Santa Cruz, CA (83 mile day!)

Leaving San Francisco!  It was a 5:30am breakfast as usual!  We had two new riders with us today to replace Pete and Hannah,  Dean and Chris started today for their first Fuller Center rides!  As usual I had some cereal, along with a muffin, and then filled the coolers with water!  Our devotion today was inside the Armenian Church sanctuary!  It was led by the priest and was a beautiful 15 minute service!  We sang some songs as well!  Leaving the city we had to climb even more hills!  There were a few tough ones, and the down hills were rough because there were many 4 way stop signs halfway down!  The fog only seemed to get worse the higher we climbed!  At one point I couldn't even see who was in front of me about 50 feet!  Traffic was light however this early in the morning!  We finally made it to what was supposed to be a bike path, however was actually a mountain bike path!  We climbed up the dirt/sticks/broken paved/plant infested road for over 500 feet!  At some points you could look over the edge and just see a drop into the fog!  Eric, Chris and I all ventured over the mountain together!  It really seemed like we were in Thailand or the jungle, not America!  It took us over an hour to climb to the top and then another half hour to descend!  We had to be very careful coming down, because of the turns, rocks, and holes in the path!  I almost fell a couple times, but was able to put my foot down and catch myself!  Many of the riders had a few spills, the worst was Luke who dislocated his pinky finger!  He toughed it out for the rest of the ride, after he popped it back into place!  Finally after 3 hours we made it to the first rest stop at mile 25!  This set us back along the rest of the day!  However, no matter what else came that day it definitely wasn't as bad as the first climb up that mountain!  There were more climbs along with some steep rolling hills the rest of the day!  The last 20 miles the sun came out as usual and it made the day even more enjoyable!  On the last 10 miles I found a front grill of a Subaru and mounted it to the front of my bike!  
It kept Sarah laughing for the rest of the ride!  However, it made it tough to weave through traffic once we entered into Santa Cruz!  We arrived at a church youth center near the University of California Santa Cruz!  Some of the youth there even helped prepare dinner for their 7pm service which we attended.  They had sloppy joe's and tater tots!  It was a good meal, however we were very full and tired during the service!  I think a lot of people were falling asleep!  I enjoyed the service and the worship songs!  It was cool to start the day with a service and then end with one!  We all headed back to the gym and hit the hay!  

Santa Cruz, CA - Carmel, CA (63 mile day!)

We awoke around 6:30am, a great day to just sleep in and relax!  A short ride, and not too many hills!  I woke up in the bleachers in the gym we slept in last night!  It wasn't the best nights sleep, but I definitely got enough to get me to Carmel today!  I put my bags together, had some cereal, and then helped Tom Weber fill up the coolers with Water and Squincher (an electrolyte drink).  We gathered outside and had devotions and a prayer.  Sarah and I tagged along again together for the day!  The rest stops at 25 miles and 45!  It was very foggy as usual, and my hands were actually going numb as we rode, they were so cold!  I tried to put one inside my jersey to warm them up, alternating as we pushed on.  Finally around mile 15 I started to break a sweat on an uphill and warmed up!  Sarah and I had an amazing ride through some strawberry fields!  You could smell the deliciousness, and sweetness of the strawberry aroma all around us as we road!  It brightened up the day as we pedaled!  Many workers were out in the fields picking them!  This lasted on and off for about 20 miles!  The rest stop was near a field, so while we ate we also could enjoy the nice smells!  We trekked on for the next 20, becoming more tired, and maybe a little dehydrated, because of the cold (not drinking enough).  However, after the last rest stop I made sure to drink extra water and was ok.  Along the beach it was mainly foggy until about 12pm, then the sun started to come out and the ride into Carmel was beautiful.  You could see giant mountains surrounding the town, wine vineyards were in abundance!  The grapes ran parallel to the road!  Golf courses, shopping centers, and finally the church!  We all laid outside of it on the hot cement patio while the van shuttled people to showers!  Once we returned Sarah and I decided to go check out the town.  We walked about half a mile and found a pizza place with super large pizza slices!  I ordered a whole pizza, while Sarah got a salad!  We ate for about an hour, then headed to Safeway to get some medicine!  Sarah was starting to get a cough and not feeling well!  I got a "Naked" fruit juice!  And some shampoo (I left mine at the last shower stop!).  Then we came back, I helped make dinner with my chore group!  Macaroni and cheese!  While everyone ate I checked some emails, and then quickly fell asleep!  Tomorrow's a big day!  5am breakfast!

Carmel, CA - Cambria, CA (105 mile day!) (longest of the trip!)

