Radar Drop

Day-to-Day Travel Log

From this link we’ll record the day-to-day adventures.

2 October, Thursday – Light day of travel as the boys are in Albuquerque, NM waiting for Vince’s parts shipment. They spent 3 hours chatting at a Starbuck’s with folks while they waited. Tonight they’ll be staying in a Marriott TownePlace Suites by the University of New Mexico.

1 October, Wednesday – Long day of hills and mountains making the way to Sante Fe, NM. One sloping mountain climb took 5 miles to reach an elevation of 8,242 feet. First check in the of the day was 5 miles from Tijeras/15 miles from Albuquerque. They called later and were 23 miles from the hotel so they decided to stay at a hostel for the night.

30 September, Tuesday – John called and said they had plans on riding 100+ to Albuquerque, NM. And wanted help with setting up a hotel there. Somewhere around 4:00 he called again he was sick from something he ate and would only make it the 70 miles to Santa Fe. At 9 he called again and said he was on the outskirts of Santa Fe, but still riding toward a hotel for the night.
















29 September, Monday – Made it down to Taos, NM from La Jara, Co. Eating dinner in a restaurant tonight. Today’s ride was probably close to 100 miles. He said that the ride was tough mostly mountains and hills. Quote of the trip “all we do is eat, sleep and ride”.

He gave a list of stuff that he wants his dad to bring out to them this weekend. The original plan was to fly into Phoenix, but now they think they will be in Phoenix so John’s dad will fly into San Diego and mule them the last leg of the trip. They are about 800 miles for the California coast!



















28 September, Sunday– John called and left a voice mail that they had made it to a friend’s in LaJara Colorado. 

27 September, Saturday – Voice mail – made it to LaJara Colorado. 


26 September, Friday – They spent Thursday night in the Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs. Short day down to Pueblo, Colorado where they hooked up with a guy who owned a 1969 Camaro! They enjoyed watching the Camaro run an endurance race with other vintage cars. John wasn’t happy that they hadn’t made it further today. Meg, John’s sister talked to him and made him laugh, lifting his spirits. Weather still good, but getting dark earlier!


25 September, Thursday – Vince got two flats and left them without any spares. From Cheyenne Wells, Colorado they made their way north to Colorado Springs and Olde Town bike shop where they stocked up on spare tubes. John also bought a new pair of biking shorts as he had been running on a single pair. They ate in Olde Town and made their way to the Garden of the Gods Park.


24 September, Wednesday – Made it to Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. Tired and not talkative today!


23 September, Tuesday – No word from the travelers today!


22 September, Monday – The Wichita woman helped them make their way to Hays, Kansas. There were 40 mile an hour headwind which made biking tough. They camped out Monday night and are planning on making it to Colorado tomorrow.


21 September, Sunday – Spent a third day in Wichita, Kansas. Vince wasn’t feeling that well and wasn’t up to riding. Hanging out at the Holiday in pool they and a woman working them there invited them to stay at her house. They went with her and she feed them an authentic Mexican Mole dinner and put them up in her basement for the night. More good people! 


20 September, Saturday – the boys got up late and decided to spend a second day in Wichita. They stayed in a Marriott where they planned on using the last discount form they had. The reception woman asked them if they were riding cross country and when they said yes she told them she would give the discount and to save the coupon for another hotel, very nice of her. They ate burgers and went to the movies to see “Righteous Kill” a Robert Dinero movie. Spirits upbeat as things were going well and Wichita was a nice city with a river running through it.


14 September, Sunday – Sitting out hurricane Ike for the second night in  Missouri. Special thanks to Mr. Who let us drive his truck 20 miles north to Springfield Mo. More good old hospitality! 



13 September, Saturday – After a good day of 110+ miles they landed in MO. They met up with xx who rents an apartment to cyclists. The boys are holing up here for 2 nights in the apartment. The big thing to do in town is to hang at the local gas station. 



12 September, Friday – Thanks to Tim at cycling in Saint Louis the boys are hitting the road armed with the Schwalbe tires on both bikes. They also have 3 spare tubes so hopefully they can make up some of their down time in Eminence. 



At 8:00 John’s mom got today’s update. They only rode a short distance to Houston, MO. It rained most of the day. They met a nice lady who rented them a room to the boys for $15 per cyclist per night. This is a better deal than some of the local campgrounds and “ate somewhere”! 



