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Ride for Recovery

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Follow and support two men as they bicycle more than 1,250 miles from Naples, FL to Zionsville, IN to raise funds and awareness for the Justin’s Place Recovery Program.


 

Sunday, May 24 (6:59 p.m.)

 

Sorry for the delay, but we just had to focus on the ride. I was not getting enough sleep. We completed the ride on schedule and it was excellent. Here are the official stats for the journey.

Sunday May 10th – 44 miles climbing 44 feet
Monday May 11th – 110 miles climbing 407 feet
Tuesday May 12th – 83 miles climbing 470 feet
Wednesday May 13th – 107 miles climbing 1,840 feet
Thursday May 14th – 116 miles climbing 1,214 feet
Friday May 15th – 117 miles climbing 2,268 feet
Saturday May 16th – 103 miles climbing 5,903 feet
Total miles to date – 680 miles climbing 12,146 feet

Monday May 18th – 130 miles climbing 6,332 feet
Tuesday May 19th – 118 miles climbing 4,128 feet
Wednesday May 20th – 94 miles climbing 4,452 feet
Thursday May 21st – 118 miles climbing 6,247 feet
Friday May 22nd – 118 miles climbing 5,966 feet
Saturday May 23rd – 49 miles + 14 extra climbing 1,360 feet + 100
Total official miles week 2 – 627 miles climbing 28,489 feet

Total official miles – 1,307 miles climbing 40,635 feet

We have shared with many people along the way about St. Matthew’s House. All were glad to hear of the work you are doing.

I know it has been several days since we checked in. I’m really sorry. The demands of the journey and blogging were preventing me from getting enough sleep, so I had to focus on the ride. I really appreciate all those who have followed us and are supporting St. Matthew’s House. Here is the story of the rest of the journey.

On Wednesday we had a spectacular ride from Smyrna, TN to Bowling Green, KY. We left early as usual, 5:30 a.m. local time, and the roads were already busy. Not far into the trip the mapping software put us on some of the great bike paths around Nashville. As we worked our way into town we ended up on the Music City Greenway. This was several miles of Disneyland for Cyclists. It was just amazing. The views, wildlife, paths, bridges, etc. made it a joy to ride. We actually changed our route slightly, just to take advantage of it. When we finally departed the Greenway system we rode through neighborhoods on side streets until we reached the north side. After stopping for 2nd breakfast we travelled on old 41 until we ended up on country roads that led through northern Tennessee into Kentucky and up to Bowling Green. The weather was beautiful.

The last time we checked in I mentioned eating like a Hobbit. Let me explain that who may not know the Hobbit lifestyle.
Hobbits eat 7 meals a day:
Breakfast
Second Breakfast
Elevenses
Luncheon
Afternoon Tea
Dinner
Supper
Well, we started at 6 a.m. with our breakfast and around 40 miles in we ate Elevenses. About 25 miles later we stopped for drink refills and another 30 miles and lunch was in order. On longer rides there may be another drink stop. When we arrived at our destination we would clean up and then have a large dinner. After returning to the hotel, if we didn’t just pass out, there would be a snack. It takes a lot of fuel to cover those miles. The net result is that I lost a little weight anyhow. Not sure how Mike did, but I suspect the same result. So, if you really enjoy eating, just ride a hundred miles a day or so and you can eat pretty much all you want.
The amount of calories needed is a significant part of what added time demands to our day.

If you are interested, every day went about like this:
Get up at 5:20 a.m.
Get ready and pack up bike and suitcases. Take everything down to the car and load it about 6.
Take bike down and recheck everything for the day.
Eat breakfast, trying to leave by about 6:30 a.m.
Get drinks and ice and head out.
Ride about 3 – 31/2 hours and then get second breakfast.
Ride about 2 hours and then stop for afternoon drinks.
Ride another 2 hours or so and then stop for Lunch.
Complete ride, stopping for drinks on longer rides. Usually another hour or two.
Check in at hotel and haul bike and luggage to the room.
Remove all rechargeable lights, extra phone battery, bike computer, and phone. start recharge process.
Look at weather forecast and map to acquire needs for the next day’s ride.
Hand wash all riding clothes and hang in front of fan to be dry by morning.
Make any adjustments or repairs to bikes and gear.
Find a restaurant and decompress from the day’s efforts.
Stop at store and pick up anything needed.
Return to hotel with heavy eyes and tired bodies. Pass out. usually around 10:30 -11pm
Repeat process.

