• Home Sweet Easton Home

    Philly skyDay 43:  The final day!!!  After a comfy night of sleep, we enjoyed our final free feast.  Apparently they saved the best one for last, omelette chef and all.  Appetite curbed and ready for the sporadic rain, I began my final 88 mile trek home to Easton.

    Heading east on Baltimore Pike I stopped for a solid picture of the Philly skyline (right).  Approaching downtown I had one goal, stop at Pat’s for a delicious cheesesteak.  I did just that (below).  Whiz wit-out for me, whiz wit for B!
    PatsShooting for a pre-sunset arrival home, I promptly finished meal number two of the morning and made my way towards Broad Street.  Somehow I ended up on 5th heading through north Philly.  I couldn’t tell whether that was some special whiz or my adrenaline kicked in but I found a burst of energy at the right time!

    Several miles later I found my way back to 611 and began my final push.  I met up with B just south of Riegelsville along the Delaware River canal.  As we followed the river into downtown I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!  With New Jersey less than 600 feet away, I couldn’t resist adding another state to the list.  Turning onto the Northampton Street Free Bridge (below) we were quickly stopped by a stealthy attendant.  Not only did we have to travel across on the sidewalk, we also had to dismount.  For those of you unfamiliar with the bridge, the walkway is all metal.  Shoe clips and slippery metal are a bad combination.  Let’s just say it would be amusing seeing the bridge camera footage!




    HelmetsWith my 16th and final state in the books, it was time for a beer.  We stopped at a local bar in the square for a delicious chocolate milk stout (right).

    After a brief photo shoot around the Easton candle and the home of Crayola’s palette of pastels, we began the short ride home.  Enjoying the ride half way up our final hill, the sounds of cheering began radiating through my body!  CrewIt was an indescribable feeling.  Continued family support has been my emotional fuel throughout the journey and this capped it all off.  Big Wheels, scooters, trailers, and mountain bikes were dusted off and used by the fam to join me in the final stretch home.  Here is a pic of the crazy crew (left).

    We rounded the final corner to more cheering and horn honking!  Hugs, laughs, and amazing times with the ones I love ensued!

    Oh how good it feels to be home!

  • Atlantic Plunge and Mile 4000!

    CHSPDay 42:  Emerging from the room for a quick breakfast, we were pleasantly surprised with the morning temperature.  After dreams of an arctic swim with not so cozy polar bears, I was preparing for a brutal plunge in the Atlantic.  The warmer than expected weather gave me hope of post plunge extremity functionality!

    With a full stomach, I began my 6 mile trek to Cape Henlopen State Park (left), my former outdoor sanctuary while a resident of DE.  Press fellasReminiscing about the great times spent in this paradise, I slowly made my way to Herring Point for the plunge!  B and the fellas from the Delaware Coast Press were patiently awaiting my arrival.  I had the pleasure of sharing my journey with Jon and Joe (right) from the Press as they documented the plunge.  Thanks again to these guys for a great writeup and their enthusiasm towards the Cause.  For those interested, here are the links to the article and video.

    ADTAfter a refreshing dip, B and I made our way to the source of inspiration for the cross country journey, the American Discovery Trail.  Several years ago I came across this sign (left) and an idea was born.  It was amazing to be standing here after making that idea a reality!

    Before our 120 mile trek to Concordville, PA, we stopped at another favorite spot, Surf Bagel (below).  If you are ever in the Lewes area, add this gem to your schedule.  A must stop for any bagel loving, chill environment needing, genuine human interaction wanting individual!
    Surf Bagel
    Feeling fresh and ready for my last border crossing, I continued my journey north.  Thanks to the Delaware State trooper who politely kicked me off Route 1 without creating a scene.  Heading north on Route 13, the rest of the day included the 4000 mile marker, lighted views of the Delaware Memorial bridge (below), reservoir relaxation, mansion row strolling, and PA’s version of Route 1.

    Our day promptly ended in comfort at the local Best Western.  Thanks to the front desk folks for looking the other way as we strolled through the marble clad lobby with our gear, stinky and tired.  Thanks to Sister Moe for setting us up with posh sleeping quarters on our last night.

    Del Mem Bridge

  • nomadic tour

    Day 41:  We woke up to another brisk morning in the 20′s.  I am one day of riding away from the Atlantic but have one large predicament on my hands…..the large body of water between us!  Realizing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge does not allow cyclists to cross I had one of several options.

