Thursday, September 4, 2003
What follows it the Journal of the Roadshow USA, a cross country self supported bike and juggling trip that left from Astoria, Oregon on June 5th, 2003 and ended up in Boston, Mass on August 15th, 2003. Please read and enjoy our adventures. Many of us feel that it was the grandest thing we have ever done, and we have recorded it here so that the world may share the experience with us.
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Thank you, and enjoy. Goodbye. ILYQ
Posted by The Seager @ 01:55 PM CST Link |
Saturday, August 30, 2003
It's been just over two weeks since we rode into Boston and already seems like a world away. When we first started talking about Road Show USA, we thought it would be quite an adventure. It was. The preparation and planning for the trip took a tremendous amount of time, but nothing can quite prepare you for the inevitable issues that come up during a long distance tour. Road Show USA had many aspects that made it quite a challenge: long distance self supported bicycle touring, street performing, raising money for a charity, and the fact that none of us were experienced in bicycle touring or street performing. Add a very tight budget to the list of constraints to make things interesting.
This combination of constraints, along with mechanical problems and weather, made the trip very difficult at times. Nevertheless, Road Show USA was a success. We rode 4,300 miles starting from Astoria, Oregon on June 5th and finished in Boston on time on August 15th. We started and finished on schedule, but much of the schedule in between was adjusted as needed.
We certainly gained plenty of mechanical experience along the way. While some mechanical problems were expected along the way, we were not pleased with our rear wheels made by Ritchey. We went through many spokes, had problems with the rims cracking, and in the last week the bearings started to grind. Additionally, the staff at Ritchey was not pleasant to deal with when addressing these issues. We do not recommend Ritchey products.
On the bright side, we raised over $3,000 for the Shriners Childrens Hospitals. We got the opportunity to stay at the Shriners Childrens Hospitals in Erie, Pennsylvania and Boston, Massachusetts. There we were able to do some juggling shows for the kids and see where the money is going. Our evening at the hospital in Erie was one of the highlights of the trip. The Shriners Childrens Hospitals are a very worthy cause.
When planning the street performing part of the trip, we were pretty much guessing as to how to put things together. None of us were very experienced in this area, but we all had an interest in jugglng and wanted to give it a shot. Some of the riders picked up a particular skill just for the roadshow. For most of the trip, the performing we did was for small groups we met along the way. It is difficult to round up a crowd in most places. On RAGBRAI, however, there is always a crowd. We took advantage of the festive atmostphere on RAGBRAI and did several shows a day. After a couple shows we had worked up a formula for a good performance. We look forward to doing performing on RAGBRAI in the future as a sort of roadshow reunion.
Obviously, we saw a great variety of scenery along the way and much of it was beautiful. Some of the memorable parts of the trip include the beaches and lush forests along the Pacific Coast, the lava fields of McKenzie Pass, the high desert of Oregon, the heat of Hell's Canyon, following the Salmon River and Snake River to Lolo Pass and over to Missoula, the geysers at Yellowstone, the five times that we crossed the continental divide, the jagged Grand Tetons, the wastelands of central Wyoming, the sandhills of northern Nebraska, the rolling hills of Southern Iowa packed with 10,000 RAGBRAI bicyclists, the flattest, the flattest and straightest road we have ever been on through Indiana, the shores of Lake Erie, the magnificance of Niagara Falls, the calm trail through the quiet towns of upstate New York along the Erie Canal, and the finish in historic Boston.
Even more memorable than the scenery we saw along the way or the many hours in the saddle, are the people we met along the way. One thing can certainly be said for bicycle touring, it is a wonderful way to meet people. When you roll up on a bike piled high with gear (including juggling clubs), people are bound to ask where you're coming from, where you're going to, and why the heck are you doing it. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to get to know the people along the way. For almost all the trip, we did not make sleeping arrangments ahead of time. We would roll into town and ask around until we found a place to stay. Almost every night, we found a free place to stay. Whether it was in a town park, in a church basement, in someone's backyard, or even in someone's house, we always found a place to stay. There were several times on the trip where strangers helped us out in emergencies and kept the trip going. Amazingly, there was always someone to help when we needed it most.
