Thursday, May 30, 2013


Theres a few things I forgot to add in my last blog since its been a few days since I've had internet. I'm sure the more west I get and into smaller towns the less likely it is for me to have internet but I will do my best to continue updating. Last night in Ashville I went to a local icecream place that had really great salted caramel icecream! Then a few of us watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie that was pretty good. In Waynesville, Zaxbys donated dinner to us all! Very nice of them. It's amazing to see just how generous people are. A small health food place here also gave us a bunch of cereal, rice milk, brown rice, protein powder and cookies as well as a Thai Spice for the great meal that we split between 5 people! I'm about to hit the hay for some sleep on a couch! We just got mail, thank you Ginny&Ed for the sweet card, mom&pop for the nice card and tubes (hopefully no more flats!), and Janet and Hoyle for the kind postcard! I loved getting mail today from everyone, it made my evening great and love all the support. I'm really in need of anything as of now, cards and postcards are simply great though! I'll be stopping in a grocery store soon for more sunscreen, toothbrush, and paste! Thank you again to everyone that has been reading and sending me messages. I really appreciate all the support. It really motivates me to keep pushing!


In Forest City we woke to fruit salad, meaty gravy with biscuits, and sausage! It was about a 60mile ride to Ashville into the mountains. I did the second half today and my achilles are feeling so much better actually. There were some really pretty views! We passed the continental divide too! Ashville is a very neat town. We are staying on the west side and biked by the Biltmore, largest home! We tried getting in free on our bikes but got a little discount that still would have made a simple bike through $40 -__- So we continued on through the town to our host. Once there we walked through a little farmers market with lots of veggies, eggs, flowers and all sorts of interesting things. Showers were at the YMCA and way too fast! I’ve learned to take 5 minute showers! Ashville is a rather interesting town. Its very earthy, natural, hippie, and rather organic place. There’s lots of art and music as well. After a yummy earth fare pizza and salad, we went to a bar that looked like a movie theatre where there was a blue grass concert going on! It was actually pretty neat and many people were there! The group I like most had a acoustic, banjo, mandolin, stand up base, and fiddler. They were really good! Today (Wednesday) we had a build day in Ashville where a group worked with Ashville Habitat and another group (that I was in) worked with Mountain Housing. I mostly primed the ceilings and walls the entire day and we had a great Jasons Deli lunch! They even gave us all t-shirts! Afterwards, we met up with the other half of our group for a wall raising ceremony. This was actually pretty neat and gave me and others I believe a better understanding of what we are actually doing when we prime, nail, and build. The family that will soon live in the house was present and various sponsors and volunteers to watch and partake in the first wall being raised. We then took showers and now I’m blogging with no internet once again so I will post these as soon as I can. Tmrw we go into Waynesville which is about 30miles.

Finally have internet! In Waynesville NC now! Its a very nice town! Wish we had more time here, it seems like a peaceful little cute town to walk around. The ride today was nice and right in the mountains! The climbs are pretty rough but the downhills I fly on. I hit 37mph at my fastest I believe and slowest was about 4-5mph going uphill. We just got done with showers and now are getting ready for dinner! I'll try to post pictures later tonight. Tmrw will be a tough ride for sure!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Build day in Charlotte

Today we woke up to a great breakfest consisting of waffles, pancakes, bacon, and grits! We got to sleep in till 6:30am and were at the build site by 8am. Today was interesting, we got to basically start on the house. We put up walls, lots of nailing, caulking walls, and putting up installation. After the build we had showers, made a grocery store run, and then had a nice Memorial Day bbq at the Charlotte habitat offices. We had all kinda of burgers, weenie dogs, potatoe salad, bean salads, watermelon, chips, and brownies! We are doing some laundry now and hitting the hay for bed. We have about 70 miles tmrw into Forest City and then about 85miles to Ashville. I've been icing, elevating, and taking ibprofin for my achillies. Hopefully they get better soon. I am posting a few pictures now! :) Thanks for reading and the comments!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

