Highs and Lows, Stats, and Thank You

July 22, 2012

We have happily spent the past two days basking in the Napa Valley sun kicking it with Andrew’s good friend Reid and his wife Linda. As we’ve opted to end BikeForBrady in San Francisco, its odd not waking at 5 AM, folding up the tent, and pushing the pedals. We don’t miss it quite yet; but we will.

Our first glimpse of San Francisco bay. Certainly deserved a picture.

Our final riding day was from Tracy to San Francisco. 50 miles but it felt more like 150. Uphill, against the wind, traffic, all that stuff that make us love to hop on the bike. But we eventually crested the final climb into Castro Valley and had a wonderful view of the Bay Area…

Getting across SF Bay from the East is not easy. We had to take BART, the SF subway, under they Bay and into the city. Anna happily enjoying a few pedal free miles!

We shouldered our bikes out of the train station and into the San Francisco sun and breeze. It was too neat biking around the city and just letting the PACIFIC breeze and smell wash over us. We eventually crashed at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge and just enjoyed the impossibility of going anymore westward.

Celebration: Clam Chowder in a breadbowl at Fisherman’s Wharf.

After a few restful hours, we biked our way across the Golden Gate to have dinner closer to Napa. Andrew’s dear friend Reid and his wife Linda live in Napa and are generously hosting us for a few days. They came to pick us up…

A WONDERFUL reunion.

After 8.5 weeks of being on the road, we have racked up a bit more than miles. Friendships, memories, and thicker skin just to name a few. Here are a few stats from our trip that we found interesting…

Total Mileage: 3899

By bike: 3794

By car: 35

By ferry: 48

By train: 22

Total days on the road: 60

Nights camping: 34

Nights as guests in peoples’ homes: 20

Nights in a motel: 6

Rest days: 10

Pedal To Possibilities enjoying a ride on the creekwalk!

Jars of peanut butter consumed (mostly by Andrew): 18 Crunchy, 1 Creamy

Cans of chicken/tuna (mostly by Anna): 63

Tony and Enrique enjoying a ride with Pedal To Possibilities

Number of styrofoam cups used: 4 for Andrew, 2 for Anna

Books read: 4 for Andrew, 3 for Anna

The Brady Faith Center just began their summer camp providing a space and activities for many of Syracuse’s southside youth during the summer.

Number of punctures: 2 for Andrew, 0 for Anna

New tires: 1 for Anna

Heaviest bike weight: 105 pounds for Andrew, 80 pounds for Anna (168 mile stretch in Nevada with no services)

Longest Day: Ely, Nevada to Tonopah, Nevada (135 miles)

Shortest Day: Cleveland, Ohio to Oberlin, Ohio (35 miles)

Enrique and a new woman who had not ridden a bike in 20 years. She was crying with happiness upon finishing the the ride with Pedal To Possibilities.

Highest Pass: Guanella Pass in Georgetown, Colorado (11,669 feet)

Windiest: Kearney, Nebraska (steady 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph) (We only went 30 miles in six hours…)

New and old faces!

The following are rather subjective…

Andrew’s staple food: Oatmeal and peanut butter

Anna’s staple food: Dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate

Favorite Diner: The Cross Country Cafe (Groveland, California)

Favorite Restaurant: Mia and Grace Bistro Cafe for Anna (Muskegon, Michigan), Amicas for Andrew (Salida, Colorado)


Scariest moment: 17 miles of riding in the pitch black with heavy traffic and no shoulder to Wellington, Utah for Anna. 20 miles of highway no shoulder riding in Iowa for Andrew.

Most challenging moment: Guanella Pass for Anna. Getting Anna out of grocery stores for Andrew.

Coldest: Camping in Fennville, Michigan for Anna. The stretch from Fennville, Michigan to Muskegon, Michigan for Andrew.

Hottest: Stoneham, Colorado for Anna (95 degrees). Border, Nevada for Andrew (112 degrees)

Hungriest: Coincides with scariest moment for Anna. Every grocery store for Andrew.

Fullest: Post diner in middle of Illinois for Anna (almost lost it all…). The all-you-can-eat buffet dinner at the Sedgwick Inn for Andrew in Sedgwick, Colorado.

We have so many so many people to thank…

Preride: Bob and Sue Schuh: Inspiration from their 1984 trip across the country.

Rochester Community Bikes: Hooking Anna up with a bike.

Mello Velo Bicycle Shop: Giving Andrew space to put his bike together.

Mitch Tiegel: Gear and support.

The Brady Faith Center: Very generous gift that paid for a few hotel nights!

Our parents: Permission and support. Love you guys.

Rochester, New York: David Schuh: Hosting us, great conversation, and kicking our butts in wii cycling.

Buffalo, New York: Andrew Dearing and family: Hosting us, ice cream, conversation, and movie night!

Jamestown, New York: Carm and Fran Lunetta: Hosting us, FEEDING us, and showing us a whole lot of love.

Brooklyn Heights, Ohio: Tim Clymer: Hosting us, some great quesadillas and ice cream cake!

