The JettRide is a cross country cycle tour for teens to raise funds and awareness to fight Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

July, 2011

Home in Hancock, MD

Posted on July 31, 2011

July 30, 2011
Home safe tonight. We rode the C&O canal all day today. The paw paw tunnel was a real treat and lots of fun for the group. Having dinner at Weaver’s tonight. Everyone tired…. Short night I hope.

Happy trails


Home in Cumberland, MD

Posted on July 29, 2011

Great day of riding ending with a 22 mile downhill into Cumberland, MD. We left Pennsylvania but only for the moment as we will return in a few days. My friend Larry Brock met us on the trail and took us all to ice cream at the Queen City Creamery.  We finished the day at the ymca with burgers and dogs on the grill and a presentation by a 1756 re-enactor with a working Pennsylvania Rifle.

Hancock, Maryland tomorrow.


Day 22, 23 and 24 – Jordan

Posted on July 29, 2011

On July 27th we left Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and rode down to the Point, where the Alliganni and the Monongahina Rivers come together and form a third river (which I don’t know the name of). We spent a little time there taking photos by the river before stopping at REI for a few biking necessities. Then we rode out of Pittsburgh on a beautiful rail trail that we spent the rest of the day on. We arrived late to lunch in Cedar Park. We then rode a relaxing nineteen or twenty miles into River Edge Campground. This campground was great. It has a river for swimming, nice showers, and a fantastic pool.  The majority of the group bought ice cream within the first hour we were at the campground at the local ice cream store. The showers were great and it felt fantastic to do laundry. Tomorrow we sleep in till seven and ride twenty miles to white water rafting. Should be a great day!

On July 28th we woke up at seven at Rivers Edge Campground and continued on the rail trail twenty miles to Ohiopyle. In Ohio we ate a delicious lunch at the Firefly Grill, hot sandwiches, salads, wraps, and homemade lemonade. We then rode a mile or so to the river rafting place, changed into our bathing suits, and got put on our rafting gear (helmets and life jackets). Then we all loaded onto the school bus and went to the river where we sat on our rafts while listening to the guide talk about safety and electing our captains of the boat. Good job Captain Colby, our boat made it out alive. Colby also brought his Go pro on the raft and got some awesome video we will hopefully be able to post on facebook. We went through level 4 rapids, a few of us fell off, we got stuck in on rocks, we pushed each other out, and had raft battles.There were some epic rapids that had us flying all over the place but no worries padres, everyone made it out alive. By the time we got off our rafts it was 5:30 and we still had 10 miles to bike for the day. But before we could possibly consider leaving Ohio Pile, we had to go check out the natural water slide. A river flowing over thousands of years had formed a smooth rock water slide. People slide down the 300 yard water slide on their butts and end in a deep pool of water. The Jettriders jumped off a large boulder and into that pool of water multiple times before heading back to the Firefly Grill for some ice cream. After a delicious treat we rode the last 10 miles into our campground where we ate Abigail’s special mac and cheese for dinner and had raspberry pie for dessert.

On July 29th we awoke at 6am and got back on the bike trail for 64 miles. We rode slightly uphill in the morning, before a sexy 22 mile downhill. During the morning we saw two deer and a fawn in the trail, were told to watch out for bears by an 86 year old cyclist, went 31 miles without a break, the boys climbed a cliff and Justin almost fell off (seriously), passed over the Mason-Dixon Line, went through tunnels with no lights and we went swimming in the beautiful river next to the rail trail. We had lunch in Frostburg, Maryland and then rode downhill fifteen very easy miles into Cumberland, Maryland where we are camping tonight outside the YMCA. On the way into Cumberland we saw a cave where people discovered dinosaur bones in the 1900’s.We had a presentation given by Paul, a 18th century survey reenactor. He talked to us about what a reenactor did, what they’re lifestyles were like, and he showed us how an 18th century musket worked. We had burgers, hot dogs, and portabella mushrooms for dinner and took showers at the YMCA. Everyone is tired and can’t wait to go to bed. Exactly a week till we get to Jersey….see you then!!

Home in Confluence, PA

Posted on July 29, 2011

July 29, 2011

Good morning.  Another long day yesterday. However we knew it would be as we went white water rafting on the Youghenighy River in Ohiopyle, PA before finishing the last 10 miles on the great Allegheny Passage Trail. We had a blast! We were in 3 rafts and guides in kayaks. Lunch was served on rivers edge.

After the rafting we treated ourselves with a quick dip and ride on natural water slides and ice cream.

We arrived in camp at 8 pm; Abigail whipped together her favorite mac and cheese, then off to bed.

We have been riding the great Allegheny Passage Trail to avoid all hills in Pennsylvania. We will ride it into Cumberland, MD today where we will stay at the YMCA.

All remains well as the excitement builds for our last week on the road.

Happy trails.


Day 21 – Pranks and U2 Concerts!

Posted on July 27, 2011

July 27, 2011


Yesterday (July 26) was one of our shortest yet longest days on this tour. Some of our groups did 20 extra miles due to missed turns and confusing directions, and the hills in Pennsylvania are horrible. The morning started off with Jackson, Jack, Alec, and Justin pranking Liam and Ty by zip tying them inside their tent when they were sleeping and then knocking it down. If I can find my camera, I’ll show you photos. Good job boys, you did good!

As soon as we started riding both groups got lost separately and did between 3 and 5 extra miles up and down rural Pennsylvania hills. Only when both groups met up on the same road did we realize that we were on the right track. We did a few more circles, sat under a couple underpasses, debating which side of the river was on the west side, crossed over a few bridges, and looked desperately for a bike path that didn’t exist before finally meeting up with the support vehicle for break.

Soon after that we were on the road again and spent four miles navigating our way through construction on a busy highway. As soon as the construction ended we were blessed with four flats between the two groups in less than two miles. In an hour and a half we were rolling again, but the groups soon split onto two different routes. One group ended up at lunch in 1 mile, the other group did ten miles of terrible hills because they missed the turn or something and never made it to lunch. They finally got a short break around 5:30 before making their way into Pittsburgh where we literally ran into the last U2 concert of a 60 city tour at Heinz Stadium where the Steelers play!  The leaders made plans to return later that night and we continued to The First Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, an awesome castle like church you could easily lose yourself in. We had a delicious dinner prepared by the church, but unfortunately for the riders it was too late for them to really explore the mall or the city. The leaders went to the U2 concert though where they had a free but better view of the amazing rock concert than some of those who paid for seats inside the stadium.

