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

Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm the dude in the silver state while airborn. days 3.5-5

It's been a few days... apologies, but wi-fi access is apparently quite the novelty here the Silver State, where gambling and open nothingness prevail. But! It has been an eventful number of days. Since my last message in Shingle Springs, I ran into a few other x-country cyclists (coming from VA going westward) I totally smashed the Sierra Nevadas, well... they smashed me at times too.. experienced hail, rain, and a great burger all in the same day, and lost (and re-found my wallet.

To zip you forward to the present, I'm now about 380 miles into the total trip and staying at a lovely Super 8 motel in Fallon, NV (home of the Fallon naval air station, and top gun apparently) My parents and my aunt have been escorting me through Nevada which has been awesome. Today was the first day being supported which was AMAZING after doing the Sierras lugging 65 pounds of weight in tow. I left Carson City this morning around 7am with some serious tailwind and was averaging about 20 mph the whole way to Fallon. My total mileage for the day was 112 miles which should put me on good pace for the trek to Austin, NV tomorrow. For th ose that know me, the fact that I mispaced my wallet is no huge surprise, but it did provide a fair bit of anxiety around here for about 2 hours. Legs are still holding strong and spirits are high. I'm not sure what the highs were today... but it seemed hot and my stellar tan lines can prove it.

Here are some photos below to document some of the fun times.

So Somerset is one of the small towns on day 3 between shingle springs and bear lake (until I hit the rockies, I will refer to that day as the "slog day" as I spent 11 hours slogging up and down the hills for 11 hours at about 5 mph. But this guy here seemed to be down on his luck, as he was asking everyone going into the store for work and odd jobs. He came and chatted with me and let me know he just needed a way to get his can of beans open so he could eat his breakfast. I had no job, but I did carry a can opener. Once I opened the can, he kept saying to me "you're the dude!", he said it at least six times... so there you have it. carry a can opener, and you too can become the dude.

Bear Lake and campground... I actually was pretty hesitant about staying here because it was 4 miles off the road and an 1000' decent to the lake (riding a bike downhill, when you know you have to go back up is like ... well, i'm not sure how to relate it... maybe like having someone making dinner while you're sweeping? maybe not. But anyway, it was the last campsite for at least 20 miles, and i sure wasn't about to try to go another 20 miles at that point. But, taking a dip in the lake was probably the best way to end a long hot day. The campsite was also pretty stellar, I made myself a little fire and ate my dinner listening to my ipod. The gents in the site next to me came over, well at least the grandfather came over and chatted. Nice guy from Sac, he was 69 years old and apparently that night, was the first night he'd ever camped or slept outside for that matter. Wow. But a really nice guy who offered me some marshmellows, which I happily accepted. I slept well that night and was gifted the next morning with a ride with Rick, the camp host who offered to shuttle me back up to the main road with my bike.
So back in the day (meaning roughly 13 years ago) I started long jumping for school... and well since then, I've just really liked jumping... and jumping makes for fun and happy photos.. (btw, check out www.jumpbecause.com, So, you will probably notice a theme for many of my photos of me leaping for happiness or just jumping because it's fun and makes me think I'm not on the latter end of my twenties. So below... here is me jumping because silver lake looks awesome.

Here is me jumping because 8575' sounded like a more round number to be at...and... that the first mountain range of the trip was OVER!

Did I mentioned that it hailed? it hailed. on the same day as the photos above... strange.
Goodbye budget crisis and Prop 13. Hello gambling and no property taxes!
That's it for now. In the meanwhile, I wanted to say a big hello and thank you to everyone who's still reading and supporting! Hope to report in from eastern NV or western UT soon!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting rained on in nevada, i thought this was a desert?
Carson pass, elev 8573, Its hailing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

3000 Feet and climbing

Monday, July 27, 2009

Days 1 and 2 (Davis, CA and Shingle Springs, CA

So days one and two have been tough slogs through heat and some elevation, but I would say have been a success so far. Day one started with a meetup at the house around 8AM where a few wonderful souls showed up to send me off and ride with me for a while as I began the journey across country. Rebecca, Ian, and Stefanie came along until El Cerrito del Norte BART while Joel made it with me all the way to Winters, CA. By the way, so I totally forgot that what weather in the central valley is like. When I say that, I really mean that I forgot temperatures above 100 degrees even existed in Northern California. So as my blog post stated yesterday, it was nearly 102 or something in Winters, which made the last 10 miles to Davis rather hellacious. However, upon arriving in Davis, I was informed that my host (through couchsurfing) would be enjoying the spectacle of beer kickball and I was asked if I would like to join. So when I rolled up at 7:30pm in my bike spandex, I joined, but I didn't necessarily look like I fit the part.