87 miles to Charlotte NC

Today was a rough day but I made it into Charlotte! The first 15miles started off great from Winston with no breaks. It was actually pretty chilly this morning when we left around 7am so I wore my leg and arm warmers for the first time. Then my achillies started acting up till about mile 40 when they finally got lose. After our 82 miles yesterday everyone was really feeling it today. So it was pretty rough the entire day but really pretty out! I have a few pictures I'll post later. Theres so many wheat farms here and strawberry farms! Lots of cows and goats again and some horses. I also saw way too much roadkill today including about 5 snakes. I had to take many breaks today. My ass was hurting as well as achillies. My legs are doing pretty well and I can feel them getting stronger! My quads and hamstrings are for sure gaining muscle but not sure if I've lost weight yet. We eat ALOT and so far I understand the need for lots of food an snacks for rides like this. The ride into Charlotte was great. I rode with Emerson and she was very supportive and kept me going the whole way through! Once we saw the Charlotte skyline we knew we were getting close to the church. Surprisingly, the last 10miles or so was pretty downhill or flat. For once, I didnt come in last! I arrived around 5pm or so but three of our top riders took a wrong turn and it made for a 26mile detour for them extra. They did about 114 miles today! Once we pulled into the church a nice family that was hosting us had snacks and drinks layed out and the littly girl (about 4years old) was telling me about her bike ride today! I think the family did about 12 miles today and she was telling me that she kept going in front of her dad haha it was cute. After showers, which included a great mersa shower gel to protect us, we had a nice salad with avocado, cranberries, carrots, cucumbers, and other veggies along with pizza including chicken/pinapple pizza that was pretty good. Many riders ventured downtown for some nascar party going on. I'm pretty worn out and icing my achillies. Trying to ice, elevate, and get some heel inserts tmrw to try to take stress off the achillies so the tendonitis doesnt get worse. Other than the achillies, I'm pretty sore overall but feeling great. Tmrw we do a build here in Charlotte and I think we get to sleep in till about 630am! This adventure is for sure a test of will power and determination. I try comparing this adventure to my past sports such as volleyball and rowing but cycling is for sure on its own. I start at 7am and go till about 5pm each day. Its interesting to think about how I'm solely dedicating an entire summer to just biking and building. With volleyball and rowing it was simply a few hours of practice then race. I've learned that bike&build is not a race, its marathon and I'm in it to simply finish. I can't say today was easy, and there were many times when I pulled over, sat down, and asked myself what the hell I was doing in the middle of nowhere biking! But its a great feeling to bike into the host with a crowd of fellow riders and hosts cheering you on and there with food and water. Thank you to all that have been reading, commenting, and calling! I really appreciate all the support and love hearing from everyone! Thanks for the comments Ginny&Ed Becca and Mom&Pop for reading!

Friday, May 24, 2013

82 miles- Winston Salem NC

Today we left Chapel Hill for a windy, hilly, chilly ride to Winston Salem NC. It was absolutely beautiful out today! More pictures to come but I posted a few. We woke at 5am and set off around 6:30am. I got 2 flats about 20 miles in and finally figured out what was causing them. I had a spoke going through the rim tape so one of the sweeps, Ryan helped me out and put new tape on and now no flats hopefully for awhile! I will try to patch the tubes up later and use them again. The two sweeps, Ryan and Daniell really helped me out today with the flats, rim taping, and just being really supportive on the up hills and teaching me new things about cycling. The ride started off pretty rough. I strained both achillies tendons so they are pretty painful mostly when I walk downstairs. But once I got on the bike they stretched out and felt good. Still icing them! I lowered my seat a notch and screwed my cleats more back on the bottom of my shoes to help. My body is still getting used to the excessive exercise and eating alot. Today was pretty rough on my stomach but I made it through after many gas station visits! haha! At lunch there was a strawberry farm that some riders went to and picked a batch for everyone! The views today were the best so far. So much green, pretty sky, lots of animals, lots of nice folks that pulled over to make sure we were okay when we stopped to rest. Oddly enough, on such a ride, I guess you start to have weird thoughts, or at least I do. I recognized just how much more we utilize our senses on bikes. The ride today was smelling so fresh with trees, flowers, and well cow shit too. I keep my eyes opened to the road ahead and tire in front alllll the time and glance around when I can while listening for cars behind. My hands are pretty sore from gripping the handles too tight when I get nervous going down hill or grip on when going up. All riders seem to be safe! We had one minor crash with 3 riders today. All of the them are well, just buises and scrapes and their bikes are being repaired. We rolled in to the church around 6:15pm (pretty late!) and then had a nice taco bar the church made for us. Showers were at the local YMCA and really nice! It had a hot tub in the womens locker room too! Many riders went out to a local brewery in town after dinner. I sat back and decided to blog, stretch, and bed soon. Tmrw is another big ride over 80 miles! Thanks for reading and all the comments! I appreciate all the support from everyone! Night!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Build days in Chapel Hill