So i'm not sure how to begin this day!  It was cold and foggy like usual, I awoke late as usual.  Breakfast, prayer, devotion.  However, then I had a flat tire before I left the church!  I changed it out as the other riders went ahead.  Then Sarah and I headed out alone.  Lisa and Allen were sweeping behind us that day, but were pretty far back.  About half a mile from leaving the church the directions said to take a "slight right" onto Carmel Valley Rd.  Which we did.  The next turn wasn't for 6 miles, so we just road and tried to wake up!  Sarah wasn't feeling well to start with, having some sort of respiratory cold!  At 6 we didn't see the turn, then at 7 we checked the iPhone for directions.  We couldn't find anything, but it looked like this road would connect back to Highway 1.  We followed it until mile 9 and then decided to double check and ask someone.  Apparently the road connected to Highway 101 and then back to Highway 1 in about 130 miles! So we turned around and headed back!  We made it back to the church were we started at 6:30am, however now it was 8:00am.  It was looking as though our 105 mile day was going to be a 123 mile adventure!  We called the van to let them know that we were back behind!  Then pushed on!  We were planning on buying some extra water and food to carry with us and try to catch up with the van at the mile 65 rest stop!  As we pushed up one of the passed towards Big Sur Sarah wasn't feeling well at all.  We stopped on the beach and ate/ drank some, but it didn't seem to help!  The mountain was very foggy and cold, and we also didn't have any cell phone service!  So not knowing what else to do, I decided to put my thumb out and see if we could bum a ride to the rest stop!  Within a few minutes someone in a silver Mustang convertible stopped to see if he could help!  He was a very nice English man with his wife, however being that he had a mustang, he couldn't carry the bikes.  He seemed really worried just leaving us there on the side of the road, but I told him that we would be ok, and thanked him for stopping!  He gave us a water bottle and headed out!  Within maybe 5 minutes of that another person stopped!  This time with an SUV pulling a trailer!  A very nice Canadian couple got our bikes, moved things around and gave us a ride!  Will and Erin, they were traveling down the 1, and even offered us bananas!  He said that there policy on hitch hikers was a  no, but seeing us with our bikes seemed like we were really in danger, or that we had a very elaborate plan!  He was very cool and they were great to talk to and fun to ride with!  Very hospitable!  Sarah dozed off on some pillows as we road!  Then we arrived to the rest stop at mile 45!  Will, Erin, Sarah and I all had our picture taken for their trip photo album!  It was truly an adventure!  Sarah headed into the van were she slept for 4 hours straight!

 I pushed on and finished up the next 60 miles with Carmen. At some points along the ride, we were actually above the layer of fog, it appeared like we were above the clouds! Allen and Lisa swept behind us, and we arrived at the church around 5:30pm.  It was an 11 hour ride!  We were too late to get showers, so all of the riders and us just had to rinse off in the sink, change clothes and wait for another day!
We had taco's for dinner!  Probably could have used a little bit more carbs after that ride, but it was still great to eat!  Everyone was exhausted and pretty much went to bed by 9:00pm!

Cambria, CA - Santa Maria, CA (73 miles!)

We were able to sleep in this morning with a 6am breakfast!  I made it just in time to have some frosted mini spooners (which has 90% enriched iron!) and a banana!  It wasn't a long day, but after yesterday's adventure my body was ready just to sleep!  I filled my water bottles and started out on the road!  On the first turn my name "Blake" was chalked on the road with an arrow to the left!  So that I wouldn't get lost today!  Sarah and I had a nice non-eventful morning!  Enjoying the fog that clouded overhead and the cool brisk morning air!  It was about 51 degrees with 100% humidity!  Our helmets were actually dripping dew off of them as we rode!  Not too many climbs today, only one or two at 250ft.  We arrived at the first rest stop (25 miles) and had our fill of snacks and carbs!  The next 25 were pretty rough, I think I overloaded on sugar and felt very fatigued!  I didn't really say much at all for the next 48 miles!  It was tough!  After the second rest stop there was a huge hill, about a quarter mile high, probably 15% grade or more all the way up!  It came out of no where and really gave the legs a test!  Sarah and I powered up it!  Along the next part of the route we could smell delicious strawberries from the fields nearby!  The road became very flat and we were pushing 22mph for a little while!  Finally entering into Santa Maria, and finding an "In N Out Burger" in the city!  It was delicious and a well earned meal!  I ate about 1200 calories there alone!  Then pushed onto the church for a nap!  After showering of course!  Which was very wonderful after 170 miles without one!  Then awoke for dinner at 6pm and had lasagna provided by the church!  They are also making us breakfast tomorrow!  God bless these nice people at First Christian Church!  Dessert was cookies!  And we had a short presentation for those who were interested!  Resting up now for an 83 mile ride tomorrow!  Last of the week, with an off day on Sunday in Santa Barbara!  Well deserved!

Santa Maria, CA - Santa Barbara, CA (73 miles!)

