Making inspiring cards for the youth!

31 05 2012



Day Three and Day Four

31 05 2012

Day 3: 5/30/2012

Hello to everyone reading my posts! Thanks for following our journey across America!

Today was quite a day. We rode from Bedford, PA to Ligonier PA. The ride was roughly 50 miles, which crossed two mountains, ranging about 2100 feet each. I was especially pumped for this because I like climbing. Yesterday we were able to hammer through the mountains and it was great, it also helped that the group I was in had all experienced riders. We stuck together through all the hills and pushed one another. Today I was my group’s motivator. I took the role of group leader, helping my team concur the challenging ride we had ahead of us. This ride is known as the hardest because of yesterday’s climbs, which results in sore legs combined with more climbing.  As group leader I took the role of making sure everyone is able to finish todays ride, I with Alyssha, Colette, Michelle. We started out of Bedford knowing the challenge we had ahead, but I kept letting my team know that we can’t give up! This ride wasn’t physically hard for me, it was more psychologically challenging. It takes a lot of work, and patience to ride at a slower pace, when you’re used to riding at a faster pace. I told myself, todays ride isn’t about me riding fast, it’s about getting these girls to the host in Ligonier. I sat at the end of the group, letting them know how good of a job they were doing and that I was excited to help them. After about 2 hours and only having traveled 14 miles, I was experiencing something I haven’t felt before. For a lack of better words, I was mentally drained.  And this is something the alumni said I was going to experience. I did my best to not show frustration, I know how those girls were feeling because I have been there before. I just kept reminding them how good they were doing, and for them to think about who they were riding for.

Around mile 16, the heat was getting to us. Collette was doing so well, but she needed to be picked up by the van. Michelle, Alyssha and I continued to climb the hills. Alyssha was starting to feel that deep muscle burn in her legs, but she had the want, drive and motivation to keep going. I stayed behind her, talking to her, trying to get her mind off the pain. But that only lasts for so long. We rode for a few more miles, in which we would  ride for a few minutes, then take a break,  for about an hour or so. At one point I was riding beside her, steering with my left hand and pushing her up with my right hand. Unfortunately her legs just couldn’t take anymore. She is awesome though, she keep trying and pushing herself but got to a breaking point. The van picked her up, and Michelle and I continued. We got a few more miles down the road and at lunch together at the top of the mountain. Shortly after, a big thunderstorm moved in and the van had to come back again to get us. I was bummed, it was the first day I wasn’t going to be able to finish. But I was proud of my team for riding hard for the people they dedicated todays ride for.

We drove about 15 miles down the road when we came upon another group of 4k riders. I busted out “I want to ride with them!”. Sarah and Alex let me get back on the road, I was stoked! We rode for about another 13 miles, through another short burst of rain, but we were able to finish the ride! I was really excited about that. I was more excited about how I was able to motivate the girls to keep pushing and giving it their all.

Our host is the YMCA of Ligonier. They are a great bunch of people, in awesome town. They fed us a big dinner and gave us a place to shower and sleep (showers are one of the best parts of the day).

Today I rode for Yoshi. He is a rider on Team Portland and a survivor of cancer. He is a huge inspiration to me because he beat cancer and is an incredible person. He had cancer on his vocal cords, but it was able to be removed without ANY damage to his voice. This guy can sing! At the host of Bedford he played piano man, on the piano and with harmonica, it rocked! Yoshi is one cool guy, and I already consider him to be a good friend.

This evening we had the first of many “pow wows”. We shared our cancer stories, in depth. It was really hard for a lot of people, but it created quite a strong bond for the group. Some stories were detailed experiences of how cancer had affected their family, and changed their life completely. And for others it was about knowing someone who passed or survived from cancer. This really opened a new door for me. I was really blown away. It made me realize how strong my Step-Mother is. It also made me think strong her parents are as well. Sandy, is survived by two wonderful kid Dillon and Madison. I believe it was my first or second year of high school when she was being treated and later passed away from cancer. I now understand what she was going through, I guess it must have been something I just didn’t understand when I was younger. And it was only because everyone was able to share their experience and made me realize what kind of psychological and even physical toll it can have on not only the person fighting the cancer, but also their family.

I’m grateful for this experience, and for everyone I am going to be able to meet on this ride. Also for the amazing individuals that make Team Portland so great! We have a long summer ahead of us, and I know we are going to be able to overcome any obstacle that is thrown in our direction.

I don’t have a map or Strava page for this due to having to get in the van. I left my gps on, and can’t edit the route.

Day 4: 5/30/2012

Derailleurs and Wheels don’t mix well.

