Thanks for joining me!
Cancer is an ugly blight that touches every family, friend, and neighbor. The Pelotonia 2018 event is where I, with your help, intend to take a stand.
The Ride to End Cancer
Thanks for joining me!
Cancer is an ugly blight that touches every family, friend, and neighbor. The Pelotonia 2018 event is where I, with your help, intend to take a stand.
The Ride to End Cancer
This is the wrap up. The Scotts Kid is officially retired. The whole experience has been surreal. I remember the morning of April 30th when I left Candlewood Lake. It was a cold 33 degrees (I don’t like riding anytime it is lower than 55). Jill and I were talking and I said I didn’t want to leave because of the cold and Jill said she didn’t want me to leave. I proposed hiding out and blogging from the basement which we both agreed would be the better choice but I got my gloves on and left.
The first days were difficult since I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into and had many decisions to make regarding food, shelter and path. Can’t tell you how many times I thought the best course of action would be just to turn around and go home. Not sure “one” particular thing kept me on the road but a big factor was my commitment too many people that I would make the West Coast – these were mostly family and friends that I had known for many years.
Somewhere along the way I started to experience the generosity and wisdom of “strangers” that quickly became “friends”. While this group includes people from many walks of life the one stand-out group are the professional fire fighters that are willing to risk their lives daily to protect people and property. These men and women are truly top notch and deserve our support any time we are positioned to do so. When you think about it one of the truest forms of “love” is when someone who is a stranger and has no skin in the game stops to help someone in need.
The second group of people that I think are exceptional are you the donors to the Pelotonia. There are so many different ways to spend your money and so many charities that are requesting your donations that I am humbled by your generosity. We ended up collecting (to date) $20,046 which is spectacular! While this is well short of my goal I realize that my efforts to make this a national movement were not up to par. Regardless the money we collected will go a long way “to end cancer in our lifetime” and for this I am eternally grateful to each of you.
This will be my last post as The Scotts Kid as my mission is over and I don’t have anything else to post about. I do plan on turning these blogs into a book of sorts. Haven’t done this before but figure it will be easier than taking a bike across the company. The intent is not to make money but to give you a collection of stories (given more thinking times I can add stories and facts to make it more interesting) that can be shared with those you know. I tried to collect the emails of everyone that gave a donation and once the book is together it will be shard with each of you.
Thought you might like some fun facts. These haven’t be substantiated in some cases but will be validated when I have more time. During the trip:
Again thanks to all of YOU donors and trip supporters!!!! You made the trip doable and kept me going. My one final wish is that the kindness you have shown me in a time of need is returned to you many times over. Trust that it made me a better person that will try to do the same in the future.
Signing off . . .
Please forgive my tardiness in getting this post out. I got home yesterday and just enjoyed the company of my wife, my pesky dog, my middle son Joe, my son to be daughter in law Mandie, and their much bigger pesky dog. I will also deviate from past practice to show and explain one picture at a time to give you a better chronology of my return.
This is the night before my final journey home. Joe and Mandie posed in front of their soon to be “new” house. They were so afraid that they might “creep” the current owner (apparently they’ve been by many times to look at the house again and to get pictures that they wanted to do a “picture and run” mission. The funny thing is that a neighbor (left hand side) came home and thought we were casing the joint. Had to explain and he allowed us to proceed.
SHOUT OUT to Performance Auto Group in general and Greg, Jeff, Kyle and Joe. Greg, Jeff, and Joe all work at Performance Group and Kyle is Greg’s son. Joe has promoted the Pelotonia at work a number of times and these gentlemen and many of their co-workers have generously contributed. These gentlemen all got up at 5:00 a.m. or so and met Joe and I at their corporate office in Dublin to ensure I made it home. Not shown is Brenda who drove the SAG Wagon (chase car to help if needed) to provide backup.
Joe and I enjoying the early sunrise on the return home. Admittedly I was the slowest one in the pack. I could blame in on “tired” legs and a “heavy” MG but the reality is that most of these guys are practiced Pelotonia riders (riding again this year) and drove forward like a clock. The benefit was I was able to draft on them much of the way and got home just after 10:00 in the morning with a 15.8 MPH. Nothing stops this bunch!