Photo: 120804_001.jpgWe woke up semi-late, but still made it to breakfast and had some egg/sausage dish!  It was very delicious along with some fruit!  The route was actually 10 miles less than posted on the website, so everyone was very happy about that!  We left the church and started on a pretty much flat road.  Sarah and I pushed again together until we came up to a pretty steep and long climb.  The road kept twisting around and around so you couldn't see the top!  At the very top there was a little bit of a drizzle and I was afraid it might start raining!  But after descending down the other side it turned out to be a great day!  No rain and the sun came out!  We pulled into a gas station for the rest stop and all warmed up with some tea/coffee!  The next leg the sun came out and it got nice and warm!  We only had one more climb for the day and then it was very flat into Santa Barbara!  We took our time and enjoyed the sun, and let our legs rest some!  Dean and Chris caught up with us and all of us headed to the church together!  We showered at the YMCA and then laid outside and just soaked up the warmth!  Sarah and I went about half a mile to a gas station and bought some muscle milk to help recover!  I also bought some Chinese food and we split it!  After we got back I put up my hammock in between two palm trees and finally felt like I was in California!  I fell asleep!  We had Domino's pizza's (15) of them!  Dan volunteered to pay!  It was very kind of him!  We all ate to our fill and then a few people went outside to sleep!  Around 10pm all of the outside church lights went off and it was perfectly dark and nice to just enjoy the stars in the sky and the bugs humming all around!  Off day tomorrow and ready for some well deserved rest!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fuller Center Bike Adventure Days 2 - 9! (585 Miles!)

To begin with let me thank you for your patience with this blog post!  I am sorry for the delay!  I found out that right before I started the trip that my laptop screen stopped working!  So I had to send it in to be fixed! (luckily it's still under warranty!)  However, I will not have it for the first 2 weeks of this trip!  Which makes updating the blog or facebook very difficult!  So here is an account of my dairy that I have been keeping for the last 9 days!  Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Chehalis, WA - Naselle, WA (89 Mile day!)
I was woken up early by my good old friend Tom Weber, at 4:30am.  I say "old" because he is 70 years young and still out riding me!  And I say "good" because he may be reading this on his iPad!  I was very tired and the sun had not yet come up!  I slowly got up and moved around like a zombie for most of the morning and loaded my stuff into the van!  Breakfast was provided by our wonderful church host at Faith Baptist Church!  We had pancakes, eggs, sausage, orange juice, and oatmeal!  A great and healthy way to wake up and start the day!  We said a cheerful Oyee for the church as a team, and then hit the road around 6:30am!  The first 20 miles weren't very hard, but took a good amount of time.  I road with my buddies Mike Haiderer and Carmen Price.  We kept up the same pace to the second rest stop and even had Sarah Robbins join the group!  After the second rest stop I saw a post office and decided to pick up some stamps to mail letters to various friends!  However, after buying some wonderful stamps, that for some reason were from Arizona, poor Carmen got a flat tire.  We changed it quickly and then we were back on our way.  It took us another 40 miles to catch up with Mike and Sarah.  Finally we all road in together!  It was a long ride, but it was nice to get off the saddle and have a shower and some lactose free chocolate milk!  We had a delicious meatloaf, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and salad provided by the host church!  They had plenty of food!  And plenty of cupcakes!!
After being stuffed I helped clean some dishes while Tom supervised!  Then a big group of us riders went over to the girls building to do a yoga video off of Jenn's computer!  It was a great stretch!  I went to bed at 10:21pm, but our fearless leader Allen was still working hard on the computer!  He's a tough guy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Naselle, OR - Tillamook, OR (82 mile day!)
Another early morning, waking up around 5:10am for our 5:30am breakfast!  I decided not to have Tom wake me again today, since he kicked me yesterday!  However, I fell back asleep and didn't wake up again until 5:20am.  I zombied around to the van and then to breakfast.  We had oatmeal along with a breakfast mix of some sort, it was very delicious!  I may have over eaten a little.  I headed outside looking for my bike and found that Mike had pulled a clever early morning prank on me!  He put a "Sale" sign that I found on the side of the road next to my bike, out in front of the church!  He some how new that I am most vulnerable during the early morning!
We sang a song for the devotion lead by Sher!  The first 20 miles went by pretty fast and the group stayed together for the most part!  At the rest stop we all tried to throw our banana peels into a nearby tree for them to hang out!  But then Tom came up on his bike so we stopped before he yelled at us!  Mike and I decided to stop at a Goodwill along the way to buy a rag for the "Ragman" story for devotions tomorrow!  However, they were closed.  We rode on, then caught up with Tom and missed a turn together!  He blamed me, but then I reminded him of his GPS that's mounted on his bike!  After catching up I rode with Sarah for the last 20 mile leg of the day!  I got a back flat tire on a steep downhill!  It was a little scary because I was going around 30mph when it happened.  We stopped and I changed the tire while Sarah gave directions to some other cyclists across the road, who also had a flat, via her iPhone!  We spent extra long at the last rest stop and I had 3 cupcakes!  Then on the way into Tillamook we stopped at the Tillamook ice cream / cheese factory!  We shared an Udderly Chocolate Malt!  It was very delicious!  After that however, the last 5 miles were a bit slow!  We rode past a giant Air Museum off in the distance.  It was used as a cliff hanger in WWII.  The people from the church said that at one time it was the largest hand-made wooden structure in the world!  That night we had breakfast for dinner and paid $2 for showers at the local YMCA.  I bought Allen a shower!
Mike and I cut up an orange shirt that he bought at a thrift store to use for the "Ragman" devotion tomorrow morning!  And that night at dinner Sarah made me some delicious pancakes covered with peanut butter, sliced bananas and honey! MMMmmm, time for bed!

