Archive for May, 2011

Just North of DC

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Oppressive heat m5-31-11ade outdoor bicycling after the late morning hours nearly impossible today; The heat index was nearly 110 degrees. Having banked 30 bonus hours on earlier rides, I used nearly half of them today.
The last two nights we stayed with friends Joe and Claire and their two daughters, Angela and Maria. Their hospitality and with them making us feel like part of the family made our stay sensational. They provided us with every amenity and all the comforts of home, a family could offer.
It was downright dangerous for Bogart in these extreme temperatures, he will be in air- conditioning until Sunday when he goes to a loving family in Cleveland until I am reunited with him again just before Christmas. I just can’t take a chance with him being hurt by the heat.

A Tale of Two Cities Bicycle Shops

Monday, May 30th, 2011

5-30-11 AMaking our way to Baltimore’s inner harbor through 30 miles of trails was what the doctor ordered on this very hot day where temperatures reached nearly 100 degrees. Trails usually mean there are trees which translates into shade, nature’s air conditi5-30-11 Coning.
Light Street Cycles was a bicycle shop along our travels. Owner, Penny Troutner who used to work the phone bank for a local Domestic Violence call center, saw why we are riding cross country and gave us the family discount on our bike upgrades and repairs. Marshall and Elliott, her two sons did the work on 2 of our 3 bikes.  This evening my bike disappeared to CycleSport in Ellicott City, another bike shop. Maria, one of the daughters of the family we stayed with the past two days, works there, and her boss told her when we are in town, “to help them with everything they need.”
Everywhere we travel, people want to help us to spread the word about ending Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse.5-30-11 B


Sunday, May 29th, 2011

5-29-11One of my favorite songs, “Gravity,” by John Mayer, kept running through my mind as I was riding today and encountering some gentle hills north of Baltimore. The songs begins with the lyrics, “Gravity is working against me. And gravity wants to bring me down.”
I thought in my mind how these small hills are going to get bigger as we head west out of Washington DC toward the Appalachians. Bigger hills need to be planned for and one needs to be conditioned to successfully overcome the challenges ahead.
Today’s ride took me past two billboards, reminding me of one of the reasons I am on this twice cross country mission. If you are in an abusive relationship, leave today!

Boys and Girls Club Volunteers

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Today I had the pleasure of meeting a young couple who volunteer at the Newark, Delaware boys and Girls Club. Dean and Molly are very involved in helping kids. Helping kids  to realize their full potential and all of the good they can do for others. Dean and Molly were admiring The Kindness Bus as Bogart and I were returning from a morning walk to begin our day off.
Our conversation went along the lines of One Million Acts Of Kindness being dovetailed with the Boys and Girls Clubs. Having all of the children make a pledge and print one of our Kindness Certificates to use as inspiration would be an easy way to get started.

Almost a Day Off

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Planning on having a day off from bicycling today and catching up on some much needed work lasted only the morning. In looking at the low humidity and cloud cover today, we decided to use this afternoon to ride the mileage equivalent from Elkton, MD to Aberdeen, MD and back. This was an excellent call as it was one of those days where the bike seemed to propel itself, even the hills seemed easy to climb. The visibility and response we are getting couldn’t be any better. The traffic was so heavy as people prepare themselves for the summer ahead. It seems as if many people were turning a three day weekend into a four day weekend, by taking the day off from work; the streets were packed.
We are headed toward Baltimore and then to Washington DC and Arlington by next weekend, a fitting tribute this Memorial Day Week ahead of us.

Pedal Power

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

5-26-11Seven thousand four hundred miles on a bike is a very long distance; six months of rolling along on two wheels over all sorts of terrain across the United States, twice, because of a loop path I am taking. Eleven days in, on this one hundred eighty Kindness Bicycle Tour and the miles beneath these two wheels are starting to add up, today we crossed into Maryland.
Credit for the wheel being used for transportation dates back some 5,700 years. It wasn’t until the early 1800s that a 2 wheeled steerable bicycle which you pushed along with your feet was invented. Some days it seems I can move my bicycle faster ala Fred Flintstone fashion. Either way, riding a bike long distances every day causes one to become “bike fit.” I’m thinking my thighs will be bigger than my waist by the time I arrive in San Francisco.
Adding an engine to spin wheels is a relatively new feature as well, dating back a mere 140 years. The thoughts of having a motor for the up hill portions of the trip fill my mind as I pedal, but are just a passing wish at times.
Anyhow, the sensational photo for today’s blog was provided by Finn and Jan Runyon who have updated their “rides” considerably since this late, 1960s era photo.

Jenn’s Mom

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

5-25-11While taking a break from our ride from Newark to Wilmington and back, a young woman named Jenn said she had seen us riding and wanted to come and thank us for what we are doing. It was clear in our short conversation that she wanted to share much more; so she agreed to join us for an interview.
Jenn recalled, that as a child, she was too afraid to get out of her bed as she heard her mom being beaten.  To say that these beatings resulted in long term medical care would be a gross understatement.  Often they were life threatening.  This horrific brutality went on for years and became more violent as time went by.  Jenn’s mom died 2 years ago after too severe of a beating took place. Jenn has many stories about domestic violence and the long term effects that it brings.  Three women a day die in the United States because of domestic violence. Three women everyday!!