Ty and Liam, then got the boys back for their earlier tent incident by freezing their bike shorts and filling their body wash with mayonaise. Unfortunately, at this point I cannot disclose any more information on the pranks played by Ty and Liam last night, they are still works in progress!

We are on a bike path today and river rafting tomorrow, hopefully today will be an easier day than yesterday. We miss you all, thank you for all your support and well wishes….we’ll see you in Jersey!!!

The Jettriders

1500 for a Cure

Posted on July 27, 2011


For those of you who haven’t gotten to read Leader in Training, Ty Miller’s excellent blog on the JettRide, 1500 for a cure, check it out now.  He’s included some great pictures and stories from along the ride.

1500 for a Cure.

Home in Pittsburgh, PA

Posted on July 27, 2011

July 26, 2011

Hello.  Everyone safe and sound and well fed. We are here in downtown pittsburgh at the end of the longest, shortest biking day I have ever had. Plagued by flat tires, missing roads, and high temps and slow to get started riders, we finished 40 miles in 10 hours.  Yup four miles per hour.

Well we never know what to expect and today is thankfully over for cycling. Off to play on the point downtown



Ty Miller’s Blogs

Posted on July 26, 2011

Ty Miller is one of our (LITs) or Leaders in Training.  He is a great asset to the JettRide team and throughout his journey has been keeping his own blog of his adventures! We would like to share a few of his blog posts here but to follow his blog just click on the link below!

Ty’s Blog

Day 3- The First 50

Today we officially started our JettRide. We left from the Mall of America near Minneapolis, MN and biked to Hudson, WI. After getting lost (only 7 times..) we clocked in just under 50 miles for today. Lots of hills. LOTS of hills.

At our launch site, a bunch of families affected by DMD came out to see us off. They were all so great to talk to, but there was one mother and son in particular who clicked with me above the rest. Her name was Sherry Fox and her son’s name was Jacob. Another mom who I talked to yesterday pulled me over and wanted me to talk with the Fox family, thanking me and saying very wonderful and nice things about the ride and myself as well. As I started talking with Sherry, she became very emotional and had to pause a few times to prevent herself from crying. She is so thankful for MDA and The Jett Foundation and what they do for families, including her own. I could tell that this was one parent who was still looking for support and still struggling with her son’s disease. we toyed with some ideas about me traveling up to Minnesota for their MDA camp next year, and I have to say that I’m giving some serious consideration. (Hey, maybe two camps next year!!) After talking with Jake a little bit, I saw what an awesome little boy he is. (I’ll post a picture of the two of us). I really, really enjoyed talking with both of them today. Great, great people. Now, here’s a message to Sherry:

Sherry, if you are reading this right now, I want you to know how strong i think you really are. This isn’t an easy lifestyle to adapt to, but I promise that there are people out here to help you all through it. You are a part of a community who can honestly say that they love you when they don’t even know you. I personally want to thank you for taking the time to tell me your story. I thank you because I know how hard it is to tell it. Remember, you are loved and we are doing this ride for you and Jake. I can’t wait to talk more when I get back home, and who knows? Maybe Jake will see me at camp next year. :)

So, after lunch and goodbyes fromthe families, the mayor of Bloomington, Minnesota saw us off, providing us with a police escort to the edge of town. A great way to begin our miles.

The ride was peaceful and very beautiful, but my favorite part of today was in Hudson, WI; our destination point. Our host family made a delicious dinner for us and then took us to by-far the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. A hidden waterfall. We took a path from this state park and went to this giant waterfall surrounded trees and tucked away in this rock valley. It was amazing. We climbed up stream and went behind the waterfall where we washed away the sweat and grime of the day. I can’t quite tell you what an amazing site it was.

Welp, I’m exhausted and have another 50 miles to ride tomorrow, so, I’m off to bed!! Keep reading and stay tuned!


Day 5

Again I have to apologize for a late post. There’s a lot going on here!

Today we biked out to Eau Claire, WI, where a smaller campus of the University of Wisconsin calls home. It sorta had a Lawrence feel to it, only not as cool. ;]

We had a pretty easy day of biking today. We rode the rail trails (bike paths that were once railroad tracks, but smoothed over) the whole way. Because the tracks have to be perfectly flat, we didn’t have any hills! Which was so nice. As we were about 3/4 of the way through our journey, Sara and I (one of the adult leaders) stayed in the back of the pack, allowing the kids to ride at whatever speed they chose. we were waiting on the trail for one of the other leaders when two women came over to us and started asking us questions about our ride and everything. They were older, both grandmothers, biking also, so they had a lot of respect for a group of individuals who are riding cross-country. They were so much fun to listen to because they were from so far North in Wisconsin that they had they awesome accents; a mixture of Canadian and Minnesotan. They were so sweet and loved our organization so much that they pooled together $13 (which was all that they had) and gave it to us as a donation. It was a really cool moment to share with a stranger.

We stayed at this beautiful church with an amazing organ in the sanctuary and elaborate stained glass windows throughout the building. Lots of room, too. Which was nice, for a change.

After biking all day, we spent a few hours in the river to cool off. There was a nearby rope swing that we swam over to and had a great time swinging off into the cool water. A few church members came by afterwards with supper for us, and we talked and got to know each other as we indulged in some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. We were all very, very thankful for the free food and the hospitality.

The group finished off the night with a rap battle performed by the guys, which was cool until we started. Everyone kinda sucks at freestyle rap. But we have fun. 😀


Day 6

We made it to Black River Falls, WI and had quite an adventurous day.

