NYC and Back

Well we finally made it to NYC last week and had a great time hanging out, exploring the city, and sharing our story with all the amazing people we met.

Over the past 2 months we have pedaled 3,846 miles. We rode coast to coast through 2 countries and 10 states. I have personally consumed over 100 gallons of water (don’t ask about beer). We have slept in a tent (on the ground) just under 50 times on our 66 days on the road – the remained under the roofs of the most generous strangers I have ever met. My big take away from this trip is that this country is beautiful and full of amazing, wonderful, and good people.

I had a chance to stop by charity:water headquarters early in the week to check out the operation. I could not have been more impressed with the staff. Their passion and commitment to the mission is apparent from the moment you walk in the door.

Kaitlyn – @katejankowski – showed me around the office and gave me a big education about the water crisis and how c:w fits into the ongoing improvement of water quality worldwide. Most of their work at the moment is in Ethiopia, and their fall campaign will begin a new focus on Rwanda.

One story she shared in particular was very moving. Check out a recent video post about a little girl named Rachel who gave up her birthday in hopes to raise $300 for charity:water.

Rachel’s WISH, ONE year later.

Nine-year-old Rachel Beckwith had a birthday wish – to give 15 people clean water. Instead, she helped 60,000. Yesterday, on the one year anniversary of her death, her mom visited her wells in Ethiopia. Watch the video to see what happened.

When the NotesToNewYork campaign reaches its goal of $5,000, we will have raised enough money to fund an entire new well – providing 250 people with clean water for life!!

We currently stand at $3864 raised. This is great. We are so close

If 12 more people donate $100 we will reach that goal If 60 people donate $20 we will reach that goal

If you or anyone you know is able to help, please consider contributing to the campaign. If you have already donated, please consider donating a little bit more.

I want to end this post by thanking all the individuals who have already graciously supported the campaign.

Karen Agnich Julie Kenny Matthew Therrian Tanya Johnson Jason Rothfuss Christine Sachs Cathleen Odar Perla Rivas Debra Gesell Lee W. Hirth Michael Guerrero Edward J Galda Katy Miller Paul Zimmer Anne Montgomery William Burt seth greenfield Tim & Jane O’Brien Jim Timonere Taeko Hill Sally Khalil Jason Suhy Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund Christopher Kelly Charlie Holthaus Dennis & Barb Kraemer Eric Strong Jason Cox Christopher Mack Kathleen Taylor Noraini Othman Kate Therrian Sue Bentivegna Laurel & Dan Esseff Brighton Jones, LLC Judy Evens Cynthia Barrett and Family Anonymous Frances Frabotta Anonymous Victoria L. Naubert Matthew Therrian Tom Warrington Brayden Linden Anonymous Lisa Kraemer Chance Haynie Christine Sachs Jacqueline Karlson Clare Ondrey Meena Lenn

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Night ride to NYC.

After a very long day of riding Brian and I finally made it to the George Washington Bridge around 8:30 pm.

We opted for a short snack of fruits and nuts to save time due to our concerns about riding through the city at night; inevitably we would need to do so anyway.

As we began to cross the bridge, our anxiousness soon turned to excitement. The view of the city was amazing and the realization of the moment filled me with adrenaline. We had made it!

The first leg of riding took us along the Hudson River Greenway, a series of parks and pave bike path that runs almost the entire west side of the city. The view of the river was beautiful and people were out everywhere enjoying the weekend weather.

BBQ’s, concerts, waterside restaurants: there were endless activities going on, and got to sample all of them as we slowly rolled south.

When we reached our turn to head off the path, toward the bridge that would take us to Brooklyn, we waited at a cross walk with another biker.

I said hi and out of impulse asked him if he was heading to Brooklyn. He said yes but was a bit put off when I asked if we could follow him there.

I quickly explained who we were and the whole situation and he immediately changed his tune. What followed was some of the most intense city riding.