Thursday, July 19, 2012
Tillamook, OR - NewPort, OR (75 miles)
Started the morning with a 6:00am breakfast!  It was nice to sleep in a little bit, a good reprieve!  Again I was in early morning zombie mode, but managed to get a bagel from the end of breakfast!  Covered it with peanut butter and was ready to go back to bed! ...but instead had to mount the bike and start pedaling!  Mike and I led the devotion for that morning, we read the story of "The Ragman" --->  Then we handed out pieces of an orange shirt that we had cut up to use as rags.  Some of us tied them to our wrists, I tied mine to my ankle, along with my Road ID band, and magnet necklace, I think it all looked pretty great!  I lead the Oyee to thank Bethel Baptist church for hosting us!  We had a pretty good start, but I spent too much time at the first rest stop and found that the dumpster was filled with ice cream that the shop had just thrown away... it was very tempting to eat some of the snickers bars/ klonidkes!  They were still "luke cold" but I decided in my better judgement not to!  So we headed on!  Carmen got 2 more flats that we promptly changed!  And then we headed on (again)!  Sarah Doren and Tom Weber were sweeps today! (meaning that they stayed behind everyone and were the last to the church!  But they get the reward of being first for dinner!)  The last rest stop of the day was at a "view point" along the Pacific ocean!  It was a beautiful sight, and they're were even whales out in the distant shores that we saw every now and then!  It was a very great rest stop!  Maybe one of the bests in FCBA history!  

We pushed on to the church!  Before heading to the pool to pay $2 for showers, a few of us decided to go to the local bike shop in Newport for some maintenance and new tubes!  The bike shop owners was very gracious and gave us all a 10% discount when we told him that we were riding for a nonprofit!  Then he even offered all of us that were there a shower upstairs in the shop!  It was very kind of him, and about four of us all had nice hot showers for free!  Sarah Robbins went in looking for a new seat, but they didn't have any softer ones in stock.  So the owner took one off of an old bike and gave it to her for $20!  There really are wonderful people out there!  We came back to the Presbyterian Church for a spaghetti dinner provided by their youth group!  I warmed up one of my double chocolate chip muffins that I picked up at the start of the trip in Seattle!  It was a delicious dessert to a delicious meal!  I also went to the local walmart and picked up some rubber bands to help store my patched tubes, and some batteries with a charger for my camera, so now I can take more pictures! :D
Now it's time for bed and resting up!  100 mile day tomorrow!

Friday, July 20, 2012
Newport, OR - Northbend, OR (98.5 miles!)

It's our first "close to" century ride for the trip so far!  I awoke on a nice cushy and comfy couch!  I think I slept the whole night without waking up once!  A great sleep!  A heavy rain had set in last night, which now had let up to a misty drizzle!  It was still pretty nippy outside, around 55 degrees!  I was not looking forward to this ride so much without the sun, and heavy fog present!

Luckily the breakfast team got up early and made eggs with a potato mix for us!  It was a really great meal, and I finished off the left over eggs, along with the help of my side kick Lisa Corsi!  We were both pretty full though!  We started the ride off pretty slow, trudging through the puddles and mist from the cars!  Carmen, Sarah and I all started off together, but Sarah picked up the pace, because she was getting too cold!  My hands were a slight bit numb as we descended from the hills!  I enjoyed the conversation with Carmen, it made the ride go by faster!  And I kept thinking that it couldn't be rainy/foggy all day, because we are going a distance of 100 miles!  At the first rest stop I was still pretty full so I just decided to drink some honey for some quick carbs and sugar!  It worked pretty well, but by mile 30 I was starting to get hungry!  Finally we reached mile 45 and the next rest stop!  The sun had started to come out and the sun was a warm welcome!  It still remained foggy along the coast, but when we veered inland it was very warm!  
This is a picture of Luke, not only did the rain from the road get us wet, it also covered us all in mud!

There was a cat at the second rest stop that reminded me of our last cat Smokey!  Except a lot more friendly!  We were eating when another biker came up and told us that the two people sweeping for us (Tom and Tim) were having a serious bike problem and needed the van to go back for them!  Luckily no one was hurt, but Tim's back derailleur had broke off and hit jammed his back spokes, breaking a few!  It was a new bike too, only 3 months old.  Unfortunately the warranty only covered the frame, so he had to foot the bill himself, and had to wait in the van until we reached Eureka, CA before the bike shop could fix it!  The next segment was very pretty and lots of greenery all along the road!  I road with former rider Rae and we had a good talk about life and food!  She kept pointing out the raspberries on the side of the road, but said she wasn't tall enough to pick them!  I took that as a hint, so we stopped and had a few!  ...They were very sour however, so we just mashed the leftover ones onto each other during our raspberry fight!  When we came to the rest stop everyone thought that we had a bad accident!  But, after explaining it kind of made sense.. but not really!  At the rest stop we saw a woman running with a stick who stopped and started to talk to us.  She was with a group who were running from Alaska to Guatemala as a form of tribal prayer for world peace!  It was very interesting, they only run about 6-12 miles a day!  Finally riding the last segment was beautiful, the sun was completely out and it had warmed up into the 80's.  I had the rest of the animal crackers mounted to my handlebars and pedaled my way into North Bend!  I caught up with Sarah and we had a nice talk along with a great tail wind that really made the final stretch a great one!  And we were both very happy to get off of the bikes for the day!  After entering the town I stopped off with Mike and Hannah and we got milkshakes!  It was a good way to refuel!  Then we finished up the last 5 miles and made it to the church!  Taco salad for dinner, along with the left over refried beans! I wouldn't suggest eating just refried beans!  I was stuffed afterwards and had to lay down for awhile!  Slept on a church pew and am very ready for a 7:12am breakfast in the morning!

