Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This has been a very interesting week related to my biking. It's not about the heat and humidity. It's not about the near misses with auto's or trucks. It's not about the horrible conditions of the newly graveled country roads I normally ride. It's not about the oppressive heat. (Hey I guess it kinda is). It is about some very positive happenings. First, on Sunday, Harry called from England. We had a very enjoyable chat. He, again, invited us to visit and I'm close to accepting. Ronni and I are tentatively planning a trip to Europe in late August or early September to celebrate our anniversary. I have a good friend, (yes, I actually have a friend) Brian, who currently lives in England. I would be able to visit both while there. I am looking forward to finalizing our plans.
Now, on a more curious note, I was having breakfast with good friend Luke (ok, so I have 2 friends) at the Galley. It is a small restaurant in East Peoria that locals (not crazy...hummm maybe so!) patronize for a good breakfast with friendly service. It is not the "chain" variety so there are not many tourists. But, as I was entering the establishment, I noticed a touring bike with heavily loaded panniers. My first thought was that whomever the owner was, they were going on a very long trip or were returning from one. Upon entering the Galley, I observed that the only person capable of owning that bike was a young man sitting alone in the corner of the place. So as not to intrude on his privacy, Luke and I had what for us was our normal Tuesday breakfast. Soon, media types showed up to interview the young man. Since his privacy was no longer an issue I went over to introduce myself and inquire as to his circumstance . It turns out his name is Teddy Herrera he is 24 years old and is currently riding across the country. Subway is sponsoring him and he is riding to bring awareness to childhood obesity. Now, while that might sound impressive, here's the rest of the story. He started his ride in Sacramento CA. (sorry Hank and Karen, he doesn't know you guys/girls) and is going to Boston. But then, he will be heading down the East Coast to Miami Fl. and ride back to Sacramento. That is over 11,000 miles. It is a totally unsupported venture; thus, the 35 pounds of equipment he is carrying on his bike. He indicated he was going to Washington Il. to Russell's Cycle shop to get a tune-up and acquire needed supplies before heading to Chicago. He is stopping in major cities along his route to address organizations and various groups to promote awareness of the problems of childhood obesity. After a brief chat whereby I shared I had ridden from LA to Boston, I wished him good luck and headed for my daily ride. Before leaving Washington, I rode up to Russell's to see if I would run into him but alas, he had not arrived. So, I went on my two hour sojourn (heat-96 degrees, humidity 80%-mad dogs and Englishmen-shout out to Magic Mike). After returning, I decided to check and see if he was still in town. The good people at Russell's told me he left about 10 minutes before I got there. However, a patron indicated he had seen a young man at the local Subway and he still might be there. I immediately headed to the Subway and lo and behold there he sat. Fortunately, I brought my camera and we took a picture. After a brief visit I left and pondered the irony of running into Mr. Herrera. What are the chances that one of the few people in the area that bicycled across the country (me) would encounter this individual who was doing the same plus more. The stars had to be perfectly aligned, with the moon in the 7th house. Now, to me, that was amazing. So, to sum up, I wish the young man a safe journey, hope he accomplishes his goal and raises a ton of awareness to fight childhood obesity. There is a video a local channel 25 made of his ride so far. I have tried to download it onto this blog but have been unsuccessful. Now there is more to the story. After learning he would be in town until tomorrow, I invited him to stay at my place for the night and he graciously accepted. The lovely Veronica had a meal prepared and it was greatly appreciated by me and Teddy. This morning I was going to direct him to the route he needed to take to get to Chicago. But, I went ahead and biked the first 10 miles to be sure he would not get lost. I then proceeded to do another 30 to finish my riding day. All in all a very interesting experience. Here is his blog site.http://acrossamericaforchildhoodobesity.wordpress.com/


  1. That is a really great way to see the country and do some good for the country.

  2. And your new friend Teddy's blog is very good too. He is a very thoughtful writer and tells an interesting story....