We made it into town and went straight to a nearby water park where we played around and cooled off from the ride. We took advantage of their showers and took off to the local county beef fair. Fresh ribeye streak sandwiches, sweet corn, and ice cream. It was deliciouuusssss. They also had cows and horses and pigs out to pet and play with. Aaaaand a mechanical bull. We done had ourselves a good ‘ol fashioned hoe-down. Yee-haw.

So, one thing that most of you don’t know is that I got a mohawk before leaving for this trip. It’s a tradition at MDA camp between counselors and campers, so I thought, why not? So I headed off to the 2011 JettRide with my first mohawk. Okay, so that was the first part of the story. The second part is that I gave two of the boys some mohawks tonight. And they look LEGIT. So now almost my whole riding team has mohawks. I’ll post the pictures now.

But things are going well and we’re having a lot of fun!! 82 miles tomorrow!!!


Day 7

Okay, so, again I’m sorry for not keeping up on my blogging. I’ve been keeping notes and things from the past few days to help me remember what we did. Here goes.

We left Black River Falls, WI and 86 miles later, found ourselves in the Wisconsin Dells. Thunder showers and torrential downpours accompanied our first 45 minutes on the road, and followed us for about two hours. The remainder of the trip was long, but really not too bad. My group busted out the last 28 miles with an average speed of 20-25 mph with no breaks. Is it obvious that we just wanted to be there already?

Jackson and I finally found the church that we were going to stay for the next two nights. It had an awesome youth group room that held about 8 couches (which was much more comfortable than the floor that we are used to) and lots of space for the boys to lay out on. This would be the room where I would give a third member of my riding group a mohawk. Alec has now joined the club and is rockin’ the hawk just like the rest of the green team.

Everyone got to stay up a little later than usual, as we will be taking the day off tomorrow to go to one of the water parks in the Dells. Bedtime finally came, but not before we pulled a nice little prank on Colby. I’m debating as to whether I should post the video…

On a side note:

Apparently I’m not operating my bike correctly. During the long ride today, I noticed some weird things going on with my left hand. Sara, a leader and nurse for the ride, tells me that I’m holding my handle bars too tightly, and possibly in a bad position because I have pinched my radial nerve in my wrist, with is paralyzing my left hand. I can’t really move my index finger, and have little movement in the rest of fingers (my thumb is fine). I am also having a tough time gripping things, as I have almost no strength in my hand whatsoever. But Sara says that I caught it soon enough and it should only take a few days, maybe a week or two, for it to heal entirely; which I can’t wait for-it’s such a weird sensation.


Day 10

It’s our longest day yet; 110 miles. We wont be going all 110 miles on bike (mainly because there just isn’t enough hours in the day to do both that and the activity that we had planned. But still, 110 miles traveled today in all, and that would wear anyone out.

At about 80 miles we were shuttled to the Trek plant to see the history of Trek bikes and the manufacturing process. The facility was very nice and really interesting to walk through. They had a whole exhibit on the history of their bikes, and then another on Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France bikes that he rode in the tours (that part of the day was really, really interesting for me). We toured the entire plant, including: the photography and video stations, development, engineering, assembly, painting, decal; you name it. The coolest part of the Trek facility for me were its advances and leaps towards sustainability and renewable energy. Trek replaced its use of coal, and switched entirely to wind and solar power. They also replaced all of their urinals with “waterless urinals”, which saves them over 40,000 gallons of water a year. I was so impressed with the facility that I asked our tour leader if Trek gave internships (for those of you that don’t know, I’m majoring in Mechanical Engineering) and he said that they do! He gave me his card and told me to keep in touch with him, so, we’ll see!!

We continued out east on the Hank Aaron Trail until we arrived in Rockford, WI just in time for dinner provided by the church we stayed with. The dinner was delicious and the people were very nice. There was actually a man who sat at my table with me (who looked no more than 70) that told me he just celebrated his 100th birthday the other day! Sid was pretty awesome and told me all about his days working for GE and kids and retirement. When I asked him what his secret for longevity was, he replied with a smile; “Air and positive thinking!!”

Done and done, Sid.


Day 11

Welp, goodbye Wisconsin!!

It’s our last morning here in Wisconsin! We woke up at 4:15 am and rode our bike a couple miles out to Lake Michigan to the high speed ferry that will transport us over the lake to the cherry state.

The high speed ferry was pretty awesome. I couldn’t believe how fast the ferry was and how large Lake Michigan really is. The sunrise mixed with the strong wind and water thrown at your face as we traveled over the lake was absolutely breathtaking.

As for the riding, it was a fairly short day. Only 50 miles. We got into Grand Rapids, MI at about 4 and got a chance to shower at the fitness club before dinner. The church has a separate building for the youth group that was amazing. It was humongous and had couches, a super nice kitchen, a ping-pong table, a mini basketball hoop, and a lot of rooms so everyone could spread out. It was a pretty cool building. It was especially awesome to play a game I made up called “Zombie Monster” with the kids of the families who joined us for dinner. Object? Have an infected zombie (me) try to chase and attempt to break into the rooms where there are innocent and healthy children that are trying to stay away. Oh, and you have to throw anything and everything at the zombie to keep him away. Whatever part of him you hit, he loses that area of his body.

I was headless for a good portion of the game.

After dinner, Colby, Justin, Arlen and I dyed our hair different colors because….well, why not? Arlen and Justin went blue, Colby dyed his Bieber hair purple, and I did blue and red on both sides of my head and then made the mohawk part purple; AKA- the JettRiders are lookin’ perty goooood.



Day 20 – JettRiders

Posted on July 26, 2011

July 25, 2011

We are all pretty exhausted today. After getting a great night sleep in Minerva, Ohio and having a wonderful eggs, sausage, and toast breakfast provided by the Rudd Family, we set off joined by Alex, a family friend of the Rudd’s. He kept up very well with the group and did great on the hills during those first 20 miles.

Right before lunch Colby, Melissa, Ty, John, Meranda, and Jordan got lost for a little bit, but were quickly right back on track, and Liam had a nasty crash while riding downhill. He scrapped up his elbows, knee and hip but is doing fine. After a late lunch, Ty and Colby got chased by a crazy dog that came running out of the woods at them while they were riding. We finally made it to the campground and are planning on a campfire for tonight. The hills in Pennsylvania are terrible but tomorrow we have an easy 38 miles (with hills). Thanks you for all your support, and thank you Rudd Family for your hospitality and amazing food, we all loved meeting and talking with you all.

