Friday, May 8, 2009

Big ride begins Sunday so before it begins I need to share information about the charity I am supporting during the ride. In this economy it is difficult for me to request financial contibutions to a charatible organization from friends and family. However, every 7 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. I'm not really sure why it's called a disease. It doesn't spread from person to person through contact or any other methods common to diseases. It is not caused by a germ, fungus or virus. There is no cure and the only hope, currently, is that it can be reasonably managed until the inevitably. Having been encouraged to support a charity during my cross country adventure I researched many charitable organizations. They are all worthy, but I choose the Central Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. The research suggests that as the baby boomers continue advancing in years, Alzheimers will reach epidemic proportions. It not only effects the person afflicted, but their families and friends in ways no other disease does. In fact, Maria Shriver is doing an HBO special next Sunday called the Alzheimers Project. I watched a portion of it and had to change channels. It was brutal. Therefore, I am encouraging those of you who would like to support my cross country ride to donate as you deem appropriate to the Central Illinois Chapter/ Alzheimers Association at 606 W. Glen Ave, Peoria Illinois 9025. You can also send donations to me personally at my home address (e-mail for address)and I will see that it reaches the Central Illinois Chapter. Either way, be sure to indicate it is in support of Champ Walker's Cross Country Bicycle Ride and be sure we can identify you as someone who contributed to this charity.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Well, it looks like its on. Arrived in LA today amid "Swine Flu", massive fires north of LA in Santa Barbara and winds in excess of 45 mph. Wow, now that's exciting. My bicycle is in the process of being reassembled and should be ready by tomorrow morning. I have flown to California many times but as I peered from the airplane I viewed the terrain from a totally different perspective. Where before I saw the beauty of the mountains and deserts from 35 thousand feet, I now see them as a barrier trying to impede my goal of succeeding in crossing the country on my bike.
One of the changes I have noticed in my travels is that most hotels/motels offer free wifi or high speed Internet, Because of that, I can sit here in my hotel room and keep in touch with civilization without being exposed to the elements. The biking begins Sunday and am looking forward to it.
Shout out-Mr. Metzka's 6th hour history class. YOU GUYS (AND GIRLS) ROCK!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This is the last of my training blog entries. While the weather was quite nice the last two days, (great for biking) I was unable to take advantage of it because of all the preparation involved in a trip of this magnitude. The Peoria Journal Star, with editor Steve Stein, wrote an excellent article about my trip. I would have preferred to have the article written after I finish but I was convinced, by many, that something prior to the experience would allow those who wish to follow my exploits, the opportunity to do so. Now that the whole world knows, there is overwhelming pressure for me to succeed!! Yikes! Also, since I am supporting the Central Illinois chapter of the Alzheimers association, I hope to raise money and following my blog seems to be the best way to do this. More details Sunday when the ride begins.

Shoutouts-First, Joe Russell, Russells Cycle and Fitness Center, in Washington, and his staff have been an enormous help. Thanks it is much appreciated

Second-Kevin Collins 1st and 4th World History senior students. Your days in high school are coming to an end. These were the last group of students I taught before I retired. YOU SENIORS ROCK!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Weather-62 degrees Wind WSW 8 mph

One of the truly perfect biking days of the year. Not to hot, not to windy, and not to rainy. Began a forty five mile trek. Aww, be careful of what might appear to be a perfect day. For the first time in awhile I was attacked by three dogs at different points of the ride. Maybe this nice weather fires up their attack juices. In fact, I had to actually squirt one with my water as he was right at my ankles and very aggressive. Then, I had a flat tire five miles from the end of the ride. Unfortunately, because I ride a loaner, I had no spare or CO2 cartridges. Aw, not to worry. I had my trusty cell phone. But, my usual rescue person, the lovely Veronica, was working, and could not come to get me. Aha, not to worry, I have many friends who stay glued to their cell phones in case I need rescuing so I started phoning. I tried three but unfortunately, non were to be reached. Their goes my theory! As I was trying a fourth, by cell phone battery died. You mean you're actually supposed to charge those things? Who woulda thunk? So, my only other option was to walk back to the homestead. After about a mile who should I see approaching? My friend Sal with his white stead to the rescue. Thanks to Sal and Patti for the help. What did I learn from this? From yesterday's post I believe the biking gremlins were getting even for what they perceived to be factious remarks about yesterday's weather. I have learned my lesson!. Fill in the blanks, you don't ____ on superman's cape, you don't ____into the wind, you don't pull the ______ off ole Lone Ranger and you certainly don't _____ with the biking gremlins!!!