Sunday, July 3, 2011

Time to re-evaluate

On Friday morning, we awoke with sore butts, aching joints, and pulled muscles nevertheless, ready to ride. It was a whopping ninety seven degrees in Georgia by the time noon rolled around. There's an old saying, "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." I would like to make a motion that we change that saying to "if you can't stand the heat, get off the freaking bike and out of the summer sun!" Long story short, none of us could handle the sun constantly frying us and eventually dad stopped sweating which we Floridians know is a sign of heat stroke. A little disappointed and down trodden, it was at that point that we decided we needed to tweak our plans a bit.
We have accepted a portion of our defeat. After the episode with dad, we feel like we would prefer to keep our father alive over continuing on the trip. Due to my heart condition and the brutality of the summer sun, we cannot ride the 1100 miles from Florida to Ohio. We are going to continue the trip but with some revisions. Instead of tackling the crushing distance, we are going to travel (by car) to a couple of amazing towns and ride sightseeing day trips. Our first stop is going to be Saint Augustine, FL. We will be heading there on July 5th and staying as long as we feel necessary to see what we want to see. Also on the list is Hilton Head Island, SC, Charleston, SC, Raleigh, NC, Wilmington, NC, and a little path dad remembers in Ohio. We will keep you updated!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

This is what hell must be like (co-written by Kayla)

Oh my good night... I think we may have bitten off a bit more than we can chew with this adventure. The day started off well and then... you'll see. We left the LaQuinta Inn in Jacksonville at six o'clock in the morning. About a half hour in, we decided to stop off for some breakfast snackage where we met our first set of locals interested in our journey. They were just getting off of work, delivering newspapers, and they struck up a conversation about how they used to cycle. We chatted a bit and, of course, they asked where we were headed. When dad said Ohio, I thought we would have to peel the woman's jaw off of the sidewalk. They were in utter shock and informed us that we were crazy...like we don't already know that. We finished off our snacks during our conversation and decided it was time to shove off.
We made it about forty miles without any problems and then the day took a turn for the worst. Some of you may not know this about me, but I have some heart problems and occasionally, it causes me to black out. What a perfect time for that complication to rear its ugly head. I started to slow way down at our forty mile marker and suddenly my legs felt like lead. Soon after that, I lost feeling in my hands and started to get the familiar and much despised tunnel vision. I got off of my bike and fell to the ground to try and regain my vision which I did pretty quickly. Not wanting to slow everyone down, I hopped back up on my bike (though not very enthusiasticly) and continued riding. It was stop and go for the next five miles as my vision floated in and out. We reached Woodbine, GA at around twelve o'clock and decided that now would be a good time for lunch. After lunch, we bit the bullet and continued on ending in Brunswick, GA.
That is a grand total of SEVENTY TWO MILES today! Tomorrow, we have another seventy planned so we are going to rest up and hopefully we will be better than new in the morning.
As for our roadtrip games, this is our current standing.
Confederate Flags: 5
Lowest Gas Price: $3.34 <---Sad
Name that Roadkill: Turtle, Dog
Operational Trains: 1
Cemetaries: 0
Thanks for tuning in! We'll see you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Eleventh Hour

We are on our way to Jacksonville as we speak. This is it. There is no turning back now. Come 6 a.m. tomorrow, me, Kayla, and dad will be on our merry way to Ohio. Eleven hundred miles of excruciating heat, summer afternoon showers, unusual road trip games, and pushing our bodies to the breaking point. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little nervous. According to the boys, this is more of a psychological game than a physical one and I'm starting to psych myself out already.
Luckily, over the years dad has come up with some road trip games to keep our minds off of the task at hand. Be warned, these aren't normal games. Things like, what's the lowest gas price you can find, how many confederate flags and cemeteries, and (my personal favorite) name that roadkill.
I told Kayla about my anxieties and her only reply was, "the worst decisions in life make the best stories." This is definitely one of those times so stay tuned for the reports. They're bound to be entertaining...for you.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike...

Every good adventure begins with a road trip. Since Kayla and I live in Branson,MO we are driving to our starting point but we're going to make a couple of stops along the way. We are leaving Branson at this very moment and heading to Tallahassee,FL to visit our sister and her family for the night. Then, its off to Orlando to meet up with our folks. I've been training on a bike that was lent to me but I will actually be using Garrett's bike to take on the trip. From what I hear, dad has tricked it out with brand new spokes and tires and took it for a test ride. He says it shifts like a dream which I am super excited for. Dad will need to make a few tweeks and adjustments to mine and Kayla's bikes and we should be set to go. We will drive to Jacksonville and begin our journey on June 30th. I'm pumped up for it right now but I'm sure our spirits will falter after spending an entire day riding. So, we are going to need all the moral support we can get from our friends, family, and readers. I will keep everyone updated on our travels from day to day and please feel free to give us your comments. Oh, and if the blog randomly stops, I'm probably dead on the side of the road... keep a lookout for that too. You might just have to come save me ;)

Friday, June 24, 2011

I know it sounds crazy but...

So here is the whole story. I was born and raised in Florida and my dad's whole family is in Ohio. Now what do you think of when you think of father-son bonding time. Normal people would say, go fishing or camping. If you've ever met me, or anyone in my family for that matter, you know that we aren't exactly what you would call normal. When my oldest brother, Garrett was about nine, my dad dreamed up this crazy idea that it would be fun to ride his bike to Ohio with his son. I asked dad how he came up with this madness and he couldn't quite recall. He thinks that it might have been the product of a conversation he had with one of his old buddies. Of course, no one would ever expect a nine year old to be able to ride that distance so dear old dad had to put his plans on ice for a couple of years and so the training began.
The summer after Garrett turned fourteen they set out on the open road. If you ask Garrett to recall some of those...umm... special memories, well, lets just say he isn't exactly fond of that first trip. But it didn't stop him from doing it again when my other brother Jayson turned fourteen two years later. The boys seemed to have a little bit more fun. Okay, so maybe fun isn't the word for it but it wasn't as tragic. As it turns out, the journey is less painful when there is someone to share in your misery. Dad was enjoying himself because, after all, this was his idea. The boys were united by their common enemy... dad. For years we've heard tales of torture inflicted upon the boys and inside jokes that spawned from those treacherous conditions. Even though it was the most physically demanding thing they could have gone through, my brothers will treasure those memories for the rest of their lives (even if they might not admit it.)
We're a little late but it is time that Kayla and I give it a shot. Our grandma's big eightieth birthday party is July 16th and we are all going to be celebrating with her in Ohio. So we figured this would be the perfect time to make a go of it. Some people may call us crazy but the truth is, we're all our own kind of crazy. It's just a matter of figuring out what kind you are and enjoying the ride.