Today we ride from Ligonier to Pittsburg! It was a fairly easy ride, but Sarah, Yoshi, Allison and I kept a good pace, got a little lost, but we were able to work together to find our destination. The riding is starting to have a slight toll on the bikes. We have had a few bent derailleur hangers and when that happens, it’s possible for them to get sucked into the rear wheel which proceeds to rip them right off the frame, and destroy them. This happened to two bikes today. So a majority of them got adjustments and preventative maintenance when everyone finished todays ride. Tomorrow we are going to a community non-profit bike shop, also known as a Co-op. They are going to help us get spare parts and work on some bikes. Keep an eye out for tomorrows post in the late evening. I will have a detailed post of tomorrow’s service day! Thank for all the support! If you would like to continue making donations during the summer to the Ulman Cancer Foundation you can do so here:

Here is today’ ride!


Good ol’ Pennsylvania!

29 05 2012


Day 2 Waynesboro to Bedford

29 05 2012

I will also have blog posts on my 4k page at :

Today was awesome. The group got up at 5:30, although I was up at around 5:15 after a pretty rough night of sleep. We ate breakfast as a group, loaded the vans with everyone’s stuff and cleaned up. The host was very generous and donated more food and water to us! We got in our pre-ride circle; we have a quick pep talk, and talk about who we are riding for that day. Today I rode for Karen Zeiter’s Mom, Sharon Zeiter. After that we were able to pick our own groups today. We did this because today was to be one of the hardest days in the entire trip, we were had a general idea of what each riders skill level was like. I knew right off the bat I want to ride with Yoshi, Jasper and Zach. We all had time together the first day to ride and hang out after wards working on some bikes.

We started the trip excited, but open minded because we knew what was in store, hills. Yes, lots and lots of hill, in fact we climbed over 6000ft today. We got to the first water stop fast. We hung out there until 2 more groups arrived. After getting some water, food and laughs we headed towards the mountain with confidence, and with a new team name for the day, Team Cup Cake, ha! We are riding north-west and in the distance we can see the Appalachian Mountains. And from far away the look like big hills. It wasn’t until we started the first climb, the first 2000 foot “hill”. It was beginning to get hot and humid. The climb was fun yet challenging. We reached the summit and hung out for other groups to arrive. Soon after everyone else arrived, we made our way decent down the mountain. Little did we know we had to more of this big hills ahead of us.

I was always told, to not underestimate the Appalachian Mountains and now I know why. We continued us the last two mountains. Sliding Hill was the last, and the hardest. It was hot and muggy. But we kept pushing through.

Sorry for skipping some riding details, but many hours later from the start and over 60 miles of riding, over 6000ft of riding we made it to Bedford, our host for the evening had an amazing dinner and great accommodations. I was very pleased with how friendly everyone was. We got cleaned up, ate, did some small tasks and are now enjoying some down time.

Tomorrow is going to be another rough day, but Team Portland 2012 will give it all we got!

We were in the news! Here is the ride!


Day One:

29 05 2012

May 27th, 2012. Today was the first day of the 4k For Cancer, cross country ride. We started the ride after a great ceremony at the Baltimore Harbor. All of the riders dipped their wheels in the bay, said farewell to their loved ones and rode north to Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. The first day was definitely an experience. We had the pleasure of being joined by 2010 and 2011 alumni. I really glad they were a part of our first day of the trip. I learned a lot about helping keeping people motivated on the bike. Chris Lubas was the alumni for our group. We talked a lot of about bikes, the ride, how to handle situations and much more. I can’t say it enough how much I appreciate all of the alumni for their help, and I can’t wait to do the same next year.

Our ride was off to a great start through the city of Baltimore. It was nice because there was little traffic, and lots of cyclist. I got to tell other riders just passing by about the ride and what we were doing it for. The ride was about 70 miles, with stops for water and food about every 20 miles. I thought I was going to dread stopping every 20 miles, but so far I have enjoyed it. We get time to talk and enjoy each other’s company. During the trip I made contact with the ground twice, but brushed it off and kept going.

We rode through some pretty familiar areas, as I usually ride through northern Baltimore County. There were some good hills, in which I was learning how to motivate my team to keep pedaling. We won’t give up unless its unsafe. We don’t stop just because it is hard, we keep pushing through it!

I made it to our host in Waynesboro right before a huge thunderstorm hit. It was quite crazy. We had some great food, showered and hung out. After that, Myself, Z, Jasper and Yoshi began to work on some bikes. All day long I was teaching people how to use their bike, problem solve, and just about anything else cycling related. I really do enjoy teaching all my new 4k friend about cycling! We keep joking about how much money they are going to owe me in the end, but really I’m just having a good time, riding my bike with a great group of people, inspiring those who are or have been affected by cancer. Soon we will be able to meet some of those people.

That concludes the first days posting, more to come soon!!

Here is the route of todays ride: