Tuesday, August 26, 2008


First of all you have to see the article on the Right to Play web sight. It pretty much sums up the trip. Thinking back on it all I realized a few things along the way:

* if I planned it again I would make no day longer than 75 miles and have one fewer rest day.
* I would pack better for the first day in ONtario and not arrive in London mid rush hour
* I would definitely look over EVERYTHING on the map, including the direction of RR crossings and highlight them.
* I would not CAMP unless we had two cars- one that was designated support and one that would take care of camp (too much time to pack up everything)
* I would not vacation first - I would do that after (still wiped out here)
* I would pack the JUST IN CASE/GOD FORBID you might need them supplies (Silvadine, Net Bandage, and Xeroform) for that unexpected slide across the road
* I would also make sure I had a spare rear wheel for every bike with us (We could not find a place to fix Justin's spoke and without a truing stand and new spokes ourselves we were out of luck)
* I would rethink part of the route...

With that said, its done, he finished, and he is very thrilled to have had the adventure...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Home sweet Home!!!

What a difference a day makes, yesterday we pulled Chris from the route, concerned that he was dehydrated and fading fast, hadn't had a pee stop in quite a long while, hadn't really finished his water bottles, stopped eating because he started to feel nauseous, coke didn't revive him, or interest him, and his eyes started to loose their shine. So after 42 miles we pulled the plug. He was still feeling ill 3 hours later. We made him take a 20 minute dip in the pool after an hour 15 air conditioned car ride and finally after a nap, and some fluid... the effects of the heat and the day started to fade. A bad sandwich day for sure.

Today he was on fire, he wanted to get home so, so badly! He hammered out the 70 miles with no issues at all. He was met along the route by Kai, Alani and Melanie in Patterson, where they were sitting on the roof, blasting the dead and holding a really big sign that said go Chris, which by the way is already hanging in his room, and by Dan and Mary at the bottom of our hill. Dan had a very large C painted on his chest. Chris decided at some point that the end of the ride would be a jump in the lake, so we met him there. He loaded his bike onto the car and then went for a swim and then walked home.
After two weeks on the road I am exhausted. I am hoping that he feels a sense of satisfaction. Pictures tomorrow (right now sleep).

Friday, August 22, 2008

mapping the Copake Falls route

I have mapped it several times and have gotten really frustrated, so rather than relax today I am off trying to decide if the way I wanted to go is viable. I am using today as a scouting day.

We are changing the route to less traveled roads, which may add a few miles, we may split that difference by adding some of those to Sunday's ride.

Rambled Thoughts...

Yesterday we had a day off, Chris went to his friend Kevin's house, and Justin, my mom, and I went to Lake George to see my Aunt. It was a very relaxing day. I actually got a chance to read the paper, and that got me thinking... about all the negatives that are covered in the paper, and how there is a 13 year old kid who has raised money for a cause he believed in, and in exchange pledged to ride his bike home from his vacation, an 800 mile unorganized, grass roots, just him supported by his family journey, to make sure that the world knows how important playing can be in life, ... and yet, there is no story there.

Don't get me wrong, he is doing this for all the right reasons, and recognition is not really in that equation. I just can't get over how interesting it is that it hasn't been picked up.

This weekend's rides:
Tomorrow we are headed to Copake Falls, We will be starting around 9AM and this will be an 80 mile very hilly effort, probably the worst ride of the trip. Rather than camp out though, we are headed back to Malta so that Chris can be comfortable after such a hard effort.

Sunday's ride:
Copake Falls to Home- He will probably start around 9 or 10 AM (I'll know better tomorrow) and this 68 mile ride will be straight down 22 with the exception of the Millerton-Wassaic path and the route from Brewster. We will be headed into Somers on Route 202 from Croton Falls.

I'll edit this post as I know more!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Short ride today...

