Saturday, May 31, 2014

Days 4-7 A full week in!

Day 4 – 32 miles
Day 5 – 36 miles
Day 6 – 35 miles
Day 7 – none

Today we rest a lovely, well appreciated rest. This week's total distance was 208 miles.

On Day 4, after leaving Wayne, Brenda and Lisa's house, we rode to the York Heritage Rail Trail. Along the way, we passed a Taco Bell...and could not resist. I haven't eaten at Taco Bell in about 8 years. It was different. York County from the vantage point of the Rail Trail is pristine and heritage is the right word for it. So many historic buildings, fields, rivers, streams, wild-lands, old bridges, etc. What a special trail it is. I loved every moment of it. At around 4 PM, we passed over the Mason Dixon Line. The night was spent in the Bee Tree Reserve which was wild and perfect. Shortly after arriving, the temperature began to drop sharply and the wind picked up, which it continued to do until the rain began after we went to sleep.

Day 5 – The night before was challenging. While getting settled, Naomi pooped herself and Etienne was super cranky. He didn't go to sleep easily and we all went to sleep feeling very sour. Waking up, we found a steady downpour and chilled air. Riding on the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail yesterday, we noticed a lot of muddy spots. With this rain, we didn't know if our road bikes could ride on it at all. After getting some road directions from my father-in-law, we began riding with much hesitation around 10 AM.

We did cross back over the rail trail and found that it was gravel again, so we traded the hilly, difficult roads for a downhill, flat, straight, 10 miles of trail. At 12 PM, we stopped at the Monkton Bike Cafe and had an amazing lunch and impromptu play date with some new friends. What an uplifting time! At 4 PM, I fell and hit my head pretty hard (thank goodness for helmets). I got to add a few more scrapes and bruises to my legs and arms. Then I stood, on the side of the road, with my husband, head throbbing and legs shaking from adrenaline, in the rain, and we got a phone call. It was a reply from a email. We had a place to stay for the night! With new determination, we rode fast and energetically for a little over 20 miles. After making great time, we arrived in the town of Westminster and visited Race Pace Bicycle Shop. We spent the night (in a warm bed!!!) (after a warm bath!!!) with our new friends Sean and Barb. It was a pick-me-up for all of us, and we were exhausted. Unfortunately, Etienne did not sleep well that night (a rare occurrence) and we slept in well past our usual 5 am wakeup, to give ourselves some love.

Day 5 – While getting the bikes packed up, our new friend (Naomi says he's from Les Miserables) from the bike shop, brought his little boy Eli over while riding around on their bikes. Naomi got to ride a kids bike and played for about an hour or more. After leaving, we rode 35 miles on a ridge (MD 27-S) of rolling terrain, constant easy to moderate up and downs, without any flatlands. Today my knee got a little sore, but that went away after a while. The weather was gorgeous. Sunny, breezy, blue skies with puffy white clouds, rolling hills, fields of gold and green, swaying in the breeze, orchards, etc. You get the picture! It was nice, we kept a good pace, and got a bit of sunburn (yikes). The sunburn is healing nicely, and is almost ceasing to be red. It is getting brown, fast. Today we should be getting our sun-hats in the mail, and I am very excited to have some nice protection for my nose!

We arrived at the home of our friends Steve and Jenny. Now we get a full day of rest, and set out tomorrow morning. This last week was enlightening, affecting our balance, patience and mental status'. We are feeling so revived in life, by a slower pace and by the necessity of communicating with other humans around us for all of our needs- emotional, physical and spiritual. I can't believe we waited so long to go all-bicycled-out.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Videos Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

We just added a video bar at the top of the blog.  It should pull in our current videos for a quick-view right on the blog.  Hope you like it!

We got Days 1, 2 and 3 set up on Youtube and they are ready for you to watch whenever you can!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

104 Miles Done, Etienne is Teething

Day 1 - 35 miles

Day 2 - 53 miles

Day 3 - 16 miles (Quite a leisurely day!)

Some of the things we've learned so far:

tip 1: Make sure all bolts are fastened tightly before leaving for tour.
tip 2: Always have an extra set of eyes double check handwritten directions
tip 3: When all we can think about is food, we need to stop and's a sign...
tip 4: Teething babies are a bit more cranky on...well on any day, but especially today!

The kids are doing great.  When they get frustrated, we stop and rest, eat and play...ideally beside flowing water.  This makes all of us cooler, calmer and more balanced.

Mountains are tough.  Even while walking my bike up, I have to stop and rest a few times (or every 50 feet or so).  It's a huge challenge, but my legs will adjust in time, and I will be able to squeak up the hills just like my husband does.  Mike impresses me every moment with his endurance, peace, hauling of the kids and extra gear.  I have my bike a little over 100 pounds right now, I definitely can't lift it, but his load is easily twice what mine is, and he still chugs up these crazy hills and mountains.  I guess his body weight is more than mine, and he has trained much more while riding to work and back all through spring.  We are three days in and I feel like my body is acclimating fast.  The human body is incredible.  I'm doing more and more hills (little and gradual ones) and have been able to balance on my bike much easier than on Day 1.

Last night we had to stay in a random forest at the top of a ridge.  We rode late and as we began to pray for a place, it appeared, just like that.  It was the perfect little den back in the woods (not Posted and no No Trespassing Signs).  It was glorious!  And a miracle that we even spotted it at 10 PM. We took a deer path (bikes and all, difficult) to a clearing.  There was smoke all around us and I couldn't help but think about the Israelites being led by the smoke by day and the fire by night.  The next morning, looking around, we felt the power of how the lilies, the sparrows, and how we are cared for when it seems like we've made no accommodation for ourselves.  There were no other clearings, and what a blessing to have spotted the little spot, or, it felt more like we were guided there.  I've been praying that the mountains be made low a lot lately.  There is so much to think of spiritually while we pilgrimage across this country.