11 days and counting everyone….see you in Jersey!!!!

Day 19 – JettRiders

Posted on July 24, 2011

On July 24th we started off the day in Massillon, Ohio and got to sleep in late….7am, it’s our lucky day, and were fed sweet treats and hot chocolate by the church before setting off on our 8 mile journey to the Football Hall of Fame.

There, we met Amanda Rudd, her nine year old son Cade, and her supportive friends and family and explored the amazing Hall of Fame with them. There were football jersey’s, signed footballs, information and bios about famous football stars, a movie about the superbowl, a superbowl trophy replica, and many gigantic, sparkling superbowl rings. After having lunch in a nearby park, we split into our two groups and biked 22 miles to the Minerva town line where we were cheered on by Amanda, Cade, and their friends and family.

We all snacked on slushies and convinced Alex a sixteen year old family friend of the Rudd’s to ride the final four miles to our final destination. He did a great job and kept up with everyone well, and is thinking about joining next years Jettride. Once we reached the house we jumped in the pool and swam for an hour or so before having an awesome dinner prepared by the Rudd’s. As I write I can still hear our boys splashing and playing around with Cade and his friends in the pool. Tonight I think we’re doing a bonfire with smores, but we’ll see how long we make it, last night they basically fell asleep at the dinner table.

Love you all, we have a big day tomorrow, lot’s of hills and lot’s of miles, hopefully we’ll have the time and energy to blog. See you soon!!!


Day 18 – Ty

Posted on July 24, 2011

July 23, 2011
We left the church in Cleveland today and headed Southeast to the town of Massillon, OH. It should’ve been an easy-going ride with only 60-ish miles on a trail. Should’ve. Enter Ty, Liam, and Jordan; all who seem to be craving some more thrill on today’s ride.
We left the church at about 8:30 in the morning and traveled about 12 miles before getting on the Towpath Trail that would take us straight to Massillon. When we finally got on the trail, we three leaders decided to keep to ourselves for a day and explore more than just the pavement and gravel. The Towpath Trail rides directly parallel to the Ohio-Erie Canal (constructed in the early to mid 1800’s giving Ohio a way to transport goods. The canal made Ohio, originally one of the poorest of the states, the 3rd richest in just a few years post-constuction). Because there was this river right next to us at all times, there were so many things (both natural and historic) to look at along the way. The real fun began when the three of us came across a steel beam making a “rainbow” from one side of the canal to the other. Jordan and I couldn’t pass it up so, naturally, we shimmied across it. But not before I fell.
NEXT. We visited one of the many locks that are along the canal, along with a stop-house that was constructed in 1850 for the passers by. Continuing south, we came across an awesome little waterfall (this was our first excuse to play in the water). The waterfall was near the base of a very steep hill that rose above the ground at least 300 feet. We played in the waterfall, climbed the hill that took us high above the canal, and watched over the foliage that grew every which way around us. Did I mention that it was grey and misty and sprinkling outside the whole time? Talk about beautiful..
We finally caught up to the group at our first stop. The group finished their lunch just as we began and when we finished, we spent a good hour in the river swimming, climbing, and exploring this beautiful scenery. We came across a small cliff on an island in the river where another abandoned lock was built. We climbed to the top and jumped over to the top of the lock to find a vine of under-ripe grapes. We sat at the top of our little fortress eating the sour berries, hoping that we hadn’t mistaken them for something a little more…deadly, and looked over the strong current of the river.
Leaving our Nirvana, the three of us hopped back on the trail and decided to take a shortcut through a nearby town that would shave off 15 miles from our ride, allowing us to catch-up to the rest of the group. We got one street into town when Liam’s tire blew out, and after two unsuccessful tire changes later, we were alone, out of resources, and pretty exhausted. After over an hour of pumping, patching, screaming, and sleeping, we decided that we would take the bus across town to the next town over- Massillon. Two busses later (and thanks to Cosmic Charlie for helping us find our way) we landed 6.6 miles north of where we needed to be. After about a mile and a half of walking, we quickly realized that we didn’t have the patience (or the time) for such a slow way to travel. So what else can you do but hold your thumb out?
I’ve never hitch-hiked before, but let me tell you- people don’t take too much pity on three cyclists who are walking what seem to be perfectly good bikes. But two guys did. Roger and Jake, both about my age, pulled over in their mini van and told us that they would be more than happy to help us anyway they could. They took us the other 5 miles down the road and talked with us about our ride and our mission. They were both very, very nice people.
The evening finished off with the most thorough clean I’ve ever given a bike (you can imagine how dirty they were with all of the rain and mud and sand- if you can’t, take a look at the pictures I posted). Every square inch of that bike with hosed down and wiped down, greased and polished, lubed and fine-tuned. Now it’s running great and looks better than ever.
One shower and a delicious meal at Perkin’s later, I am worn-out and beyond tired. Hope I was able to articulate just how amazing today was. Night all!
Ty Miller

Day 17 – Abigail

Posted on July 23, 2011

July 22, 2011

Today we went to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame and met some really cool families. All of us had a bunch of fun and none of us wanted to leave. We had a man that had a boy with DMD buy us lunch, which was really nice.

The place was amazing, so many things from way back to the beginning of Rock-n-Roll. It was great, especially the gift shop where almost everyone got something. The church today provided us with dinner (the cooking crew was really happy about not having to cook). We finished off the day by just hanging out with each other.

Abigail Paschal

JettRide Videos

Posted on July 23, 2011

Please check out our youtube page for videos of the JettRiders!!!

JettRide Video

JettRiders at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!!

Posted on July 22, 2011

July 22, 2011

The JettRiders enjoyed a great day off today where they got to visit the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame! But more importantly had a chance to visit with some local families!!

