Bike America 2K4 Diary - June 4-8, 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.)
Friday, June 4, 2004 - Silver City, Pueblo, CO
Well, today was a clear beautiful morning as we got up close to about 7 a.m. We packed up and were on the road about 7:50 after we ate some bagels and granola bars with peanut butter. We started at Silver City and biked about a 2,000-foot climb at the start, reaching our last peak for a while on the trip. We then made it to the top and biked back down to Pueblo.
We biked through some nice neighborhoods and the park, and made our way over to the bike shop on some of the busier roads, since Pueblo does have over 100,000 people in it. It is good to be in some bigger civilization again, too. We went straight to the bike shop and turned in our bikes to get new brakes, new tires and just a regular tune-up. We also had them fix the bike computer, which we'll now be able to use for once.
We then walked to Wendy's and had lunch. After that we walked to the Best Western right up the road about a block away and were able to get a room donated for the night in Pueblo. We only biked about 60 miles today because we had to get our bikes into the shop. After about an hour of just resting and watching TV in the room, we went down to the Safeway about half a mile down and got some food donated. We then went over to the Subway and got our dinner donated for the night. We had good success in Pueblo with getting stuff donated and with everything being so close to each other.
We then went back to the hotel where we watched on the news how a guy in some Colorado city close to where we were had been frustrated with his town and bulldozed over the whole city. It was live so it was kind of interesting watching what was going on. We were able to call our parents tonight and it was good to get into the hotel for the evening. That's all!
Saturday, June 5, 2004 - Pueblo, Olney Springs, Eads, CO
Today we woke up in Pueblo, Colo., about 8 a.m., got our bags packed and turned on the Weather Channel to see what our riding would be like. It showed thunderstorms where we were headed, but we'd have to bike and see. Anyway we left the hotel and went to a few gas stations and got some doughnuts donated. While we were filling up bottles of water, a guy gave Chad and me $10 to spend. So that was pretty awesome.
We biked on and obviously I didn't heed Mike's advice from the beginning of the trip (Editor's note: Drew and Chad met Mike, a bicyclist who had ridden the same trail, at Carson Pass on May 20), because I got my first flat about 15 miles outside of Pueblo where Mike had gotten three flats. We then had to change the tube, which took about 30 minutes and a lot of anger because it was about 95 degrees out today and there was no shade. We also had horrible head winds all day long, making it horrible biking on the day. We also had to drink our hot water because it was so hot out.
We biked on though, making it to Olney Springs, where we found a little local restaurant and got lunches there. We then biked on as Chad and I drafted, skillfully off each other because the wind was so bad. Then, one time when we were changing spots, Chad came up to my left and I thought he was going to my right so I hit his front wheel with my back tire and Chad flew off his bike. Luckily he only had a few scrapes on his legs, but I felt pretty bad for doing it.
We then biked on and were able to make it into Eads, Colo., about 8:15 p.m. with the sun set and dusk out. It was about 115 miles of biking, probably the worst biking so far. We then found the camp place where we would camp for the night, then rode down Main Street looking for churches we'd go to in the morning. We decided the earliest, which was 10 a.m., was too late, so we might try and make it to a night service tomorrow night. We then stopped at a little cafe just as they were closing up about 8:45 p.m. We were able to get in and get two dinners donated. After we ate, we biked back to our campsite and were in bed by 10:30. Night ya'll.
Sunday, June 6, 2004 - Eads, CO, Tribune, Scott City, KS
Today we woke up early in Eads, Colo., about 6:30 a.m. The little park we camped at had a restroom, and as I walked over there to fill up the water bottles, the biker that was camped there was about to leave and I got to talk to him. He was from New Zealand and started at the Los Angeles airport and was going to make it up to New York. He was like us and camped at the little rest area/campground last night, although he was in way before we were. He left, and Chad and I were packed up and ready to go.
We decided to stop at "Our Place," the little restaurant in town, to try and get breakfast. They gladly offered us breakfast as we had our usual omelets, but this time I got a huge cinnamon roll that was amazing, and Chad ordered the biscuits and gravy that were about 10 times bigger than we both expected. Good times...
We then biked on through the hot and windy sun. We made it down the road, and about 30 miles down, we caught up with the other biker who we had talked to earlier. He was taking it slower than us as we caught up with him, and he hated the wind so much that he decided to take it north for awhile. Chad and I decided to go on ahead and stay on route and bike through the now 40 mph wind that was "unusual" as the Kansas people would say.
We're now in Kansas, and were able to stop at the first little place in Tribune, "The Chatterbox," a unique little restaurant that we ate lunch at. We noticed there were lots of nice people and pretty girls in Kansas so far. We then biked on to race and get to Scott City, so we could make it to an evening church service on time. We finally made it in about 5:30 p.m., stopping only to fill up water at gas stations. We averaged about 15 mph and biked about 105 miles on the day.
