Waldensian Festival and CUMC

August 13, 2011

Today we will be at the Waldensian Festival in Valdese, NC sharing stories of our trek across America and sharing how you can be a part in helping solve the water crisis in the world today.  We are really excited to have this opportunity and to be able to be a part of the festival!  We will be in booth 58, so if you are in the area come say hello!

On Sunday we will also be speaking and sharing at Christ United Methodist Church in Drexel, NC.  The service starts at 10:55am.  And the address is 2314 Starnes Street Morganton, NC 28655.

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San Francisco – Day 62

July 31, 2011

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Today we arose and had to hit the road early since we had a ferry to catch. We rode 2.5 miles from our hotel in Vallejo over to the ferry dock. It was another brisk morning on the bay. It was cloudy and misty. Not the ideal situation for such a big day to celebrate but it was the typical day for San Francisco.

We took the ferry over to Sausalito. Then it was a three mile ride to the Golden Gate Bridge. The roads were crowded with tourists riding around town on bikes. Then there were lots of locals out for their usual Sunday ride. When we got to the north side of the bridge we stopped for a bit and took in the moment. In just a short time our journey across the country would be complete.

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Usually the pedestrian side and the cycling side of the bridge are on opposite sides. However they were doing construction on one side so they had routed all traffic to one side. This made for a very congested trip across the bridge. There were many people not paying attention and lots of people without the skills to ride a bike in congested areas. We pedaled slowly with great patience as we weaved our way through the congestion. It wasn’t the peaceful trip across I was expecting. It was quite stressful trying to not run into or over someone. But nothing could take away emotionally the experience of accomplishment we felt.

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As we came to the edge of the south side of the bridge we were greeted with cheers, streamers, poppers, and noise makers from family and friends! A big thanks to Ed and Faye for making the drive up to celebrate with us! It was such a great moment in time!

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After we celebrated on the bridge for a bit we made our way down to the water to dip our tire in the Pacific just as we had dipped our tire in the Atlantic.

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Then we enjoyed spraying champagne all over each other just as they do in all the big celebrations and sporting events.

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And once that was done we had a celebratory toast in honor of all our accomplishments this summer!

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It is still kind of surreal that we have reached San Francisco and our journey across the country is complete. We want to thank each and everyone of you who have followed and supported our efforts the past several months. It has been so humbling and so amazing to see and experience the support that we have received. Thank you!

Even though this summer’s cycling trip is over, the mission continues! Team Wooha doesn’t exist to pull of something this summer and then forget about it. We exist to bring clean water to all those who do not have access to safe water. I hope that everyone will continue to follow what goes on in the world and what other efforts we are making to bring clean water to the people of Ethiopia.

Which leads me to encourage everyone to SUBSCRIBE to our blog. We will not be writing daily so I encourage you to subscribe so that you will receive notification of when new things happen! All you need to do is enter your email in the “subscribe” section to the right.

Once again this summer’s journey has been one to never forget. And we thank you all for the conversations, memories, and support along the way!

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Bittersweet thoughts – Day 61

July 31, 2011

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Yesterday was our last rest day of our trip. We spent the day walking around Davis enjoying the atmoshpere. We got to swim, relax, and eat lots of great food including several cupcakes!

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We had planned to visit the US Bicycling Hall of Fame but it was closed. We had roughly 60 miles to ride to Vallejo so we figured we could visit it this morning before we started riding. The museum was really well done. It had three floors. The main floor was more of a greeting area with just a few things displayed. The top floor had a lot of memorabilia and plaques from inductees over the years. And the bottom floor walked you through the evolution of the bicycle.

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The ride today was the last real one of our trip. It would total 69 miles and overall it was a great ride. We rode out of Davis on a very pleasant bike path. It even had round-a-bouts. Once we got off the bike bath we turned and followed a beautiful valley full of orchards and vineyards.

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During one of our breaks at a gas station we had been sitting outside for quite some time drinking some Gatorade when Cam turned to me and asked, “what’s on my shoulder?” when I looked we realized that there was a Praying Mantis on him! It was awesome!

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When we were 55 miles into the ride we were riding a road that parralleled I-80. As we come up over one of the hills we caught our first glance of water from the Pacific in Suisun Bay. I got a little teared up.