JettRiders with Dan Poole, Jack Wolf and Matt Poole

Day 16 – Jordan, Meranda and Abigail

Posted on July 22, 2011

July 21, 2011


On July 21 it reached 112 degrees out!  That was sometime around 2pm; by 6pm when the riders left on the road were finally arriving at the church in Cleveland Ohio in was still 110 degrees out. By the time we went to bed at 11:30, the temperature was still around 100. This is hottest day we have had riding so far and we definitely won’t be complaining about low 90’s anymore.

The day started off with Colleen leaving the trip, she will be greatly missed. We rode along Lake Erie most of the morning, some of the most beautiful scenery we’ve seen on our journey, but we were distracted from the magnificent view by Meranda. Let me explain. We tend to see a lot of road kill on the road, usually this road kill, is already dead. We passed a raccoon, supposedly dead on the side of the road, and Meranda looks down at it and screams, “Oh my God, this one’s still alive!!!”  Then five miles later she proceeded to nearly become road kill by eating it once again in the middle of the road!

By lunchtime Arlen was offering to pull riders off the rode due to the extreme heat and the fact that we were all extremely dehydrated. The girls, John, and Liam finished the day in the car. Believe it or not, it was still really hot in the car. Then we went to Arlen’s college roommates house and ate pizza, watched TV, and finished a puzzle before returning to the church for the night.

Blog written by: Jordan, Meranda, and Abigail

Another Great Week of the JettRide

Posted on July 22, 2011

Hey Everyone,

We’ll have more updates soon from another great week on the JettRide. In the meantime, please email us any photos, videos or updates from the ride that you’d like us to share: john @ jettfoundation . org

Have a great weekend!


-The JettRide Team

Day 15 – Ty

Posted on July 21, 2011

Today we woke up to our normal breakfast of granola, cereal, fruit, and bagels; always delicious and always beneficial.

We got ready for a nice day off from riding and headed over to Sandusky, Ohio’s “Cedar Point” amusement park. The park itself was overwhelmingly large. There were roller coasters, water rides, merry-go-rounds, gift shops, and restaurants galore. All sitting on its own little island off the coast of Lake Erie. “Cedar Point” is acclaimed to be the best park in the nation. And I think everyone else knew it because even on a Wednesday it was PACKED. We waited an hour for one ride (which was a lot of fun) and then decided to go to another straight after- bad idea. It took a little over two hours to get on the coaster, and by that point, it’s pretty hard to enjoy the ride when you’re that sweaty and lethargic. But we did, because it’s Cedar Point and awesome, so once we got buckled in our troubles vanished.

Except for the sweat. That stayed.

We ended up going on only 5 rides total during the six hours we were there, but they were pretty sweet rides. Aaaaaaand I got all of the coasters on Colby’s “Go-Pro” HD video camera. So keep an eye out for some awesome footage of some of the best roller coasters in the nation!

Half of the group made a delicious mexi-style dinner tonight and we topped it off with some fantastic chocolate cake and apple pie (hard to feel guilty about the dessert when there’s 67 miles to ride tomorrow). Hope everyone is doing well and keep cheering on your riders as we reach our halfway mark in Cleveland, Ohio!!

Ty Miller

Announcing the Finish Line BBQ Point Pleasant NJ

Posted on July 20, 2011

Don’t miss out on the JettRide finish line BBQ on August 5th in Point Pleasant, NJ.

Please bring signs banners and green balloons. The finish Line will be Point Pleasant Beach at the END of Arnold Avenue 12pm where Arnold Avenue intersects the beach.  There is a police station located there.

Parade will be 11-12 on Arnold Ave

Followed by a BBQ Lunch at Jenkinsons  300 Ocean Ave.

Please rsvp by July 29th to

Any questions? Please contact  Michelle

Luncheon is $38 per person

Register for the August 5th Finish Line BBQ

Click on the image below to view the event flyer.


JettRider Jack Van Houten featured in the Hartland Patch

Posted on July 20, 2011


Check out this wonderful article about JettRider Jack VanHouten, who is riding over 1500 miles and has raised over $10,000 to fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He’s riding for his younger brother Kyle.

Read more over at the Hartland Patch.

Day 14 – Colleen

Posted on July 19, 2011

July 19, 2011

Greetings from Sandusky, OH!  Today, the group rode 70 miles from Temperance, MI; marking the fourth state on our journey!  It was hot out there today, but Arlen stayed close with the support vehicle, and we all made sure to stay hydrated!  We also rode about 25 miles on a rail trail, which is always a nice treat.  On Sunday, we welcomed a new leader, Melissa Thompson to the group!  Melissa rode on JettRide 2010 from Denver to Cincinnati, and we are thrilled to have her, and her mandolin back to the ride.  Melissa and Ty are currently doing a mandolin/piano duet right now – sounding good guys!

We are in a church in Sandusky, OH.  When we arrived our hosts had dinner, and a hose shower waiting!  Everyone is hanging out now, enjoying their free night, as we have a day off tomorrow.  Most of the group is headed to Cedar Point!  I’m getting pretty sad about leaving the tour Friday, but know that the team is in great hands!! They have all come a long way.
Until tomorrow…

Day 13 – John

Posted on July 19, 2011

July 18, 2011
Today we woke up at 6:00 AM.  We left the Van Houten’s today.  They gave us great hospitality.  We all hanged out with Jack’s little brother  Kyle in the pool. We all had a great time.  So we took a few pictures before we left the house.
We rode by A LOT roadkill on the road;  it smelt so bad!!  When we got to lunch we went swimming in this awesome lake.  Before we left a thunderstorm hit the area. Then it past and we left.  We are not even .2 miles down the road when I flip over the handlebars and stick the landing but I hit the worst spot ever from my handlebars.  After that we rode to our home for the night at a church in Tmeperance, MI; It is a great place. We also went to a YMCA for showers, then went out for pizza!   Almost time for bed now. See you guys later!
John Fontes

JettRiders in Hudson Star Observer

Posted on July 19, 2011

JettRiders featured in the Hudson Star-Observer!  To read the full article visit their Star-Oberver’s website.

A Very Special Guest Blogger!!!