If there was ever an opportunity for me to get back on the bike, today would have been it, but...I decided that I would wait until Saturday. I may venture out with Justin tomorrow around Saratoga Lake, or the Battlefield?
Today's ride was a series of long steep rollers in the foothills of the DACKS, Johnstown to Saratoga. Justin and I crewed the short ride so that Chris would not have to worry about navigating it, though he would tell you that we fell asleep on that job. We let him make two wrong turns and could not catch him until he was at the top of a hill. Other than that we had one construction related detour, and one set of tracks to negotiate (which were a non-issue). We finished it off with NaNa treating us to dinner at the Goodtimes Restaurant in Ballston Lake.
Check Chris's blog for his take...
Tomorrow and the next day off... then the Berkshires

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

74 miles in 4 hours, finally a great day on the bike!

After Sunday's crash, yesterday's route was shortened to about 30 miles. We still had one of those days, Chris made a wrong turn immediately after being dropped off, it took us 3 hours to get a decent fire going at the campsite, it poured last night (the wind was so bad that the tent would surely have launched if we weren't in it- and a shower in the middle of a dream was not my idea of a great unconscious adventure)and to top it off, a bear was hovering around our campsite about 4 AM. Justin and I were so ready to bag everything if Chris had a poor day today, but...He crusied, covering 74 miles in 4 hours!!! He was beautiful! The pics are a combination of yesterday and today.
More tomorrow!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

RR Crossing on a diagonal equals...

And the Lockport ER thinks what Chris is doing is amazing... regardless of the road rash and fear that his mother was seriously injured... OK, I have an equally impressive amount of road rash, an imprint of Chris's handlebars in my head and shoulder and a faint recollection of the whole event. I can now join the club for RR crossing injuries and live to tell about it.

NYS Bike Route 5 has a serious flaw in its design of this crossing - 5 minutes after we crashed (both of us airborne over our handlebars and eating pavement) a guy riding by joined our club but with a car right beside him. DOT will get a report from us soon. Chris will continue his journey tomorrow (please let us have a worry, tragedy free day).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

London to (well that is up for interpretation)

I am writing from Niagara Falls this morning, and a nights sleep changes the perspective on a great deal of things. Yesterday we started the day in London, Ont. and decided rather than planning a new route we would just bring Chris down to the original route we had planned. Everything started out well, Justin and Chris on the bikes, totally pumped. Scouting ahead and found the town of Norwich, where Anna and I found the coolest Dutch market (actually, I think we were the only English speaking people in the town). We loaded up on some surprises for Chris and Justin (chocolate spread, pear spread, coffee wafers, fresh bread, brandy snaps). We headed out to our planned 15-20 mile meeting spot. They showed up in great spirits, used the nearest tree, topped off water bottles, grabbed some snacks, and reviewed the next set of turns, and off they went. The next stop was a bit more interesting, we were on the Six Nation Reservation in a playground where we found the perfect picnic pavilion but also we received a phone call about a wrong turn, Justin and Chris added a few miles to the route because they were sure they were not supposed to enter the Reservation. By the time they got to this stop, they were ready for lunch. The two had been keeping an 18 MPH pace all morning complaining of only two things, the false flats, and the amount of rogue dogs that have forced them into oncoming traffic. Our next stop was in the center of Oshwaken, a bit short on miles, but the best place before the push into Hamilton. As we waited their arrival we noticed the weather changing. There was a prediction of T-Storms, and the sky was turning black. We waited, discussing the plan for the weather and the phone rang, they were 1K short of us with two broken spokes and a bit frazzled by the dog that forced Justin into the ditch to begin with. We picked them up, drove to the center of town, and decided to visit the trading post before going on. This was by far the most interesting part of the day's journey. The man running the place, (I feel badly as I didn't get his name), had a wonderfully insightful message that I didn't fully understand until this morning. Anna wanted to purchase a dream catcher from him, and he told her (as well as all of us) about the symbolism attached to the way a dream catcher is put together. It was about life, and the most important things in life...LOVE, PLAY, PEACE, POSITIVE THOUGHT, HARMONY, and BEING SELFLESS. As the family started to walk out the door, he handed me a CD to give Anna and a poster for my classroom, and told me to remember not to be afraid to PLAY as that was where LOVE was. I handed him one of Chris's Right to Play cards and he told us he would remember us in his stories and commented on how fitting Chris's journey was and how things always seem to work out. He also told us about a wise Mohawk man who ran a shop and B&B in Fonda near the Kateri Shrine. (worth looking up) . As we were trying to decide what to do, the sky opened up with some serious orchestrations and our decision was made for us. We headed to Hamilton by car. It was only 2:30 maybe we could get camp set up before it really got wet.
OK here is where it got really disappointing, our campsite was a ghost town, a unmowed swamp with no fires allowed. We spent the next three hours in the on and off T-storms trying to find accommodations for the night. My ankle is so swollen that I know that I could not have joined him riding, which I think Chris knew without me saying anything (as it is hard to miss).I spent the night feeling really defeated for Chris, we had crossed Ontario with little more than 120 miles on the bike, funny, he was fine with it all. I realized this morning that he got it, it was about making a statement about being able to play, helping others, making a contribution to love, peace and harmony in the world, not about the personal challenge of riding every mile of the journey. He has done more as a 13 year old than most of us do as adults.
We found a place in Niagara and we are camping. Tomorrow, we hit NY, Niagara to Rochester along route 31. I am hoping all goes well with fixing the wheel today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Route change in favor off a night in a bed