But my hosts (andrew and julia) were awesome and could not be more hospitable. They lived in an apartment in Davis and took me out for the best burger in town and a drink. I hope that they'll have a chance to visit San Francisco again so I can return the favor.

Day 2:
Did I mention it was hot? This time, I didn't have the benefit of starting in the cool fogs of San Francisco, but instead started with the sweltering heat of the Sacaramento marshland. However, it wasn't so bad at 8:30AM, and I made it to visit Arnie at the Capitol Bldg by noon. (sorry, I'll rotate this eventually).. but the ride from Sacramento to Folsom via the American River Parkway was beautifl and carefree without traffic.

So if you were following me via SPOT, you might be able to tell I took a few wrong turns here or there, but largely the navigation went well. I made it into Folsom around 1ish and took a quick ride through Historic Folsom (which was devoid of people or any activity)... but was very charming and pretty to look at. I GPSed the nearest grocery store to have my afternoon graze for which I enjoyed for at least an hour.

After lunch, came the afternoon slide... meaning, my energy levels slowly slide into the basement with the sweltering heat and the climbs into the lower Sierras. Even though where I'm at now is roughly at 1400', it felt so much worse than that number leads on.

Luckily, my host tonight is Tom and he was generous enough to give me a lift from the main road to his really nice place in Shingle Springs. Tom has done quite a bit of traveling in the past few months so we were swapping stories about that and spending time with his two dogs Elvis and Turbo. He also made a pretty stellar dinner which hit the spot after today's long ride.

Here's Tom and Turbo (Elvis was being scolded for getting burrs in his fur)

Well here' to day one and two. Days 3-5 will be rough, lots of climbing, not alot of civilization, and tired legs. I'll be sure to post via my phone and again when I hit Carson City, NV.

If you are following my spot tracker please disregard the help message! Just a Test. Just fine in shingle springs,CA
Folsom , CA Like Folsom prison? 102 degrees But sunny!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Winters, CA. 102 Degrees, Something is not right here
Day one, lunch, fairfiEld, ca, Its hot

Saturday, July 25, 2009

supa on a bike. finally.

So enough talk already... time to start riding. I leave tomorrow morning around 7:30AM and am hoping for a few people to join as well! I'm not really that nervous... I'm just wondering where I am going to stay in Davis tomorrow. There is a campground in Winters near the river about 15 miles from Davis, but that sure makes for a long day 2. Maybe I should just do the campground. It looks great from pictures.

So based on some present stats:
My current weight 158, we'll see how that changes 5 weeks from now... Also, I determined my baggage to round out to be around 50 pounds (not including the trailer. As far as I know, that's pretty good. In the last day or so, I made the decision to bring along my camp stove, so that added a slight bit, but not much. I'll be averaging around 40-50 miles on high elevation days and 80-90 on the flats. It looks like the ride will be the coldest somewhere in CO, (Gunnison, CO, yesterday's low was in the 40s... yikes).

Here are some photos documenting my setup: This first photo on left shows pretty much all of the stuff that I'm bringing.

Here's a list of some of my gear (I'm missing a few things here and there)

And finally there, a nice clean looking setup. This baby will be piling down those Colorado mountain grades like it was nothing.

So until I post again, I hope this message finds you all well and thanks for your messages, supporting words, contributions to the ride! I'll check in when I can and be sure to check on me to make sure I'm actually making some progress: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=00tqrjYQYFhYCWe0hZubTHJe9fdl0T5CQ

To read while I'm gone...

So... in my absence, I'm sure that you all will be longing for my masters of literary work and grammatical perfection, so I thought I'd at least list a few awesome websites which I always find interesting (as a city planner, and a cyclist) Feel free to enjoy and pass along!

