Why am I doing this?

credits to Justin Bond of Star Talent Events for the audio.

Thanks for stopping in! This summer, I'll be biking 2500 miles from San Francisco to Gibson City, IL to raise $4000 for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and the Ford County Youth Soccer Club. My route map.

There are so many reasons. As a youngster growing up in central Illinois, playing soccer, as rare as it was for the area, was an activity that really shaped me into the person I am today. Not only combining the importance of fitness and teamwork, but also leadership and discipline. I have always wanted to have the opportunity to give back to this organization (FCYSC), and I feel that this is my chance.

Living just outside of Gibson City causes every child to be an avid cyclist to survive that stretch of Route 9 to make it into town. As I've progressed into my current career as an urban planner, I realize how much of an impact cycling can make in certain parts of the United States, in reducing our dependence on vehicles, increasing our health, among other benefits. Atlanta is the place that re-energized my spirit for transportation planning and I hope to be able to return some gratitude to the ABC, a cause that I still feel has an uphill battle in that town.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at supawanich@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

accumulation of stuff..

So as July rolls around the corner, I keep checking my "days till ride" counter and see that it is drifting closer and closer kinda like when you wake up at 6:30 then snooze then all of the sudden it's 8:45? Yes. That's about how I'm feeling at the moment. So as of now, I am at 38 days out and I still am for all practical purposes physically disabled, waiting for my knee to heal (it was injured waiting for a hamstring to heal, which was injured trying to capture the flag from face-painted bandits in downtown Oakland)...sigh.

However, in my rest, I have been developing and acquiring my gear list... which has been rather exhausting and expensive. It's also a little weird, because I'm accumulating all of this stuff that I supposedly need, yet I am going to have to haul every last ounce of it across the 2500 so miles and 15000 feet of elevation. Sounds like a great to to become a nomadic bicyclist.

Here's my gear list so far, without the nitty gritty cyclist details
2 new tires, 4 new tubs, 1 new trailer, 1 used hiking GPS, 5 new cycling maps, 1 new bike rear-view mirror, 1 new pair of bike shorts, 1 used solo tent, 2 new sets of brake pads, 1 new bike multi tool, 1 bottle of dry lube, new tire levers, spare chain connector....whew. My trailer comes in on the 26th so that'll be a real treat figuring out how all of that plus 2 sets of normal clothes, shoes, and normal people toiletries will fit into a small duffel that I'm going to be pulling around like it's my livelyhood. I wonder if people I pass on the highway will think I'm homeless? Actually, in the midwest that might not be such a bad thing since people might actually bring me into their home instead of throwing dimes at me.

Anyway, after all of this, I hope that when I roll into Gibson in early September I'll be presentable. I don't imagine I'll smell like a bed of roses when I roll in after 40 days on a bike. Maybe somehow on the ride I'll figure out how to overcome body odor and sweating, that is a rather long time I suppose.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

supa.supporters workout CD now mixed...

...with the following tracks to keep your workout going for nearly 2 full hours! With a small donation of $50 (or more), you could be the proud owner of these continuously mixed compilations of new (and old favorites)!

Suparemix 06.21.09 Part A - (Continuous 55:02)

1. Stand Up - Ludacris
2. I Know You Want Me - Pitbull
3. Satisfaction - Benny Benassi
4. Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
5. I Did it For Love - BoA
6. Just Dance - Lady Gaga
7. Calabria 2008 - Enur
8. Dancin - Aaron Smith
9. Balie On Me - Flosstradamus
10. Go Girl - Pitbull
11. Stronger - Kanye West
12. Jump Around - House of Pain
13. Heart of a Champion - Nelly
14. Infinity - Guru Josh Project
15. Modern Times - Steve Forest vs. Chriss Ortega
16. Miles Away - Madonna

Suparemix 06.21.09 Part B - (Continuous 53:30)

1. Gypsy Woman - Crystal Waters
2. Everytime We Touch - David Guetta & Chris Willis
3. Love Takes Over - David Guetta & Kelly Rowland
4. Just a Little More Love - David Guetta
5. Day 'N' Night - Kid Cudi
6. Let Me Think About It - Ida Coor
7. Round and Round - Mischa Daniels
8. Love on My Mind - Free Masons
9. Like it Like That - Sharon Phillips
10. Rock This - Bob Sinclair
11. I Like the Way You Move - Bodyrockers
12. One Night in Bangkok - Global DJs
13. Dreamer - Janice Robinson
14. Temperature - Sean Paul