Oberlin, Ohio: Hosting us, crashing graduation weekend, great conversation.

Fenneville, Michigan: Laundrymat employee for showing us some love and for some great dining advice.

Muskegon, Michigan: The tourist infomation employee battling to find us the cheapest hotel possible!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Corey The Bicycle Fixer Bike Shop: Lots of honeyshots and great route advice.

Eagle/Muckwonago, Wisconsin: Gail and Al: Amazing friendship and connection. Cannot express thanks through short blog post…

Chicago, Illinois: Brian and Alina: Hosting us, showing us an amazing time in Chicago, and some much needed love and care.

Newton, Iowa: Dennis: Tour of racetrack, dinner, then hosting us. Introducing Anna to Buddy Holly!

Casey, Iowa: Allowing us to avoid the rain and crash in the community center.

Omaha, Nebraska: James Flannery: Hosting us, showing us a great time in Omaha, and wonderful connection from home.

Lincoln, Nebraska: Cheruth and Kevin: Hosting us, great conversation, and welcoming us into their home and work. A wonderful experience we won’t forget soon.

Ogalalla, Nebraska: Incredibly friendly library staff.

Sedgwick, Colorado: Fellow bike tourers for company and ice cream sandwiches!

Stoneham, Colorado: Restaurant staff letting us set up camp in their back yard.

Fort Collings, Colorado: Chairs and Alan: Welcoming us to their home and buying us groceries (the instant coffee was a LIFE SAVER)

Ron: Spontaneous hosting, dinner, conversation.

Boulder, Colorado: Ron’s friend letting us camp in his yard. A great home base to get to know Boulder.

Georgetown, Colorado: Cupcake baker hooking us up with free cupcakes.

Gunnison, Colorado: Anne and Gerald: Letting us set up camp in their yard, showers, and route advice. Inspiration too!

Ridgway, Colorado: Wyndham: Hosting us on a whim and providing us with great conversation and inspiration.

Ourray, Colorado: Aillen and Jane and husbands: Breakfast, conversation, letting us store our bikes at their place while we hiked, and just a lot of love.

Telluride, Colorado: Norm: Hosting us and showing a WONDERFUL 4th of July.

Cynda: hooking up Anna with a wonderful spa experience.

Paradox, Colorado: Teachers at small school letting us fill up our waters and showing us some much needed sympathy!

Price, Utah: Trish and Betty at the local diner: Some love, ice water, and just a great breakfast experience (much needed for our hard day ahead…)

Border, Nevada: Clay, William, and Malcolm: Showing us a heck of a time in Border.

Tonopah, Nevada: Teresa and Fracesca: Picking us up when we were in dire straights. Dinner and just showing us a whole lot of love. Hope your trip to Oregon was great!

Benton, California: Motorcyclists hooking us up with pie, ice cream, and great conversation.

Groveland, California: Staff at Cross Country Diner.

San Francisco, California: Reid and Linda hooking us up with a wonderful finish line!

We are sorry if we forgot anyone, but a sincere Thank You to everyone who made this trip possible, memorable, and simply amazing. Much love.

In two days we are off to Santa Barbara to spend a few days with Anna’s family. Then off to San Diego for a day or two to be with Andrew’s family. Anna is then meeting her parents and they are driving back to Syracuse making a nice family trip out of it. Andrew is biking to Nogales, Mexico to visit friends and then taking a bus back to Syracuse for a family reunion in mid-August.

Thank you everyone for following our trip. You all kept us honest with picture taking, journaling, and just making this trip more memorable. Please stay posted on the goings on at the Brady Faith Center. They are always doing wonderful things and could always use support and participation! This has been an amazing experience and we are happy to have been able to share at least a little bit of it with you all.

Much love, Anna and Andrew

Support The Brady Faith Center


7 Responses to “Highs and Lows, Stats, and Thank You”

  1. I feel like I just finished a book that I hated to see the end of! I trust that there will be a sequel in your future. Congratulations to the two of you.

  2. Amy said

    This is so amazingly wonderawfulgratulations! (supercalifragulisticxpalidotious has already been used see) I hear the ride west to east is mostly a tailwind if you’re thinking about that…

  3. Don Maldari, S.J. said

    Thank you for sharing your stories along the way. I’ve been struck by the generosity of so many people along the way, starting with your own.

  4. atma said

    Yay Ogalalla Library staff! Amazing adventure you twos…

  5. Gail and Al said

    Dear Andrew and Anna
    Glad you made trip safe and sound. Planning trip to Syracuse
    in October. Will keep in touch once you get back home.
    Your are still in our prayers
    Gail, Al and Gramma Betty

  6. Anonymous said

    I am so glad you all made it safely. I was happy to witness a small part of the trip!

  7. Lyubov Boyuk said

    Love you two to pieces! It’s been a fun fun trip to almost go along with you. Great way to record all the details, really appreciate the time you guys took to keep it up and keep us all posted!!! Welcome back.

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