Well, back to the journey. On Thursday we rode from Bowling Green to Derby, IN, on the Ohio River. The day started fairly cold (54 degrees), foggy, and a light misty rain. It stayed pretty cool until afternoon. Most of the excursion was through rural Kentucky and food stops were hard to come by. We found out first restaurant about 4 1/2 hours in. We were definitely ready. It took another 3 hours to reach northern KY and our second stop for fuel (a.k.a. groceries). The wind was in our face at about 7-9 mph most of the day. We crossed over the Ohio River late in the afternoon and finished the tour on some beautiful roads, with steep hills. Believe me when I say, there are a lot of hills from about Lakeland, FL all the way to Zionsville, IN. The climbing stats from the bike computer don’t lie.
On Friday the ride through southern Indiana was fantastic, with beautiful weather. Surprisingly, it was the day with the second most feet climbed. Our legs had no problem believing it.
Saturday I stayed about 10 miles north of Mike and so I needed to get up early and return to where we had stopped the night before. That was just short of 10 miles. I did not include that distance into the official results, for those of you donating by the mile. On the way up, from Martinsville to Zionsville, Mike suggested that we take a route that included the steepest hill in the Indianapolis area. He apparently thought all of the rest of the hills had just been practice for this one. We arrived in Zionsville about 12:30 and celebrated with my family. Afterwards Mike and I both rode home. We didn’t count those miles either as part of the total.

We both consider the ride a real privilege, and thank you all for your prayers. We also appreciate your support for St. Matthew’s House. Our journey is finished, but it continues for those on their journey to recovery. We are resting now, but since the need continues we have began talking about next year…
We are to be interviewed by the paper here, and we hope it brings more attention the the great work that St. Matthew’s House is doing. Thanks so much for checking in. Please take time this Memorial Day to remember those who gave all, that we might have the freedom we enjoy.
May God bless you all,
Mike & Tom


 

Tuesday, May 19 (10:56 p.m.)

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The word for the day was “wind.” The morning started off cool, and the climbing came early. We climbed up and over several ridges and hills today, and then climbed over Mount Eagle. We had 2nd breakfast at Mont Eagle, the town at the top. The descent was on an excellent road. It was smooth and fast. With the last big hill behind us it should be, as my brother said in a text he sent, “all downhill from there.” Well…it wasn’t all downhill, and it was straight into the wind. 70 miles of 6-12 mph headwind. Fact: Hills have two sides, the wind can blow in your face all day. Two tired pups made it to Smyrna, Tennessee this evening. We were reminded of two “can’ts” that we should never believe: 1) “it can’t get tougher.” 2) “I can’t do this.” It can, and you can.

We really appreciate your interest and support. So does St. Matthew’s House.

P.S. Tomorrow I’ll share what it is like to eat like a Hobbit. Now I must learn to sleep 8 hours in 6. Hmmm…

P.P.S. 117 miles ridden today, bringing the total so far to 927. That is right at the 3/4 mark. Tomorrow we ride to Bowling Green KY.

Be strong,

Mike & Tom


Monday, May 18 (10:48 p.m.)

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Greetings from Chattanooga,

We left Smyrna, Georgia early the morning after a day of rest. It was a magnificent ride today. We were often on back roads and all of the surfaces were great. Rain came in buckets as Chattanooga came into view. After a 1/2 hour delay we headed for the hotel. However, Climbing Lookout Mountain was just too tempting. There are photos of our visit to the battleground park at the top. Well worth the trip!

We have met many nice people along the way, and we have had the opportunity to pray for several of them.

Chattanooga (1) Chattanooga (1)

Tomorrow we ride to Smyrna, Tennessee. That is just south of Nashville. Another mountain and many hills between here and there…

I need to rest now.

Be safe,

Tom


Sunday, May 17 (10:26 p.m.)

Hello from Marietta, Georgia!

Yesterday we rode from Macon through Atlanta to Marietta. It was another warm ride covering 103 miles.

Here are the daily miles ridden, so far.

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Sunday, May 10th – 44 miles

Monday, May 11th – 110 miles

Tuesday, May 12th – 83 miles

Wednesday, May 13th – 107 miles

Thursday, May 14th – 116 miles

Friday, May 15th – 117 miles

Saturday, May 16th – 103 miles

Total miles to date – 680 miles

I am sorry that we did not report Friday, but we did not finish until well after 6 p.m. Then we need to wash out our riding clothes, service the bikes, unload the chase car, wash the road grime off of ourselves, and eat dinner. Since we get up about 5:20 a.m., the only thing else we feel like doing is getting horizontal and falling asleep.