    Nomadic Surly

    1. Hitch a ride across the bridge….no chance
    2. Ride up and around the northern part of the bay, add 100 miles to the trip and another day of riding….no thanks
    3. Strap Surly to a couple pontoons as a makeshift paddle boat, take 19 hours to get across, and likely drift miles south
    4. Have B drive my bike across the bridge, I swim, get hypothermia, call the Coast Guard, finish my day at the hospital
    5. Secure Surly to the deck of nomadic, hop on board, and sail across with B and sister Moe

    CrewTake a guess which option I chose (above)!  Throughout the trip I have encountered some stiff headwinds so the solid 25 knot breeze crossing the bay was not out of the ordinary.  The three foot waves soaking us as they crashed over the bow were!  Why were we up on deck getting soaked you ask?  Moe and I were on crab pot watch.  Apparently getting caught up in one of these can turn into an unexpected swim for one of the crew!  With 3 on board, the odds of taking a dip were too high for my liking.  DE signI will take the occasional wave spray over a bay swim on this morning.  No need for a premature dip!  Safely across we took a picture of the crew (above).  Thanks Moe for your solid first mate work and being part of the Cause!

    After a few minutes of swaying back and forth as if I was still on the boat, I continued my 90 mile journey to Rehoboth Beach, DE.  Although a chilly ride, the eastern shore flat-lands made for some smooth sailing.  Entering my 14th state (right), I cruised along agriculture fields and through small towns.  Miles of open fields lent themselves to beautiful “skyscapes”.  Take a look (below).
    DE sky

    Cruising into Rehoboth, memories of good times from two years of residence flooded my dome.  We decided to stop at a favorite spot, Arena’s, for some delicious half price buffalo chicken goodness and a great conversation with Rich from deleware-surf-fishing.com (DSF).  It is great to meet people who are dedicated to helping their community and others.  Rich was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to chat with us and spread the word about the Cause.  Looking for information about the happenings at Delaware beaches?  Look no further than DSF!  Great guy, great site, great vibe.  Thanks again Rich, it was a pleasure!

  • Spa Creek on the Chesapeake

    AbeDay 40:  Bidding farewell to the Thayer’s, I began my 68 mile trek to Brendan’s floating abode on the Chesapeake in Annapolis, MD.  Along the way I made a stop in Washington, D.C. for a stroll on the National Mall.  The first stop was a visit with Abe (left).  I attempted to put Surly on Abe’s lap but the monument guards were having none of that!  After convincing the authorities that a ride in the back of a cruiser was not an option after 40 days of purely bike transport, they decided to send me on my way.

    Reflecting pool

    Peacefully making my exit I made a stop at the Reflecting Pool.  After some fun with my editing software this is what I came up with (right).  The Washington monument scaffolding wasn’t overly flattering!  Giving off an inviting and refreshing vibe, I decided to clean my stinky feet in the pool.  Apparently that was no-no number two of the day.  Scuba diving museum guards emerged from the depths of the pool to scold me.  Don’t let the shallow view fool you, that pool is deep!

    Not wanting to press my luck with the guards at this place (below) I took some pictures from afar and continued on my way.
    White houseSpa Creek sunsetAfter a fine history lesson it was time to cruise towards Annapolis.  I met up with B for the final leg heading into town.  A brief run in with paparazzi (Sister Moe) blasting the Rocky soundtrack and a migraine inducing stereogram t-shirt gave me a boost of energy!  Racing against the clock, we made it to the Spa Creek bridge for a gorgeous sunset (left).  I look forward to more of these in the future!

    The evening concluded with an introduction to ‘nomadic’, a pink Christmas tree, lean lobes, and some beers with friends.  Time for some dreams of sailing adventures.

  • Bubchub Family Extravaganza

    LovedDay 39:  Fortunately for us, hotel management held to their word and we were able to take warm showers this morning.  You know it was time for a cleanse when you can see the dirt in the soap suds on the shower floor!  Clean and comfortable we put on our feasting bibs and made our way to breakfast.  Although we questioned it last night, the Charlottesville Quality Inn cares and they have the decor to prove it (right).  We showed our love for the free breakfast by tasting one of everything….twice!!!

    Today’s trip took us 98 miles northeast to Clifton for another family visit!  Along the way we enjoyed some fine VA landscape.  B got a pic of Surly and I posing in front of the Appalachians (below).
    App viewsMuch of the day consisted of bombing down Route 29 in attempt to arrive in Clifton before dark.  A few brief stops for lunch and pictures but otherwise it was all business.  Nearing the final destination, I was able to get a good angle of a local quarry (below).  Rolling past stopped traffic on 29 this beast popped out of nowhere!