Planetizen - planners go here, early and often.

Streetsblog - articles related to everything on a street (e.g. people, cyclists, built environment, etc...)

Infrastructurist - physical stuff and pretty pictures live here

Crazyguyonabike - you think I'm crazy? check out the bike touring stories here.

Leaving.... tomorrow

Hey everyone, so I'll spend some time to actually write a legitimate blog post (have I ever done that actually?) I'll try my best. My writing should actually be better since I've spent the last 3 weeks of work intensely working on a conference paper that I had to figure out how to condense from 11,000 words to 5,000... (for some reason that reference of Gov Arnie and the knife and scalpel to the state budget comes to mind).. Now I can understand why it's not quite as easy as that... Well. back to the topic. Today is July 25th, let me think if anything that revolves around this date. I will be getting married in 9 months from yesterday, yesterday was my last day of work, work will begin again in 6 weeks from today. Just for some other fun date facts... after this ride concludes, my timeline coming back to San Francisco will look like this: Sept 12 - Amy's wedding, Sept 13 - fly back to San Francisco (without a place to live as of now), Sept 14 - start a full time job. Yikes, that to me sounds more scary than the bike ride itself. Also, some other tidbits. I decided to weigh myself today and will take a photo tomorrow. I'm really curious about what this ride will do to my body. Hopefully it won't just wither away. More to come on that tomorrow.

So! About the bike ride itself! I'm very excited. From what I can tell, at least a few people will be able to make it on Sunday morning and will ride with me for a little bit. I wasn't too keen on having a big super-sendoff... I don't think it's my style, kinda like how some people don't like to have birthday parties, well that's me too. But, I think it will be nice to have a low-key gathering for those who actually are interested in riding, otherwise... there just isn't a reason to be up at 7am on a sunday.

I have my bag pretty much set, but I'll be going to the store today for some odds and ends... postcard stamps, luggage locks, food in general. Should be an interesting day. But I'm also ditching the rest of my belongings at some point, the car, the laptop, single-speed.... tomorrow i become a nomad.

Some fun things have happened in the last few days. So yesterday, I recieved an email from Jean Noellsch, a mother of a high-school friend who would be doing a write-up for the News-Gazette (champaign,il newspaper). So it sounds like they're going to publish an article about the ride and the fundraising... super! It was fun to be interviewed. But really, it was more of a conversation and catching up on their family among other things. But fun none the less.

Non-bike, but transportation related, I ate it on my skateboard coming back from work on Monday. However, major injuries were avoided... but the whole fall happened because I was trying to take things from my office at work, and as a result, totally overloaded my bag, which threw off my balance... you see where this is going

And finally, my GPS tracking device works! Feel free to track my progess and see where I'm at during the ride. If for some reason the device stops moving for a long time you should do either:

A) text me to tell me to quit being lazy and to start pedaling
B) call the authories

It's here: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=00tqrjYQYFhYCWe0hZubTHJe9fdl0T5CQ

Ok, I think I'm spent for the night. It's been a long week and my writing becomes less clear as I push further towards 2am. Thanks for reading, and be on the lookout for a pre-ride post later this evening before the big Sunday ride.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

quick post!

so. real quick, just got back in town from a 5 day trip to Atlanta. Nice time, loved being back. Hung out with the fiance and met up with the people at the Atlanta Bike Coalition! Fun. Summer. Awesome.

So I also realized, I've been basing my emotional clock on my timer on the bottom of this screen. Oops. I realized that I had it having me leave on the 31st, when in fact I'm leaving on the 26th. So 10 days just went to 5. That's more like it. Yikes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

T-Shirts - Now Available for Pre-Order

front pocket

back center design

Hey everyone, after working with Torri and Tommy at TNT Signs and Designs of Paxton, we now have a design for production. The cost will be $25 and the proceeds will go to the beneficiaries below. The shirts will be produced in central Illinois. However, if you would like a shirt shipped to you, please let me know!