Hey guys, the second day of riding is done. It was a nice day for riding, not very hot, but we got a bit of a late start. By the time we packed up the camping gear (3 hours), ate (1 hour), replaced the front tire on my bike (20 minutes), went through customs (1 hour) and found an ATM to get some cash (20 minutes) it was noon before we hit the road. We were escorted by the whole family today as the route turned out to be very remote, almost no services. We saw some cool things, but unfortunately pics will have to wait until we hit the US (can't send pics on the cell while roaming). The route was similar to riding in Texas until we hit London where we started to get into some rollers. There were cattle farms, horse farms, cattle farms...air-strips, cattle farms. We saw a fox, a blue heron, a bunch of hawks, and a dog who wanted a piece of us in the worst way (TG for the electric fence).
Got to get going, eat, re-plan tomorrow's route, and get to bed. Justin will join Chris for part of the way tomorrow as my ankle started to bother me near the end of today's ride.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Route 25 at 25MPH

Before we begin there must be a breakfast of champions... according to Chris

Today Chris headed out from Lakeport with my friend Chris. The day’s ride wasn’t very long at all, 20 miles total, a prologue of sorts. It was a heavily traveled flat route that they blasted with a 25 MPH average despite the lights. Justin and I played leap frog with him, driving ahead to capture the video footage. What we found is that they were cruising so fast that on one occasion by the time I found a place to park, they had already passed us. They stopped at the BRIDGE TO CANADA sign for a photo-op before turning around and retracing their route to Lakeport.

Two days ago four of us set out from Lakeport and headed north to Lexington for a round trip ride that would cover the route north of the state park. It felt good to pedal after 12 hours in the car the day before. The only notable event was the slight mechanical problem. Chris’s foot got stuck in the pedal. He lost one of the screws to his cleats. I am glad this happened where it was a manageable problem, but it taught him to really check his equipment prior to riding. The little things do count.

