Mile To Ride Before Sleep

Mile To Ride Before Sleep

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!

Day 1 - Orientation Day 1 - Charleston, SC

Where do I start? The last few days are already becoming a blur. This is why I will be blogging this summer (hopefully better this time around). I know I would remember a lot more from last year if I wrote down the events of the day and some of my thoughts. Live and learn... and just bike across the United States again. Maybe it'll help make up to my loyal readers and donors. I also promised some friends I would write so they could live vicariously through me since they aren't able to bike this year. So fasten your seat belt. It's going to be a long, long wild ride.

We're two cars behind the FedEx truck - Louisville, KY
Elaina's dad, Jack,  graciously picked me, my bike, and my overweight bin (Bike and Build luggage is not to exceed 50 lbs) from Lafayette, IN, on Monday morning. They had already come a couple hours from Chicago, and we had another 12 in front of us to Charleston. The plan was to go about 7 hours to Asheville, NC, spend the night there, and go on a easy spin the next morning on the Blue Ridge Parkway. As it turns out, the Blue Ridge Parkway knows nothing of easy. We parked at a scenic outlook and started climbing. I was expecting rolling hills, but we kept going up and up. My legs didn't warm up for a good thirty minutes. I was falling behind Elaina and Jack quite a bit. Maybe it was the double century attempt two days prior where I was only able to bike 140 miles in a day. That story deserves a separate post later. So. Up and up we went. Jack is an avid cyclist, but as I aluded to earlier they are from the Chicago area, which is not exacty hilly. He commented after a mile that this was a record for him - this was the biggest hill he'd ever done. LIttle did we know that we were going to continue for another 4000 feet over the course of 14 miles. I didn't want to put too much effort into this ride since Bike and Build was starting in less than a week. I started last year feeling tired and there is no reason to repeat that. Long story short, we made it to the summit of Mt. Pisgah after a couple hours. We turned around and descended back to the car in less than 30 minutes. That was sooo much fun. We all couldn't get over how awesome the ride was.

We met a few people on the way up. One was a cyclist who crashed on one of the descents nearby 8 years ago. He lost consciousness for 8 days. He comes back every year to ride it. Pretty cool. Some might say "pretty dumb," but I think it's an accomplishment to come back and conquer a "demon" year after year.

We changed clothes and hit the road again after some Chick-fil-a. Mmm. That hit the spot! We made it Charleston. The Bike & Build adventure was about to begin.

I don't remember feeling nervous last year. I was still a bit sick. This year I got a few nerves a few minutes before we showed up at the church hosting our orientation. What are these people going to be like? Will I get along with them? Will I be able to avoid comparing this trip to last year? The nerves disappeared quickly when we started interacting with everyone trickling in, but it was still weird to be back with Bike and Build. I still am not sure that it has completely hit me yet.

Orientation was nearly a repeat of last year with (oh gosh, I'm already comparing) ice breakers and presentations about bike safety, affordable housing, and the other usual suspects. It was really interesting to repeat orientation knowing to some extent of what the summer has in store. We had a guest speaker with a bicycle lawyer, Peter. He had a lot of great thoughts on bicycle safety. I was hoping he was sticking around for dinner (since he bought it I believe) and talk with him some more, but he made his exit without my notice, unfortunately. He also gave us water bottles. Pink water bottles. Yes! Check him out on
One of our last activities was a rotation through five stations where a leader would explain some skill or aspect of B&B. Chore groups, changing a flat tire, bicycle maintenance, donation magic, and the fifth was a brainstorming session on our own of what should be painted on our trailer.

Oh, the last presentation was on health with lots of great pictures of saddle sores and infections, perfect right before bed.

And I saw Natalie!!! She is a program director that was in charge of my trip last year, so it was a pleasant surprise to see her this week since the other program director, Brendan, is in charge of the South Carolina route.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Form for B&B 2013

Looks like I'll be all set at the start of this year as far as form goes. I explained some of this in an old post, and I was in poor form last year, but come May 25, I will be well-rested and ready to ride. The big jump in the pink line and the dip in the yellow on the right is a result of 390 miles during Cover Indiana.