We got into town and looked for churches. One church was having a 6 p.m. service so it worked out perfectly. It was the Church of Christ and we attended. The sermon was on Philippians 1-4, which was good and weird since a lot of the Bible verses Chad and I have been memorizing on the trip have come from those four chapters of the Bible. It was good to get to sing some worship as well and visit with all the people, who were eager to talk to us after the service. They welcomed us throughout the whole service and afterward they talked our heads off. It was good times though.
We then headed into town and tried for a motel so Chad could watch game one of the NBA finals with Lakers vs. Pistons. We got a room on first shot and before tip off, headed right down the street to Pizza Hut where we got dinner. We then came back to the room and watched the game. I tried to call Emily Page on the phone, but with very little service, we had a hard time getting through. I also had to change the back tire again because I got another flat today. We tried to put in the slime but couldn't figure it out, and accidentally squirted it all over the floor of the hotel room, creating a little of a mess but were able to clean it up. At half time of the game we made it down to Dairy Queen and got two blizzards donated. We then came back and watched the rest of the game, with the Pistons upsetting the Lakers, surprisingly to most people, in game one. It's now a little after midnight, and goin' to bed. Peace.
Monday, June 7, 2004 - Scott City, Dighton, Alexander, Rush Center, Albert, KS
Well, today we woke up at about 8 a.m. in Scott City and got ready to go. We decided to try and get breakfast at a little cafe and we did. Another omelet to start off the day, with chocolate milk and the whole works. When we got into the restaurant, we ran into the guy who had donated the hotel room to us and he wanted us to join him. We decided we should and ate breakfast with good ol' Roy. He talked pretty much non-stop to us throughout the whole breakfast, keeping us in for a little while longer.
We finally got on the road at about 9:45 a.m., which wasn't good because it was 103 degrees today, sunny, and sidewinds hitting us at 35 to 40 mph all stinkin' day long. We then biked on to Dighton, where we stopped and got malts and double bacon cheeseburgers donated. We then biked on in the hot sun and stinkin' winds. Kansas has been the worst state for biking by far.
We biked on, about 20 miles at a time, and stopping in at cities to fill up with water. In Alexander, a little before Ness City, we stopped at a gas station and ran into a group of bikers - two guys and two girls - from England going west and up to Oregon. We then biked on, reaching Alexander and got turned down by a guy at the little restaurant who wouldn't even give us water, and we'd have to buy it. We then went to a little rest area in Alexander and ate some crackers and tuna.
We then biked on all the way to Rush Center and stopped at the little restaurant there and got chicken fried steak dinners donated. We also had to turn down apple pie so we could make it to Albert, which was still 16 miles away. As we were leaving the restaurant, a little boy ran outside and asked us what we were doing. The look on his face seemed like he wanted to join us and bike with us. He was about seven years old, and his conversation gave us energy to haul it into Albert. We made it in about 9:30 p.m. after biking in the dark for about 30 minutes, set up camp at a little park in the city, and are in bed by 10:15 p.m. We got a huge day tomorrow as we try and make it 120 miles to Newton. Later.
Tuesday, June 8, 2004 - Albert, Great Bend, Newton, Benton, KS
Today we really had no problem waking up before 6 a.m., because we had a little more incentive to get movin'. First off, we had Emily Page's house awaiting us in Wichita, which we have been long awaiting for, kind of symbolizing our halfway mark and our first day off of the trip. We also thought we might be able to bike without wind, but boy, were we wrong when we woke up. Wind was still blowin' hard.
We started biking about 6 a.m., and 12 miles down the road we made it to Great Bend, where we stopped in for breakfast and milkshakes. We ate quickly and were out of there after many stopped us to ask what we were doing. We biked for about two more hours before we stopped at a little city's CB's Eatery and got lunch donated. We then biked on, sometimes causing us to only go about 6 or 7 mph. We had one stretch of road going north where we easily peddled at a pace of 24 mph. We hate Kansas's wind the most so far, but it wasn't as hot today because we had a little extra cloud cover, hoping to get to see a tornado from the storm. We biked hard, taking pretty much no brakes.
We finally arrived into Newton around 6:30 p.m. when we called Emily. We stopped at a Wendy's and got a meal donated as we waited for Emily, her mom and her cousin, Margi, to come pick us up. I've never been more excited to see anyone in my whole life. They picked us up, and after a few minutes of commotion in Wendy's, we headed for Benton, where Emily lives.
When we got to Emily's house her mom had amazing Sloppy Joes for us, rice krispies and fresh fruit! :) We also got to meet Mr. Page. We chatted with one another as we watched the Pistons fall to the Lakers, unfortunately, in game 2. Chad's 2 for 2 in being able to watch his Pistons in the final. It's now 1 a.m., and Emily just tucked me into bed. :) Tomorrow we have the day off! Whew.