'The Journey Ends': Bike America 2K4 Diary - June 30-July 1, 2004
Scroll to the end of this story for links to Chad and Drew's complete online diary.
Bike America 2K4 has come to an end for Baylor University sophomores Chad Anderson and Drew Mitchell, who rode more than 3,700 miles across the United States this summer to raise funds and awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas.
The business majors began Bike America 2K4 May 17 from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, following a route through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia. On the morning of July 1, the duo completed their journey when they rode into historic Yorktown, Va.
Relying on the kindness of strangers, as well Baylor students and alumni, for food, lodging and other support throughout their journey, Chad and Drew were able to stay focused on the reason for their ride. Through Bike America 2K4 online pledging at $10 a mile, the two have raised more than $7,000 for the Central Texas chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, for which Chad serves as a Big Brother.
Bike America 2K4 also became a Baylor sophomore class project. Drew, who is vice president of the Class of 2006, said Big Brother Big Sisters provides a way for college students to give back to their communities, wherever that may be.
During their ride, Chad and Drew used public libraries and universities along the way to file a daily diary from the road. Below are their final two entries, as well as links to all of their online journals that documented their travels.
Congratulations on the completion of your journey!
Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - Ashland, Atlee, Mechanicsville, Jamestown, Williamsburg, VA
Today we woke up at 8 a.m. and went down to eat the continental breakfast from the hotel. After about six bagels and six muffins each, we were ready to go. The roads were very busy today and traffic was terrible on the no-shoulder road that we had to ride on. Trucks would pass an inch from our bodies and bikes at 50 miles an hour. We eventually got into Atlee, Va., where we stopped in at the library for a little bit. Afterward, we biked to Mechanicsville and kept biking all the way to Jamestown. We stopped on the way to eat tuna and crackers, but lots of hard biking today as we pushed our bodies to bring up the average speed to 14 on the day.
We saw one guy our age at a gas station filling up with water. He was on his second day from Yorktown to San Francisco and already gotten lost and thrown on a detour 10 miles long. Chad and I gave him a lot of tips, afterward biking off knowing what he had ahead of him. Wow, that is a long way for him to go.
At Jamestown, we explored the historic landmark and road our bikes through the old settlement. It was a really neat place. On the way out, when we were headed toward Williamsburg, a car with Michigan plates passed us and honked, with hands waving out the window. It was Chad's family driving by. His parents, sisters, and grandma were there to check on us. They pulled over, and Chad gave his family members hugs. After a few minutes of talking to them, the weather started to tell us we better get moving before it pours rain on us. They got in the car and took off ahead, with Chad and me right behind them on our bikes.
We biked the rest of the 10 miles or so about 15 mph, as we had lots of adrenaline in us now. We got into Williamsburg with a light rain and thunder and lightning around us. We pulled into the Patrick Henry Best Western Inn where they had a room reserved for us, and then Chad's parents took us out to a really nice place called King's Tavern, where we had a really nice all-you-can-eat family-style dinner with everything imaginable. It was SOO stinking good to eat some really good food for once and not tuna or processed meat. We had a good time eating as they entertained us with singing and stuff. We then headed back to the hotel and relaxed as Chad's over-stuffed stomach made him lay out flat for a while. We are going to bed, knowing that there are only 14 miles left of the trip. Last night with Chad on my side. Sad times... Night.
Thursday, July 1, 2004 - Williamsburg, Yorktown, VA
Wow. Today has finally come. We woke up early so we could get moving on the day. We woke up at 7 a.m. and got ready to bike. We then headed down to have the complimentary breakfast. Everyone in there was so excited after one person asked us what we were doing. Lots of congratulations at the breakfast table, and after a few bagels and muffins and good fresh fruit, we headed out with, for the last time, zero miles on the speedometer to start off the day.
We biked down to the Colonial Parkway, where we saw the sign that showed Yorktown about 14 miles away. We started biking, averaging around 15 mph with lots of energy and adrenaline. We had beautiful scenery and beautiful weather today. So amazing. We biked hard, making it to Yorktown in less than an hour. We biked through Yorktown, and made it to the statue where the finish point was. Chad and I knew though that the real end wasn't until we touched the water of the Atlantic Ocean. We took some pictures at the statue, and then made it down to the beach. We went across the sand with our bikes and put the front tires in the water.
We had made it.
We started from the Pacific coast in San Francisco and biked across the country, through every element imaginable and made it to Yorktown and the Atlantic Ocean. We threw our bikes down and ran into the ocean to celebrate. We then celebrated with Chad's family and took our bikes up to the parking lot. We took off our gear and swapped gear and tools and loaded the bikes up. We then headed back to the hotel and finished our final cleanup and packing.
It was now 11:30 a.m., and Chad and I hugged each other and shook hands. Good times on this trip. An experience of a lifetime was now coming to an end. Months of working hard together in Waco to raise money and get the trip planned. Seven weeks on the road together. Chad and I were now going separate ways, and for the first time since April, we will go our first day without seeing each other. It's been good times and there's no one else I would have rather done this with.
They were about to head back to Michigan when my wonderful cousin, Angie, pulled in the driveway, and now it was my turn to change my life from a biker boy to a normal citizen again. I hugged my cousin, SO glad to see her, but sad as I said bye to Chad. We had a lot of good times together and now had to go back and do something else. Chad and his family took off, my cousin and I started towards Richmond, Va. Anyway, this is the close of the journal.
Thank ya'll for following up on us, and showing that you care. I don't think we could have pulled this trip off without our families, friends, Lori Fogleman, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and many other people, but most importantly God, who gave us strength and protected us throughout our trip. Lots of time to think out there on those lonely roads, but God definitely showed his love and care for us, bringing us safely to an end. I don't think the trip could've gone any better, and I don't think there is one thing I would change about it. The experiences and memories will last a lifetime. Coming into towns and areas of the country we had never been before and depending on people to help and support us brought a lot out of us. It's now time to wrap this up, but again, thanks for showing interest in this project, and if you have a chance, check out the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. It's an amazing program, and a great ministry.
God Bless and one last time..........Night!