Coming together and picking up speed

columbianThings are picking up considerably over the last couple of weeks as I plan this next journey. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of support as we move from the “dream” phase to the “execution” phase. Jack Hardy did a press release last week and my website, Facebook page and Twitter feed went nuts. The Daily Insider and the Columbian both did articles which if you are curious to read are on my website under the News tab.

So, here are some of the newest developments and sponsors:

Jude Kirstein at Sugar Wheels in Portland is building me a couple of bomb proof wheels and putting me through her wheel building workshop. This is huge because over 12,000 miles I won’t have to worry about wheels and if something does happen I’ll know how to repair it myself.

George Thomas of Over the Top Productions will be featuring me in a radio interview sometime in March. And during my journey I’ll be doing a weekly call in. Who is George Thomas? Many of you aren’t cyclists so the name may be unfamiliar. In the cycling world George is legendary. He’s one of the great ultra cyclists of all time. One of the pioneers of the RAAM (Race Across America) and presently the race director. If you want to read a great book about a great athlete check out Going the Distance: The George Thomas Story. I’m thrilled to be working with him over the coming months. And thanks to Andrea at Primal Wear for introducing me to George.

Tori Bortman of Gracie’s Wrench in Portland is making some introductions to people in the cycling community and in fact introduced me to Jude over at Sugar Wheel Works. She’s both a bike mechanic and educator so if you or your company are in need of those kinds of services give her a ring.

West Coast Self Storage will be providing me with a storage unit while I’m gone to store my belongings. This is very generous of them and eliminates a big concern of mine about where I was going to put my – as George Carlin was fond of saying – stuff.

Mayor Tim Leavitt of Vancouver has agreed to ride the first few miles as I roll out of town on May 19th. I’m honored by this. Mayor Leavitt has been a great supporter of Share. I couldn’t get him to ride all 12,000 miles with me however, something about having a “city to run.”

I wanted to mention a couple of other folks to you:

Cindi Rauch of the Vancouver Bicycle Club is herself doing something extraordinary starting in May. She’ll be doing 50 centuries (100 mile rides) in 50 states in 50 days. Please visit her blog if you want to learn more. Logistically and physically this is a huge undertaking. And like me Cindi is more, um, seasoned.

The people at Share are helping me out a lot as I plan this journey. Many thanks to the crew over there. The whole purpose of this is to raise money and awareness for homelessness and hunger. In these economic times an organization like Share has a considerable amount of demands being placed on them. I know just how well run it is and how dedicated the staff and board is to fulfilling its mission. You could not ask for a finer bunch of people.