Yellow line is above 0 on May 25!

Mail Drops

You can send me mail this summer! Just change the "CITY, STATE, ZIP" below and it should be good to go. Some post offices only hold mail for up to 10 days and they may not take UPS or Fedex.

Bike & Build
Attn: Marcus Thompson
c/o: Cassandra Phegley, Ethan Gehl, John David Scott, Lacy Schmidt
General Delivery

My dad sent me brownies last year. I took a few to the top of Half Dome. Delicious.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fully Sponsored!

I have a lot of people supporting me for this summer. I may be riding, but there is a whole team of y'all behind me. Many other people gave cash donations, so they aren't on this list, unfortunately. Thanks to all of you, I have met my fundraising goal of $4500, all of my gear for this summer is fully sponsored, and some of you gave for any expenses I have this summer. Thank you for your generosity!

Hannah Carlisle
Jay Epelman
Meghan Yi
Alex Fram-Schwartz
Jesse and Ann Ault
Jack Gross
Emily Mazurak
Allison Ribachonek
Maggie Aker
Rebecca Cremer
Holly Wolfe
Sonja Jones
Daniel Holden
Trent Shelton
Jonanthan Chen
Bri Pavlich
Nathan Tokarek
Elaina Grott
Julie Juchno
Matt Kaster
Bill Donovan
Karen McKee
Alicia Marvin
Kurt Schaldenbrand
Ryan Zeidan
Emily Palmer
Tova Rein
Lauren Johnson
Kane Lorh
Josh Jones
Meredith Watson
Kevin Head
Diana Oleskevich
Mark Sloss
Susan Young
Theresa Inman
Kristin and Dave York
Sue Young
Dave Vanaman
Gerry Murray
Alex and Chelsea Thompson
Hailey Dady
Stefan and Jamile Shirley
Jess Bunchek

And a big thanks to the members of Calvary Baptist Church and the Purdue Collegiate Ministry for sponsoring me as well!

Edit: And how can I forget the generous riders of Cover Indiana!

My Bin for SC2SC

Last year I had a lot of my friends sign my luggage bin before I began my trip. I got several compliments and it provided a lot of encouragement last year, so I wanted to do it again. This time I procrastinated and only my Cover Indiana and a few B&B friends signed it. I took pictures to preserve their words and illustrations. After the first seven is last year's bin after the abuse of a summer.

The 4,029 sticker already getting worn after a week.

Inside of lid

I really need to figure out how to rotate these.

Inside of lid

I didn't find this writing until the last week of the trip. I was carrying my bin in an awkward position I guess.

In the News

Got in the student newspaper recently. And again in the city paper.

Purdue Students: From left to right: Alex Weinberg (SUS),
Marcus Thompson (SC2SC), Elaina Grott (SC2SC), Max Andreychak (NC2SD)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Affordable Housing in a Nutshell

I've learned a lot about affordable housing in the last couple years. For those of you who are new to the cause, here is affordable housing according to Marcus.

Friday, May 3, 2013

2013 Cycling Season Plus Bike and Build 2013 Expenses

Here is a list of my expenses during 2013. I never knew cycling could be so expensive. Last year I spent $1133.39 in preparation for Bike & Build. Somehow I have surpassed that. I looked at my lists for the two years and compared them. I wasn't sure how I managed to spend so much since I am able to reuse some of the gear I had last year, and I am not buying some gear this year (i.e. jerseys). The new things I am buying this year make up the difference. I'll post a more in depth analysis later when I get my final costs added. I got a few people to sponsor some of my gear this year, which has helped tremendously. As one of my trip leaders posted on Facebook, "It's not a direct contribution to the Affordable Housing Cause, but it does help support my personal efforts on its behalf." This will help make the trip a little more comfortable and a little easier. Many of these items are not requirements for the trip, but what I consider "luxury" items. For example, we will be staying at 61 hosts this summer. That means I will be packing and unpacking at least 61 times. I think the $45 in packing cubes this year will help out a lot. A couple friends had them last year and my sister recently posted about them. The wallet, drawstring bag, hose nozzle, tool belt, knife, travel shampoo bottles are all things I bought this year to make life a little easier. There is more to that list, but those are a few examples. I also have bought tubes ahead of time this year. I brought 3 with me last year (oh, how naive I was!). I bought 30 already. Now read and be prepared to have your jaw drop.

