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

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Crossing Missouri and more

Hey everyone, sorry about the lack of posts in the past few days. I didn't realize central Missouri towns maxed out on population around 500 people and there are not too many public libraries with internet access around this part of the world. However, I did want to say that my time in Missouri has been great. I've met some of the nicest people on my trip and some that well... weren't as excited to see me. I've had a few awesome evenings and nice people to stay with near. So here's a quick recap of what's been going on.

Oh also... I'm off schedule as you may have realized. No particular reason aside from the fact that I'm getting a bit lazy and that I've wanted to explore around this part of the world a bit more as I'm not sure exactly when I'll be back to Washington,MO for a wander around. I still plan on being in Gibson on Sept 7th with maybe a swing through Iowa and perhaps Galesburg, IL.

Thursday (Clinton -> Boonville, MO) ~ 82 miles
So by the way, the people in Clinton, MO were SO nice to me and I hope that they're reading this. Not only did I get a chance to showoff their new downtown wi-fi, I was riding around town after dinner and had a couple (who were friend's of the Noellsch's back in Gibson City) seek me out and actually tracked me down. We chatted for a while, I believe their names were Larry and Bobbi? Then after that, it was getting a bit late and I headed back to my campsite (which was at the community fairgrounds) and was getting cleaned up, just in time to have another visitor. A woman (who I've forgotten her name...sorry!) brought her family over to check on me to see if everything was ok. This was the same woman who I'd met earlier in the day at the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. Awesome. Thanks Clinton, MO!

So anyway, back to the chase. I started my ride to Boonville on the Katy Trail. The Katy is an old rail line that streches across Missouri. It's great because it cuts through those insane hills that Missouri has (and doesn't advertise). The grades are capped around 4% and makes for a nice easy ride through the coutnryside. So I thought it would be a good idea to try the road for a little bit mid-day (I can average around 16-17 on pavement vs 12-13 on the gravel trail).... but of course I was scolded by my actions with some serious hills that knocked me out.... I was back on the trail shortly.

The trail is great for a number of reasons.... you can pretty much zone out and not worry about traffic and although it's not advised... the helmet was off to allow my head to feel real sunshine again which was wonderful. I passed through a few other notable towns including Sedalia, MO (home of the Missouri State Fair). Nice little town with a very cool downtown for it's size.

That evening, I spent the night in Boonville, MO (named after Daniel Boone) a very prominent figure here in Missouri. The trail itself has lots of history on it, including history of the towns that it passes as well as lots about the Lewis and Clark expeditions westward. I've been taking my time a bit more through here just to soak in some of the information. By the time I got to Boonville, it was pouring. Nothing like finishing off the day soaking wet with trail dust caked to your entire body. Yum. With the help of the Noellsch Family (who seems to know 1 of 10 people in the state of Missouri), they were able to set me up with the McVicker family of Boonville. They lived in a very pretty old farmhouse just a few miles out of town. I stayed there and was fed an awesome dinner (and breakfast... with cereal for which I was longing for).

Friday (Boonville -> Hermann, MO) 103 Miles
So I left Boonville again and can say that Friday wasn't terribly interesting, well at least not to write about. There are often days when I have so many things that I'm thinking... oh, I can't wait to write about this! Friday was not one of those days. The first 50 miles or so were uneventful and under a thick mist which pretty much soaked everything that I tirelessly dried the day before. Oh well.

But, I was going to be able to visit Jefferson City today! alright! Well that's what I thought. The Katy Trail dumps you off at North Jefferson City which is just on the north side of the Missouri River. Unfortunately, the only way into town is to take the highway bridge (pretty much like an interstate...) but with no shoulder. So I tried it. Went down the onramp and everything, until the 80 mile per hour traffic was literally inches away because the shoulder had disappared... thanks MODOT. So now I can say that I've biked up a highway onramp in the wrong direction. check.

Also, that side of the highway was a big void of any types of services. Luckily, I found a small golf course about a mile away that served food, and I ate plenty. Here's a shot of Jefferson City from atop the bridge.

However, my evening way much more exciting. I eventually made it to Hermann , MO , which is in the middle of the Missouri wine country that I did not know existed. I parked up next to these folks , Eugene and Patti from Troy, IL. My first encounters with Illinoians! Alright!

They were so nice and hospitable. We chatted until the evening about his love of music, their kids, and their awesome new camper. They even let me grab a quick shower inside (it was a very nice camper). Eugene had all kinds of great tidbits of knowledge so it was quite the education for me. They were staying in the area to do some wine tasting before eventually heading back to Illinois.Saturday (Hermann -> St. Charles) ~ 60 miles

So my day has been good so far, right up to the point where I entered Washington, MO and I was greeted by this screw.
So that's my trailer tire... which now has two green slime patches holding it together. It should be good , but let's hope it holds up until Gibson! I'll be headed to St. Charles today to be reunited with some Gibson folks! Exciting! I'll be meeting up with Skyler and Jenna tonight which will be awesome. I even hear that I may have a chance to catch the Cardinals game! What a way to end the week.

As for the next few days... the plan isn't quite set. I'll be meeting up with my sister Fern and her husband Sam tomorrow evening somewhere along the Mississippi and I'll be with them for a few days. Looking forward to spending some time with them and also seeing the sights along the Great River Road.

I'll leave you with this video of cows bathing along the Katy Trail... because I realize it's very relevant to this post.

Ride safely and have a great weekend.

1 comment:

  1. It's really nice to hear that you've come across so many kind people on your trip.