Recky, our impromptu guide, ha us running reds, rolling stop signs, and riding backwards up one way streets! All I could think was, “this guys is nuts! I hope he knows what he’s doing.”. To add to the drama, my read tire had begun to leak ever so slowly, and I had to struggle to keep up.

After 10-15 mins of that madness, we arrived at the Williamsburg bridge. It was pretty smooth sailing from there, ad we slowly made our way to my sister’s apartment in Clinton Hill.

When we arrived Kate and her roommates, Nick and Steph, were there to great us. They also made us some really rocking fajitas!

The next day we meandered around he city and got to hang with Kate on her day off (a few pics below).

That evening We went to a comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. I chimed in about what we were doing when it was audience participation time.

The MC’s proceeded to give us some grief about being unemployed bums and doing charity work for “water” when there are human beings that need so much help. They took it pretty easy on us all in all, and we had a lot of fun.

I can’t believe the ride is done. The reception party is this Saturday July 28 @ The Emerson on Myrtle Ave. I hope to see you there. We will be getting ready throughout the week and just hanging out. Shoot me and email or give me a call of you’re around.

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Amazing contribution to the campaign!

I was so excited and impressed when I heard from my Aunt Christine a few days ago. This is so cool.

My cousins Abi and Kayln, along with some help from their friends Emma and Zoey, set up a cookie and lemonade stand this weekend with all of the proceeds going to the N2NY charity:water campaign.

The stand was a huge success, and yesterday they donated the proceeds; a whopping $72 to charity:water! I don’t know what a cookie in Iowa costs these days, but that is awesome. I couldn’t be more impressed with these guys.

I got to hang out with Abi and Kayln on our stop in Michigan, and we had a bunch of fun swimming in the lake and generally goofing around with all the cousins.

This is just one of the ways that my family has pitched in. As we continue on our final day o riding, I want I thank everyone for their continued love and support.

Here’s the link to the fundraising page: www.mycharitywater.org/notestonewyork

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Which way to NYC?

It may surprise you to know that we are currently headed northeast into NY as we make our way down to the Big Apple.

The plan is to ride the northern tier bicycle route towards Newcomb and North Hudson to meet up with bike route 9 that runs N-S from the border of Quebec to Manhattan.

Here’s a pic I just took of our campsite just outside Fulton, NY tonight.

We needed to do a lot of bike cleaning after riding a couple of days on the Erie Canal trail. Unpaved, it is mostly crushed limestone, which cover our bikes, our gear, and most of ourselves.

We are still have an ETA of 7/22 or 23.

I’m having an amazing time and meeting a ton of great people. Looking forward to NYC, but at the same time I don’t want this amazon experience to end.

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Back in the USA!

Hey we’re back in America. Canada was great, but not so hot for cell service. We are back stateside heading east down The Erie Canal.

I want to give a quick shout out to my dad today. It’s his birthday today and e rules! Happy birthday dad.

A lot has happened in a week, but I’ll give you the short of it for now. As we crossed into Canada, we met some fellow bike tourist and decided to ride as a group for a whole.

Hannah and Cloe are sisters from Utah who are traveling from Anacortes, WA to Bar Harbor, Maine. They are super cool and it has been fun riding with them for the past few days.

There’s a pic of us riding on the Erie canal and one where we met on the ferry with their great aunt and uncle from Tennessee.

Niagra Falls was pretty stunning. I’ll get more pics up from the waterproof camera once I have a computer to use. We rode the boat into the falls and it was pretty spectacular. Sorry Taqhamenon Falls you don’t hold a candle to this. I’ll leave it at that for now.

It’s Friday in a small town. Maybe we’ll find something fun to do.

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One last post before we cross the border.

Heading into Canada in an hour or so. I thought I’d write a post before I risk roaming and log distance fees I can’t afford.

Stopped in Midland, MI a few days back to hang out at my cousin Ryan’s house before heading east to Canada. He showed us a great time; drank a few beers and shot a few games of pool.