If you're interested in a pre-order, please fill out this form: (please only complete if you are committed to buying a shirt!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Training with the Trailer (Finally)

So this one will be short... but I think I'm all geared up now. Just wanted to send some shots of the beautiful bay area and my rig/bike. I was a bit nervous after tiring out yesterday doing the Grizzly Peak loop.... so adding an extra 70 lbs didn't seem like it would be a good idea, yet it wasn't so bad. The BOB tracks well and just felt like i was riding a road bike with two flat tires (when going up hill), which is totally doable.

So these shots are both taken from the East Bay, the first one is at Sea Level near Emeryville, and the second is on Grizzly Peak Blvd above Oakland.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

t-shirts : coming to a festival near you!

So I don't know all of the details yet, but with some super support and help from Miss Riley back in Gibson City and Torri back in Paxton, it seems like t-shirts to help raise funds are nearing a possibility! No specific word quite yet, but stay posted. I'm not sure if they'll be available online, (perhaps via cafepress eventually)... here is a proposed idea of back and front:

Huge thanks to those who have recently donated and especially who have gone out of their way to help promote the cause!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ride Fun Facts

Tonight, I am proud to say that I've become one with my GPS device. So originally, the purpose of this little guy was to provide me the escape button in case at any particular time I needed to bail out to the nearest hotel or mcdonalds to break my daily rationing of clif bars and my sleeping bag. However... wow. I tell you, I now have my whole route mapped out from start to finish. AND it's all on a little interactive box that's 3" x 2". Amazing.

But this basecamp software that I'm using allows me to do all kinds of fun things: and here they are:

and better yet! I now can see my first elevation chart. woot.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Greetings independence day revelers! Just wanted to say greetings from East Central Illinois. I flew into Chicago yesterday and got to catch up with some dear high school friends and now am downstate after a lovely amtrak ride to Bloomington. So right now, I'm sitting on the couch looking out the window at the beautiful central illinois rain. I'm just imagining that this is what it'll feel like in 2 months after visiting on my bike. It's kinda weird for me to think about it and begs the question? If i'm here now, why would I want to do it again, but on a bike? we'll leave that one open ended.

So 4th of July is my favorite holiday by far. What else could you ask for, grilled food, family and friends, and a fireworks display, all centered around a non-discrimatory, secular holiday that you don't need to celebrate at night and can start the day out with a 5K or some other athletic event. love it.

So this afternoon, I'll be headed to Gibson to catch up and relax with some of my good high school pals and then perhaps to Sibley, IL (which is 1/4th the population of Gibson, which is 1/150th the size of San Francisco), to catch the big fireworks display. However, it's raining, bummer. Last time I was here for the 4th in 2003, it also rained... hopefully I'm not bringing bad luck to this town. If so, I should claim my final destination as Paxton or maybe even Fisher.

But as for now, I hope you all have a fanatastic independance day and party safe.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sub-30 days and counting!

So I must admit, this photo is a bit dated and it was when I wasn't recovering from a leg injury and it was when the state of california actually had a budget. Nonethless, you can imagine, that if you fast forwarded a year, and i had a better tan, this is what I would look like training for my cross country ride!

However! neverfear, I now can start to say my leg is getting better, and never a better time than 28 days before the beginning of the ride! So I apologize for not writing more often, but these past few weeks have a been a bit hectic with being out of town last weekend (South Carolina) and this weekend (Illinois). I'm also trying to wrap up my current job while preparing myself for a move out of my house. whew. So yes, It's been a bit crazy. However I've had a few accomplishments!

1. I have my trailer now (it's fantastic, I can't wait to start training with it)
2. I just made wedding save-the-date's last night... not bike related, but glad to have gotten that started.
3. Fundraising just passed $2500.... however, it's starting to stall a bit, only $1500 more! We can do it!
4. I have *almost* all of the stuff I need minus a cap, bear spray, and a few other random things that will make every last day of those 6 weeks less painful
5. I hear zip-ties are a cyclists best friend. Luckily they were $2 for about 100 of them today at walgreens. oh how life is grand.

Also, I want to give a shout out to my friend Torri Godsey who has been working with me on a potential t-shirt idea! more to come soon, but hopefully it will work out.

Ok, I think that's it for now! Please let me know if you have comments or suggestions!