Saturday, July 21, 2012
North Bend, OR - Port Orford, OR (55 miles!)

Waking up at 7:12am was tremendous!  I was still late to breakfast and just grabbed a bagel with peanut butter, along with a banana!  We had our devotional and was ready for our short distance day!  I caught up with Carmen who had a flat tire (even though she had just had one of her sponsors donate two $100 tires!)  I felt bad for her, but we think it just didn't have enough PSI!  So we pumped it up very high and she was good to go!  We embarked on a road called "Seven Devils Road."  It didn't seem to intimidating at first, however after a very tough climb we saw "First Devil" spray painted in the road!  After about 4 more devils it was starting to get tough! But we persevered and made it to Devil number 7!  After that we stopped at the rest stop!  Andrew had hurt his ankle and decided to wait it out in the van, so Burgess (our media guy) got permission to ride his bike for the rest of the day!  I decided to wait for him so that he wasn't riding alone, but after we started he took off very quickly!  We were going about 18 or 19mph the whole 20 miles! I pushed pretty hard to keep up with him!  It was nice to have a quick ride and be at the last rest stop though!  And the scenery was very beautiful along the coast that day!
Still foggy, but giant rocks off in the distant shore, and big cliffs along the road, made the ride very much more enjoyable!  The final rest stop was outside of a nice convenient store/food shop!  Most of the riders were still there and had been hanging out for awhile!  So I joined in and bought a milkshake, along with home made double chocolate ship muffins for $1 to store for later!  It was great sitting on the warm cement and relaxing!  Only 15 more miles and we were at the church!  Again I road in with Sarah and we had a tail wind!  We talked just about the entire 15 miles and arrived at the American Legion building where we were spending the night!  Showers at the high school and stir fry for our "evening meal" (Allen and I came up with the word using our phone thesaurus!)  I taught Allen how to play minesweeper while we waited, and informed him "that they're not going to sweep themselves!"  He beat intermediate by the next day!  Some of us went down to the beach, while a few went to the local bar/restaurant "Red Fish"  and played spades!  We were all disappointed that their was a cliff in the way of the sunset!  One of theses days I will see it set over the Pacific!

Sunday, July 22, 2012
Off Day in Port Orford, OR (0 miles!)

We all got up at various times for breakfast and church services!  I decided to go the the later Lutheran church service along with my friend Tom Weber and Sarah Robbins and a few others!  It didn't start til 11am, so I was able to sleep in!  We ventured over and had a very enjoyable time!  The sermon was on Catfish, and how they make cod stronger by chasing them!  The pastor was explaining to us how to deal with our "catfish" in life!  The sermon really spoke to me!  Tom got up and spoke to the congregation about our ride and what the Fuller Center is about.  We received some donations and coffee cake!  I was very happy!  Then we went to "The Crazy Norweigien" for lunch!  I had the Uff-da burger!  It was delicious and I was nice and full!  We spent some time exploring, but there wasn't very much to do in this small town!  Everyone was hoping that the town would have a movie theater playing "Rise of the Dark Night" (the new Batman movie!)  But the only theater within 50 miles was only playing Snowwhite.  Sarah, Mike and I decided to go to the grocery store in hopes of a Redbox, but found none.  Sarah bought some V8 and I found a balloon outside!  I drew a picture of Allen and wrote about how he was a great leader, then tied it to his bike when we got back to the American Legion building.  We had chili for dinner!  We had a group meeting and switched choir groups for the week!  My group is now on breakfast duty!  My leader Jenn informed me that I needed to be ready by 5am to help stir oatmeal! ...So I slept in the kitchen!  In bed by 10:00pm!

Monday, July 23, 2012
Port Orford, OR - Crescent City, CA! (85 miles!)

