Cycling for Sally

Oct 8

Portland to Portland is complete

Wow. It is really difficult to summarize this experience in one simple tumblr post. I have such a mix of emotions from elation at having completed this long and sometimes arduous journey to sadness that it is over and I have to say goodbye to some really wonderful people.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the best Trek Travel guides: Dave, Amy, Michael and Scott! I also could not have done this without the support of my wife, Holly. Together we rode across this magnificent land called the USA. I am thrilled that cycling for Sally has raised nearly $20,000 for the ALS clinic at URMC. That is simply astounding to me and is all due to the generosity of friends, family, colleagues, patients and people I don’t yet know.
All in all I rode my bicycle over 3,000 miles and climbed some ridiculous number of feet. My Garmin got lost somewhere along the way so I don’t know exactly what my ride stats are. I missed one full day of riding to a migraine and three half days to a migraine but aside from that I was very lucky and free of significant ailments.
We rode through 13 states, rode on two ferries and had only two days of inclement weather the entire trip. We were so very lucky with the weather. I rode my longest ride ever of 126 miles and completed the hardest mountain pass of my cycling “career” by riding up the hard side of big horn pass.
It would be best not to contemplate just how much bacon I ate or how many snickers and payday candy bars or cokes I consumed. Trek Travel should partner with Coca Cola because nearly all of of us drank Coke every day, several times a day!
I will finish this blog off with a random list of lessons learned, favorite places and least favorite places.

Lessons learned
- the kindness and generosity of people is unlimited
- America is a big country
- there is beauty everywhere (except perhaps in toledo)
- migraines suck
- I am stronger than I thought I was
- work is overrated
- cycling is freedom (even when you are suffering)
- everything that goes up must eventually come down

Favorite places/events/circumstances
- badlands national park
- Adirondacks during peak foliage season
- Lolo pass
- Clearwater river
- spotting three bald Eagles
- bighorn pass
- Madison WI rest day
- iron horse hotel in Milwaukee
- Columbia River gorge
- in truth I enjoyed nearly every state we went through and so this list would be endless

Least favorite places-
- Ohio (sorry fellow Ohioans) : mostly just because I had a migraine through that state)
- Michigan roads and drivers. (Except for the super nice folks who made is cookies!!)

Stupid things I did that I would never do under normal circumstances
1) ride my bicycle on I90 with a narrow breakdown lane and the sun rising so as to blind the drivers
2) ride before the sun had actually risen in the sky

Best church slogan/signs
- jesus died to erase your sins not your mind (saw this somewhere in the middle of.thr country)
- be prepared: it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark

Best grocery store
- Al’s Oasis: Oacoma SD. Where you can buy ammunition next to the produce section.

Best cappuccino: Portland, Oregon

I have to go find my orange cat, Linus, now who is annoying our neighbors so it is a sign that it is time to cut this blog short. Thank you for following along as I took this remarkable journey and I wish you all peace, love and good health. Yours truly Carly
Oct 5

Fairlee to north conway

Oct 5

Fairlee VT to North Conway NH

Today I rode through my home state of NH. It was a beautiful day and the kancamagus was jammed with leaf peepers. I decided to ride the three climbs and finish off the ride at the top of the kanc and skip the descent amongst the traffic. This is familiar territory and it seemed so unfitting to finish off such a lovely day if riding by worrying about being run over by leaf peepers as they headed down hill.
Tonight will be our last night of preparing to ride the next day. Tomorrow we ride the 64 miles into Portland and dip our wheels in the ocean. It is really mind boggling to me that this journey is about to end. It will take some time to process all of the lessons learned and take in the meaning of what we have accomplished. I tried my best to take my mom on a journey way outside the boundaries of the four walls she endured for over two years as she slowly lost her battle to ALS. I carried her spirit with me and we had a hell of ride.
Onward one more time!

Oct 4

Ticonderoga to Fairlee

Oct 4

Ticonderoga to Fairlee VT

Today was cut short by some rain but not before I completed the Brandon Gap in fairly horrific conditions. It was pouring rain with a brisk head wind with cross winds to boot and on top of this my bike was making some very unhealthy metal on metal noise of death. I decided that descending in the rain on my rattling, squealing death trap of a bicycle was not the smartest idea. I this hopped into the warm and dry van and rode the remainder of the day in warm comfort as it poured outside.
Tomorrow should be a beautiful day in my home state of NH as we traverse the base of the white mountain so via the kangamangus highway.
Hard to believe we are down to just two more rides!!!!

Oct 3

Lake pleasant to Ticonderoga

Today was a mellow 72 mile ride with one decent climb and lots of Dow hill rollers. We were again gifted with sun and beautiful surroundings. It was another perfect day on the bike. Lunch was at a cute place called, suzie q’s and I enjoyed my grilled cheese followed by an oreo Sunday! . We rode along Brandt make after lunch and then climbed up a decent hill. We ended up riding along part of Lake George and that was quite beautiful.
Holly is still fighting a chest cold and so she ride to lunch and then took a bump into the hotel. Hopefully she will start to turn the corner soon with this head cold.
It is hard to believe our trip comes to and end in three days. Our bubble will soon begin to burst and life will come rushing back in like a tidal wave. I am sad about that. There is still so much to process around this epic trip and I will need time to reenter into my life.
It had been wonderful having the support and encouragement of so many friends and colleagues and from people I have not yet met. Thank you to everyone who has sent me a message if support or liked one of my posts. .

Oct 3

Lake pleasant to Ticonderoga part 2

Oct 3

Lake pleasant to Ticonderoga part 1

Oct 2

Cazenovia to Lake Pleasant

Oct 2

Cazenovia to Speculator: today’s ride was dedicated to Scott Maxson!

Today was a beautiful ride into the Adirondacks. We had unusually warm weather this morning and it was a sunny day. The leaves were just spectacular and it was just a perfect day of riding. We are staying on Lake Pleasant at a cute little family run motel. Dinner was up the hill at a fancier Inn and it was excellent. Tomorrow we have a short day with just 72 miles or so to ride to Ticonderoga. The next day will be a challenge as we traverse VT.

It is hard to believe this trip is nearly done. We finish on Monday. It will be an interesting adjustment returning to the real world. This type of trip is like living in a bubble removed from the everyday stress of life and work obligations. Life in the trek travel bubble is pretty fabulous and it can be hard to leave. For now the bubble remains intact for a few more days.. Onward!