Monthly Archives: May 2010

Day 1 – A Success

So…we just realized we never mentioned when we were actually going to begin the adventure!  Gosh, it’s so easy to overlook such minute details about our trip.  Anyway, the plan was to leave yesterday–and that we did.  Our good friends Chris, Carli, and Bandit Mcgoff (whose family we will surely write  a post about soon) dropped us off at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O) in Williamsport, MD.  From there our destination was Cumberland, WV. This was day 1.

and this picture pretty much says it all.

Henry takes a spill

Here’s what happened on Day 1:

Henry wipes out huge trying to dodge innocent old man stuck in the mud

Henry’s trailer loses its holding pin (we miraculous find it in on the trail)

Sam’s trailer loses it’s major bolt 7 miles from the end of our century (100 mile day)

We nearly hit every woodland creature in existence:

Black Snake (he tried to bite us)

Tortoise (pretty easy to dodge but scary nonetheless)

Squirrel (actually ran toward us as if they were filming a Geico commercial)

Baby Deer (ran along side of Sam’s bike as if we were racing… he won)

Peter Cotton Tail (easily evaded us)

You probably don’t understand why Day 1 was such a success, because there were so many mishaps, but that is exactly what makes a good adventure. The point is, at several points we could have given up (stopped looking for lost parts, giving up on fixing broken trailer, or even stopping to heal from a nasty spill) but we didn’t! We wiped the blood out of our cuts, fixed our cursed trailers, and pushed our way through like Russel Crow in Gladiator. Henry and I have been tested. Something much larger than us was asking whether we had what it takes to go through with this trip, and we answered…

Yippee-ki-yay, mother—-er.

4Walls 4All Reel is here!

After years of careful planning and months of excruciating production hours, the reel has been finished. Let’s just say we had a little help from our long time friends Steve and Martin (Spielberg and Scorsese of course)

Okay, well that may or may not have been the complete truth, but it did take two long days and we did have help from our resident production assistant Carli “Coral” McGoff.

We didn’t just make this film for kicks though, we made it as a press release to send to media outlets across the country in hope that our story will get picked up. Cross your fingers everyone, because we’re sending the footage off today to our media liaison Dulcey Antonucci, and after that, it’s out of our hands. For anyone reading the blog, feel free to share this link with family, friends, and maybe even your local news station. The bigger our ripple the better!

Big Ups to our Sponsors

Well, it’s about time we tip our lids to the wonderful individuals and family units that have made our journey possible.  Honestly, our appreciation for your support cannot be put into words…but we can easily throw it into a blog post!  Just yankin’ yer chain.  We’d wager that the internet itself doesn’t even have enough space to hold our gratitude–but heck, that’s not going to stop us from saying thank you and recognizing your support.

The Mclaughlin/Chen/Lawler/ Clans:

From lending Sam the bike he’ll be riding, to becoming a One Less Shirt outlet for friends and co-workers, to sending letters of support in the mail, Sam’s family has been monumental in getting our effort on its feet.  Carine will even be supporting us from afar, from our Baltimore home base, by  sending protein and power bars for post office pick ups across the country.

This is them (minus Aunt Ginna)

The Armenis:

The Armenis ‘aka’ The Endpoint. Matt and Melinda are our shining light at the end of the tunnel. They have supported us immensely over the past few weeks and have even planned a vacation around our trip. The plan is to meet us after we literally lose our minds in the rocky mountains (just to make sure we keep going). For you two are Gandalf and we are but mere hobbit folk (samwise and frodo of course).

Our San Diego family (Matt and Melinda)

The Fandels:

Paint was something we needed A LOT of in order to make 300 recycled t-shirts, and Hilary and Hank helped boost our return to about 900%.  Magical.  Just like the math I just did.  Of course, I can’t forget to mention their part in the transportation of grills for the barbecue fundraiser, the energy they spent arranging tables and chairs, and in making sure that we’ve thought of every little detail regarding the trip.  Put simply, you-da you-da best.

Hilary and Hank Fandel

Sarah Dawson:

Sarah, we’re sorry, but we’re afraid we must reveal the secret you’ve probably been trying to bury since early adulthood.  Ready? Brace yourselves.  Everyone, Sarah Dawson…is…Wonder Woman! *gasp*  Yes, we discussed it, voted, and it was unanimous: by a 2-0 vote, F&M’s suspicions have been confirmed.  Our beloved Director of the Wohlson Center for the Sustainable Environment is most certainly a super hero; she sponsored a BBQ fundraiser during which we raised over $400, flipped veggie-burgers in the rain, dodged Chiclet sized hail, and spent quality time with family and friends.

animal lover by day...

wonder woman by night….

The Simpson Family:

We’re still amazed at how sincerely and overwhelmingly generous the Simpson family is.  We’ve heard the magnitude of their kindness is actually considered illegal in 49 states, and are eternally grateful that they embrace their fast-paced life on the run.  Seriously, from donning us with precious knowledge from a man who has done it before, to helping us clean up/organize the fundraiser BBQ, to carting us around as we try to keep our lives in order, they have helped us through it all.