It was an exciting morning!  I slept in my bike clothes so that I was ready when I woke up!  I sat there stirring the oatmeal for about 20 minutes before it was ready!  We made 35 servings!  Everyone came in and we all ate, it was pretty delicious oatmeal if I may so say myself!  After that we had a devotion lead by Allen, he read Mother Teresa's poem "Do it Anyway"
It was a very motivating way to start the day!  I volunteered to "sweep" for the day, along with Eric!  Everyone was excited because we knew that we were entering California today!  The day really flew by!  There were beautiful views!  We had two very hard climbs from 1ft elevation up to 700ft!  But most of the day we had a nice tail wind that helped push us up the climbs!  It was great talking with Eric, we have a lot in common and talked about how important eating healthy food is, and how much it can change your moods and overall physical feeling!  The rest stops came quick!  And this was the first day that we were able to see the sun rise without and fog or clouds!  It warmed up by 10am to almost 80 degrees!  We finally started to see palm trees!  The towns were very much California-like!  We had our picture taken in front of the "Welcome to California" sign! The last 22 miles were probably the toughest, but everyone was in a great mood because it was warm and sunny!  We arrived in Crescent City around 3:00pm.  The church we stayed at had showers and a gymnasium!  I joined in some of the card games as we waited for the hot water to warm up for the showers!  After a shower I went to the Safeway to buy a tub of ice cream to split with Mike, Pete, and myself before dinner!  They paid for it, I just had to be the carrier!  I got double brownie rocky road!  It was very delicious!  I also picked up two decks of playing cards for Wendy!  She asked me to get two different color decks, so I bought a blue and a red, however once I returned I found out that one of the decks was for "Piccolo."  I had never heard of that game, but apparently there were eight 7's in the deck!  I offered to return them, but she said it was fine!  We had hot dogs, baked beans, and pasta salad for dinner!  After four hot dogs I found out that they were going to throw away the beans!  So I ate all of the left overs!  Looking back on this, I don't think it was a good life choice!  I was really bloated the next morning!  I walked with Sarah to CVS to buy some ointment for her bug bites, we also got Carmen some M&M ice cream!  She was thrilled! I found a nice strong metal railing inside of the gym and tied my hammock up to it!  I had wonderful sleep for the whole night!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012\
Crescent City, CA - Eureka, CA (84.9 miles)

I woke up a little late this morning, missing out on helping stir the oatmeal, but I think my team was okay without my skills!  I was pretty sluggish moving around this morning.  After breakfast we had a nice devotion in song led by Jenn.  She picked out the song Beautiful Things, by Gungor. --->  It was a very beautiful and wonderful song to start the day with!  I loved having it on my mind all day long!  After the devotion I grabbed a pump to fill my back tire.  After adding some air, I started to hear a leak.  Mike and Jenn were sweeping today, so I let them know.  Mike took off my tire and said I needed a new one, then put on a new tube with a new tire. 
I started out with Carmen and rode about a block when I couldn't help but notice that my tire was completely flat... So I rode back to the church where Mike, Jenn and the van were and informed Mike.  So he took out my tube and put in another.  Then as he started to pump it up, air started to leak out.  Everyone had a good laugh at this, it was getting really ridiculous!  Three flat tires before I had even left the church!  "This has got to be a record!" I thought to myself!  So Mike said this was my last try, or else I would have to ride in the van!  So I changed this one myself and didn't use tire levers to put it back on, reducing the risk of a pinched flat!  And sure enough it worked!  I rode the entire day without any problems!  We left about 30 minutes after all of the other riders, so we were pretty far behind!  There was a big climb right at the beginning of the ride!  We got to the top and it was very cold and foggy.  It looked like we were very high up because of the fog, however after about a mile descend, we were back near at the beach!  Fog covered most of the giant rocks in the water.  At the first rest stop we were alone, and only spent about 5 minutes eating before we hit the road again.  I sped up afterwards and pretty much road by myself for the next 20 miles!  It was beautiful, however going through the giant redwood forest!  I came to the next stop pretty quickly and had plenty of time to eat and relax.  Sarah Robbins was there, she wasn't feeling well because she hadn't eaten/drank enough, combined with the cold descent.  We took some time and she ate plenty and drank plenty.  I convinced her to ride slow with me rather than getting in the van.  We made the trek to the next rest stop.  We waited there a good while, but never saw Carmen or the sweeps!  So we headed onward!  It was a cold enough day to keep long sleeves and a rain jacket on most of the day!  We only had about 19 miles to go, but Sarah and I decided to take a wrong turn off of the bike path to add on another 3!  
It was very questionable as to were we were supposed to go!  But after riding the dirt path to the end, and over a few bumps, roots, and overgrown grass, we decided that maybe we had gone the wrong way!  We quickly backtracked and caught up with Carmen on the main road!  The last 7 mile stretch on 101 was really tough on all of us!  The day just seemed to drag on and we were all ready for a nap!  After finally arriving at the Four Square church we stored our bikes and waited on the van to shuttle us to the high school for showers.  There was only one locker room showers that worked.  So we had to alternate, all the girls first, then all of the guys.  So shuttles took extra long!  But we finally all got clean and then headed over to Sandy's house( a woman from the church, who had made us dinner)!  There was vegetable soup with rolls and cheese, and plenty of it!  I ate my fill and decided to pass on the ice cream, the beans still were throwing me off!  Then we all walked back to the church and watched "The Dark Knight" Batman movie that we borrowed from Sandy's house!  We put in on the big screen tv in the kids zone!  Sarah even found me a place to put up my hammock in between two pillars!  I'm pretty sure all of the riders fell asleep watching the movie!  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Off day in Eureka, CA (7 miles!)