Already testing out the 19 gallon bin. Last year's 20 gallon in the background.

Major Season Expenses

$25.40 - DePauw
$39 - Lindsey Wilson
$53 - Lindenwood
$8 - Marian
$36 - Michigan/MSU

Subtotal = $161.40

$60 - race reimbursement
$60 - domestic/collegiate license
$25 - got my rear hub overhauled. After 6000 miles it needed a little cleaning
$480 - Garmin Edge 810
$0 - heart rate monitor under warranty. Mine started giving me weird readings - average of 60 bpm during a race? Max of 264 during a training ride? Currently on Amazon for $42.55. Originally purchased for $35.87
$0 - headlight under warranty. It's supposed to be waterproof, but this is the second time I've sent it in.

Subtotal = $625

After my crash
$50 - helmet - retails for $180. Fellow club member gave me a good deal.
$27.26 - 2 bottle cages
$146.70 - wheels. I think they forgot to charge me for the rims.

Sub-total = $223.96

Total = $1010.36

Bike and Build 2013 Gear
$197.81 - 2 Hincapie bib shorts - retails for $280
$78.21 - Pearl Izumi bib short - retails for $135

Subtotal = $276.02

Bike And Build Catalog
$72 - 20 tubes - retails for $139.98

$11.99 - degreaser
$7.99 - Simple Green
$6.49 - lube
$38 - 10 tubes
$4.51 - tax

Subtotal = $68.98

$22.49 - Sunlite Bento Box. I had a different one last year. It had velcro and would snag my shorts all the time.
$38.51 - Bottom bracket
$19.27 - Compression sack for my sleeping bag. Old one ripped
$12.73 - Butterfly wallet super thin
$85.22 - Sugoi bib short
$98.34 - (2) Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tires
$33.63 - Headlamp for night time at the host
$15.97 - drawstring bag for going around town
$10.98 - hose nozzle to wash bikes and take a shower when no real facilities exist
$8.79 - (3) patch kit
$36 - bar tape
$21.59 - packing cubes
$23.96 - more packing cubes
$11.36 - handlebar map holder
$16.57 - saddle bag
$16.74 - tool belt to keep things from walking away from me on the build site
$36.80 - chain
$12.43 - Swiss army knife
$14.50 - handlebar bag
Subtotal = $474.88

$7.44 - Sunblock
$0.89 - travel hand sanitizer
$1.47 - travel toothbrush

-$0.49 REDcard savings
$0.65 tax

subtotal = $25.32

$1.29 - wet wipes
$2.99 - travel shampoo bottles

-$0.21 REDcard savings
$0.28 - tax

subtotal = $4.35

$22.00 - Craftsman work gloves

$3.49 - double sided tape
$14.55 - photos
$1.26 - tax
$3.49 - more double sided tape
$0.24 - tax

subtotal = $23.03

$4.97 - poster alphabet letters
$4.97 - poster alphabet letters
$2.46 - construction paper
$2.97 - poster board
$1.08 - tax

subtotal - $16.45

The poster board

$9.60 - 19 gallon bin

Mosser Florsheim Shoes
$107 - shoes

Total = $1160.63

-$21.52 - Amazon card points
-$43.00 - beater sale
-$30.00 - additional donation from beater winner - Cole Garrett
-$100 - Sue Young
-$150 - Alex and Chelsea Thompson

Sponsored total = $816.11