MG and I are on the roadside 2nd position in this picture. I think Kyle took the picture. Kyle works in a bike shop and not only took pictures but also selected a bike route that I had never been on to get us home. We did run into a sign that said “Road Closed, 6 Miles Ahead” and without really too much decision making kept going (with my eternal gratitude). Our timing was a bit off however. As the last rider went through the construction site (me of course) the workers drove up in a truck. Their looks didn’t give me the impression that they were cheering us on.
MG and I at the Mt. Gilead traffic circle and slightly earlier when we were approaching it. The untold story here is that construction crews were also repaving the road just North of this position. At this point our group got split into two. Each group thought they were ahead of the other. Joe and Jeff can claim anything they want but the “truth” is that Greg, Kyle, and I took the more hilly (arduous) route and beat ’em to my house by 5 minutes. No matter what they say this is the TRUTH!
Can’t say enough about these riders. They showed up at 6:00 a.m., rode till 10:00, spent 15 minutes at my house and then went BACK to work. During the morning’s ride there was always at least one of these guys that stayed back with me. It was a fun morning, a quick ride, and a great bunch of riders. Hope to see them again at the upcoming Pelotonia!
In the spirit of full disclosure this is a staged picture taken at my request. It is not supposed to reflect reality but my true feelings about being home. The reality was we were charging the battery on our very dirty boat which when completed allowed us to take Joe and Mandie tubing. Their dog Dwight kept trying to jump in the water to get to them and the tube. You should have seen Jill try to restrain the 85 or so pound dog.
Lastly, when I woke up at Joe’s house I looked around the room and found this sign. Do you think any additional explanation is needed?
Thanks for sharing this adventure with “The Scotts Kid”!
This was a fairly short bike leg where the 77 miles was completed in about 5 and a half hours. The humidity was kicking up today so “welcome back to the Ohio summer weather”.
A number of times I alluded to or discussed life and circumstance come together in funny ways. When Bill Slagle and I were leaving Bellefontaine yesterday, Mandie’s (Joe’s fiance) mom (Bonnie) was leaving her house in Sidney for Grove City. She saw Bill and I riding out of Bellefontaine and thought it was “The Scotts Kid”. However she “knew” that The Scotts Kid rode alone and thought she was mistaken. What are the odds?
Speaking of seredipity, I was up early again today. As I get closer to ending this ride the excitement grows. In any case I got up at 4:30 a.m. and didn’t have anything to do until 5:30. I looked around and found a book entitled, “101 Things to do before you Get to Heaven”. I found the title intriguing and decided to flip through it. It had lots of interesting ideas. I decided to look at the first two items figuring I could get started. Ironically enough here are the first two:
That’s if for tonight. Joe and Mandie are making hamburgers for dinner and my mouth is watering.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the fathers out there!
What a wonderful day! A Navy friend I hadn’t seen in more than 30 years met me in Bellafontaine to ride me back to his house in Troy. We rode the 50 miles talking about old times, new times and things in between – what a great time. It was also fun not having to navigate for a change. He took me the back roads that had us landing after 101 miles of pedaling.
At the end of the run he took me to a monster hill by his house. He started a tradition that anyone that could ride up the hill without touching the ground would get their name on a plaque that he maintains. I am happy to report that MG earned the right to have her name placed on this prestigious plaque for time eternal.
Another story of a wonderful couple goes to Doris and Wayne that own a house on US 68S. While I was riding down the road I saw a sign that said, “Wishing you a great day and a good night”. I find it amazing that someone would try to send a message to every motorist that comes down US 68 such a special wish.
Now I turn my attention to Grove City which is where my middle son lives. Should be there tomorrow before 1:00 p.m.
Today my wish for you is that all your dreams be righteous and become a part of your life that gets more fulfilling each day!
Day’s Summary: Planned on doing 117 miles but after 3 detours and a navigation miss (on Google’s part) in Toledo I ended up doing 126 miles. I believe this is my last 100+ ride. Seemed to be going well all morning (60 miles by 10:00) but the afternoon seemed to drag. The truth is probably anything over 100 miles catches me when I am tired.
I showed up at John’s house yesterday and he made me feel special. He asked if I wanted anything to eat or drink and I said no. He brought me water and a pasta salad. When he finished working we sat on his back deck and drank a beer or two. We talked politics and while our positions are usually different we are “able” to hear one another so points are made and thoughts engaged. Advice, never try to argue with a lawyer.
For dinner John bought me so Thai food (chicken and noodle dish) and a German Chocolate cake. I was full and fueled for today’s ride. He also bought me some quality protein bars which taste much better than the cheaper brand that I buy.