As of now, I have formats in mp3 and m4a online but also can burn copies to mail!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Days 1-39 (Berkeley, CA through Gibson City, IL) Mapped and Routed (now passing via the Katy Trail)

Just a few new updates... as to people's suggestions, I'll be heading northward to pass the Katy Trail. I've also coded places where I'm being supported so far (in green)

I now have a complete route map... well at least waypoints. I haven't really figured out how to get from the Mississippi River back through Illinois without crossing ACA Routes from the Misssissippi River Road to the Northern Tier... I'd rather cut straight across Illinois to shave off a few days...

So speaking of shaving off a few days. I'm a little concerned about being able to make it in enough time.. well the latter part of the trip should be ok, but I seriously think that those first few weeks are going to be rough... oh well, maybe I should skip the SF 1/2 Marathon. I hate copping out of it though. Well, at least I can pick up the t-shirt on Friday.

Check out this guy's blog, He's doing a very similar trip solo (Vallejo, CA to Iowa).... sweeeet.

View Supa Cycles America - Fall 2009 in a larger map

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Goal, Let's Break $4000!

So the decision has been made. I'm shooting to break $4000 in the next 44 days. To help with this goal, I've created the following sponsor levels to lure you and your friends to donate towards these very worthwhile causes:

$50 [supa.supporters] - Workout CD mixed by me and mailed to the comforts of your home audio system

$100 [supa.sponsors] - Name on my sponsor board (attached to my bike) as I cross the country

$200 [supa.stars!] - All of the above + a signed print of your choice from along the bike route

$500 [ridiculously.awesome] All of the above + a gift sent to you from along the bike route and a personal chore at your home/work (if you're near Atlanta, San Francisco, or Gibson City.

Thanks! Have a great rest of the week!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

up the ante.... should we go there?

In consultation with some friends, there has been the question of... why $2500? why not $5000?? Well... people have been very generous to data and I am seriously considering upping the goal amount to.... $4000. What do you all think? Should we go for it?

We've broken $1000!

After just under a week of fundraising, we've broken the $1000 mark! Thanks so much for everyone who has been so generous in giving to these two causes. People have emailed me with some pretty awesome stories and reasons for wanting to give to these causes. Largely entertaining and fun to read too!

In the past week, I bought a new solo-tent off of craigslist and got to give it a test run this past weekend at Yosemite. Just enough room for my body and to sit upright. I think I got it for a pretty good price considering it will be my rent and home for the months of August and some of September.

Route planning is on the move. I've plotted out my route through the Sierra Nevadas and the Rockys up through Kansas. However, still trying to figure out the way between Kansas and where I'll enter Illinois. More details to come.

On a side note, I took a beautiful trip up to Yosemite this weekend and climbed Half Dome. The weather was great in the morning but less favorable in the afternoon. So, if anyone has ever climbed half-dome, it's a strenous hike that is topped off with a 45-degree scamper/climb/rappell to reach the summit. My friends and I feel a bit frazzled from the whole experience as someone fell and was killed less than 3 hours after we summited. It's just a reminder how we need to take every action we do with care and our surroundings with respect. Whether it's a mountain or a moving vehicle, if we do not treat these things with the respect they demand, we can cause great injury and suffering to ourselves or those around us.

Also, just to throw a bit of media in the mix. Here's a great video for any of you who have gotten a bike stolen before... Showing how easy it is to break a chain lock. Thus, the reason why everyone tells you that u-locks are the way to go.

Thanks everyone for all of your wonderful support so far! More details as they come along.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fundrasing! Day 1 - $415

So the big rollout of the fundraising campaign begun today. $415! (~16% to $2500!) So we may not be striping any new bike lanes yet or purchasing land for new fields... But! That will purchase at least 20 new soccer balls or help subsidize bicycle safety classes, and that's a start. Big thank you to everyone who contributed today and got the ball rolling for the fundrasing effort!