Our first build days in Chapel Hill went great! The first day I worked on a project for an elderly lady with a few riders. We cleaned and painted her shed as well as her porch. She was such a nice lady! Her house backed up to the woods where there was lots of poison ivy so we asked to use her restroom. I will post a picture soon, but her toilet was basically a throne. It had a giant cushion on it and was pretty awkward. The next build day I painted on a different house for a few hours. Tonight we are on our own for dinner so I think we might be going to some good burger place in Chapel Hill. Its a really pretty town and UNC is such a nice campus! Tmrw we set off for over 80miles followed by another 80+ miles! I just posted some new pictures in the picture tab so check them out! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chapel Hill - 39

Today was the best day yet! We had a great breakfast with eggs/spinach/tomatoes, bagels/cream cheese, bacon, cereal, and fruit. I'm so sore!!!!! We set off today and ran into more up and down hills. At times I was going 5mph and others 35mph. I got my first flat that I had to change all by myself and in less than 10minutes! I also fell a few times because I was unable to clip out while stopped. But I'm good! For lunch a group stopped  near Duke University. I worked my first DM (donation magic) and got us free firehouse subs! We also got a medical kit donated from CVS. I'm now in Chapel Hill and its nice here! I havent really explored yet though. We got in, showered, and ate a yummy dinner at a reallyyyyy pretty church that we are staying at! I will posts pics tmrw. Many riders went out to local bars and different places around town but I stayed back with a few riders and had my bike worked on by a nice knowledgable bike mechanic at the church. Hopefully tmrw after our first build day we will be able to go out and explore. Bed time now! I will update about the build day tmrw and add pics when I have more time. Night Night!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Greenville 52 - Wake Forest 84

Last night in Belhaven concluded with a night at the local bar! This was a tiny empty town! A nice drunk man bought us all beers at the bar! Breakfast was at a local Oyster bar that served us eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, cheese biscuits, fruit, and cereal. The ride today to Greenville was a rough one but I’m here in Greenville at the church. It was about a 52mile ride but I had 2 flats! Lunch usually consists of pb&j, bagels, fruit, cereal, hummus and carrots, and any leftovers. At the church we had just ONE shower for all of us! That got interesting. Dinner was pizza and salad! Tmrw is the longest ride at 82 miles! I’m sweeping as well which means I’m in the back and ensure everyone is good to go and on path. Thanks for reading! Night!

Wake Forest:
Today we biked 84miles to Wake Forest! It was such a rough ride. Just getting to the half way point for lunch was hard. It rained on us and then I ate a lot for lunch. The last 40 miles was very tough. I was on sweep so I was always in the back. We got to the hills finally…I went a nice 6mph sometimes. I also went 35mph in the down pouring rain. I think today I learned what self determination and what the support of fellow teammates will do. This was prbly one of the most painful experiences besides going through ACL rehab that I’ve concurred. Riding into the church with Claire with the entire bus cheering was the best feeling. Completing 84 miles up and down hills with such struggle is definitely a big accomplishment for me so far. Anyways, besides having a rough ride, we then had showers at the ymca and dinner and Kim (fellow rider) house! Her family fixed us a nice lasagna, pizza, and salad with various beers! I ate SO much today! Welp, I’m off to bed early. We have a 39mile ride in the morning to Chapel Hill!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Belhaven - 35miles