We have been following mapping software that had done a pretty good job, until Friday. I have included a photo of the first of several sand roads it sent us down. A part of some of those could be ridden very slowly, and with a great deal of effort. Often we had to push and at points the sand was very deeply rutted (12”). Needless to say, this added a lot of time and finally we manually chose a course that took us to paved roads. Total distance on the sand was about 6-7 miles. Apparently patience was the lesson of the day. I should have taken more photos, but I really am much more focused on getting through it than recording it. We had no idea of exactly how far it would go.

Marietta Georgia

You can see from the chart that we ended up with 117 miles total on Friday. Saturday was a great day. It got a bit warmer than forecast, but the ride had many beautiful sections. We finished the day passing through Buckhead and along Northside Dr. in the north Atlanta area. We had been riding hills all day, but encountered several grades of 9 – 11% there. Beautiful properties, great road, and shade made the finish very enjoyable. Sunday was a rest day.

Monday we head to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The debate tonight was whether or not we would have enough energy left, after riding 112 miles, to climb Lookout Mountain. The view and the history make it a great climb, and it is one I really enjoy. We will see. 

We pray this will be a week of blessing for you, and we hope you will also bless St. Matthew’s House. Thanks for checking up on us.

Be safe,

Mike & Tom


Friday, May 15 (6:31 a.m.)

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Yesterday we had a beautiful ride through north Florida and into southern Georgia.

The forecast was for cooler temps, but that will have to wait for today… we hope. The photo is of the Suwannee River.

Suwannee River

Today we travel up to Macon. I should have a few GoPro photos to post. Thanks for checking in, and keeping St. Matthew’s House and us in your prayers.

Blessings,

Mike & Tom


Wednesday, May 13 (7:40 p.m.)

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Hi Everyone,

It was another fantastic day on our journey. We made it safely to Lake City this afternoon.

We are about 350 miles into the trip. It remains solidly into the 90s, but we are adjusting well. If you look closely at Mike (in the photo with the prairie in the background) you will see a couple of ways we deal with the sun. The sleeves he is wearing not only prevent sunburn, but the help keep our skin cooler by slowing the evaporation process. The blue head and neck covering is soaked with water, and the evaporation cools our neck and heads. This material, when wet, feels cool to the touch.

Lake City

Mike is a blessing to ride with, and I am loving every day! Tomorrow we leave Florida as we head for Tifton, GA, the good Lord willing. Thanks for checking in, and thanks for supporting St. Matthew’s House!

God bless,

Tom


Tuesday, May 12 (9:47 p.m.)

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We are 240 miles and 2.5 days into our R4R. It has been an outstanding ride so far. The afternoon heat has been higher than normal. The highs have been in the mid 90s with our computers showing handlebar temps as high as 114! The morning temps have been great.

We are in south Ocala this evening, with plans to be in Lake City tomorrow. We visited the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing this afternoon. Very enjoyable and interesting.

We appreciate your prayers. We would also appreciate any support you can provide for St. Matthew’s House. It is a great organization.

Ocala 3

Need to rest now.

Many blessings,

Tom & Mike


Tuesday, May 12 (9:46 a.m.)

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Everything is great after two days of riding. We are in Webster, FL right now (192 miles away from home).

It was a long, very hot day yesterday. 95-96 degrees with our bike computers registering 113 with the reflected road heat!

Still remembering our sendoff from St. Matthew’s House. Those men and women are who we are doing this for.

Photo May 08, 3 46 18 PM

Be blessed,

Tom & Mike


 

Track 59-year old Tom and his riding companion, Mike, as they cycle the 12 day journey.

This will be the longest ride of Tom’s cycling career.

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Map2

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All proceeds will go directly to support St. Matthew’s House.

To support the ride click the link at the top of the page and use #R4R in the comments box.

Here are some statistics about this trip:

Approximately 540 pedal strokes per mile
Approximately 675,000 total pedal strokes
Approximately 70 riding hours
12 riding days
104 avg. miles per day
Estimated total feet climbed = 30,254
Estimated calories burned = 50,000+

 

This event is supported and sponsored by Capital Wealth Advisors. Capital Wealth Advisors is an independent financial advisory firm serving families and entrepreneurs through wealth advisory, estate planning, and family office.