    Who wins in a race…..a 148 horsepower hatchback or a cross-country cyclist?  Seems like a simple answer right?  Well apparently it depends on where and when!  On this traffic ridden afternoon the human powered vehicle prevailed.  As I pulled up to the house my niece asked, “Where is Uncle Brendan?”  Expecting him to have already arrived I just smiled and told her I beat him on my bike!  TermitesThe reality of northeast urban driving left me looking like a superhuman cyclist.  She couldn’t believe it (above)!  B finally showed up and good times ensued.

    After lots of couch jumping, delicious meal eating, noodle throwing, baby doll petting, balloon bonanza-ing, birthday cake gobbling, and genuine family fun….it was time for some sleep.  Thanks again to the Thayer’s for their amazing hospitality and much needed family fuel!  B and I had a blast, can’t wait for more good times over the holidays!

  • Critters

    Farm houseDay 38:  Anyone remember the horror comedy series from 1986, Critters?  Small farm town, hungry flesh eating hairballs from another land….ring any bells?  I began to have flashbacks during my morning ride (left).  Luckily there was no need for makeshift Molotov cocktails to ward off little balls of fury!

    Today’s journey took us a solid 120 miles to Charlottesville.  The day was full of beautiful VA landscape and critters out for their last stroll before the cold weather.  Let us start with some colorful shots of this autumn day (below).
    VA colors
    VA round bails
    VA travel
    VA Farm

    VA crossingSomewhere along the way the critters began to emerge, increasing in size and numbers as I rolled along.  First off was this lone ranger (right).  Quite a brave little guy, venturing out to the middle of the road.  Extreme sports enthusiast or just lost?  Not sure but hopefully he lived to see another day!  A little humor to spice up your day…what did the earthworm say to the caterpillar?  Who did you have to brown nose to get that fur coat!

    Next up on the 2013 Southern VA Wildlife Bike Tour was this slithering serpent (below).  I would approximate 3-4 feet in length.  VA SnakeI attempted to lay next to him for picture perspective but he was not happy about that!  What do you do if you find a venomous snake in your toilet?  Wait until he is finished!

    Continuing on, my next sighting was of a large venue of turkey vultures perched high above their prey (below).  They looked like Ashley Furniture sales associates waiting for their next “customer”.   In this case to get tagged by a car!  A vulture boards an airplane carrying 2 dead raccoons.  The stewardess looks at him and says, “I’m sorry, sir.  Only one carrion per passenger.”
    VA vulture houseMy animal excursion came to an end with a cow herd sighting.  Apparently I was more interested in the sky, they seem to have avoided the camera (below).  A male fly and female fly are feeding on a cow patty when the male fly passes gas.  The female fly says, “Do you mind, I’m eating!”

    We ended the day in Charlottesville at a local hotel.  Apparently daylight savings is worth 2 hours of clock time around here!
    VA skyPlanning to turn the hot water off for maintenance at 10pm, B and I waited until 9 for showers.  You see where this one is going!  Looks like we have to wait until morning.  They will have to use extra detergent on our sheets!


  • Tastykake Takedown

    BB&T relievedDay 37:  We woke up to a wet morning in the BB&T Field parking lot.  A small amount of condensation on the bikes but overall the tarp did the job.  Fortunately for us, the portable facilities used for tailgating festivities were left unlocked!  B got a shot of me after a relieving pit stop (left).  A peanut butter banana wrap and some sugary sweets (surprise!) later, I began my 105 mile border crossing trek to South Boston, VA.

    Along the way I had a close encounter with the wannabe Nascar kind!  Heading northeast on a two lane road, I looked up from my state of zen to a double wide situation.  Just ahead there was not one but two cars heading my way in a no passing zone.  At the last second I quickly pulled to the outside of the shoulder just as the speed racers flew by.  He was so close I could smell his nasty morning breath.  Closest call of the trip!

    I finally figured out what the long log sign was referring to (below).  Still a bit confused about why the sign was at the entrance of a public restroom but that is for another day.