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There wasn’t any camping in Vallejo so we had to check into a hotel, which was difficult to find a room because of a marathon that is going on in San Francisco in the morning. Once again Amy is amazing and was able to find us a room. It has been such a blessing to have her along. She is so great at figuring out the details.

We have spent most of the evening figuring out our final route into the city and what plans look like once we ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and begin our celebration! The plan is to take a ferry from Vallejo to the Sausalito area and ride from the north side of the bridge and celebrate as we ride into San Francisco on the south side of the bridge around 12!!!

For those that are following and are here in San Francisco, feel free to call us to find out any details if you would like to join! Should be on the south side of the bridge by 1pm.

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It has been an odd evening thinking about the past two months. The experiences, the conversations, the relationships…all have had their effect on me and all those that have been involved from the beginning. It has been an amazing journey and I hate that it is coming to an end. But at the same time we are ready to return home and see where the next thing takes us.

Tune in tomorrow to see how the ending goes!

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Bike paths galore – Day 60

July 29, 2011

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Today the plan was to ride to Davis, CA. We would ride just over 60 miles. Since it wouldn’t be that long of a day we hung around Placerville for a bit eating breakfast and stopping at other bike shops. Once we got our fill, we hit the road.

It was already beginning to heat up. The roads out of Placerville were nice in terms of traffic but their surface was extremely rough. Cam and I both made the comment that it will be nice to have our carbon handlebars when we get back to North Carolina.

The coolest thing that we passed today was Folsom State Prison. We sang Johnny Cash all day.

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After riding up and down over rolling hills we made our way to the outskirts of Sacramento where we picked up the Great American River Bike Path. The path took us over 30 miles to the other side of Sacramento. Plus…no traffic! The downside about a bike path is it is designed to be safe. It makes a lot of bends and has a lot of small up and down hills. This causes you to have to slow down and stay at a safe speed. This is great if you are riding an afternoon joy ride. But when you are riding long distance and are slowed down it makes the day long.

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In the morning we realized that there was a Chick-Fil-A in Sacramento. However it was several miles off route. So we begged Amy to make the trip so we could devour it’s deliciousness for lunch. Thanks to Amy and her extreme patience with us and Sacramento traffic, we enjoyed what we have missed so much.

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After lunch we finished riding on the bike path and entered Old Sacramento. It was pretty cool. Train stations and old piers lined the river way.

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Shortly after leaving Old Sacramento we entered another bike path that would parallel the highway and take us to Davis. It was a long straight stretch of concrete.

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When we were about 2 miles out of Davis Cam got a front flat due to a thorn. This was an emotional stab in the side. We had already been on the road riding for close to six hours. It was almost 6:30pm. My cyclometer’s temperature topped at 118 heat index on the road today. And we had ridden 71 miles at this point instead of the anticipated 61. We were tired and so close to where we were staying. We sucked it up and got it changed and rode into town.

Tomorrow we are taking a day off here in Davis to check out the bike scene. We have traveled 3773 miles and are only 75 miles away from San Francisco! It is crazy that we will ride into San Francisco on Sunday!

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California…here we come! – Day 59

July 28, 2011

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It was sad to have to leave Lake Tahoe, but San Francisco awaits us. We rolled out this morning around 7:30am. The “B’s” live on top of Kingsburry Grade at an elevation of 7500 feet. The original route had us going back down away from Tahoe and taking Hwy 206 and 88 to Placerville, CA. However that would have been over 100 miles for the day and much more climbing since we would drop about 3000 feet going down Kingsburry Grade. Instead we decided to go the other way down Kingsburry Grade and take Hwy 50 to Placerville, which is 40 miles shorter and less climbing.

Kingsburry Grade was approximately a 6 mile descent with up to 9% grade. Needless to say that early in the morning the temperatures were in the 50’s so it was pretty cold riding 40 mph down it! Once at the bottom of the hill, it was only two intersections away until the California state line!

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After taking a few pictures, we rode Hwy 50 through town and then took a road that paralleled 50 for about 8 miles. Then we meet up with Amy at this awesome cafe called The Getaway Cafe. Such a pleasant morning and amazing breakfast.

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As soon as we left the Gateway we made our way up our major climb for the day, Echo Summit. They were doing a bunch of construction which worked out perfect for us because we could wait till the end of the line of cars and jump in and not have any traffic behind us for quite some time. There were several different times that this same thing happened.

