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, August 25, 2009

Hello Missouri - updated!

mmmm .... biking through Kansas.

So actually, I'm taking a short break in Fort Scott, KS on my way to Nevada (pronouced nah-vay-da), MO. Tonight, I'll be staying at a friend's parent's-friend's mother from Gibson City, thank you to Phil Noellsch for helping me out with the contact!

The day has started off pretty well, it's getting a bit hot out there, but admittedly, it's still much cooler here in eastern Kansas than normal. But again, it's probably getting into the lower 90s today. So last night, I camped up in a motel in Iola, KS (birthplace of General Funston if you didn't already know, another world first in accordance to my blog post yesterday). It was nice to be able to leave my stuff behind and take a stroll around town. I did in fact check out the actual birthhome of General Funston and brushed up on some of my American History while at it. Also, on my innocent little walk around town, I managed to find another Dairy Queen, where I purchased yet another Oreo Blizzard...mmm so good.

[quick flashback! - here are some of those photos of the world's first signs of Kansas., there were more, but I forgot to take photos... the thirld one points out that Bronson, KS is the site of the world's first horseshoe throwing contest in 1909, there is no word if there was a second.

[back to the original story]

After that, it was back to the motel for some Family Guy and some rest. I woke this morning a bit later than normal and packed up to head out. Now, I'm offically off of the marked route according to the American Cycling Association, so it's been interesting to see what the roads would be like and what other gems I would find. So I headed east on US Hwy 54 through a small town called "Gas" and another small town which claimed another world first, the first horseshoe throwing contest in 1909... who knew? I sure didn't.

I arrived in Ft Scott around noon, just in time for lunch. After a very brief visit to historic fort scott, I came looking for this libary, and also stumbled across Holly's Hot Dog stand. Holly had just moved back from Sacramento, CA and in addition to a job at the hospital, she also decided to open a hot dog stand, which is decidedly less stressful and more social. She treated me to two hot dogs and a drink which really hit the spot. While on lunch break, I also had a chance to chat with a few other locals from Ft Scott, Joanna, the county clerk chatted with me and threw out some other historical facts about the area. Did you know, that Ft Scott's National Cemetary came before Arlington? yep, I didn't. So anyway, my lunch experience today once again reinforced that people here in the midwest are great and It's been great to be back. Big thank you to Holly and her father Bob!

Also, just as a side note, I forgot how big the bugs are here. Yes, California has bugs, but california bugs would be like bringing your smart car from Berkeley and parking it next to the horse hauler f250s from Kansas. Bugs here are big. I think i may have welts from them smashing into me along the highway. Yesterday, a dragonfly hit me square in the face and it felt as if someone threw a tennis ball (slightly less round and fuzzy) at my face.

[update] - So hey! I'm in Missouri now. things seem to be slighlty cheaper and people seem to be slightly more taken back by the asian guy on a bike with the bright neon vest. Here's me trying to do something slightly more interesting with the Missouri sign... sometimes you just don't win.

Also, I seem to think that they have trouble with memorable events here... so they differ to other states for city names., or there is a giant wormhole-like portal to the rest of the United States here in Missouri.

So anyway, I hope you all have a great afternoon and looking forward to hearing how things are going.

Oh yes, P.S. a little city planning history... So I've strangely found that many of the small towns here in eastern KS / western MO have big squares in the middle of them with the shops around them. Much like the Law of the Indies planned cities in the Spanish-influenced west. I can't exactly figure out the origin of these, unless it was some undocumented planning of the old frontier forts. Pretty interesting though. Except, I was pretty saddened to see that even here in Nevada, MO, they've used much of that civic space for vehicle parking.... ugh.

No comments:

Post a Comment