Posted on July 18, 2011

Today’s blog is VERY special!! It is from Kyle Van Houten!  Kyle is 11 years old and is affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is also the brother of one of our JettRiders Jack Van Houten.  HUGE thank you to Kyle and his parents; Keith and Julie for hosting the riders for 2 nights! They had a blast!!!


July 17, 2011


Today we went to see Harry Potter and came back to go into the pool. In the pool we jumped off the diving board mostly. We ate st8k 4 dinr. We went in the pool again later to play games. Then a group meeting and everyone went to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeep! It was great to host the Jett Riders this weekend and almost to Jersey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kyle Van Houten

Home in Howell, MI

Posted on July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011
Good morning,

Everyone made it safe on the journey yesterday. 65 miles of sweet riding with a few minor incidents along the way (nothing to write home about). We arrived at the Van Houten residence about 5:45 to lots of hoopla and fanfare. After several dips in the pool and the hot tubs, the riders settled down to a wonderful meal and an evening of relaxation. Kyle even gave me a tour of the neighborhood in his golf cart. We discussed the Tigers and Red Sox Nation. He really wants to see a Sox game from the top of the Green Monster.

Today is a day of rest. Well fun and activities anyway. A trip to see the new Harry Potter movie is in store today for the group.

Happy Trails.


Day 11 – Justin

Posted on July 17, 2011

July 16, 2011

Today we rode 65 miles from St. Johns MI to Howell, MI.  We were all really tired but we made it through.  After lunch, Jackson got a flat tire; the second of the trip.  He got in the car for the next 20 miles, and we continued riding.
When we arrived at the Van Houten’s home there were a bunch of people in the yard cheering for us.  It was great to see that their family and friends supported us.  After getting settled we jumped in the pool and hot tub.  Everyone is having a lot of fun, and the Van Houten’s made us a great meal.  Now we are all just hanging out and looking forward to our day off tomorrow.  We are going to see the new Harry Potter movie, and hang by the pool!
Justin Marino

Day 10 – Liam

Posted on July 16, 2011

July 15, 2011

Yesterday we biked from Rockford to Saint Johns, MI.  Although we only did 60 miles it felt like a century because of all the dirt roads we were riding on.  The landscape was hilly at the beginning of the day but it eventually turned into flat rocky terrain .


When we finally got into Saint Johns a few nice families had put together a picnic for us. It was so refreshing to see people come out to help our cause.  A few of the families had boys with Duchenne. After the picnic a nice woman named Bonnie brought us to the local air conditioned high school where we stayed in the music room.  It was nice to get an actual shower!


Updates from Tour Leader Arlen Hall

Posted on July 16, 2011

Thought I would share a few of the emails from Alren’s email chain to the JettRider’s families!

Home In Middleton, WI

July 13, 2011

Good Morning,
We arrived safely in Middleton last evening. I totally spaced on sending this email as we immediately met Candace Miller and her family at the Hilton Hotel. It was a very good ride day from Wisconsin Dells even though we got lost out the gate trying the find the tiny country road to ride on AND we encountered a detour because a road was washed out (several miles of it around a lake). We took a small free ferry across a lake into lunch and we were invited (in advance) to eat at a real Wisconsin Dairy Farm with 350 head of cattle. Craig, the owner was gracious in letting us use his lunch room. Our staff person, Sara, arranged the location through her sister, a large animal veterinarian.

We are off to the Trek Bicycle World Headquarters for lunch and a tour today. We are shuttling the riders 40-50 miles up the road to stage for our entry into Milwaukee tonight. Tomorrow MICHIGAN.

Happy trails.


Home in Rockford, MI

July 14, 2011


Wow! We actually got up at 4:15 AM, packed, and made the ferry line by 5:15 AM. We loaded the ferry in Milwaukee and slept our way across lake michigan today. arriving at Muskegon, MI around 9:30, after the time zone change, we rode to lunch at a local park via a rail trail. Finishing the day in Rockford, we scurried to the MCP health club for showers and to the church facility for a pizza party. The room was decorated with balloons and posters. It is like an imaginary world with foosball tables, ping pong, lots off couchs, air hocky and lots and lots of space. All happy here.

Tomorrow we ride to St. Johns, MI and another amazing day. Cool morning temps and warm afternoon temps with blue skies made for a great ride day.  50 miles.

Tomorrow is 58 miles.




Home in St. Johns

July 15, 2011


Everyone in and safe to St. Johns, MI.  We had a great time with the Kiwanis Club, some families with sons with Duchenne (including 2 from the 2007 JettRide: Karen and Sara). Great food and great times for all.  Everyone at the high school asleep!  Leader Sara left today…Melissa arriving on sunday!  The Mayor is riding out with us tomorrow as well as a friend of 07′ rider Gillians from Bike and Build (he saw us on the road).


Day 8 – Jackson

Posted on July 15, 2011

July 14, 2011
This morning we had to wake up at 4:30am.  We all had our stuff pre-packed from the night before.  Most of us stayed in our pajamas to ride the mile down to the water.  We then boarded the ferry.  Almost all of the group fell asleep at some point during the two hour boat ride across Lake Michigan.  We bought breakfast sandwiches on the boat which were very good, but expensive.
Today we rode about 50 miles into Brockford, Michigan.  We rode 25 miles on the rail-trail, and 25 on the streets.  The rail-trail was flat, but the streets were very hilly.  Lunch was at a very amusing park, we played on the swings, slides and just goofed off.
Tonight we are staying in a community building.  It has couches, ping pong, and mini basketball.  Our wonderful hosts brought dinner.  We had pizza, pasta and cupcakes for desert.  We met 2 families affected by Duchenne and shared stories with them.  It seems like it’s gonna be a great night.
Jackson McSherry

Day 7 – Alec

Posted on July 15, 2011

July 13, 2011

Today we went to the trek factory and it was kick-butt.  We took a tour with a guy named Brian and there were most outstanding bikes.  After that, Meranda, aka Yolanda, ate it… twice.  The first time she was ok, but the second time she had to ride in the car.
After trek we were shuttled in the car for 50 miles, and then finished the ride with the last 20 on the Hank Arron Trail. After we rode we had a spaghetti dinner.  My parents, brother, grandma, grandpa, aunt, great uncle and great grandma all came to join us.
PS – Whoever is reading this… I love you.
Alec Scroggins aka Fat Jesus