I woke up to my phone ringtone.  I had forgot to set it on silent mode before bed and my dad was calling me.  It was about 7:15am, very early!  I got up and went down stairs to call him back.  We had a good talk and recalled some old friend's names!  Then I grabbed a couple of things to eat and went back upstairs.  I tried to wake Sarah up to go get breakfast, but both of us just ended up going back to sleep.  The room had no windows, so it was completely dark!  Finally we got up around 10:30am and decided to head to Denny's.
 It was about a 2 mile ride.  I ordered blueberry pancakes while she got an omelet.  It was very delicious!  We even talked to a few of the other customers about our ride and what the Fuller Center is!  We gave them a card and then headed a few more miles to the movie theater!  A bunch of the other riders were talking about seeing "The Dark Knight Rises"  the new Batman movie, at 12:50pm.  But when we got there, there was no one there.  So Sarah and I locked up our bikes and descended into the theater!  It was an amazing movie!  Words are not enough to describe it!  If you haven't seen it, I urge you to rent the first two movies and then go see this one!  It may be the best movie I have ever seen!  We both left 2 1/2 later in awe!
We unlocked our bikes and noticed about 5 more bikes around ours.  Everyone else got a late start and decided to watch the 1:50pm showing!  Afterwards we headed back and got Frozen Yogurt on the way!  Then back to the church for some R&R!  I went out with Allen, Burgess and Rae to "Stars" to get a burger!  It was pretty tasty!  It's about 9:33pm now!  We have a 5:30am breakfast and lights out at 10pm tonight!  A 75 mile day tomorrow is the rumor!  But we shall see!  Thanks for reading, and thank you for your patience!  Hopefully the blog posts will become more routine when I get my laptop next this Sunday!  Have a great week everyone!  Mwwahh!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Let the Fuller Center Bike Adventure ride begin!

On Friday July 13th the group of riders all joined together in Seattle to meet and start the month long trek to San Diego to help end poverty housing! We all met at Fauntleroy Church in West Seattle, it is the only church in the country that is a church and a YMCA! After a quick orientation and piecing together bikes we hit the night light in Seattle, seeing downtown sights such as Pike's seafood market, the gum wall, and some riders even went to the Marioners game! We all bonded over dinner and a nice sunset on the Puget Sound! On Saturday we all bonded together over a 13 mile practice ride through Seattle! It was a great experience and we snagged a nice photo over the Sound with the space needle in the background, it's orange for its 50th anniversary I believe! I may have gotten a little lost on the return ride,but easily found my way to the church and then a shower! Afterwards we returned to University Christian Church for a lasagna dinner!(this was the church we started the ride last years at!) Followed by some ice cream and a van ride back to Fauntleroy! Sunday morning we woke late, 8:30am, had breakfast and attended the church service! We spoke in church and talked to many of the congregation afterwards! The sermon was about David dancing for God, at one point the whole congregation was doing the homie pokie! We got together at 1 and started the ride with a prayer and a picture! Then headed to Tacoma, WA about 38 miles away! We rested and had potatoes for dinner! Then this morning we woke up at 5:30am and started riding at 6:30am! Tired yet focused we pushed onward, passing through a beautiful bike trail and arriving in Chihalis, WA 58 miles forward! We had a delicious meal of lasagna provided by Faith Baptist Church and they even let me finish off the ice cream! After some good times, new friends and a relaxing evening of a sunset, we are just about ready to hit the hay! I tied to upload some pictures into the blog this time, but was unable to do so with Geezer Tom Webers iPad! But hopefully we will have it figured out by next time! Well until the next blog! Have a greats ride readers! Truly, The Amazing Blake Smith!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Well what happened to June?

Hello blog viewers out there in cyberspace!  If this is your first time checking out the blog I welcome you, and invite you to stay awhile, make yourself at home!  

This is Blake Smith!  ..Or as my friends call me "The Amazing Blake Smith!"  I am taking over the blog for the Fuller Center Bike Adventure this Summer!  

So let's recap the past couple months!

Sophomore year of college finally came to an end for me in May!

Also in May Martha Joslyn finished college completely and graduated from Bridgewater College!

So the three musketeers were at it again!
We began fundraising in May, speaking at our church (St. Stephen's Anglican) and other churches including a great congregation at Henderson!  We also sent out letters to just about every church address for the Northern Neck we could find!
In May Patrick was hired to be a sales associate at Bose!  Which changed his week ride to a two day trek from Alexandria VA- Williamsburg VA (170 miles!)

The plan began that Martha and I would bike the West Coast, while Patrick had signed up for a week on the East Coast!  However, the real "adult" world seems to get in the way of hobbies and adventures sometimes!

In June Martha was hired to do medical research in Richmond and had to begin her job ASAP!     She was however, able to join the East Coast ride prior to finding out this information, and did   about six days from Tappahannock VA- Myrtle Beach SC (Over 400 miles!)

Both are doing very well and living the dream!

As for me?
Well I will not be alone or without friends this summer! 
In March I met a spectacular young woman and convinced her to join the ride this summer!  
Sarah Robbins
I don't know if she realizes what she's in for this summer!  But it'll be an adventure!  
Ryan Iafigliola (bike adventure founder) once said- "Adventure is hardships remembered."
We will definitely be having some hardships on this ride!