In the morning we went for breakfast as stated in the pictures. It was a really nice time!
That about wraps it up for today. The Findlay Fire Department gave me my own room with shower! Again this raises my appreciation to all the Fire Stations that have provided assistance, guidance and advice over the last 40+ days. You guys (and gals) rock and the success I now enjoy would not have been possible without your support earlier in my trip. You have my undying GRATITUDE!
Tomorrow I will meet up with a Navy buddy that went through flight school with me. Haven’t seen he for years and years. This will be a red letter day.
Think of someone that you love and that has made a difference in your life but for whatever reason you haven’t made contact for awhile and CALL THEM! You will be glad you did!
Finished my ride of 87 miles at 12:15 today with a 14.8 mile an hour average. While this certainly isn’t a top speed, it does have me moving fast enough to feel good about the run. I have a noticeable omission I want to correct first. Yesterday I arrived in my 14th and last “new” state for my ride which is the mighty state of Michigan. While Michigan doesn’t seem as “eye catching” as Wisconsin, it does have some of the same scenario and certainly is a state worth visiting. My only complaint is the roads. Michigan seems to have some of the worst roads I’ve rolled over in the East with little to no shoulder. To make matters worse the drivers seem less understanding. While I ride in a consistent manner, today 3 Michigan honked their horns at me in frustration. It was obvious I had no other place to ride and I was over as far as I could be but still they felt the need to tell me to get off the road.
Another notable is that I have broken the 4000 mile barrier with today’s ride have a grand total of 4055 miles (2590 miles going out and as of today 1465 miles on the return. The shortened return is due largely to my Amtrak train ride out of California and to a lesser extent the High Speed Ferry ride into Michigan. While neither event was “riding a bike” so I can’t count the miles, I loved the experience of both and wouldn’t have traded the experience.
Thoughts on Today’s Ride:
One of my heroes is Stephen Hawkins He had a progressive physical ailment commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Rather than succumbing to the downside of the disease he shifted his goal away from the physical and to the mental side. Was he successful? Well his “dumbed down theories” for normal people is still over my head. I would say he was a genius that was able to deal with his reality to the point that he became the foremost thinker of all things dealing with the stars.
What does this mean to me? First there is a prayer that I believe is the foremost philosophical guide for all of us called the “Serenity Prayer” (this is not a religious discussion. Feel free to change the word “prayer” with “philosophy” and replace “God” with any other word that guides your life should the words not fit into your beliefs). Here goes:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”
Where am I going with this mish-mash of “stuff”? Goals are wonderfully fine and highly recommended. However what do you do with a goal if something happens that precludes you from reaching that goal (i.e. I wanted to do an Iron Man Triathlon but had my knees replaced which made this goal unreasonable). My contention is that the “Serenity Prayer” would cause me to believe that running a marathon in no longer in my best interest which would cause me to rethink my goal. To continue the example as I rethink my goal I might decide to ride my bike across America which is still a big challenge but won’t hurt my knees.
3. Last thought has to do with what makes me “Rob”. As I get older and can no longer do the things I like to do (like ride a bike) how does this impact my life. Does the fact that I can no longer ride the bike make “Rob” less than he was before. This took me a while to sort through because I do associate myself strongly with a bike and if I couldn’t ride it for exercise what would I do and would I suddenly be less than I was before? After much thinking my conclusion was that Rob is not the physical being. Rob is the mind, the spirit, and the desire to do something. Should my body no longer be able to ride the bike the mind could, should, and would find some other outlet for the Rob persona. Ultimately as long as I have my mind (this is what Stephen Hawkin taught me) then I exist and therefore I can perform some real activity in the world.
I would caution you however that this is a tough concept to accept and believe in. If you look at our advertising today it is all about young, beautiful, and lots of material things. I disagree that these things are important. People are beautiful through their thoughts and actions not their physical make up and material things.
As you can see short rides don’t necessarily mean lack of thinking. Sorry for the heavy thoughts but lately I have been trying to sort out what getting old means to me as I start down this path.
If you agree or disagree or would like to throw you thoughts into the mix I would love to get your opinions on these subjects. We are all getting older and if we want to remain productive and relevant these are the topics we will need to wrestle to the ground.
Wishing you my very best today, tomorrow and always!