Day 6 – Colleen

Posted on July 15, 2011

July 12, 2011
Hello from Middleton, WI!  Today we rode 48 miles from Wisconsin Dells, WI.  The ride started out rough, as we took a few wrong turns, but once we got back on schedule everything was smooth.  For lunch, we stopped at a fully functioning dairy farm, arranged by leader, Sara’s sister who is a veterinarian.  We ate lunch in the kitchen which was air conditioned, a nice treat!  Then, Craig, the third generation to run the farm, gave us a tour, which had over 350 cattle.  Colby got a little close with one cow, Norma… a little too close if you ask me!
After lunch, we finished the ride into Middleton, much of which was on a nicely paved bike trail.  We arrived in Middleton and were greeted by Candace Miller, and her two sons, Joseph and Ethan, both affected by Duchenne.  Candace organized free hotel rooms for all of the riders, along with a pizza dinner!  Thank you Candace!!!
After dinner we played in the pool, and had a blast with the boys!  Some of the kids went shopping in a strip mall close to the hotel, and continued to partake in their usual shannagins… there was a full MOON.  (pun intended).
Everyone slept very comfortable in beds, and enjoyed real showers!! Thanks again Candace!  It was wonderful meeting and spending time with you and your boys!
Tomorrow we have a 100+ mile day, including a stop at Trek, and a car shuttle to cut some miles.  Until then…

July 11, 2011 – Jack

Posted on July 14, 2011

July 11th,

Today we went to Noah’s Ark water park in Wisconsin Dells.  There were tons of awesome waterslides and wave pools.  Colby and I rode most of the slides with his waterproof video camera.  My favorite slide was called the Scorpion Tail.  It started in a clear plastic capsule.  A speaker in the capsule counted down from 3 and at the end the floor dropped and I went flying down an almost vertical slide.  The slide does a loopty loop and then ends.  Today was really fun.
Jack Van Houtten

JettRide in South Shore Living

Posted on July 13, 2011

The 2011 JettRide has been featured in the July 2011 issue of South Shore Living magazine.  Congratulations, JettRiders.

Click for full size!

July 11, 2011 – Abigail

Posted on July 11, 2011

July 11, 2010
Today was our first day off from riding. We got to sleep in until 8:30! We woke up to a pancake breakfast prepared by our leaders, then we got to spend the day at Noha’s Ark, the biggest waterpark in America! We had fun riding all the rides, ate yummy food (dipping dots) and got tattoos!

We stayed at the park until 5pm.  Tonights cooking crew prepared pasta with meat sauce, it was awesome! My crew was on clean-up, so after dinner we did all the dishes. Since we spent the day at the park we had a lot of chores to do when we got home, like cleaning our bikes, doing laundry, and packing the trailer. Two of our leaders, Colleen and Ty offered to do the laundry for the group!

Now that all of our chores are done, it’s time for some fun….in the form of dying hair! Bet you can’t guess what color! Check out pics to see!

Riding has been tough, but I’m getting stronger! Love and miss you all,


July 10, 2011 – Jordan

Posted on July 11, 2011

July 10, 2011

Today we rode 82 miles from Eau Claire, Wisconsin to The Wisconsin Dells. Our start in the morning was delayed two hours with heavy rain and thunderstorms but by the twenty mile mark the skies had cleared and roads were drying out.

We rode mostly on country roads in the middle of no where and were chased by aggressive horseflies and dogs.   My group, Yolanda (Meranda), AfroThunder (John), Sarah, Paulie D (Paul), Van Hooter (Jack), Fat Jesus (Alec), J-Smooth (Justin) and Lim (Liam) got chased by three dogs and saw two deer. I don’t think I forgot anyone, but sorry if I did.

I got the first flat tire during the afternoon and it took a long time to fix because the tires are new and hard to remove from the rim. By the time we got in everyone was completely exhausted and even though we had a day off the next day we were all in bed relatively early. The boys played a few good pranks on the kids who passed out first last night, sorry Colby, and the next morning we woke up and ate blueberry pancakes. Hope everyone at home is well, we love you but we don’t miss you…We’ll see you in New Jersey!!!


July 9, 2010 – Home in Black River Falls, WI

Posted on July 10, 2011

July 9, 2011

Hello from Black River Falls, WI! The JettRiders rode 57 miles today from Eau Claire. The riding was a bit hilly (especially compared to yesterday’s rail trail), but mostly on country roads with beautiful scenery!

We are staying at a church here in Black River Falls, and went to a local pool for swimming, water slides and showers. We ate dinner at the fairgrounds. They had rib eye sandwiches, burgers, sweet corn and ice cream!  They also had a mechanical bull, though no riders tried, and an area to see/pet the animals!

We came back to the church and played “ninja” a very fun game introduced by one of our LITs, Ty, and now everyone is settling down, resting up for a long day.

Tomorrow will be our longest day of riding yet, 82 miles into the Wisconsin Dells. On the bright side we have our first day off, and even better, I’m driving the support vehicle! Lucky me :)

Until tomorrow….

Day 4 – Meranda

Posted on July 08, 2011

July 9, 2011

Today we thought we were going to ride 46 miles on a Railtrail, meaning it was once a railroad track that is now taken up and flattened into a bike trail. Lucky us we only had to ride about 35 miles and the trail was pretty much flat and mostly shady. During the ride some of the Jett Riders saw Deer and chipmunks  along the trail. Almost at the end of our ride everyone stopped to get a cool treat at Dairy Queen. From that point on we road about a mile into a shady park for lunch.

After lunch was over our leaders told us that we had to ride another 10 miles to get to the church we were staying at tonight. Everyone filled their waters bottles and were preparing for the last bit of ride. Everyone hoped on their bikes and started riding, it seemed like we were riding around in a circle but no one thought too much of it. Then we showed back up at the church we were by near the park we had lunch, as a joke the leaders made us ride in a circle around were we where staying.