Today we are staying with cousins in York, PA.  Tomorrow we shall be in Maryland.  That's the plan.

I must go.  The rain is coming, we must move into shelter.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 1!

We had a whirlwind busy week last week and spent the time tying up loose ends.  Needless to say I did not get a lot of blogging done.  However, we are on the road!

Day 1 was a blast, a tiring, tiring blast.  We started out with an instrument trailer that got taken back home (by our trusty friend Tyler) along with some of the heaviest food items ten miles into the bike ride.  From then on, the ride was much easier.

I got a scraped up knee at one point.  We rode for 35 miles heading south out of Sunbury and haven't passed one grocery store or gas station, so you can get a sense for our surroundings.  The views have been absolutely incredible.  The 2-mile-long uphill stretch outside of Dalmatia was challenging, but the downhill side was just what we needed and the views were indescribable!

To finish a pretty spectacular day, we were offered hospitality by one lovely couple, our new friends Larry and Anita.  They have been so warm and welcoming, giving us not only a place to set up camp, but use of their bathroom AND they fed us!  We met them yesterday when my rack fell off in front of their house and Larry helped me and Mike fix it with his extensive tool assortment.  So far, we have been SO blessed!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

3 Days From Lift-Off

My stomach is tingling while I check the 5-day forecast to find out what kind of weather we will have on departure day.

69 degrees
Few Showers

We are headed home on our last car-trip in our Cavalier.  After this, it's goodbye car, hello bicycles, hopefully forever.

Sponsor Announcement! Wallaroo Hat Company

Another amazing sponsor has agreed to partner with us for our bicycle tour.  It's hard to believe we will be heading out in only a few days! We are both nervous, anxious, abundantly excited and inspired.

While trying to avoid the use of sunscreen (which can get so messy with little kids), we found Wallaroo Hat Company.  Reading in their about section is a wonderful pick-me-up from our day-to-day hearings about skin cancer, ozone and the dangers of the sun's light.  This company not only exudes positivity, but is producing a line of products which give me hope and peace about letting my family run freely outdoors.

Many thanks to all of our friends over at Wallaroo Hat co. in Boulder, CO!

Monday, May 19, 2014

We Gotta GoPro!

We got it!

Get ready for invasive media material from our somewhat normal-ish, often strange-ish and sometimes outrageous life.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Send-Off Party. You're Invited!

Invitation and Event Page HERE.  RSVP!

Save the Date!!! Mark your calendars!!! 

We are having an open-house at our house on Thursday May 22, 2014 6-9 PM. 

We will be playing a short set of original music for our friends, hosting a pot-luck dinner, enjoying discussion, showing off our bike set-ups and using this as our official send-off party! 

Everyone is welcome! That means YOU. Can't wait! Comment below to let us know if you can make it or not!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Kryptonite Locks!

Kryptonite makes great bike locks!  We are so excited to announce our new sponsor!  This is a great company with amazing products.  They know their stuff when it comes to keeping your mobile vehicles locked up and safe!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Vargo is not only local to our hometown, but makes incredible outdoors products.  In our backpacking and tenting adventures, we have learned and feel completely convicted about the necessity of using only Titanium tent stakes.  Vargo makes a really great stake!

After you get your tent set up, bust out your vargo stove and get some food in your belly.  We couldn't be more excited about using Vargo's stoves on our next journey south.  We got a lightweight Vargo alcohol stove.  It is SO light and compact.  The stove is great for boiling water.

To seal the deal, we just got a Vargo Fire Box Grill.  It's only a few ounces, is titanium sturdy and it folds flat.  This is a great all-purpose stove and doesn't require any packed out fuel or container uses sticks.

I'm learning about this titanium thing, and wondering, why did we ever go backpacking with heavy stainless gear?  It costs a little more, but will last it's worth in time and endurance.  Go VARGO!!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Planet-Wise ... Say goodbye to disposables!!

Planet-Wise has been one of our favorite companies for about four years now.  Our first exposure to their company was when we bought one of their wet-bags.  When Etienne was born, we bought a few more and discovered all of the wonderful products they have.  Using Planet-Wise re-usable (waterproof) trash bags enabled us to switch to a full cloth system.  We no longer use any disposable paper products...and we love our cloth diapers.  For our house, these types of products are essential.

"To reduce our environmental impact, all products have been thoroughly researched and are all PVC-free and lead-free (a surprising fact is that many zippers have been painted using paint that contains lead).  All the products we have developed are reusable and have been designed to replace disposable items which help to reduce waste that ends up in the landfills."
Just read their About page to learn about how conscious and family-oriented companies can be!  Planet-Wise - About

Planet-Wise carries everything from re-usable wipes and wipe pouches to re-usable sandwich bags, trash bags and lunch bags.  We've not been disappointed with this company.  Their products have taken a lot of wear and tear at our house and have stood the test of durability!

We are so glad that Planet-Wise has partnered up with us to go on our bicycle tour.  We'll be using them the whole way!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gearing Up to Go - A Tale of Two Helmets

The kids before getting their spiffy helmets....we ordered one blue and one pink....

Needless to say, Naomi had to have the blue one because it had a gecko on it...we didn't see that one coming.

Etienne sure does look good in Pink!

The Family Ride

We've been spending time lately pondering and researching family adventures.  With two children and one in-utero, this seems like a big undertaking, but as in life, we take one day at a time and try to make healthy and accommodating choices for us and all of those around us.

This blog below has been a real source of inspiration today.  If you're curious about family adventuring, and specifically bicycle touring as a growing family, you'll love it too.

This is one awesome family!