Last, but certainly not least, thanks to everyone who added another T-shirt to their collection by purchasing One (or more) Less Shirt!!  We couldn’t have done this without you!

As always, everyone, thanks for believing in us and 4 Walls!

Cross Country in Baby Strollers?

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, Henry can fit into a baby’s stroller, but why would we want to take one across the country?

Answer…

Ingenuity.

To fully understand, you must first become acquainted with an age-old debate amongst touring cyclists: What to use for storage–panniers or a bike trailer?

Panniers

trailer

Here we have a classic old school vs new school dilemma. Panniers have been trusted for years and probably date back to the first Flintstone Bike of Bedrock. Trailers, on the other hand, are made from state-of-the-art alloys that will probably outlast us all. Panniers are generally cheaper and don’t create drag (like a trailer), while trailers are more compact, centralized, and don’t create balance issues (like panniers). The list goes on and on…every cyclist in the world seems to have his or her own thesis written on the subject.

But what about option C?

What if there was a choice that combined the price range of panniers and the overall convenience of trailers… well guess what? There is.

Baby trailers for bikes!

baby trailer

They are light, cheap, and trusted to take care of your infant! Baby trailer technology is surprisingly complex and has managed to spew out a durable AND affordable product for active parents and their active babies (in active babies I mean sleeping babies who might potentially wake up to be active one day). The only problem remaining is drag. In order to reduce wind resistance, we’ll be essentially cutting the top half off and dropping in a rubbermaid bin to form a waterproof cover.

This is the ultimate trailer.

This is our solution.

But can we really cross the entire country strapped with nothing but baby strollers?

There’s only one way to find out…

Gear List

Hola Compadres!  We thought it would be cool if we shared our gear list with y’all–you know, just to give you an idea of what we’ll be towing behind us in our sweet [baby?] trailers.  This week we’re working hard to ensure a smooth departure by gathering and organizing everything we’ll be bringing with us.  This list of items has become a very, very, familiar thing; we may or may not be able to recite it in our sleep…while biking…on the edge of a cliff…and doing the macarena…to the sound of Sam’s snoring.  Err–that’s awkward…yeah, Sam snores.  Alright, enough of that–here it is (from memory):

clothing

-toiletries (t-brush, t-paste, razor/creme, soap/shampoo, sunblock)

-2 jerseys

-1 long sleeve base-layer

-1 long pants base-layer

-2 shorts (1 road, 1 mtn bk)

-1 pr bike gloves

-1 rain jacket

-1 rain pant

-1 pr. sunglasses

-1 fleece

-1 pr. sandals

-2 pr. waterproof socks

-2 pr boxers

-1 wool hat

bike gear...get it?

bike gear

-1 bike

-1 trailer

-1 handlebar bag

-front/rear fenders

-front/rear lights

-1 helmet

-1 frame pump

-1 patch kit/spare tubes

-1 bike tool

odds and ends

-1 tent

-1 sleeping bag

-1 pack-towel

-maps

-1 first aid kit

-1 book

-1 notebook and pen

-cellphone/charger

-1 headlamp

Whew!  Well, i double checked, and that’s everything *blows smoke of barrel of 6-shooter, spins it around finger, and holsters it*.  Now to practice doing the macarena while riding my bike…

Messages in the mail…

from my brother and sister, Matt and Melinda

If you didn’t know, Henry and I represent our own little version of the Yin Yang. I would probably be the black side (a bit more impulsive therefore oftentimes creating unnecessary danger) and Henry would be the white side (more rational, slightly saner, and a bit more of a germaphobe). This is to say – even my own siblings trust Henry more than me.

after speaking to a little girl and her mother while going door to door...

While canvassing, I met the Linksey family, and after hearing about 4Walls, they were moved to donate but couldn’t find any cash. So, they promised that if I left them my address they would send what they could to help. Thank you for keeping your word and giving us hope. Every little bit counts.

a note from the Dean of Admissions, Julie Kerich

This is a card and note from Julie Kerich, the Dean of Admissions at Franklin and Marshall. She is the reason why I was able to afford to go to college. Julie is truly one of the most genuine and inherently  kind people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Just another proud sponsor of  4Walls4All.

Back from Hiatus!

This is our official apology for the two-week long disappearing act, but unlike David Blaine, we’ll actually reveal our magical secrets. I’m reaching into the top hat, I’m muttering some inaudible incantations, tapping my magical wand (cue the drum roll please) and the secret is….

EXAMS!!!

Yep, that’s it folks. Final Exams. It happens to the best of us. I’m talking thesis reviews, 24-page research papers, final portfolios, research conclusions, and even the occasional spanish exam. Henry and I were getting so caught up with the trip that we were forgetting to graduate, but never fear, we took care of business. And yes, we will be walking across that glorious carpeted stage come Saturday.

Now that school is out of the way, Henry and I are beginning the final stages of our journey. We have been fundraising more than ever, talking to media outlets, locating sponsors, getting gear and working on our bike route. News of all this is soon to come, so stay tuned and keep on keepin’ on.