One year ago today!

One year ago,

Those of you who followed along with the Friends for Phinney ride remember this Day 12 – Queens Ride/Carls Century. This coming Saturday Aug 2, I  will join my Friends for Phinney Team and 3000 others and participate in the Copper Triangle, the ride benefiting The Davis Phinney Foundation. Take a moment and read about Carl.  Your support is greatly needed and helps those living with Parkinson’s get through another day. I will continue riding to help find a cure for Parkinson’s. To Donate, Please do,  go to Thanks for taking a moment. Happy Wednesday.

My Best to you all

Carl’s Ride Video

Our friend Carl toasts Friends for Phinney in this awesome video. Thank you, Carl, for your support, enthusiasm and friendship. Memories of a lifetime!

Carl is also famous for writing songs: and (to the tune of New York, New York)

Start Spreading the News

New York, New York

Revised lyrics by: Carl Ames

Start sharing the news, they’re making their way
Right to the very heart of it, New York, New York!

Their bones and their butts, are tired and sore
But they won’t stop until they get to Nat Sherman’s cigar store!

They wanna wake up in a city, where they need sleep,
And find they’ve finished this ride, had a great time, made many memories to keep!

These four Phinney Friends, set out from the West,
Crossed deserts and mountains, rode the great plains, each giving their best!

They used lots of butter, plenty of pickles they ate,
Sung silly songs, always keeping their dates!

They want to wake in a bed, that doesn’t creep,
And find they’ve finished this ride, had a great time, made many memories to keep!
These memories we’ve made, will never melt away
We’ll scoop them all up, and remember this day

When they made it there, they made it everywhere,
So here’s to them New York , New York!

Day 42 – Finale

Friday, August 30 – 3273.6 miles down, 0 to go

Today we rode to the Atlantic Ocean and finished what we started 42 days ago.

Planning today had been tough because we needed to finish in New York City as the folks at Nat Sherman had a Finish Line Celebration planned for us.  But first we needed to find a place on the Atlantic to dip our front wheel into the ocean and complete our arduous trek.  I picked Raritan Bay Waterfront Park in New Jersey as our location for the finale of our ride.  We would have loved to have ridden all the way to New York City, but there are rules about which bridges you can and cannot cross, so this made more sense.

Isaac took over driving the sag with Amy navigating as we had a complex route to follow to get to Raritan.  Kathleen was once again suited up and ready to ride so we could finish as the foursome that started out from Oceanside on July 20th.  We had a short 56 mile route to the park, so we weren’t in any hurry to get going.  Plus, Tim and Caroline Sweitzer, two of our best friends, were delivering breakfast to us prior to riding.  We’ve been riding for Tim since 2005, as Tim was diagnosed with MS in 2004 and we started riding the MS-150 two-day event that next year.  They are dear friends and as luck would have it, Caroline is from Doylestown, and they were in town for a wedding.  Tim, Caroline and their son Adam were there to see us off.

Departing the Days Inn in Doylestown: Rick, Adam, Tim, Tom, Kevin, Caroline, Kathleen

Departing the Days Inn in Doylestown: Rick, Adam, Tim, Tom, Kevin, Caroline, Kathleen

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Day 41 – Anticipation

Thursday, August 29 – 3183 miles down, 90 to go

Lots of anticipation today about a number of things.

First, we had our last scheduled Parkinson’s event this evening and were looking forward to meeting a new group of PD folks and their caregivers.  Also it was our penultimate day in the saddle, and we were checking off another day and looking towards tomorrow and riding into Manhattan.  Finally Kathleen and Isaac were rejoining the group and would be riding and sagging along with us on our last day.  So, lots of anticipation!

But first we had to ride!  We had an 82 mile spin from Lebanon to Doylestown as our route.  We were all up and loaded around 6:30am and then had breakfast at the Days Inn buffet.  It was adequate.  They had a rear-projection TV set up in the buffet area, and we wondered if they had stolen it from our Cassandra room.  It blared Fox Sports loudly, and like bugs attracted to a light people sat in a semi-circle around the TV and ate their meals, staring catatonically at the screen.  Somehow the NFL seems to have begun, or is getting ready to begin.  You miss a lot of things on the road.

