Mile To Ride Before Sleep

Mile To Ride Before Sleep

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Week 3 Update

Just to let you know, I've been writing everyday, but I don't always have internet access. I write on my computer, so I have to wait until I find WiFi until I post and attach pictures. Some people blog from their phones, but I think I wouldn't like that. Laini comiled some of the blogs on the trip. Some are really faithful bloggers:

Happy reading!

Day 6 – Build Day 2 – Sumter, SC

Wakeup: 6:45
Hours slept: 7:01

Built with: Laini, Josh, others

It’s day six, and we’ve already had our second build day with the Sumter Habitat affiliate. It was great being off the bike for a day so soon since yesterday was a bit tougher than anticipated. Everyone had a positive attitude about it, but some extra “rest” is nice. The build consisted of shoe molding, primer and painting of dry wall, and painting and installation of doors – not nearly as physical as Charleston. Laini and I began with some sanding of some doors. When we got them out of the storage container, some had stuck together and paint transferred from one to another. Nyx and Ethan repainted them. Later, Laini and I prepared the door frames for door installation – just clearing the paint with a knife where hinges would be placed. After lunch (pizza) we learned that one of the cans of paint we had been using was primer, so we had to repaint the doors again. Whoops! I am reminded of my favorite Habitat shirt I’ve seen – “Don’t yell at me. I am a volunteer.” When that was finished, we installed many doors and put together some of the bifolds. I guess I should mention that half of our group was at one house and the other half was next door priming and painting the entire interior. The Sumter Habitat has about 54 lots in one neighborhood and they have finished 33 houses there. This is consistent with what I’ve been hearing from affiliates over the last couple of years – they are moving towards neighborhood creation/development/revitalization. It has some advantages over a single house in a neighborhood. Though, I don’t know them all.


Dangerous Dan!



Travis and Austin!

After the build - playground at the host.

Day 5 – Riding Day 2 – Sumter, SC

Wakeup: 6:00a
Hours slept: 6:23

Cumulative Miles: 109.1
Miles: 69.3
Time: 7:38:55
Calories: 2543
Ascent: 1414

Rode with: solo, Austin and Emma mile 50 to end

I experienced some parallels today as last year’s second ride day to Lake City, FL. I don’t quite remember the circumstances, but some riders ended up will 100 miles instead of 70 (?). Today, I took off from the host first. The front riders are to chalk the turns for those behind them. So, I grabbed extra chalk before I left since I knew I would be the lead for a while. Unfortunately, everyone took some sort of wrong turn. They veered right at a split in the road when the correct route was to remain on the road. I didn’t chalk it since it wasn’t a turn on the cue sheet and I thought it was fairly obvious to keep going left. Guess not. I got to mile 23 and took a break at a burned down house. There remained a pool table so naturally I set up snack time for myself there. I got a voicemail on my phone from Cassie (one of the leaders) that some riders took a wrong turn. I called her back and described the route I took. During our next phone call she decided to set up lunch where I was since there was enough space and some riders’ miles were starting to get high. Usually lunch is set up halfway through the day unless we are going more than 90 miles or it is hotter than 90 degrees. Then, there is a second lunch.

Cassie was on the way with the van and trailer, so I naturally laid down on the pool table to rest my eyes. I may or may not have dozed off, but I got a text message from one of my friends from last year (Emily), so I called her and we talked until 90 minutes later the van came. Soon my teammates began trickling in.I set up my radio and had some sweet jams going. I finally took off after being there for 2.5 hours. I took off solo again until about mile 50 I joined up with some guys briefly. Eventually, we settled into a group of the three until the host. We stopped by McDonald’ and Wendy’s to see if they would help us out with some food donations. No dice.

Morning route meeting.


You have to let it all go: fear, doubt disbelief. Free your mind.

Road side blackberries.

Day 4 - Riding Day 1 - Pinopolis (Moncks Corner)

Wakeup: 6:00
Hours slept: 5:26

Cumulative Miles: 39.8
Miles: 39.8
Time: 5:45:55
Calories: 1773
Ascent: 1089.2

Rode with: Sarah and Rae at beginning (sweeps)

Breakfast was again provided and much appreciated. We were about ready to head out. Of course, there is a lot of cleaning to do when 28 people stay in one place for a few days. We like to leave hosts better than we found them, so we all spent a while making sure it was spotless. Then, we had our route meeting, which consists of the plan for the day, where lunch will be, who's driving the van, who the last riders are (sweep), etc. The pastor sent us off with an awesome prayer.


We rode to the beach railing ledge thing and took many many photos. Some people climbed over since they weren't able to do the wheel dip a couple days ago. I climbed over to the 5 foot beach to swim for a bit and build a sand castle. I wish I would have stayed there longer last year, so I took my time, but soon realized the sweep riders were waiting on me. I got out and dryed off. I took off ahead of them.

