Archive for April, 2012

Taos, New Mexico

Monday, April 30th, 2012

4-30-12In a short amount of time, I was fortunate to get a lot done in Taos today. All of my stops were within a few miles of each other allowing me extra time for my ride north to Colorado Springs.
I first visited the Taos Police Station and found a very friendly, Lieutenant David Maggio who was very interested in the route of The Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes. He was also very interested in getting the message of this ride to the community.
I arrived at the Firehouse to find the Firefighters getting ready to take possession of a new piece of equipment which they had had me stand in front of for today’s picture. What a fun group of guys. Robert, one of the Firefighters and I used Bogart to help catch a stray dog.
I visited Taos High School’s Principal and Guidance Counselor’s office. There was a big interest in the students wanting to know all about the people I meet on my travels and what it’s like to ride cross country.
Cody, a reporter at The Taos News, was thrilled to have such a fun topic to write about.

Military Families

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

4-29-12During my stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I met a great deal of families with members in the Military. Several of those people shared with me how they were affected by their loved one’s deployment(s) overseas. It is a huge sacrifice for those families to be without their loved one for a year at a time.
I met one of these families, Andy, Sarah and their son Nathan while out riding. Andy was with the Navy in Afghanistan. He was all too happy to take the time to stand with me by The Kindness Bicycle.
Blessings to Sarah who was visiting from northern Colorado. Know that the peace will come through love and forgiveness during this rough stretch of time. Learn from it to help others in a beautiful way.
A Ground Zero first responder stopped by to tell me how much she was impacted by seeing the signs on The Kindness Bicycle.
A very big thank you to Jan and Finn, formerly from Princeton, New Jersey, they now live in Taos, New Mexico and opened their home to me as I made my way through their town.


Saturday, April 28th, 2012

4-28-12On this Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes, one of my very important stops along the way is Colorado Springs, Colorado. I will be heading through this town in a few days for a day and then in 2 weeks for about a week. Colorado Springs is a center for Wounded Warriors and one of my priorities was to find a connection so I could visit this facility. Time was drawing very near and I was thinking that this visit was not going to be a reality. An amazing event presented itself this evening, soon after I ended my ride for the day. “Are you the guy riding the bike outside?,” Olympic Athlete Liaison, Sherry Von Riesen asked. “Are you making your way toward Colorado Springs?” Unbeknownst to me, the Warrior Games take place next week in Colorado Springs. Sherry invited me to the Games and to visit the week later.
Wounded, ill and injured active duty, Guard and Reserve members, as well as retired personnel and veterans, from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard participate in Warrior Games hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Paralympic Military Program at the Olympic Training Center.
This is an honor for which I am extremely grateful.

Navy SEAL Team 6

Friday, April 27th, 2012

One of the highest honors took place while I was with The Kindness Bicycle today. A mother of a Navy SEAL came by to thank me for riding for Wounded Warriors. Members of Navy SEAL Team 6 were the elite forces who terminated Bin Laden. A few months later, some of the Navy SEAL Team 6 were among the 22 Navy SEALs who lost their lives when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. Her son was one of the Navy SEALs who perished.
It took some alone time in The Kindness Bus for me to gather my thoughts after our visit. I was so very honored that I was being thanked by a mother who lost her son less than a year ago. I hope seeing The Kindness Bicycle and what it stands for, offers this proud woman some comfort in her life. Thank you to all families of those who protect our liberties and freedom.
While taking a break at a coffee shop I met Brigadier General Gilbert Baca (ret.) The General was an Army Ranger who had seen The Kindness Bus yesterday. Today he saw The Kindness Bicycle outside and came over to tell me how much it meant to him to see someone riding for Wounded Warriors.  I am honored a General would take the time to thank me.
This afternoon, I met Brian Chavez the Unit Director and Elaine the Program Administrator at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Fe. I stopped by this center to let them know about The Kindness Certificates. It is my hope that  they adopt them at their five centers in Santa Fe.
Some exciting news happened late today, I will talk about it in tomorrow’s article.

Heroes, Living and Deceased

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

4-26-12Today I visited New Mexico’s Department of Veterans Services Secretary Timothy Hale’s office to the delight of his staff. “It’s not too often that a bike like your’s pulls up to our front door,” I was told. I made the rounds throughout most of their offices in the historic Bataan Memorial Building. It is always nice to talk with people whose job it is to help Veterans in need.
One of my other stops was to the Santa Fe National Cemetery. This rolling landscape has over 40,000 Veterans and family members interred. I met a very proud man who has five family members buried here. I am posting, on YouTube, a video I made at this cemetery, honoring those who protected our liberties and freedom.
While at The Kindness Bus this afternoon, I met Heidi, a senior who traveled on her own from Switzerland. She was taken aback by The Kindness Bus’ “grand looks,” that she got left behind by her tour group.
LouAnn, Margaret and Nancy from Street Feet, a local woman’s footwear shop gave me an inspiring ovation as I rode The Kindness Bicycle by their storefront. Street Feet made a very nice donation to help get The Kindness Bus further down the road. Thank you!

Sante Fe, New Mexico

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

4-25-12Just when you think you know your top ten towns in the United States, you pull into Santa Fe and your list needs a major revision. Within minutes of pulling into the number one parking space in Santa Fe, The Kindness Bus Tour and Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes, received a collective hug from tourists and Santa Feans alike. I wish I had at least a week to spend here but time will not allow.
So many people had kind words of support, Kathy, Jennifer and Roberto had just spent their lunch together talking about kindness when they happened upon The Kindness Bus. They were floored to have such a “planned” meeting take place.
Tisha and Becky from Amarillo, Texas loved the Wounded Warrior signs and told me about their family members who are riding with President Bush for Wounded Warriors this weekend.
I rode all throughout Santa Fe today and visited the US Marshals at the Santiago E. Campos United States Court House. This agency performs an amazing amount of law enforcement including the effective operation of the judiciary. Talking with three Marshals today, they were extremely grateful to see The Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes show up on their doorstep.

Teaching Honor and Respect for Heroes

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

4-24-12Marla Brose a photographer for The Albuquerque Journal found The Kindness Bicycle Tour interesting enough to spend a good deal of time this afternoon interviewing and photographing us. Hoping to get some great press for the Heroes I ride for, I contacted her newspaper and created a “buzz.” She photographed me for a story at my location and then as I made my way through traffic to Fire Station 21 and the Michael R. King and Richard W. Smith Jr. Memorial Substation, a Police facility named for 2 Heroes who gave their lives in the line of duty a handful of years ago. Marla and I talked about many of the reasons I am riding but primarily to raise awareness and help to create a culture of respect and honor for those who protect our liberties and freedom.
Steve, a local firefighter and his wife met with me for a short while, just prior to the interview. They were thrilled to learn The Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes was visiting their town.
Spencer and son Jacob stopped by The Kindness Bus late today, Jacob told his dad that his 2nd grade teacher talked about the Kindness Bus Tour at his school. What a wonderful way for this message to reach others. Word continues to spread.