It was once again overcast and you could feel wetness in the air as we pushed off out of the parking lot and headed east.  Shoes had dried well overnight, and stuffing them with newspaper is one of the better tricks we’ve learned on the ride.  I think we may have the Stutzman’s to thank for that one as well as the double bar tape.  We were hoping it wouldn’t rain on us like yesterday.  Somebody told us “Yessir boy, we got 2 and a half inches yesterday in about an hour!”  Yeah, we know.  I found a Walleye in my shoe there was so much water in them yesterday.

Departing the Days Inn in Lebanon

Departing the Days Inn in Lebanon

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Day 40 – Rainy Days and Wednesdays

Wednesday, August 28 – 3100 miles down, 173 to go

Today was book-ended with rain.

Rain was brewing last night when we went to bed, and the air was thick with humidity this morning and it had rained overnight.  So we knew we’d have to start on wet roads.  We loaded up and then went to breakfast, which we had to order in the hotel restaurant, so it took longer than we would have liked.  Didn’t get on the road until 7:50 am.  It was so wet that a gang of Street Ducks accosted us as we were about to head out.  They came charging across the parking lot, making their intentions quite clear by quacking and threatening us with their demeanor.  We threw them some bread to divert their attention, then quickly mounted our bikes and got going.

Departing the Days Inn in Burnham (had to stay there as Lewistown doesn't have any hotels)

Departing the Days Inn in Burnham (had to stay there as Lewistown doesn’t have any hotels)

The threatening Street Duck Gang.

The threatening Street Duck Gang.

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Day 39 – Ramblin’ Roads

Tuesday, August 27 – 3019 miles down, 254 miles to go

Today was what we wish every riding day was like, except the end.

It started with a home-made breakfast, courtesy of Amy, because strangely, the Cassandra Railroad Overlook Motel doesn’t have a breakfast option.  The entire town was eerily quiet the entire time we were there, but it felt like we were being watched.  It was good to get moving.

Our room at the Cassandra motel

Our room at the Cassandra motel

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Day 38 – Climbing To Cassandra

Monday, August 26 – 2939 miles down, 335 to go

This day has been circled with red ink for months.

It was our 3rd biggest climbing day, so we’ve been wondering what the hills of Pennsylvania had in store for us.  The profile looked like an electrocardiogram, so lots of ups and downs awaited us.

But first we had breakfast with Joe Williams and said our goodbyes.  He looked good after his effort yesterday.  In fact, he looked great.  He obviously recovers well.  He was going to go rent a car and then drive over to where he had business.  It was good to see him one more time and put a bow on our experiences with him.  We met him in Durango when he rode out to lead us into town, then we stayed with him, then he met us and rode up Poncha Pass with us when we were headed to Salida, and finally he rode with us yesterday.  Feels like we’re lifelong friends with him now.  Looking forward to seeing him in the future as well.

Leaving the Hampton Inn and Suites in Pittsburgh: Rick, Joe, Kevin, Tom, Amy

Leaving the Hampton Inn and Suites in Pittsburgh: Rick, Joe, Kevin, Tom, Amy

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Day 37 – Waiting For Lefty

Sunday, August 25 – 2853 miles down, 420 to go

This was the best and worst day of our journey.

The best part about it was that Joe Williams joined us and was going to ride with us.  Joe is in the running to be The World’s Most Interesting Man, and he’s one of the warmest most personable people I’ve met in a long time.  Joe has PD and was our host in Durango several weeks ago when we had our first rest day.  Wow, that seems eons ago.  Anyway, Joe has some business in this area of the world, so he flew in early and joined us this morning around 6:15am.  While Tom and I were talking with him, he told us he had a donation from his cycling team, Go Joe Go.  He handed us a baggie full of money, and suffice it to say that the GJG Team stepped up Big Time in supporting us.  We spent some time talking and catching up with him, and as a result didn’t get going until after 7:00am.

Leaving the Ramada in Canton: Rick, Tom, Kevin, Joe

Leaving the Ramada in Canton: Rick, Tom, Kevin, Joe

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