All the roadshow folks have now parted ways and returned to "normal" life of school or work. Road Show USA is something that we will all remember for the rest of our lives. Thanks to all the roadshow guys for taking part in the trip and thanks to everyone who helped along the way.
Posted by Jesse @ 12:40 PM CST Link |
Thursday, August 28, 2003
I can't believe its over. After 4 days of classes, a new job, lots of unpacking and general hecticness, I'm slowly getting used to not riding everyday. If you want to know more of what I'm up to, click more.
Posted by Mark @ 01:55 PM CST Link [more] | Leave us a note! (1)
Monday, August 25, 2003
I'm finally getting around to writing this, well past the week "deadline." It doesn't look like Seager has disabled this thing yet, so here's the rest of my story.
Posted by Paul @ 09:21 PM CST Link [more] | Leave us a note! (1)
Saturday, August 23, 2003
Sadly, this is the end. So much has changed in the last two and a half months that I don't even recognize myself. I finally got back to Ames last evening. My mother, who drove all the way to Boston to pick me up, drove the two hours to Ames and said fairwell. On the trip I had become a little homesick so this parting was a little hard. All I can say is that I love you mom. Thanks for everything.
Anyways, back to the trip and it being over. As Seager mentioned I left the Shriners hospital Saturday morning. My Aunt and Uncle, the Rushton's, live in Ashland, Mass. With them I enjoyed a driving tour of Boston and a whale watch. They also treated me to a lobster dinner, which was my first. The whale watch was, in retrospect, dismal but the rest of the day was phenomenal. I would have to say that there could have been no better way to end the summer than meeting with family.
That Sunday I hung out with the Rushtons until my mother showed up with three of my siblings, roughly 28% of them. We enjoyed each others company for the rest of the evening.
Posted by Moses @ 01:18 PM CST Link [more] | Leave us a note! (1)
Friday, August 22, 2003
So it looks like I'm not the only slacker in the bunch. :) The plan was that we all write our final entries within a week of our arrival. That's today. And we're still missing a bunch of entries. Oh well.
It's so hard to sum up this trip and say how much all the experiences met and getting to know the other guys that I road with. When you spend day and night for 2 1/2 months with people, you learn lots of things about them. I know that I will miss everyone's antics and behaviors, things that I have gotten used to and become comfortable with.
I haven't written an entry since I was sick. Since then I've kind of been the lazy one. The caboose. I was the one who got up late and took a long time to pack and usually was the last one into town every night. In other words, I turned into what my girlfriend Amy expected me to be for the entire trip. In some ways I wish that I had been with some of the other guys, but for many reasons I kind of enjoyed my solitude and being able to stop whenever I pleased and do whatever I wanted.
Posted by Josh @ 10:51 PM CST Link [more] | Leave us a note! (2)
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Greetings to those of you that are still reading this. As you've probably figured out by now, we're done. We made it in to Boston on the 15th as scheduled. Mark and I made it back to Ames last Monday (the 18th) We would have liked to do an update from Boston, but no internet access presented itself. I'm currrently at a lab in Durham at Iowa State because I don't have internet access at my apartment yet.
I'm going to attempt to relate that last few days of the trip as I best remember them. Realize that it has been awhile and that I'm quickly reverting back to post roadshow habits, like sleeping, so my memory isn't as fresh as I'd like it to be.
*ahem* The last you time you heard from us, with the exception of Chris, was the night of the 13th in Ware (Where? - that joke never gets old), Massachusetts hanging out with Jack and Catchy (chillin like villains - Ozzy). I will begin the harrowing tale of the final days of the Roadshow the next morning. DUH DUH DUH!!!
Posted by Seager @ 05:31 PM CST Link [more] | Leave us a note! (4)
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