Summary: So, once we completed the crossing to Muskegon we officially entered the Eastern Time Zone. Home can’t hide from us much longer! We made the 114 miles to Chesaning in just under 7 hours starting when we got off the Lake Express. The “pretty good time” is a direct result of the expected wind AT OUR BACKS, the good roads, MG’s complete recovery from multiple surgeries and a back wheel that is steady and true. In addition, Dave and Camille ensured our nutrition levels were maxed out and we were fully rested. Once again the part of this trip I’ve enjoyed the most are the people which have been so kind and supportive.
I had a Eureka moment last night that isn’t fully fleshed out yet. I think life has two main paths that make up each of our lives. One path is the one that throws challenges up that we must meet head on by ourselves. These challenges cause us to better understand ourselves and allow us to grow into the person we are meant to be. The other path is the one that is far more interesting to me. This path is the one where you have a problem that you can’t solve by yourself. An example would be me standing on the side of the road with a tire/tube busted and no way to fix it without a bicycle shop that is a 100 miles away. Somehow this path brings people together that “are meant to be”. Again in my example many people that passed me by couldn’t have helped. The 1 person that did stop (Jeff) ended up taking me to that bike store that was unreachable by me alone. What brought us together? What caused me to be on that road (I could have taken many other roads)? What caused Jeff to be on that road? Why did Jeff decide to change course from Minnesota to Fort Dodge? So many questions and I don’t even know how to begin answering them.
Bottom line is we are tied together in this organization called humanity. As long as we are part of humanity fate moves us in ways that are truly miraculous.
Please make tomorrow, a great day, even better.
You guys are really in for a treat today. I have spent my “down” day hunting for the “secret” treasures of Mequon, Wisconsin. Your objective is to look at the pictures and determine what they are or their purpose. You get a point for all correct answers. Compete with friends and family to become the Master of Mequon.
Because of the number of pictures I am going top to bottom by column. Good Luck!
Pictures and answers:
How did you do?
Tomorrow MG and I reluctantly leave Meguon (where we’ve had such a great time of fellowship, fun and rest) to complete our mission.
Early tomorrow we will be on a high speed ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon where I start the two day journey to Ferndale. The pictures tomorrow will be awesome!
Wishing you a wonderful evening!
Summary: I do pretty well getting started and out the door on a regular basis. As long as I am on my schedule I can typically do what I set out to do. The problem comes up with the unexpected. Here is today’s story!
Stayed at a motel that had breakfast. The motel agreed to have the food set out at 5:30 a.m. A couple of bowls of Trix, yogurt, Grape Juice, coffee cake and other delicious items set me up for a good day.
On the road with teeth brushed by 5:50, we were cookin’. Ten miles, twenty miles, thirty miles with all all systems firing while enjoying gorgeous Wisconsin scenery which had all the makings of a great day. At mile 30 I even passed up a bike store called the “Yellow Jersey” and thumbed my nose at it thinking, “tire is good we don’t need you” – boy was that a wrong thought.
At thirty five miles I felt something funny on the back of the bike and thought “oh no, another flat”. I checked the tire at it was full pressure and thought I was imagining things. As I started to get on the bike again and the bike rolled forward the tire caught. I looked down and the tube had pushed the tire out of the rim. Needless to say I was not a happy person. I bought a bike to ride and not walk!
At this point I did something really out of character – I turned back. If you know me then you should know was I start in a direction I continue in that direction till the objective is met. This was the exception. Given that I still had 65 miles to Mequon (with no guarantee that there was a bike store between here and there) and only 9 miles back to the “Yellow Jersey” which I knew was open, I chose to go back. They quickly confirmed that the rim was shot (no really a hard diagnosis since the side of the rim was blown out (literally). Three hours and a couple of hundred dollars later we are back on the road.
We passed the point where I stopped at 8:30 again at 12:30. Updated my friend Dave that my anticipated 2:30 p.m. landing time in Mequon was delayed to 6:00 or 7:00. He offered to pick me up but MG and I still had our pride. We had to make a day of it and get some good miles under our belt. We fought our way to Hartford, WI (20 miles west of Mequon) and called Dave to see if his offer to pick us up was still on the table. It was and we were in Mequon by 6:00 p.m. I figured that after doing 80 miles with a terribly late start allowed us to retain our dignity AND enjoy and early end to the day.
Dave and Camille welcomed me into their lovely home and fed me dinner that kings would have envied. Again, friends old and new, are treasures that we should all be very thankful for and never take for granted.