Today in Swanquarter I actually woke up a little earlier before the alarm was to go off! I got some great sleep in the sanctuary! The church members had provided us with a great breakfast consisting of eggs, grits, waffles, strawberries, really good cheese biscuits, coffee, bacon, sausage, and really salty ham! The folks here are so kind! We set off for about 34 miles. The ride was great today. While I was sore, this ride acted as a cool down from the 68 miles the day before. My bottom is pretty sore but my legs are feeling great. On the ride, we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere land. Surprisingly, one of the few houses on the road was having a yard sale! So a bunch of the riders stopped by and we chatted with the folks. They had a few horses that were rather nice and friendly. I have a few pictures of them! We continued on and well, nature called so I pulled off from the group to do my thing and once I got back on my bike and started to catch up, there were 2 riders a little way back from me as well. However, while catching up I had my first dog chase!!! I must admit, it was a little scary considering it was a pretty big pitbull that decided to run down the road and chase me! The dog ran in front of a car and crossed the street to me so I screamed really loud and scared it off and it went back to his house. I out ran the dog! The rest of the ride was pleasant and we arrived to our host at the Trinity Methodist Church. The ladies here opened up their houses to us for showers. They were so nice! Each neighbor drove a few of us to their house and allowed us to use their showers, lay in hammocks out back right on a lake that was having a sailboat race! After showers we came back and were greeted with prayers and a huge feast including loaded potatoes, lots of veggies and salad, fruit bowl, yummy garlic cheese bread, these green tomatoes, grilled chicken, cranberries, and lots of desserts that I proudly ate only a dab of each. The folks here were way to kind to us! They kept coming around and filling our cups up with lemonade and water even though we kept telling them to fix their plates! I’m finding it absolutely amazing come across such kind folks in these towns so far. We are complete strangers yet they open their homes for us to shower and cook us amazing homemade food! We bike into Greenville tmrw. I haven’t had cell phone reception so if you’re reading this (Mom and Pop!) I’m doing great! Having fun, getting a great workout in, eating great food, and having an incredible time! I will try calling when I get reception soon! Night Night!

Wheel Dip - 68 miles

May 17th was our first official day of the trip cross country that included a wheel dip in the Atlantic and my longest ride yet, 68 miles. We woke up at 5:15, did our chores, then met the Silver Riders who led us to the ocean where we were met by I believe was the commissioner and mayor of Nags Head and a few parents. There was a nice ceremony with prayers and pictures and then we took off our shoes and carried our bikes down to the ocean where we dipped our back tires in the ocean!

The Silver Riders led us a little way till we reached road 264 and that was the same road we took all the way to the next church. I’d like to say I led the rear of the pack. I couldn’t see anyone behind me so I assumed I was always in the led. Slow and steady wins the race. The road was pretty empty and looked the same the entire way. I took quite a few breaks but they were worth it. We had lunch at about mile 30 that consisted of a delicious bagel with nutella and this apple butter stuff. I also had a big carrot stick!  I will try to be rather conservative in this blog and not include the weird, yucky, and rather unnecessary information; however, at this lunch break I did venture into the woods for my first wilderness pee break. I’m in need of more baby wipes! Its surprising how little you have to use the restroom for just how much we are drinking. At least I’ll speak for myself and I’ve been gulping the water down! I also saw a lot of road kill that included many interesting critters such as a fox, birds, snakes and other unidentified critters. OH! A live otter ran across the road in front of myself and a few others! He was cute and reminded me of Kasper! (family dog)

After lunch it got a little rough, I wont deny that. I was mentally prepared for the rough part of my longest ride though which helped some. The last 30 miles, also on road 264 were long, sunny, and simply rough to pull through. I took many water and stretch breaks and got through! My legs feel pretty good, its mostly my lower back and bottom that are feeling prettyI came in first place in my book! (Even though I’m pretty sure I was one of the last riders to come in shh) The last 5miles we came into the town that was a pretty empty town. The population is pretty small and theres not much to do here. Not to mention I have no internet and no cell phone service.

Upon arriving at the Soule Methodist Church we were able to shower across the street at a highschool. Even though the showers were freezing cold, it was the best feeling after a long ride to get out of the cycle gear and get clean. After showers the Pastor, his wife, and fellow community members greeted us with prayer and a very nice spread of great homemade food. There was yummy chicken, salads, pastas, broccoli salads, corn tortilla casserole thing, fruit, and manyyyyy desserts. I’m going to attempt to stay away from the desserts and go for the salads and fruit first. This will take such will power since I love food and eat just about anything.