The name of the church is Eau Claire First Congregational Church. Once we unpacked and started to settle in, we decided to go down to the river near by. Once we got there we jumped into the water and enjoyed ourselves. The currant was really strong so we had to be careful not to get washed away. We also jumped off a small cliff by a rope swing into the water.  We took showers at the local YMCA and church members provided dinner – sandwiches from the local bakery.

We are resting up for a long day, 70 miles tomorrow!


JettRiders in the Patriot Ledger

Posted on July 08, 2011

Gunvalsons featured in the Leader Record

Posted on July 08, 2011

Update from Colleen

Posted on July 07, 2011

July 7, 2011

Greetings from Menomonie, WI. Today we rode 48 miles from Hudson, WI. Adam Yoerg, a 2010 JettRider, and our host last night was our JettRider for the day today, and we are all very sad to see him go!

The ride today was beautiful, all on country roads – with very low traffic, and much lush green to see. We made great time today, making it to camp around 3:30pm. We are staying at a camp ground in Menomonie, that sits right on a lake. After getting to camp, unpacking the trailer and setting up tents we all went down and swam around. Arlen’s crew was cooking tonight, so no surprise we had rice & beans, but it was very filling and delicious.

According to Colby we saw 10 dead animals. There might have been 11 if John had not saved a turtle from the road! We also made no wrong turns – thanks Adam for the great directions!!! A few falls were taken, but nothing too serious! I’m very impressed with how well everyone is riding and keeping up!

We are all just hanging out for the night now, all chores are done. Everyone is getting along great, and working really well together.

Sorry no guest blog tonight – almost out of battery on the computer.
Until tomorrow…

Arlen Update – Home in Menomonie

Posted on July 07, 2011

July 7, 2011

A great day of riding. All into camp by 4 pm. 48 miles for the day. Nice, relaxed ride with everyone riding well. Arlen drove with Abigail as a sherpa? A sherpa? Yes, not feeling well she helped with the shopping, serving, and navigating. Awesome job.

Tomorrow we have 46 miles on the Red Creek and Chippawa rail trails as we head to Eau Claire, WI.


Day 2 – Colby

Posted on July 07, 2011

On 7/6/11, we biked from the Mall of America to Hudson, Wisconsin. We took the wrong route 7 times!!!! We got about 6 extra miles of riding. Though it was very fun, hitting speeds of 35.65 miles per hour.

Every pedestrian was informed about our group, THE JETTRIDERS. We were escorted by the police, twice! The day was long, and rugged but extremely fun. It was a relief to see Paul with the sag vehicle. This trip will be extremely fun!


Day 2 Blog – Colleen

Posted on July 07, 2011

July 6, 2011

Greetings from Hudson, WI! On our first official day of riding, we rode 45 miles from the Mall of America to Hudson, WI. We had a great send-off, those joining us included the Mayor of Bloomington, a police escort, local families, and a dance team!!! Thank you all for the support!

Directions were tricky, as there were many bike trails interweaving; as a result, our ‘should have been’ 39-mile ride was a bit longer. But, after a few turn-a-rounds we were able to get back on schedule. Today someone very special, my Mom, Kathy Dunn, joined us! And to boot – it was her Birthday!!!

We were greeted by alumni JettRiders, Gillian & Adam Yoerg 15 miles outside of Hudson, and they led the way in! We arrived later than schedule, but after a delicious dinner prepared by Gillian & Adam’s Mom, Caroline Wooten (thank you!!!!), we were still able to go to Willow Falls, part of the State Park, and swim in the lake with a beautiful waterfall – it was awesome!!

When we got back, we were surprised by more alumni Riders – Aaron & Richard from 2010! Everyone is hanging out, eating ice cream cake… and catching up.

Tomorrow we have 48 miles to Menomonie, WI, for our first and only night of camping! Until then…

Day 2 Update from Tour Leader: Arlen Hall

Posted on July 06, 2011

July 6, 2011

Good morning. The riders are doing a bit of yoga and stretching as we prepare to depart for the Mall of America (MOA) and the start of our journey. We had a great family gathering last night as several families joined us for a pasta dinner. We each introduced ourselves and shared how we came to our common community bond, DMD.

I think we have a very special group here. Everyone is enthusiastic and ready to work together.

We have 38 miles today on our way to Hudson, WI and the Wooten family. We have food, swimming, and showers in store.

I met Annette yesterday at the MOA. I was in Caribou Coffee in line for a latte while the riders were strolling the mall. A woman Annette and her son moved in front of me and turned to ask if I was in line. I said that I was but she can go in front. She thanked me and when she was ordering she turned and asked what I wanted and bought my latte. Twenty minutes later after talking about the JettRide, cycling, etc. I thanked her again as I departed thinking to myself that she made my day. Sweet.

All for now.


JettRiders Featured in Wicked Local: Plymouth.

Posted on July 06, 2011

July 5, 2011 – Day 1

Posted on July 05, 2011

July 5, 2011
Greetings from Bloomington, MN!!
The 2011 JettRide is officially under-way!!  Most of the riders arrived last night… we had a pizza party got to know one another and after dinner went across the street to Culvers for some frozen custard!

We are staying at the Unity South Church in Bloomington, MN.  Happy Belated Birthday to JettRider John Fontes who turned 15, July 4!  We kicked off this morning with a shake-down ride around town – 15 miles, mostly on a bike path along the river!!  Although we might have been better off on mountain bikes on that trail – everyone did great!!

After the ride we loaded up the cars and headed to the Mall of America for lunch, very generously donated by the Panda Express (thank you Yi-Chen and the Panda Express crew!).  After lunch we had a few hours to explore the mall, and hang at the amusement park – inside of the mall!  It was pretty amazing.  Tonight we are having a pasta party, and some local families and church members will be joining us!  The cooking crew is looking good out there!!  Tomorrow we have a 40 mile ride to Hudson, WI where we will stay with 2 alumni JettRiders!  Gillian from the 07 tour, and her brother Adam from last year!!
Until tomorrow…