Tomorrow will be an official “rest” day. MG has been working extremely hard and with all of her recent surgery she needs to recover and I want a day when I can just STAY OFF the bike. I do plan on getting some pictures of Mequon for tomorrow’s post but trust the mileage attainment for tomorrow will be zero.
I have a couple of favorite actors and one of them (no, not John Wayne) would say, “I can only stands so much and I can’t stands no more”. Most of you should recognize this quote coming from “Popeye the Sailor Man”. That is how I felt today with the latest tire blow out. I don’t care what it takes I just want MG back to fighting strength. I think we are there now and the road home should be clear of all obstacles!
Remember that your life is yours to direct. Are you guiding your life down the path that you want? If not, why?
Today was one of the most interesting days of my trip. Interesting because we had a huge thunderstorm (with tornado watch) last night, rains continuing throughout the day, many rolling hills, cool temperatures (64 degrees at 1:30 p.m.), the expected winds, simply gorgeous scenery and a crossing BACK over the Mississippi River. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Left the motel this morning with wet pavement, cloudy skies and ominous clouds. I just had to go a block down the street to get some breakfast so I was going to watch the weather and decide what to do. Elkader is in a valley so I figured that maybe, some of the clouds had just settled to the lower valley and it would clear up as I got to higher elevations. If you checked out the pictures you will note that I was wrong. The yellow bag covers you see on MG are directly related to the drizzly rain that we experienced much of the morning and early afternoon.
Something I didn’t know was that Eastern Iowa and Western Wisconsin are fairly hilly. The hills weren’t huge and I enjoyed the change of path. Kansas, Nebraska and most of Iowa was flat and straight – where is the fun in that.
I was on WI-60 East most of the day (after leaving Iowa of course) which is a Wisconsin Scenic by-Way. Unexpectedly this is my favorite scenic by way to date. Even though the sun wasn’t out, the magnificent trees, lush grass, plentiful water (60 parallels Blue River), and the hills acting as a backdrop made the ride fun and interesting.
The most exciting part of the morning? It appears that MG no longer has a persistent leak in the back tire. The guess that the rim had a defect and tape covering it appears to have fixed the problem. Still not 100% sure that this is the case but boy it is a great indicator when I am not by the side of the road pumping air. This may be a HUGE win for the good guys!
In spite of the good day I was sucking wind the last 20 miles. I may have eaten too much energy “replacement” food in the beginning of the ride (first 40 miles) and not enough the last 60 miles (did 104 miles today). The reason for this is simple. I don’t have a lot of food stores at this point and what I have most of is Welch’s Fruit Snacks (‘made with 100% real juice’). I just don’t like the gummy bear like texture and decided I would rather starve than eat any of them. I paid the price.
In Sauk City my first stop was Piggly Wiggly for two boxes of “Sweet and Salty Chewy Granola Bars”. I won’t crash again.
Really excited about tomorrow. When I decided on returning via a “northern route” I wasn’t really sure what I was going to target. A week or so ago dear friends asked if I would like to stay with them and I jumped at the opportunity since it is on the northern route was was an ideal stopping point. Tomorrow’s ride will take me to Mequon, Wisconsin (never been to that part of Wisconsin) which is 96 miles away. I am real excited about the trip and anxious to get started.
Forgotten Item: I meant to tell you and forgot, the Lincoln Highway is a scenic by way in Ohio with part of it up by my house. I crossed signs for this highway throughout the West. The other day I saw a sign that said, “The Lincoln Highway crosses 13 states and goes for 3398 miles”. If you are looking to cruise the highways this might be a route to check out.
Nature’s Weird: Red-winged Blackbirds have well populated the sides of the highways. What I noticed is that they typically have a couple of “guards” up on the telephone wires with additional guards in the tall cross. What I noticed is that when I go by their territories they will launch by ones or twos and fly in formation over me clicking with a tone that is warning me away. Occasionally they will pass me off to birds on down the road. I find this hilarious. If I were to stop what are they going to do, kick me? Little creatures are too funny.
Rest Stops: There are rest stops on the scenic by ways. Usually they just have the grass cut, nice shade trees and a picnic table. I think of the big rest stops on the interstates and how rushed and crowded they can be and compare them to these simple rest stops. Given the choice I would go rustic every time. Strongly recommend that you consider taking “…the road less traveled” to see how you might enjoy the change.
May the start to this new week be the best ever!