Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Progress Report

Spring is in the air! The snow drops, Bradford pear trees, and daffodils are blooming here in north-central Oklahoma, and I am only 46 days from my ride start. Yowsa, yowsa, yowsa!

First things first: A big thank-you to the following recent donors: Jim & Joyce Barnes--two of daughter Lucy's coffee shop friends; Calvin Anthony and the staff at Tiger Drug--my pharmacy for the past 33 years (now how can that be when I'm only 29?); former OSU president James Halligan and his wife Ann; Ravi & Surekha Sheorey, Mrs. Paul Devlin; Mary Berry; Payne County National Bank; Dr. David Thomas; Richard & Cynthia Shawley (Go Susan!); Judy Wolgamott; Gladeen Allred; L & L Properties; and S. L. Bonner. Thank you all for your generous donations to the Judith Karman Hospice. And another BIG thank you to sister Sarah Schuyler for my Subway gift card (fuel for the engine) and for her tireless work in contacting bike clubs and shops along my route. Love you dear sistah!

We're closer than ever to my $10,000 goal. My thought: If 500 people donated a mere $20, we'd be over the top . . . and the nurses at the Judith Karman Hospice would be the most up-to-date and best educated in the area. Please don't forget to check out the Memory Miles page (top right) to see my itinerary and to choose a day you'd like me to ride in memory of a loved one. Also, you cyclists might want to scroll down the Memory Miles page and choose a creative way to donate based on my projected stats.

Presently I am spending a deal of time on the computer, reaching out to Rotary Clubs and other civic groups in my host cities for speaking venues and homestays and contacting hotels. I'm also contacting Warm Showers hosts along my route for lodging. They have been very forthcoming. So far I have complimentary accommodations for 18 of my 38 nights. Next month, after an all-out effort, I will post the names of those cities in which I still have not found a bed, and maybe you followers can help me find a room for those nights. 

And whew, have I been busy locally! I have spoken to a group at the Cushing Hospital, to the Perkins Noon Lions, and to my bicycle club, The Red Dirt Pedalers. I am scheduled to speak to the Stillwater Noon Lions this Thursday and to speak to the Perry Noon Lions the following Thursday. On March 20th, Judith Karman Hospice Director, Lisa Smith, and I will make an appearance on KWEM, TV-31's "The Morning Edition" at 7 a.m., and on March 23rd, I will speak to the Stillwater Rotary Club. Yesterday morning I was interviewed by Gladeen Allred and Valerie Bloodgood for  "Senior Spotlight" KSPI's radio program that airs Wednesday mornings at 7:40 a.m.  And . . . yesterday afternoon I was interviewed by OSU junior Michael Martin of the O'Colly. Quite an interview. I think the article will start with the day of my birth. Just kidding. The kid had it together and I'm curious to see how he organizes all the information in his feature.

I've been training by pulling my B.O.B. weighted with 30 pounds of bird seed. The B.O.B. weighs 12 pounds, so that makes a tidy 42-pounds of drag (uphill) or push (downhill). I am hoping to keep the weight under that for the ride. I've planned on packing the minimum amount of clothes and toiletries, my small computer (so I can keep this blog), my camera, and my lunchbox (a plastic shoebox in which I keep my snacks and lunch fixings handy). Valerie Bloodgood, my ride coordinator at the JKH, and I rode 40 miles north to Ponca City this past Sunday. It was a beautiful day and great ride with a tailwind.

Until I've more news,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Now we're cooking!

Woohoo! What a fantastic VALENTINE'S DAY!

THANK YOU to our first Gold ($1000) sponsor, Hideaway Pizza, and to our first Bronze ($500) sponsor, Cooper's Bicycle Center.

Mention Stillwater and people often say, "That's the home of The Hideaway isn't it?" Yes it is. Hideaway Pizza, owned by kite collector/maker Richard Dermer and owner-manager David Sanders has been in business since 1957.  A community and student favorite, Hideaway even sends pies out-of-state to Hideaway-starved alumni.  On Valentine's Day, they make a special heart-shaped pizza for lovers. 

Family owned and operated, Cooper's has been a star Stillwater business for 83 years, even providing bicycles to soldiers during WWII. I bought my last six bicycles from Cooper's, and I thank owners Wes & Mary Cash each time I get on my bicycle. They've been an enormous help in outfitting me for my various bicycle tours and they play a big role in our local bicycle club, The Red Dirt Pedalers, and in  bicycle advocacy.

And that wasn't all the great news I heard on Valentine's Day.  I also received my first route assist.  Niki Pope of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce has been contacting Chambers along my route.  Thanks to Niki, I heard today from the Moberly, Missouri, Super 8 which is comping me a free room on April 25th when I roll in.  Thank you Wyndham Group Super 8!  And . . . the Moberly Chamber wrote to say:  "We would also like to help publicize this event with our local TV stations and other news media.  Please let me know what we can do to help, and if we can arrange a formal welcome and speaking opportunity. . . ."

Way to go Niki and Moberly, MO, C of C! This is exactly what I hope to hear from each of my overnight host cities!

And finally, thank you to my dear sister Sarah Schuyler; to long-time Audubon friends Freddy Miller and Nona & Jerry Wilhm, and to cyclist Charles Decker, one of my husband Jeff's OSU students, for your generous donations.

Together we can make a difference!