So exciting news, I got started on the bike route planning today. I have a few hard deadlines that I need to meet:

July 27th (day after the SF 1/2 Marathon btw...) - Leave Berkeley
August 20-21 (Wichita, KS area to meet Cat)
September 12th (Gibson City, for Amy's wedding)...

So those dates aren't too rough, that should give me enough time to get across to the Midwest. However... That Aug 20-21st date is going to be a challenge. However, I think I can do it. With a few 110+ mile days in a row once over the Mtns... I think it's a winner.

Also, I've gotten a verbal confirmation that I'll be having some roadie help along the way through parts of Nevada, whew!

Campaign is On!

After a few days of prep work, I've begun the fundraising drive! A huge thank you goes out to Taylor Hirose, a Delta Chi alum, who posted the first donation of $40 to the FCYSC less than 30 minutes after the first email went out!

These past few nights have been late ones as I've been trying to get all of my ducks in a row and type manuscripts. Tomorrow, I'll be sending out 10 fundraising letters to local bike shops (in Berkeley, Champaign, IL and Atlanta, GA) letting them know of my fundraising idea and asking for their support. I am hopeful that some will respond, but also understand that these shops likely have many other local charities that they respond to more frequently, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask!

Awesome! So my first set of cycling maps came in today. That will *hopefully* safely navigate me between here and Pueblo, CO. I haven't had a chance to look at the maps in detail yet, but now that most of my letters are out, I really need to focus on the route planning and logistics! Not to mention moving out of my place, storing my stuff for two months, finding a place for when I come back, and starting a job the day after I fly in (and after a friend's wedding in Gibson)... whew.

On that note... I'll use this space to plug for my favorite topic... urban planning:

work tomoroow. Need to be awake in 5.5 hours. hmm.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fundraising... Route Planning... Sub-55 Days to Go

It's been a hectic last few days. I've gotten in touch with both of my beneficiaries and it sounds like everyone is completely on board, so that means full-speed ahead from here through July! I am still trying to get fundraising letters and everything in line to hopefully roll out by Wednesday, when I will launch the full campaign!

On another front, route planning is going slowly but steady. As of now, I think I'll be joined by my supportive and lovely parents for a few days between Carson City, NV and however far in NV they're willing to go.. Also, Cat will be meeting me near Wichita, KS for a day or two. I'm waiting on my adventure cycling maps to come in to do some more serious planning, but until then... route planning is on hold.

I think I may be most excited about planning the last portion of the trip where I'll be off the standard touring trails to bridge the gap between the TransAmerica trail and little Gibson City in East Central Illinois. I have some of this figured out, I think Clinton, areas near Rend Lake, and Cahokia mounts are on the schedule...

Comments? Suggestions? Let me know! T

Saturday, June 6, 2009

now comes the work...

So it's been a super hectic week with work and other responsibilities... but now (as the counter states), I have 57 days to plan a fundraiser, 2500 miles of roads, 35 nights of lodging, and some infinite number of calories to be consumed... hmm.. it all of the sudden feels like crunch time before finals week again. Well did some research for a few hours tonight, and at least I have my last 5 days semi-planned through central & southern illinois. I have already determined that buying a new solo-tent and bike trailer are going to set me back a few hundred. But on the bright side, plenty of camping will mean plenty of cheap nights on the road. My thinking as of now is perhaps camping every 3 nights or so and supplementing that with some couch surfing and maybe a motel here or there.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's On!!!

So, after 12 months of wondering if this trip may actually work out... the stars have aligned and I have definitively decided to bike cross country at the end of this summer. As for now, I only know a few things.

1. I'm leaving July 31st.
2. I'm trying to raise $2500 (total) for two organizations (Atlanta Bike Coalition, Ford County Youth Soccer Club - where I grew up)
3. As of now, I'm doing this solo
4. I'll be starting in Berkeley and ending in Gibson City, IL.
5. I'm going to need some helpppp! Would you like to join for a part? Suggestions for places to stay/see?

As of now, I'm still trying to figure out the logistics for quite a few things. Food, lodging, where to keep my stuff while I'm gone... the list goes on. But, for now. keep posted. I'll be posting more as I figure things out!