    After a steep climb on the outskirts of Danville, we came across a Tastykake Discount Store!  This was a must stop.  LogsAfter half an hour of contemplation, we both decided to take advantage of the double discount rack.  For every $5 spent you could select 1 item from the free rack.  Here is a tally of the damage….1 box Butterscotch Krimpets, 1 box Kandy Kakes, 1 box Peanut Butter Wafers, 1 box Swirly Cupkakes, 1 box of Koffee Kakes, some peanut butter crackers, and a not so fresh pumpkin pie!  Enough to last the rest of the trip right?  Not so much….they didn’t last 72 hours!  From time of opening the pumpkin pie lasted approximately 18 minutes.  B was so excited about the discount deliciousness he couldn’t compose himself (below)!

    Sign shaker

    Just past discount corner we came upon an automated sign shaker (left).  Apparently it was too difficult to find someone willing to fling a sign around for 10 hours a day.

    Continuing on to South Boston, I stopped for some pics of colorful landscapes and old relics.  After riding into the dark we setup shop for the evening in a Walmart parking lot.  We decided Applebee’s would be a good location for some eats and blog work.  That decision was briefly questioned as one of the area’s finest residents released a loud belch and moan while making her way out of the restaurant.  Welcome to Applebee’s, here is what my dinner smelled like!

    GlobetrottersWe came upon this gem mounted on the wall just above our booth (right).  Can anyone explain the globes?  I doubt they used practice time to study their geography!

  • Demon Deacon Fried Turkey

    ConstructionDay 36:  A break from the cold mornings!  We emerged from the room to an overcast sky and a temperature in the upper 30′s.  In attempt to get our money’s worth, we strolled to the lobby for another continental feast!  The HoJo employees must have warned the area hotels about the free breakfast “feasters” coming their way.  Let’s just say the lovely ladies at the Quality Inn were on top of everyone’s consumption. Construction2

    Today’s trek took me 105 miles northeast to the home of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Winston-Salem.  Just a few miles into the trip I came across some bridge construction.  Here was the view as I approached (right top).  Didn’t look like much was going on so I continued.  Turning the corner I came upon this maze (right bottom).  Needless to say the workers were very confused as I made my way across!

    Stopping for a routine snack break, I met some enthusiastic supporters at a corner store in Denver.  Two boxes of Oatmeal Cream Pies and a box of Nutty Bars later, I made my way towards Lake Norman.  The colors of fall made for some sweet pictures around the lake (below).
    Foliage Lake Norman

    Lake Norman foliage 2
    Lake Norman foliage 3

    Kart rentalsAfter a burrito stop on the east side of the lake, we came across the GoPro Motorplex.  Looking empty from the road we decided to take a quick lap!  Unfortunately our plan was squashed when we noticed a kart zoom around the track.  These little guys get up to 55 mph on the back stretch with up to 22 on the track at once (left)!  Brett was quite convincing in his attempt to get us out there but we had to continue on.

    Creepy houseAlong the way I passed some creepy abodes in the town of Cooleemee (below).  Does this look familiar to any horror movie enthusiasts out there?  Quick picture and I was on my way, just glad I passed through during the day!

    Attempting to beat the rain we cruised into Winston-Salem and setup shop in the parking lot of the Demon Deacons football stadium.  We were fortunate enough to meet the parking lot gate guardian, James.  After a great conversation about family and travel, James taught us about the joy of a deep fried turkey.  Two primary things we learned…1) do NOT cover the turkey in honey, unless of course you like leathery gobbler and 2) do NOT drop a frozen turkey in boiling oil!  Enjoy that fried goodness James!

    After a tasty meal at Red Hot & Blue, we locked the bikes to the car, covered them with a tarp, and hunkered down for the evening out of the rain.

  • Freeze thaw systems in check

    Pier RabonDay 35:  After a dry night in the back of the Impreza, we awoke to another brisk 25 degree morning.  As we were enjoying the new found pop tart honey peanut butter breakfast, an unmarked vehicle pulled into the parking lot.  We were expecting a slew of questions from an unaware morning shift officer.  Instead we heard a voice yell out “you must be the cyclists in town!”  The voice was coming from the police department chief!  Not only was Chief Maxwell very supportive of the venture, he even went out of his way to try and get us a room at the local college!  Parking lot hospitality was a kind enough gesture but they went above and beyond to truly make us feel comfortable.  Before yesterday I never knew Due West existed and now it holds significant value in my memory road map!  Thanks again to both the police department and the respectful people of Due West for making our short stay very enjoyable!