Tomorrow will be a long day 80 miles after we break camp and get across the bridge (pray the delays are minimal)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Here are the details of Chris's ride and route specifics

AUGUST 13- Lexington MI to Blue Water Bridge (20 miles)
AUGUST 14- Sarnia, Ont to Lake Whittaker via mostly county highways routes 22, 6, 30, 44, 15, 34, 37 (92 Miles)
AUGUST 15 - Lk Whtkr to Confederation Park, Hamilton, via cnty highways 37, 18, 3, 4, 26, 29, 9, 20,31 and Beach (102 miles)
AUGUST 16 (tentative-may be done 8/16 for day off) Fifty Point to Niagara Falls (40 Miles) via St Catherines, Homer, Queesnton
AUGUST 17- Niagara Falls NY to Rochester via State Bike route #5 -route 31 (85 Miles)
AUGUST 18- Rochester to Verona Beach State Park ia State Bike route #5 -route 31 (114 miles)
AUGUST 19- Verona to either St. Johnsville or Johnstown via State Bike route #5 -route 31 and HWY 67 (70 to 90 miles)
AUGUST 20 - St. Johnsville or Johnstown to Malta via 67, county route 107, 50, and Balston Road (40-60 miles)
AUGUST 23 - Malta to Copake Falls - still working on route (70 Miles)
AUGUST 24 - Copake Falls - Somers via Route 22, 202, 116 (75 Miles)

The average pace will most likely be around 15 MPH depending on his fatigue level.
PLEASE let us know if you plan on joining Chris on the road- call my cell or e-mail me. Make sure to leave your phone number so I can get back to you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

adjusting the cleats

I managed 30-35 minutes today on the bike. I felt a little bit better than yesterday, although the cleat adjustment was strange. It accomplished what I had hoped, taking pressure off the achilles, but created pressure on the tibia enough to bother the point of impact. Getting off the bike is still a question, though an neighbor's urgency to speak with me today actually created that sudden stop situation, and I was able to react quickly enough to protect my foot. Tomorrow I will go on a quest to find a better support than a compression sleeve while riding.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How does one get off the bike?

PT is hard work, but how do you get off a bike? I went out for a short ride today since getting the new bike to fit on the trainer was more work than riding around the lake for a half hour. Despite the fact that I had more of a chance of a dog running out in front of me in my neighborhood than if I was out on the open road, I decided to take the chance and rode. I was sore, especially when I had to pedal up hill. What I got to see though was that the pain I was feeling at PT on the bike was more of a poor fit variety, where as the pain today was the true pain from the injury. As far as dealing with the pain, I am going to try to move my cleat back a bit to see if that will take pressure off the achilles and allow me to pedal uphill with less force on the ball of the foot, which translates into pain between the tibia and fibula. I spent 30 minutes out there feeling like someone had sliced my leg off half way down my shin, and tried to be realistic about next week when I have to spend 7 hours on the bike for 4 days in a row. I am beginning to wonder if I can pull it off. HONESTLY, my main problem today was figuring out how to get off the bike. I had to ride until I got picked up so that I could have help with dismounting.

Chris on the other hand continues to amaze me. Off riding on his own, without being told to do so, knowing his training schedule like its part of him, and accepting the work as if its as basic as brushing his teeth. I wonder sometimes as I see this in him if his dreams of Olympic glory are a real possibility some day. If he is this dedicated at 13, and understands work... one can only hope...who knows, maybe in 10 years we may see even see him in yellow as he claims!

Until tomorrow!

Friday, August 1, 2008

PT (Cruising? )

Today was my first official PT session. I have to say it was typical in the sense that it was difficult, it was exhausting and it both had me wondering if I can manage this, and at the same time it gave me a great deal of hope. Especially when Bill seems to think it will be doable, if I do things correctly. Determination has to be kept in check or it has the potential of railroading me. After PT I stretched out in the lake. The ankle is doing well, its the achilles and the High Ankle injury that continues to be the issue. I am sore all the way up to my knee.

What I have to say about all of this is what I have learned about the dedication Chris has. He has been riding his intervals, doing some recovery paced longer rides, and making sure he stays on top of nutrition and sleep. As I listened to him speak to a reporter yesterday, I was almost choked up over how eloquent he was. It was then that I realized that he was as committed as he has saying in his writing. I am so proud of him. Chris, if you read this, this is for you.