After dinner, the Pastor and his wife invited us into a small traditional Sanctuary where she played the keyboard and sang and he the acoustic. There were a few nice song prayers and kind words. The folks here are very kind and supportive of what we are doing. They invited us for a nice breakfast in the morning at 7:30am.

This will likely be one of my longest blog posts. But I felt it was important to document my entire first day of Bike&Build as well as my longest ride to date. It turned out to be a great day and will likely be a bit sore in the morning. I’m looking forward to a 33 mile ride tmrw! Check out pics in the "Photos" tab on this blog! Thanks for reading! Night!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Orientation! May15&16

Bike & Build NC to SD has started! About a year ago I was just looking into this thing called bike & build and here I am, beginning my journey cross country. Thank you to everyone that has supported me! Especially my mom and pops, my biggest supporters! I arrived in Nags Head NC with my parents on Saturday and spent a few days here visiting various places such as the lighthouses, Jockeys Ridge State Park, and the Wright Brothers museum. On Wednesday I finally met my team! I have to say, I was rather on top of researching/facebook lurking so when everyone arrived I already recognized faces and knew names! Once we checked in at the Nags Head Church we did various cheesy "get to know you" games. Within just the past 2 days our team of 28 members has become friends! It's such a weird feeling dedicating my entire summer to just bike&build. No classes or work this summer. It feels like I'm at summer camp almost! Its a huge slumber party here.

Today we did more safety presentations and did some skills tests on the bikes. In the afternoon the "Silver Riders", which is a group of men over the age of 58 that have formed a well known group in NC with incredible riders. One of which is an 85 years old and I believe the NC champion. The Silver Riders led us on a 22mile shakedown ride in Nags Head to the Bodie Lighthouse as pictured below. It was a great first ride! I led the rear of the group proudly! When we returned to the church we shuttled to a sports club that allowed us to use their shower facilities. I believe this may be the best shower experience we will have. This sports club gave us towels, had shampoo, conditioner, and body wash! Not to mention the shower heads were the kind that basically rain on you from above! When we finished showers we came back to the church and had an incredible dinner! This was way more than I ever expected. It was like Thanksgiving times 10! We had meatloaf, sweet potatoes, mash potatoes/gravy, salad, pasta salads, various casserolls, fruit salad (and kiwi!) beans and rice, fish tacos, cookies, chips and layerd dip, and other yummy items!

We wake up at 5:15am tmrw, breakfest at 5:45, meeting at 6:45, then head off for the wheel dip ceremony. I'm part of the breakfest crew this week. We then go 66 miles to our next destination! 

I'm getting ready for bed, I apologize for any spelling errors! I will try to post as much as possible in this blog and add pictures. Night night!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

5/3/13 Whats in a bag?

As I begin to organize everything I will be packing, many have been asking me exactly what I will be brining with me for two and a half months on the road biking and building. I will be taking a large duffle bag (max weight 50lbs) to carry my equipment and clothes for the summer. Thats right, just one bag and a bike.

Inside the duffle bag I will carry the following:

5 pairs undies
2 shirts
B&B T-shirts
3 sports bras
2 bras
4 pairs socks
2 pairs shorts
1 long comfy pants
1 pair flip flops
1 pair sneakers
1 swim suit
1 jacket
3 pairs cycle shorts
2 jerseys
cycle shoes
1 long sleeve layer
1 rain jacket
cycle gloves
arm/leg warmers
small quick dry towel
toiletries (shampoo, wash, toothbruth...)
phone, chargers, macbook, camera, cable
chamois buttr, gold bond, dznuts bliss
sleeping bag
small pillow
zip lock bags
bike lock
extra bike equipment (tubes, bottles...)
NUUN energy tablets, honey stinger waffles
stamps, flight ticket home, wallet
I think thats about it minus a few other items I will bring, myself, and of course Mufasa, my bike! The duffle bag will be kept in the support van that will travel with us. I will carry my camelbak with important items such as rain gear, id, insurance card, money, phone, snacks, and water of course.
I meet with my B&B group in less than 2 weeks! I will try to blog as much as possible this summer when I have internet; however, I will write through word doc and post blogs when I have internet to try to keep to date everything on the adventure. Please feel free to comment on my blog and continue to follow it! Thank you :)