    Soon after, we began the 115 mile trek to Kings Mountain, NC.  Less than 10 miles into the journey Brendan made his way back to the car for a thawing session.  A bit unprepared for the elements, his extremities became blocks of ice and the chill began traveling to his core.  Needless to say he was on the hunt for some warmer apparel!

    A few miles after parting ways, I came upon Lake Rabon Park for some wonderful morning views.  Enjoy a few (left)!


    On my way to Union I stopped for a bite to eat at Dela’s One Stop shop (right).  A bit overwhelmed with the selection I overheard a gentleman order “1 with everything.”  Locals always know best right?  4 loaded chili dogs, 2 bags of peanut M&Ms, and 2 peanut butter snickers later, I was finally satisfied.  Thanks to SteveO and the crew for some quality conversation and showing me the Dela chili dog way!

    VultureCruising along the back country roads I came across plenty of roadside debris which once roamed the area on 4 legs.  Needless to say the turkey vultures were now roaming in large numbers!  I was able to get an action shot of one of the beasts (left)!  No wonder the other birds fly away, they grow um big and mean down here, just look at the shadow it casts!

    WarmthAs the sun began to fade I weaved my way through more back country roads.  Approaching a random intersection I noticed an individual standing in the middle of the road.  Not a single building in sight, just acres of dense undergrowth surrounded me.  Preparing for some evasive maneuvering I slowly approached to this (right).  Brendan (B) was determined to beat the chilly weather and make the hair on the back of my neck stand at the same time!  Why did he leave the stickers on his sweatshirt?  No, he wasn’t planning on a stinky body cheese Walmart return, just thought it would add some detail to the outfit!  Just imagine what he looked like with a helmet on, then picture seeing him riding a bike down the road.  I bet you would make every attempt to quickly accelerate past!  This may be what you would see after a couple of drinks….scary (below)!

    Pumping away B met me for the last 8.5 heading into Kings Mountain.  After some homemade vegetarian chili and a full tune-up I called it a night.Warmth wow


  • Wild Turkey Wanderings

    FantasyDay 34:  It was a warm 27 degrees when we emerged for a delicious continental breakfast HoJo style.  In attempts to instantly fatten ourselves for this early winter freeze, we began our feast.  After all said and done here is a tally of the damage…11 Leggo my Eggo’s, 6 packs of mini microwavable sausage sandwiches sans soggy tasteless buns, 7 Danish pastries, 9 mini muffins, 2 Belgian waffles with peanut butter and syrup, 1 bagel, 2 gallons of OJ, and a partridge and a pear tree.

    RailwayAfter a brief spell of sugar sweats we made our way to the UGA campus for a quick tour.  Along the way we came across Fantasy World (above).  Must be a popular place because the store sign across the street read “Look left, Fantasy World is open.”  Apparently they also offer free daily tours of the facility!  If you ever need to kill a few hours in Athens look no further!

    Strolling through campus to the sounds of dance remixes coming from the student center, we enjoyed views of the football stadium and surrounding architecture.  Making our way out of campus we found the remains of an old railway bridge that made for a perfect picture (left).

    Once outside of town we picked up the pace while making our way to Watson Mill Bridge State Park.  Home to the longest covered bridge in the state at 229 feet, the park made for a nice break point.  watsonIt was difficult to pull ourselves away from the soothing waterfall sounds.  A solid picture (right) and bathroom stop I continued on as Brendan ventured back for the car.

    Gingerly crossing the bridge as to prevent a 100 year old splinter flat, I continued on to our final destination of Due West, SC, a total of 76 miles away.  This was the view of the border crossing into SC (below).  Not to shabby!

    GASC border

    After taking in the surrounding beauty I felt a Rumble in the Bronx scenario occurring in my stomach.  The morning feast has come back to haunt!  Deciding to make a pit stop on the other side of the bridge, I came across this mess (beware this is graphic!).  Could someone please explain to me the physics behind the projectile force needed to produce that?!  I had two choices…..1) venture one step further into the awaiting pit of doom or 2) just go outside!  I choose the latter, don’t want to take away any enjoyment from the next lucky individual who stumbles upon this disaster.

    Continuing on we made it to the Subway in Due West and quickly realized the morning feast energy was fully depleted.  In search for a place to setup camp, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to try the police department parking lot.  Not only did Captain Marchbanks let us crash in the back corner, he also kept an eye on our bikes during the evening shift!  Many thanks again to the Due West police department for your understanding and willingness to help!  Much appreciated!