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

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Missouri Media Blitz

So it's been fun 24 hours since my last post. I've made it into Clinton, Missouri after about a 75 mile ride from Nevada this morning. My time in Nevada was great! I was able to stay with a lady named Wanda, who took me in for the night and fed me a fantastic dinner and filling breakfast. Follow this one if you can... Wanda was the mother of my high school friend's dad's college roomate. Regardless, she was super hospitable and made my evening in Nevada quite memorable. She was telling me all kinds of stories from her 82 years in Southwest Missouri. Here's a picture of Wanda right after she did a few laps around the block on the bike, she didn't even break a sweat. Ok she didn't really ride the bike, but she did joke about it.

So anyway, I woke up this morning around 6:30 and eventually hit the road around 8:00am. As I was pulling out of Nevada, I witnessed a car that had some keys fall off of the top. I picked up the keys and contemplated a chase to give them back... but obviously after 31 days on the bike, you realize that you're not faster than cars. So I searched around for the PD and turned thoses things in.

Today's ride was pretty uneventful. No one told me Missouri was so darn hilly... seriously, I might as well been back in Colorado. But it was pretty no doubt. I was passing through the area just to the west of Lake of the Ozarks and the scenery was quite nice. I stopped and took a few pictures, including this one.

Also, I stopped along the way to read a history sign and also saw a guy working on his camper. I offered to help him out, which he declined. But all of the sudden I found myself agreeing to watching his dog while he went to town to get a part for the truck. Wait a minute, how far is town? how long was I going to be standing there waiting for him? What's the dogs name? All questions I should have asked beforehand....

Well make a long story short, he was gone for only 20 minutes or so... while I debated leaving, I stuck it out because the beagle was too cute to leave alone.

Another thing, I love the Midwest because people call it Pop and they sell Dr Pepper in droves.... I have a weakness for that stuff and luckily it doesn't exist in great numbers out west like it does here. Here's a small photo of heaven... DP for 50 cents.

So I rollled into Clinton around 3:30 and decided that I would stop in the Tourist Center for a few maps and a hello. Boy did I get a greeting. They were very hospitable and put me to work right away. Apparently, they've been waiting for a cyclist to pull through for a while so they could get a photo opp showcasing their new free downtown wi-fi (wait a minute.... how come I'm paying $1 for the internet at the library....). So after some discussion, we went out to the town square (biggest in MO btw), to get the photo opp.

Here I am (and other local Clinton-ens) enjoying the new wi-fi on my internet enabled phone... (which isn't actualy mine...)

Also, when I was in Nevada, Wanda had called the local paper, so I actually was interviewed while there as well. (Check the Nevada Daily Mail in the next few days for my breakout article in Missouri). So at this pace, I'll have to figure out how to be in the news tomorrow as well... for some reason I'm thinking that I would have to do something illegal to keep this pace up...

Anyways, I'll be at the fairgrounds tonight camping under the pavillion. It's supposed to rain, so I'm hoping it'll cool things down a bit before I hit the Katy Trail tomrrow!

Ride safely,

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