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

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Welcome to Kansas!

So I made it into Kansas yesterday and it looked remarkably like eastern Colorado. However, the roads improved and more people seemed to wave. ahh the midwest. It's been a fun time so far. After a quick stop in Tribune, KS, I blew past my original goal city (Scott City) and made it onward to a small town called Dighton, KS. Great little town. I rolled in around 5:30pm and made camp at the city park. I was joined by Jerry and his wife Judy, of whom I spent some time with the other day. They have been so so nice to me. Not only did they feed me a great dinner last night, they also brought some blueberry pie and ice cream! They'll only be on the road for another week or so before heading back to Petersburg, IL

So about last night. We met this older retired gentleman who lived across from the park who was sitting outside enjoying the night air. We chatted for a while and asked him if he knew where we might be able to find a shower in town. After some discussion, we determined that heading over to the truck stop to check it out. Mr Hubner (the retired gentleman) decided to give us a ride. So we cruised around town (Mr Hubner, Jerry and I) in his 1970 chevy pickup, going about 5 mph, over to the truck stop, which ended up being about 500 yards away. Then once we figured out that the showers were locked up, our next bet was the town motel, which again, we were offered a ride, which we did not refuse of course, but again the motel was another 700 yards away.

But a nice shower was a great way to end the day. Yesterday was a big one, longest of the trip so far at 127 miles. And it was my 21st day straight on the bike. Yes, I'll be ready for a break very soon!

So I pitched my tent in the city park and it seemed like everything was perfect for a great night's rest. I fell asleep around 10pm and was just on the brink of sleep when I woke up to a sound, (you know when you're half asleep, your judgement wasn't the best).... but it sounded like something smoldering (burning)... so I got up and jumped out of my tent in a hectic flash... well it wasn't really ALL that bad.... but it was the park sprinklers... which proceeded to soak my tent as soon as I jumped out. So I was partially relieved my tent wasn't on fire, but partially annoyed that now I was having an unannounced rain shower. Also the winds that night were really strong, I remember waking up a time or two with my tent at a 45 degree angle. Oh well.

So today, it's off to Larned, KS. The winds are favorable again but I am hoping for another 100 mile ride today. I'm taking a quick little break in Ness City, KS to use the computer, but will jump back on the bike here in a moment. Trying to make it to Newton, KS by tomorrow (Which is still quite a distance). But Catherine will greet me there and we'll be able to hang out and I'll finally be able to take a day off on Saturday!Best to you all and hope you're having a pleasant Thursday so far.

Ride safely.


  1. OUah Paul, what a nice experience !!
    Good luck for the rest of the trip and hope to see you again somewhen, who knows...

  2. Paul-
    Hey man, your trip sounds awesome! Great idea.

    Crazy thing, I grew up in a little town (named Halstead) less than a mile or two off your route. It's right near Newton.

    Keep goin' & God Bless.

  3. This experience will make for a great book some day! Glad to see that everything's going well. Looking forward to seeing you when you reach Gibson City. Take care and keep those posts coming.

    Your old English teacher,
    Angie (Sallee) Funk

  4. Dear Paul,
    Every day I ride up Channing to get to school and I think of you and am inspired!
    Ride safely!
    All is well with your car. We are not using the Fastrak.
    take care,