Monday, March 7, 2011

Planning is going on...

The summer 2011 trip has undergone additional planning and a challenging route is under consideration. I have also been getting the bike ready for the trip, so far lacing one new rim with new spokes for the rear wheel, and next getting the front rim, which got new spokes a year ago, trued up by the local dirt bike wizard who did a great job on the first one. I have only ridden the bike 18 miles this year due to foul weather and too many other things (like work) taking up days with perfectly good riding conditions. It ran great for a 42 year old bike!

Another idea is to raise funds for a couple of military families that are living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Inspired by a Tech student that rode across the country on a bicycle and raised a lot of money for MS, I figured that as long as I am riding why not help some folks who have given to protect us all and got more than they bargained for. My current idea is to accept sponsorships at $1 per mile which, if fully subscribed, would bring in over $7000 which I would split between two families. I am counting on military friends to identify the recipients, and would give the funds to them as a Debit Card to be used as they see fit, hopefully on something to benefit the whole family. More details as the plan is finalized. If you know of a family that you think is deserving, please write up a nomination without revealing last names or other identifying details like address and send it along with YOUR contact info to me at No promises on this, but you might make someones day in July.

Click on the map above to see a bigger image. The westbound part follows Bob Pirsig's trip detailed in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance from St Paul, MN to San Francisco, CA with a detour to visit friends in eastern Oregon. The Eastbound route follows US-50 coast to coast ending in Annapolis MD, or if I can stand it, all the way to Ocean City, MD. I will be blogging and if you want you can follow along by reading the book as I relive it. I'll post page numbers for each days travel and I may offer a T shirt that I designed for the trip as well.

And note that the book is NOT about Zen or Motorcycle Maintenance.

There will be a party on the East Coast if I make it! You are invited, stand by for details.


Indelible John said...

Very cool! Can't wait to read and hear about your adventures along the way. I'm sure there will be some Zen and some motorcycle maintenance in your version :)

lena said...

I am sure you would also be willing to accept sponsorships for less than $1.00 per mile, or are you just asking for l sponsorship?
The is a terrific idea.

OldBikeRider said...

I am planning to accept anything, from a mile to the whole route. I think some folks might like to choose a day's ride from the book (ranges from about 65 miles to 250 miles or more) or just $5.00. Whatever one feels comfortable investing in a family's future. The more I think about how these young people with un-met needs are treated, the more I feel we should all be a part of the solution. Since I am not a doctor, I'll do what I can do best.

Debbie C said...

Does your ride take you near Charleston? (I can't tell from your map, even the enlarged version.) If so, I'm sure my folks would love to see you.

OldBikeRider said...

Yes, I pass through Charleston on my way to St. Paul on the first day. I'll get their contact info from you and arrange a short visit. I'd love to see them again.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another exciting trip to share with you. If you are in OC before the last week of July or after the first week of August (Granddaughter weeks) we may ride up to visit (and bring you a Zuccinni).

David P. Ribbe said...

Raising support for families dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder -- what an inspired motivation. How did this idea develop?

OldBikeRider said...

Great question Dave.

The trip started out as a visit to a friend and her husband that are now in Oregon and happen to be a military family (no longer on active duty) AND that are expecting their first child.

While planning the route, I remembered Bob Pirsig's trip from St. Paul to San Francisco in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and thought that would be a good route to ride. Mr. Pirsig had mental health issues that were not dealt with well and that seems like the situation today with some military folks that are returning to 'normal life' and facing issues.

The fund raiser idea came about after I read of a VT student that raised funds for MS while riding a bicycle across the country.

So I asked my Oregon friends, who had served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, to assist me in spreading the word and identifying 2 families that would be blessed by a cash gift that I hope would be used for some family experience. I'll call it an adventure or vacation. However I am not putting any strings on the gift. We will accept 'nominations' from any interested persons, and I will ask other veterans to read and select the families.

I have not finalized the details and I am doing my best to not invade the privacy of the families. My plan of the moment is to collect from whoever wants to give, and whatever amount, via a PayPal donation button on this blog, and deliver the funds via a prepaid debit card. There will be no tax deductibility or organizational overhead. PayPal does charge a fee, so that will be an expense that I think is worth the security of that method. Money in and money out to zero the account.

If I were successful in raising a dollar a mile I would have some $7500 to distribute on August first. I know that amount is possible to raise, and I feel I can ride the ride.

More details soon on nominations, and giving!