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!