Bike America 2K4 Diary - June 1-3, 2004
Baylor University sophomores Chad Anderson and Drew Mitchell are spending more than half their summer bicycling 3,700 miles across the United States to raise funds and awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas.
Their journey, called Bike America 2K4, will take the business majors through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia. By the time they complete their trip in mid-July, the students hope to have raised $37,840 - or $10 a mile - for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, where Anderson serves as a Big Brother. For more information or to donate, go to Bike America 2K4.
As they pedal across America, Anderson and Mitchell are filing a diary from the road so fellow Baylor students, faculty, staff and alumni can keep up with their progress. Alums along the way are providing support and lodging for the students. (See their route here.)
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 - Placerville, Ridgway, Montrose, CO
Today we woke up at about 7:40 a.m. and ate some muffins and a power bar. We then started biking at about 8:15 or so, leaving from the house we were in Placerville, Colo. We started biking up the highway towards Montrose and biked through Ridgway but didn't have time to stop. We stopped about halfway and ate some Snickers with peanut butter, which hasn't gotten old yet, thankfully. We continued biking since it was a warm day today and we were at a lower elevation than we were used to.
We made it into Montrose about 1:30 p.m. after biking about 50 miles. We decided to stop at McDonalds and we got Double Cheeseburgers with McFlurrys, which is becoming a common meal as well. We then went to a grocery store and got a $25 dollar gift donation card from them and were able to buy $24.67 worth of groceries to get us far on our way.
My bike had a little trouble today with shifting gears, but it got better as the day went on. We then went to the library and worked on the journal entries for about an hour and a half. Just as my time was up on the Internet I hit the send button for all the journal entries to go out and it took more than the two minutes I had, so it automatically logged me off, making the past hour of work gone. We had to redo all the entries somewhere else. I walked outside and threw my journal at the bike out of anger, and Chad got mad, too, because he had to sit outside and watch the bikes during the whole time I was in there.
We then left and found some dinner at Wendy's, but it got too late so we decided we should try and stay the night at a hotel in Montrose. We went to a Holiday Inn and were able to use their computers to send out pictures and entries and later found the Super 8 that was awesome and gave us a room for the night. Chad was happy because as we got into our room, the Pistons game was on and they ended up winning and are now going to the playoffs. Kinda funny, Michigan VS California in the Finals. Drew VS Chad. (Editor's note: Drew is from Porterville, Calif., and Chad is from Grand Rapids, Mich.) Anyway, they had an extra pizza from the lobby and gave it to us, as well as a bunch of chocolate chip cake. We ate and then showered, did our laundry and went to bed. Night.
Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - Montrose, Gunnison, Sargents, CO
Today we started in Montrose, Colo., and woke up around 8 a.m. after listening to Christian music all morning on our alarm clock that was set for 5:45 a.m. We were too lazy to turn it off, so it went on til we woke up. We woke up and went down to get the continental breakfast that the hotel had to offer. We had breakfast on the patio as it was a beautiful morning at about 65 degrees in temperature. We had waffles, toast, cereal and orange juice. We then went back to the room, packed our bags and hit the road by 9:30 a.m.
It was hot today and the wind was against us. We started off with a 2,000-foot climb off and over Cerro Pass as we biked past Black Canyon National Monument. It was tough riding with the hot wind diving at us. When we reached the top we flew down on some roads that had signs that said "Road Damage" so we were excited about that with the bikes. We rode down fast, hitting millions of bugs left and right. Both of us also had a few little bike problems on the day, as well with shifting and such. Took a little more time to bike today because of heat. We were then up and over Blue Mesa Reservoir and stopped and enjoyed Snickers and peanut butter, and crackers and tuna, but there was no shade so it was hot.
We then traveled along the reservoir for about 15 miles and eventually reached Gunnison, Colo., where we stopped and ate at the McDonalds and got the "usual." We were able to talk to Matt and Brent on the phone, which was good to hear from some Baylor people. We then headed off into what seemed to be dark clouds and stormy weather ahead of us. We just kept biking through it though and never got it by it. We biked 95 miles today and around 8 p.m. started looking for a place to stay. Strong head winds were hitting us from what we thought was the storm front. We pulled up to a house because there was nowhere to camp along the side of the road, and the man said that we could camp in his little campsite-type area just up the road about a mile. We pulled in and set up camp within 10 minutes and were in by 8:45 p.m. We ate a Snickers and are now talking and writing. Our bags are in the tent with us as well because it looked stormy out. As Ben Maddox would say, tomorrow we just gotta "Keep On Trucking"...
Thursday, June 3, 2004 - Sargents, Silver Cliff, Salida, Cotopaxi, Westcliffe, Silver City, CO
Today was a great day again. We had slept just outside Sargents, Colo., and biked to Silver Cliff, which is about 85 miles on the day. We woke up at about 8:45 a.m. and ate some bagels and peanut butter and granola bars. We biked all the way up to Monarch Pass without taking any breaks, which was 13 miles up hill, six-percent grade, climbing to our highest elevation of the trip, and taking about one-and-a-half hours to do. Hard biking as the shoulders were basically nothing so had lots of close calls with cars today not getting over into the other lane. Clear skies though until we got to the top of the pass, which was 11,322 feet and very beautiful. We then did the other side of the hill, which took only 15 minutes and was the same distance.
When we were about five miles outside of Salida, Colo., there was a storm on both sides of us chasing us into town. We biked with adrenaline to get to Salida before the storm hit. We made it into the McDonalds where we got the usual meal, just as it started to pour outside then hailing a little bit. When we were done eating, the storm pushed east of us and we headed out again. When we were on the road again another storm chased us. We thought we were going to get hit by it when we had to stop for road work for a few minutes. However, the guy sent us ahead although all the other cars had to wait. We then enjoyed some time with no cars on busy Highway 50. We then made it into Cotopaxi, Colo., about 4:30 p.m. and ate bagels and Snickers and peanut butter in a little gas station while watching "Seinfield." We were out of there by 5:30 p.m. and biked our legs off to get far as we could.
We stopped a lot for beautiful pictures as the clouds gathered and rained all around us, but somehow not on us. The sun peaked out and the reflection off the mountains and great ranches was beautiful. We also saw lots of deer, including one that tried to make the jump over the fence but went head into it, not quite making it over.
We biked into a little town called Westcliffe and then into Silver City. We couldn't find the campsite so we knocked on an older guy's house, and he let us sleep in the front yard. We then went a block down to Pizza Mania, an awesome little sports bar and ate a 16-inch pizza and watched Calgary beat Tampa Bay in overtime of game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The people there were awesome and want us to send them a picture so they can put it on their wall with all their other sports collectibles. We talked with some people from the Denver area, who offered for us to come up and stay with them and so did the waitress girl as well. Lots of people curious about what we're doing and lots of nice people in this town. Anyway, it is now 10:30 p.m. and lights out, as tomorrow is our last little mountain for a while.
Biking in His name,
Drew and Chad