The ride officially begins on July 13th, 2012! 
I drove a van from Virginia to Rexburg, Idaho for a woman from my church, and to help get me out West without the expense of flying!
Photo: And Blake begins his amazing adventure to Idaho :-)  

So after driving about 3,000 miles and seeing our beautiful country, I am now spending the next few days with my good friends the Purses, and then catching a ride with the Fuller Center support van to Seattle, WA (if Allen ever calls me back!) to start the ride!
And on one other note!  My laptop has been giving me a white screen!  So I am going to have to send it in to be fixed and may not have it for part of the ride, so I will do my best to update the blog without my own computer!  But be praying that it has a speedy recovery!

Thanks for reading!  More when we land in Seattle!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May

Yikes, where did May come from?

I don't even know how to begin this post.  So many things are happening at once.  We have a couple of things going on this month and not too much time to do them in.  Personally, I am wrapping up my final semester of undergraduate study and will have my diploma in hand in 12 days.  Crazy.  Also, I'm scheduled to head down to Savannah for a job interview with the police department on May 21.  This is exciting for 2 reasons.  1) yay someone wants to interview me and 2) if this job pans out then it will still allow me to bike this summer with Blake Smith down the West Coast.  Winning. 

My fundraising has not really taken off because I've been so consumed in trying to graduate and enjoy the last couple months of being youthful.  So now I have a request for all of you:
If you had planned on giving me a graduation present, but wanted to also support my ride this summer, please feel free to go ahead and click the link on the side bar that says, "Support Martha" and make a donation to the FCBA in my name.

If you think Blake's face is prettier than mine, you are more than welcome to make donation in his name as well.  You will find a link to support him, right under mine.  He will be completing his sophomore year at Radford this month and he finished his one billionth marathon in March, so make sure to pat him on the back next time you seem him.  I am very much looking forward to biking with him this summer.  With the two of us, it can't be anything less than epic.

And I wouldn't want to forget the most important part of the Northern Neck Biking trio.  Patrick Smith is gearing up the save the world and sadly won't be pedaling with is this summer.  However, he has started his own blog where he logs his own adventures and causes he supports.  You can find this blog at  Be sure the check it out!
In his free time, he is gracious enough to help Blake and myself out with planning talks and fundraising opportunities in the area, so hopefully you will be hearing from us in person very soon.

Always where a helmet and look for adventure in unexpected places my friends!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Breaking From the Ordinary

Well it's been an extremely brief spring break.  I hardly remember any of it.  This might have something to do with the fact that I've been in bed since I got home on Friday.  I got stuck with something nasty and have been bed ridden all week.  This has been very discouraging especially since I have way too much to do right now.  I finally pulled my self out of the house today and was able to run a good six miles in training for my half marathon in April.

I really need to kick my fundraising efforts into gear.  Hopefully I can put together a spaghetti dinner soon to help bring a little more press about the ride this summer.  As I've mentioned before, this year the FCBA will be hosting two rides.  The East coast ride will actually be rolling right through and making a stop in Tappahannock in June.  If you would like to meet these adventurous cyclists and fuel their passion and trip, then we will be sure to organize a dinner that everyone is welcome to participate and attend.  If you have any interest in doing this please contact Patrick Smith at some point or the other.

For your entertainment I've posted a video that promotes this years ride... watch carefully, you might catch me somewhere in there... getting covered in ice cold water.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Amazing Blake Smith Returns

I got a very important phone call the other night from none other than Mr. Blake E. Smith.  He informed me that he would be making sure I didn't get into any trouble this summer and be accompanying me down the West Coast.

For those of you who don't know the Amazing Blake Smith let me give you some background information.  Blake Smith is a world renown adventurer.   His most famous accomplishments are swimming across the Rappahannock River... in the middle of a storm, running 4 (coming up on his 5th) marathons up and down the East Coast, biking 3,600 miles across the country, and beating any odd there is to be beat.  I've adventured with him before and he is on the top of my list of people to be stuck on an island with.

If you're wondering where his star twin Patrick is, not to worry.  Patrick is getting ready to go out into the world and do bigger and better things.  He has generously dedicated his time to FCBA this year by helping to plan and coordinate the East Coast ride (more on that later).

Last year the three of us were able to help raise over 10,000 dollars for the Fuller Center.  We were completely blow away by all the support we received and we got to work on job sites and see directly where the money we raised was going.

While this year our minimum goal is to raise $6,000, we are raising money for a grass roots organization that does incredible things in this country and abroad and it would be ridiculous to put a limit on that.  I would love to see us meet last year's amount again.  Currently we have $150 dollars raised, which is a good start.  Remember, donating is not the only way to support us.  Prayer is the biggest contributor by far.

Here is a map of what the West Coast ride will look like this summer

In the meantime, spring break is upon most of us college kids and so I will be returning to the Northern Neck for a brief period of time.  Look out for cyclists in the coming week (actually always look out for them) because it's most likely me trying to kick my bike back into shape.  Obviously I'm always in shape.

Look for adventure in unexpected places.
<3 Martha Joslyn