His sister Nicole cooked us their families famous biscuits ‘n gravy in the morning. We also grabbed some coffee with Jess’s family (Ryan’s girlfriend) before heading out.

Then the fun started.

Ryan hasn’t been on a bike for about six years, so he set out on a rented bike for a 55 mile ride through the fields of Eastern Michigan. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest. He did a great job and Brian and I had a great time rolling around with another guy for a day.

We stopped in at the Caro, MI bowling alley to wait for Ryan’s ride home. I guess bowling isn’t very popular here, but we had fun anyway. I even won a game.

I’ll try to post a few in Canada but might need to wait til Buffalo, NY if I’m roaming. Until then…

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A little more from Alpena

So just a little bit more about our rest stop in Alpena. We’ve been coming to Long Lake every summer since before I was born and the place has what you would call a real rustic charm. This year was no exception.

Though there is a shower house, a bar of soap in the lake sufficed for me and I went fishing at least 2 or three times every day with some pretty decent luck.

I added a few pics below too.

1. My mom made Brian and I some shirts to take with us. I think she wants us to wear them in bars to meet girls. I was kind of hesitant to put it on at first, but I think they’re pretty cool now.

2. Pics of all the cousins that could make it up. The two little nieces are in there too (the baby and the little blonde).

3. Went out fishing with my cousin Ryan and buddy Joe Quille. Managed to being in some good sized Walleye. Pretty sure Joe caught the biggest fish of the week btw.

4. Me and my mom.

5. My uncle dad helping me while I adjust my fender.

We are in Capac tonight and Canada tomorrow.

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Breaking the radio silence.

We rode into Alpena, Michigan after a grueling 105 mile ride in 90+ degree heat. I had arrived in a very familiar place. It was the first one in months.

That morning I woke up in Brevort, MI at 4AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. The campsite next to highway 2 had huge trucks roaring by every 5-10 minutes and the beers I drank to get to sleep the first time had worn off.

Feeling restless I headed down to the beach and waded in the dark waters of Lake Michigan.

The previous afternoon I swam in the warm crystal clear water wading in the sand bar, wondering if I would ever have the chance again.

The view was much different, but no less spectacular. In the pre-dusk haze the churning waves crashed ominous against the sand as I walked the shore. A powerful warm wind pushed through my hair and whooshed in my ears.

Staring at the lake I let go and lost myself in the sound and visual patterns.

The ride to Macinaw was mostly about hunger and figuring out how to cross the Big Mac bridge. $5 and a sketchy sprint across all 20 toll lanes gets you a truck ride to Mac City. The driver was nice enough to drive us to a great little breakfast place too. Score!

Post breakfast we jumped on a bike trail and high tailed it to Cheboygan. When we got there at 10 am we knew we had to push on. The town wasn’t much and we had a lot of day to kill.

We talked to a few locals about the trail that ran almost all the way to Long lake Rd. and decided to make the journey.

It was long and hot and tiring. I also found a tick on my leg after using the “outdoor facilities,” but it was all worth it to spend an extra day with my family and feel like home.

After some hugs and hellos I immediately shaved my beard and jumped into the lake. The water was the warmest it has been in years, and the fishing wasn’t half bad either.

Didn’t take too many pics and left the phone off most of the time, but I’ll get a few from the family to post. Back to the routine today. More stories tomorrow.

Still in the UP

Hey guys. Still hanging in the U.P. of Michigan. Wanted to post some pics and mention a few thugs we did.

- Hit a great brewery called H and H in Escanaba.

- Caught a sunset on lake Michigan win some Floridians at Fayette State Park.

- Went to a book reading for a UP book tour and had lunch with some of the authors we met.

- Stopped by Tahquamenon Falls, which are the 2nd largest falls easy of the Mississippi (apparenty).

Oh more good news. We have finalized the date for our NYC arrival bash. I will send more formal info out, but here are the facts.

July 28th @ The Emerson in Brooklyn. Mark your calendars. It should be a lot of fun!

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