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The descent was beautiful. It took us down the mountain side past a few waterfalls and into the valley along the river. The sun was hot but the shade from the Ponderosa Pines and the cool air from the river were a great touch to the day.

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Once out of the valley and as we continued to get closer and closer to Placerville, we began seeing lots of vineyards and orchards. Which I assume we will see more and more of the as the next couple days go by.

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One thing that did happen today is I had what in the professional cycling world one would call a “mechanical”. One of the spokes on my rear wheel unthreaded from the nipple that connects it to the rim causing a wobble all day. There are three things that I do not trust myself to do on a bike in regards to maintenance. Truing the wheels is one of those. This also means that I don’t trust many people to do it either. The slightest mishap can completely ruin the wheel for good. So I am pretty nervous as I had to take it to a bike shop here in Placerville.

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Tomorrow we ride into Davis, CA which claims to be the cycling capital of America. There is a 2.1 bike ratio to every person and the Cycling Hall of Fame and museum is there. We are pretty excited about it!

Mmmm…candy!

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Lake Tahoe – Day 58

July 27, 2011

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Today we arose to a beautiful morning here in Lake Tahoe! The air was warm from the morning sunshine and the sky was about as blue as the lake’s water.

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We drove down the mountain and grabbed some breakfast at a small Thai place where Brandon and his dad, Lynn, happen to already be as well. After breakfast we picked up some snacks and headed to the beach for the rest of the morning. Beautiful!

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Words don’t really capture how beautiful this place is and neither do pictures. The colors are so vibrant! Speaking of vibrant, while at the beach, Cam and I both got sunburnt and are feeling it tonight.

Once we were burnt to a crisp and had cooled off in the clear glacier water we took a trip around the lake over to Emerald Bay. And we thought that the beach was beautiful. This place was just as amazing.

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There is a water fall called Eagle Falls that runs down into the bay which has an emerald look to the water.

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A few facts about Lake Tahoe. It is the third deepest lake in North America reaching 1600 feet. The water is so clear that you can see objects 67 feet down into the water. There are tons of rivers and streams that feed into the lake but only one outlet, the Truckee River. And the water from Lake Tahoe never reaches the ocean.

Tonight we decided to chance our luck at the Lake Tahoe Harrah’s Casino. We ate dinner on the 18th floor of the place which was an all you can eat buffet. Then headed back downstairs to the slots and gaming floor. After an hour of play between the three of us we only lost $3. Not that bad of odds if you ask me. If only I had played 3 credits instead of 1.

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Tomorrow’s route calls for a long 100 mile day to Placerville, CA. That’s right….California! But we believe that we have found a way to shorten the route to 60 miles.

Huge thanks to Brandon and Brandi for opening up their place to us and for the hospitality!


No more loneliness – Day 57

July 26, 2011

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With Cam’s bike still messed up, I got up and hit the road. It was 81 miles to Lake Tahoe. The nice thing about the day was that we now were out of the areas where there was nothing and there were towns every 10-15 miles. Not needing to stop and check on me allowed Cam and Amy to run ahead to Carson City to the bike shop in order to get his wheel fixed.

The ride was the typical day through Nevada. As the day went on, the wind got stronger and stronger and the temperature got hotter and hotter. I had ridden 50 miles and was 11 miles outside of Carson when I got a rear flat. I had dodged scrap metal, car parts, tires, pocket knives, bolts, razor blades, and many other various things. However, I wasn’t able to dodge this tack.

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After changing the tire, I headed down the road into the wind and met up with Cam and Amy for lunch in Carson. We had 14 more miles to Lake Tahoe. Once outside of Carson, the vegetation began to change and the valley opened up to vast green lands. It was beautiful!

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Once we got into Tahoe we grabbed quick showers and headed down to the lake where my friends Brandon and Brandi were having an engagement party that we were invited to.

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I have to say that a celebration on the beach of a glacier lake surrounded by snow capped mountains with tons of food and lots of new friends was a great way to spend the evening!

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They even brought out a pinata! You know when that comes out it is a great party!

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Tomorrow we are taking the day off to enjoy Lake Tahoe some more. Should be an epic day off!

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