Today’s ride was short because people told them the forward section of rode had “bad people” who sabotage cross country riders on it and so they decided not to ride through there at night. Gave them a heads-up that hurricane Ike was making its way toward them and expected to impact them on Sunday. John also said that the job we wants to work on in California starts October 30 so they have plenty of time. 



September 11, Thursday – All the parts arrived in Eminence as planned! The new Schwalbe’s are mounted and looking good. To late in the day to get started. 



September 10, Wednesday – Another flat tire of for John and he lost the skewer that holds the tire on the frame. Got a ride to a campground in Eminence, MO. This is the first true “old west” town on the trail. There is a beautiful river running through the town. The people at the campground are real hospitable and offered to watch the bikes and gear while headed uptown to get some food.



John’s dad has called Saint Louis and ordered 5 tubes, 2 Schwalbe tires and a skewer to be overnighted. We spoke to the Eminence Post Office and they agreed to sign for the packages as long as it is not between 11:30 and 12:30 lunch hour and before 4:00 when the post office closes.


Today the decision was made that the trip across the continental divide down through Arizona will not happen. The plan is now to head across Colorado, Utah and end in San Francisco.



September 9, Tuesday – 10:45 start with a phone call from the local Wal-Mart! Cold, cold, cold, low 50s! Hard riding in the cold, buying long pants to help! 9:30 call home and a good day’s ride of 70 miles but 2 more flats for John! Couldn’t remember the name of the town they were in, but they were eating at a restaurant and camping out for the night. The map looks shows Centerville, MO to be 70 miles from Farmington where the day started.



September 8, Monday – Missed the call from the riders but the voice mail said hills and mountains through Missouri and the Ozark mountains. They got off to a late start and didn’t ride that far today

More good hospitality though as the fireman in Farmington, MO had them as their guests letting them spend the night in the firehouse! Giving the bike riders beds and food! They also stopped by a local health food store that just closed. The owner was a Cherokee woman and when she sat the bikes roll up she opened the store for them.



September 7, Sunday – Yesterday’s update was they rested in Carbondale which is a college town and they bought some oatmeal for their aching joints and muscles! At 9:10 John called home and said they are doing well. Hard day fighting headwinds. They rode about 60 miles and were on the Mississippi river in Chester Illinois which is right on the border of Missouri. Chester is the home of the poppy flower festival. Weather continues to still be good, but getting cooler and dark earlier!

September 6, Saturday – No updates from the riders today.



September 5, Friday – John’s 23rd birthday and we have been riding for 23 days! John’s mom and sister had already called. Trying to push 100 miles to Carbondale, IL.! Cloudy day but good for riding! Birthday dinner was at MOEs.



September 4, Thursday – Big day of 110+ miles while making it to Sebree, KY. Riding into Sebree at least 10 people told them to go to a local church where the minister puts up people riding cross country. We spent the night at the church where the minister gave them showers, mattresses and laundry facilities. They signed a guest book that also had people from around the world in it. No sign of the guy from Tampa, hope he is doing well. 



Met riders from  Greensboro, NC and North Andover, MA. Rained a little today, but not to bad. Meeting lots of good people along the way! John asked one lady how much to fill his water bottle with sweet tea and she said free for you! Had more Kentucky culinary eating at Dairy Bar, chicken sandwiches, fries and shakes. When the owner at Dairy Bar heard tomorrow was John’s birthday she came out with a hot fudge sundae and said I don’t have cake but here is a sundae and “Happy Birthday”! Fullllll



The minister also told of a shortcut that would reduce the trip to Carbondale, IL by 50 miles. Good deal! Good spirits today and chatty on the call home.



September 3, Wednesday – Another long day riding past “My Old Kentucky Homestead, Bardston, Holy Cross, Howardstown, Buffalo, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Historic State Park and Eastview Kentucky. Parents called at 7:30 and they were continuing to ride as they could not find a place to stay to for the night.


John left a voice mail at 9:30 and said he was showering and they are almost 1100 miles into the adventure.



September 2, Tuesday – The day started with us waking up to John’s mom cooking pancakes, bacon and eggs on a griddle in the room. Sadly this was going to be the last day of the paddy wagon support. Good news is we had made it through most of the eastern side of the country’s mountains. 


