Got a wonderful e-mail today from the wonderful people from Bike & Build informing me that I have been accepted into their program this summer. I will now be spending my summer cycling across this beautiful country with a group of 30 other cyclists. Bike & Build is an organization that focuses on cycling and volunteering. Along my route I will be volunteering in 13 different cities to volunteer with affordable housing organizations such as Habitat or Humanity. I have been wanting to take part in this trip since I first heard about it 3 years ago but was always busy each summer with summer jobs to pay for school. But this year I will b graduating and figured what better time to do than now. In order to take part in this wonderful adventure I need to prepare myself mentally, physically and financially. I will be riding anywhere from 30 to 100 miles each day and each day will be non stop moving from sun up to sun down. Also, I need to raise $4,500 to take part in this adventure. I know with the support of my friends and family and my determination I will have no problem chasing this dream of mine.
Training in the winter months suck. There’s no other way to put it, they just are simply terrible. I can’t exactly bike outside due to the frigid weather Clarion Pennsylvania brings so I am forced to use the stationary bike in the gym. So I trek to the gym each night and swipe my ID through the slot to let myself in the gym door. I take a few laps around the track, eyeing up the stationary bike each time I pass. There it sits, unused as usual, just waiting for me to hop on and begin my ten mile trek to nowhere. The TV screen attached takes a little bit of the pain away, especially on Monday nights. If I remember to get there on time I can pedal to a new episode of How I Met Your Mother, other than that I am aimlessly hunting through the endless cable stations trying to find a find a mind numbing show to get lost in. I sometimes wind up just getting lost in music videos, but often get embarrassed once that start showing rap videos. There’s so many half naked women in the videos it could easily be mistaken that I was watching porn. Once I finally finish my boring bike ride, I move downstairs to the weight room and proceed to lift every upper body machine that is available. Then to finish off my workout, I spend about my last half hour doing various abs workouts. Typically doing the exercises until I can barely stand back up. It’s a grueling exercise, but it will all be worth it once I’m biking across the country.
I Ride for Meg
Full of life, caring, compassionate, perfect. These are just a few words to describe my best friend, Megan Kays. Meg and I met freshman year of school at Clarion University and have been best buds ever since. Throughout the years we have always gone on active adventures such as hiking through Cook Forest or biking the Allegheny River Trail. She always pushed me mentally and physically to do better which helped me shave time off my mile time and chase my dreams. Her being a woman of faith and myself being a man of science we had some contrasting views. But one thing we did always come to agree on was the true meaning of life, which is why I think what made us such great friends, and that was happiness. Megan did whatever made her happy, she never really cared about how much money she made or even that much about school, even though she graduated early with honors. She loved running and even when the doctor told her to take it easy due to a pelvic fracture she went on to run a 5k race. One thing about Meg is that she understood life, she got more out of her short 22 years than most people will get out of 80. She loved every minute of living and understood how important people are. She never hesitated to lend a helping hand to someone in need. That is why I have decided to dedicate this Bike & Build trip to her. She loved biking and loved volunteering and I will be carrying her with me in spirit ever step of the way. This one’s for you Meg. I love you buddy.
Got my bike!!!
After tons of fundraising and waiting for what felt like forever I finally got my bicycle from Bike & Build. With much anticipation I drove home from Clarion to Erie, PA to tear into the box. It took minimal constructing and was the most beautiful bike I’ve ever seen. With my dad’s assistance we attached the steering wheel and front tire along with freaking sweet clipless pedals. I stepped back and starred in awe at its magnificence beauty.
All Inked Up!
One of my best friends who is an incredible artist from Austin, TX took the time to paint my bike in Meg’s honor. Thank you Jet.
Finally got my helmet returned to me from Jet and strapped on a ContourROAM high definition camera to record my entire journey.
And we’re off…well to Maine that is