I don't really trust other cyclists when I don't know how they ride. Bike & Build attracts a lot of new people to the sport, so I'll give everyone a couple days while I start observing their riding style to get used to them. I found the local Charleston ReStore and Habitat office, so I stopped for a photo.

Sweep caught up and we snapped a few. I took off again and found a yard sale. Sweep joined in again. Next I found a duck pond and tried feeding some ducklings and their parents. There were a lot of geese in the area, too, and they appeared to be super territorial. Rachael got three flats on the first day, so I didn't hang out with sweep after I passed Rachael the first time. She was very positive about it. She was very happy a lot of people stopped to help and pitch in.

Rae and Sarah at a vegetable garden we found.


Found a second yard sale and a neighbor is trying to sell his bike.

Call him.

Came across a memorial for a cyclist on the side of the road.

The host!

The church offered to let us keep this guy. Too bad we don't have room.

On laundry crew this week. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 3 - Build Day 1 - Charleston, SC

Wakeup: 7:00a
Hours slept: 7:33
Built with: Josh and others

Today we went to a build site with the Habitat affiliate located here in Charleston . It is hard to find work for and supervise 28 people, but there was plenty of things to do today. The highlights include: some people were building a fence, some doing landscaping, and others working on the driveway. It was a hard physical day. I think the only harder build day I've done was the demolition day last summer. Pizza and salad was provided and a NUS alum gave us brownies!

We finished relatively early and headed to the showers. After, some people went on a run to the store to get items they forgot, and a couple of us went to the post office to send some things home. The rest of the team painted the trailer white to get it ready for our final designs.

Dinner was provided - fried chicken and mac & cheese. The tea was not sweet, unfortunately.
The pastor here got us all tickets to the local minor league baseball team - the RiverDogs. It was a lot of fun. I usually don't watch sports, much less go to an event, but I knew it would be a good time if I made it so. I yelled and cheered for them. Hard. My voice is shot right now, but I got a coupe sections around me to participate in the cheers and I got on the jumbo tron with my ridiculous yelling and dancing (my inspiration is here). Mission accomplished. The home team lost 2-11, but some of the typical baseball type games between innings were pretty fun to watch. Plus, there was a decent fireworks show at the conclusion of the game.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 2 - Orientation Day 2 - Charleston, SC

Wakeup: 7:00am
Hours slept: 5:55
Miles: 23.8
Time: 2:37:13
Calories: 636
Ascent: 626.6
Rode with: Out: Pastor Dan, Back: Rachael, Elaina

Breakfast cooked by Brendan!
Today started pretty slowly. I remember the scheduling and routine of last year's trip. We were a well-oiled machine. I continued to remind myself through the day to go with the flow. That's the motto this summer. Breakfast lasted quite a long time, but we soon went to the parking lot outside to do some cycling drills - stopping, communication, and handling. Easy enough and nothing major to report there - just an annoyance of another rider failing to unclip and fall into me and my bike. It happens, and me nor my bike was hurt. No harm, no foul.

Weave through the coolers!

Next, was the shakedown ride. A 24 mile loop to get used to practices and policies of Bike & Build. It reminded me a lot of last year's shakedown ride, which was one of my favorites of the summer. Much of the route was through a neighborhood with lots of trees. There was a really busy road, but we all made it fine. A few shouts at us were included. "Sidewalk" was heard as a truck paassed in the opposite direction. Thanks guy, but it's illegal. #sorrynotsorry

If you bike across country, it is typical to dip your rear tire in your starting ocean and your front tire in the ending ocean. Our start location for Saturday will not allow for that since it is just a ledge with railing, so we had our wheel dip ceremony a couple days early. Storms were rolling in quickly and we got caught in the rain. Many of the riders on last year's shake down ride got caught in the rain, but I missed it. Finally made up for it today.


We all got very wet

But soon we were dry again!

Dinner was provided by the local Habitat affiliate of Charleston - pork BBQ. I had a salad. For anyone who doesn't know, I don't eat pork (or a lot of things), but I know being picky has its disadvantages, and I am okay with that. So after the typical B&B presentation given by the leaders and a great talk from the Habitat affiliate, some of us headed to dinner so people could watch the Blackhawks hockey game. This was a good opportunity for me to get second dinner - Steak and onion calzone. Delish. Unexpectedly, the hockey game and the other TVs were turned off. It's comedy night at Mellow Mushroom. It was pretty bad. Jokes were crude, unoriginal, and had no flow. We promptly left. We walked around for a little while until, you guess it, the vomit king made his return! I found a gutter in the street and deposited my meal there.

Tomorrow we build!