Following the awesome breakfast was showers, repacking the bags (2.5 hours) and loading the van. We rode into town and hit Mike’s Bike shop where we got some supplies. Thanks to Mike for the 10% discount. The paddy wagon took us down the road to the drop point, McCreavy, KY.  



A big lunch at the drop point and then about an hour getting the bikes ready to go. Forgot how heavy the bags and bikes were fully loaded! A couple of quick spins and turns on the bikes and off we go.  


Around 4:00 John called his parents while Vince was mailing stuff home. Reconfirmed “the bikes are heavy”! The insulated water bottles bought at Mike’s are awesome and keeping drinks cold. They rode through Harrodsburg, KY and across Harrisburg Lake. Rode as far as Lincoln Homestead State park and camping out for the night! Dinner was nothing like the last 5, canned soup and rice.



September 1, Monday – Good start this morning with breakfast in the hotel. John is feeling much better. Drove them back to yesterday’s drop point in Chavis, KY! The paddy wagon had its oil changed and trailed the bikes slowly. The van caught up and exchanged drinks and snacks and we agreed to meet in Boonesville, KY for lunch. 



The paddy wagon was unpacked and repacked while waiting for the bikers. Vince came though first and John 5 minutes later. Feasting on cantaloupe, sandwiches and cold drinks they enjoyed a cool down in the air-conditioned van. Off to the local grocery store to use the men’s room and back on the road. More big hills and small towns!  



The paddy wagon headed to the meet point in Richmond, KY. There they unpacked and set up the room for the night. The van returned to pick the riders up around 6:00. It was a full, good day’s ride and tiring. We packed the paddy wagon with bikes and riders and headed to the hotel. A dip on the pool and off to a very good local Mexican restaurant for dinner. We over ordered and over ate. Back to the hotel and the riders relaxed while the parents went out and did laundry. 

This was our last night in the hotel with the parents. For the second night in a row they slept on the floor and gave us the bed!


August 31, Sunday – Another slow start in Pikesville, KY. The parents went down to the breakfast buffet and hung out for 2 hours before the riders came down around 10:00. We headed over to a local Bob Evans for a change of pace breakfast, not impressive! The drop point for the day was Piccas Peak, a very small college town. John switched to his Haro bike for the day. Today’s ride started around 1:00. Down the road we refueled with acai, drinks and oranges. 


August 30, Saturday – Up at 8:00, John wasn’t feeling too good. We started slow with a big breakfast at the hotel buffet. Some sort of breakfast bagel with eggs, cereal, English muffins and juice. After breakfast it was back to bed for a little while since John was not up to speed. Got dropped off about 15 miles from Melvin, KY to start the day! John put up a valiant effort but when we got to the other side of the mountain the “paddy wagon” was called in to the rescue. We headed back to Pikesville to find a walk-in clinic. There were none open and John ended up going to the local hospital’s emergency room. Before the hospital we stopped at a Dairy Cheer and had our first taste of Kentucky classic cuisine, a “SMASHBURGER”. It was actually a Dairy Queen like place and a burger with the works. We split 3 smashburgers between us and a milkshake each. Next to the Dairy Cheer there was a motorcycle shop having a vintage car show. Plenty of good old boys and muscle cars! We knew we were deep in the south with the rebel flags prominently displayed and the live bank playing Sweet Home Alabama and Can’t You See.



August 29, Friday – Rolling Rapids, VA is the start point for the day. Up at 6:00 AM but a slow start actually 7:35 before we headed to the drop point! It was kinda of cold, 65 degrees and foggy. Breakfast in the hotels breakfast nook, muffins and cereal! The plan is to ride the first day without the bags on the bike as they are being mule’d by John’s parents.  



August 28, Thursday – John called home several times asking for more supplies, socks, tire pump, chocolate chip cookies, water proof bags and the like. The parents met up with us 12 miles from our hotel for the night in Marion, VA. They brought their Honda with the middle seats out and the rear folded down. We stuffed the bikes and bags in the van along with 4 people. It was pretty full. 

 August 27, Wednesday – Another 65 miles to Christiansburg, VA a long cold day of hard rain. Arrived soaking wet and very tired. All mountains climbing today! Good news is that John’s parents are coming out to meet us and mule for a few days 🙂 Dinner was at a diner tonight at 6:00PM.



 August 26, Tuesday – 65 miles to Buchannan, VA, nothing else to report.


 August 25, Monday – Long day of hills on the way to Lore, VA. Very hard ride through the Blue Ridge Parkway. Spending the night in a campground and having sandwiches for meals today. 



August 24, Sunday – Spent last night in a hotel! Made it down to Charlottesville, VA! Rode by Monticello on the route today, but did not stop. 



August 23, Saturday – Not much to report other than they made it down to Ashland, VA.



August 22, Friday – Made it as far as Fredericksburg, VA today! Had breakfast at a diner “somewhere” and will stop again for something to eat.  



August 21, Thursday – John called and said they left DC around 6:30 in the morning and had made their way down to Quantico, VA. Not much else to report! 



August 20, Wednesday – Staying in DC with a friend of Vince’s tonight! The bikes are tuned up and ready to go! Spent the day sightseeing the Capital hitting a Native American Art Museum, a History Museum (a circular building with beautiful gardens). Ate pizza for dinner and then took the Metro to the Mall area. John’s parents stopped by to see us on the way to a wedding in Vermont; they are headed for the Canadian border. John was given some supplies to continue his travels. He took off the lock pedals on his bike and will be free wheeling it. 



August 19, Tuesday – Up at 8:30, breakfast and back to bed! Took the bikes for a tune-up in Georgetown! Ate lunch in Washington, DC with John’s aunt Cindy. Spent another night in a hotel in DC! John went to see his nephews in Alexandria, VA and Vince spent the night with a friend.  

August 18, Monday – Finally Out of Pennsylvania and across the Mason-Dixon. Nothing to report other than a text message from John “Crossed the Mason-Dixon line, bedtime”. Monday night John’s aunt Cindy took them to a Chili’s. 



August 16, Saturday Update – The boys were still in PA. Our communications were brief on Saturday as we were moving John’s sister Kellsey in UNC and I eventually left on my own adventure to Amsterdam. Spoke briefly with John on the tarmac headed to Amsterdam and he advised they were still in PA, Clay to be exact. They stopped at a pizza place (a slice and a Stromboli). While eating they got talking to the owner who owned the pizza shop and the land it was on. The owner was gracious enough to let them camp on his property for the night. Being in the heart of Lancaster the boy lost a race uphill to a horse drawn cart! They did pass the cart on the way down. 



August 15, Saturday – So long Jersey, Pennsylvania we are here, a fairly long call from John reports they are in Valley Forge State Park right outside Philadelphia, PA. They made it from Brooklyn, NY to Doylestown, PA yesterday, about 90 miles. Had some heavy rain and serious thunder and lightening. Setup camp around 10:00PM, asleep by midnight and on the road again at 06:00. They had a good breakfast of muffins, bacon-egg and cheese sandwiches and ice tea. In the good spirit of the northeast the owner only charged them for the ice tea. Who says good will is dead? John is thinking off dropping some weight from his gear. Good idea! 



August 13, Wednesday – More on the start day,

BLLL’s (Vincent) mom set them up with a big meal on Tuesday August 12, steak, tortellini and vodka sauce, broccoli, chocolate covered creampuffs and raspberry cheesecake. In an email to Bain’s (John) mother she wrote they ate large “They ate like there was no tomorrow.  The $25.00 a day food stipend is going to be interesting considering how hungry they were for just lounging around yesterday.”  


They left Fairfield, CT at 5:30, Vincent’s mother described it as “The air was cool, the sky was absolutely beautiful blue black, their bikes were shiny and new with four white and black saddle bags on each loaded with their gear.” A befitting start to this great adventure!


Bain called home to Fuquay Varina about 5:00 Wednesday in good spirits to report they had arrived in Brooklyn at a friend of Vincent’s. Sixty plus miles down, slowed with traffic, but first day in the books. Highlight for John – “a great roadside taco and grilled corn!” The call was short and upbeat. The boys had to go; they were at a bar called Surfside complete with a sand floor.  



August 13, Wednesday – Start day of the cross country adventure! Bain and Blll have set out on their great adventure. Not sure of the actual start time on Wednesday August 13, but Bain checked in at 06:15 from Westport, CT. Quote of the day “the bike is heavy”! Positive attitudes and plenty of peddling is the order of the day.



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