We are now accepting applications for JettRide 2014. This year’s JettRide will run from June – August, starting in Oregon and ending in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey! Join us this summer on the road while we spread awareness, inspire siblings and unite families across America as we raise funds to fight Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy!
My Favorite Place to Be By: Jack Van Houten JettRider: 2011, 2012 and 2013
As I skidded across the dirt trail, I could feel the skin on my knees slowly rip open. My last two falls had landed me in the hospital, first with a major concussion and then with four broken bones in my hand, but this one was minor. I only felt pain from dusting the dirt and pebbles out of my open wound. The crash would remain in my head, taunt me, but nothing could take me away from my favorite place in the world: The JettRide.
Sitting on the ground, I rested my legs. I had already ridden twenty miles that morning and was still thirty more from my destination. Despite my pain and exhaustion I was content, almost joyful. The JettRide, a fifteen-member bicycle tour intended to raise money and awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, challenged me and forced me to adapt to all sorts of situations. I was hundreds of miles from home with no means of travel besides my dirt-covered Trek bicycle.
Although I do love biking, my fourteen-year-old brother, Kyle, was the real reason I was on the JettRide. Kyle was born with Duchenne and because of it has trouble walking and cannot run, jump or play any sports; if there’s one thing my brother loves, its sports. This horribly ironic situation is what introduced me to the JettRide. So in July of 2011 I bought a shiny white bike and flew to Minnesota to start the thirty-day, 1500-mile ride.
After my short rest I got back on my bike and hit the road. The last thirty miles went by quickly. The bright green rolling hills of Ohio distracted me from all thoughts of time. At around four-thirty, the JettRide rolled into Curtis, Ohio as a team. The Henegar family, a family affected by Duchenne just like mine, greeted us and hosted us for the night. The youngest member of the Henegar family, Braedan, was six years old and had just been diagnosed with Duchenne the year before. He was a skinny kid with blond hair and blue eyes; he looked just like my brother did at that age. Braedan had a great personality and could easily make all the JettRiders smile. We took him go-carting, snake hunting and out for ice cream. We all had a great time but when it was time for us to leave Braedan started crying. He crawled up into his mom’s arms and said, “I wish this could last forever.” At that moment I realized how special of an environment the JettRide was. At all times there were fifteen people trying to give a boy, with a disease that prevents him from walking like his friends, a day completely devoted to him. When the JettRide was at my house, my brother was happier than I had ever seen him. To me that is something very meaningful.
On the JettRide I was able to meet over thirty other families coping with muscular dystrophy. As I played, cooked, ate, cleaned up and slept with the families I realized how similar they all were to my own. Within hours of leaving each family’s home I would start missing them. Remembering the pure happiness of each kid’s smile pushed me through the long days of biking and to the next family’s home.
The JettRide showed me that my family is not alone in our situation. I have met families from eight different states dealing with the same problems. In the time since the 2011 JettRide, I have participated in two more and raised over $25,000 in support of research that will hopefully cure Duchenne. There is truly no other place I would rather be than on the JettRide.
Today summed up the 2013 JettRide. Like always we got ready to ride and started out ahead of schedule. We rode really fast, an average of 16 mph, for the 55 miles from Marlton to Point Pleasant.
We were escorted for a few miles by the Point Pleasant bicycle cops. We met in a small parking lot downtown to wait for the firetrucks to start the parade. In the parking lot we met all the riders’ families and a few of the JettRiders from previous years.
Jett and Tanner led the parade down the street in their chairs. Ryan and Braedan rode in the Firetruck while Kyle rode in the duet with his dad. After dipping our front tires into the Atlantic we took a long relaxing swim to celebrate. We had a great barbeque lunch on the boardwalk and gave medals to all the riders and boys affected.
So with that the 2013 JettRide was over. We met 15 different boys and spread DMD awareness across 900 miles of the United States. Thank you for always following our journey! Your support is greatly appreciated and the JettRide would not be possible without it. Thank you all once again for all the donations and support! Only with your tremendous support can we accomplish these feats.
This morning we woke up to a thunderstorm. The terrible weather and the traffic forced us to shuttle for the day. The day was spent organizing the trailer and shopping at Barnes and Noble.
For dinner we went to an Italian restaurant where we stuffed ourselves with pizzas calzones and mozzerela sticks. We are all very excited to ride into Point Pleasant tomorrow. This trip has been filled with great adventures and stories that will forever be branded into our minds. We have met 1 outstanding man and 9 amazing kids that have decided to put their conditions to the side and live their lives. They are the most fun loving kids you will ever meet and we are so glad to have been able to hang out with them.
We have also been treated like royalty in every town we stayed. The JettRide would not be possible without the many generous churches and towns across the US. Thank you so much everyone we can’t wait to see everyone tomorrow!
Today we had a cool and easy 62 mile ride from Gettysburg to Lancaster. We rode through some pretty cool towns with tons of old buildings and murals. We rode over the Susquehanna river on a super cool bridge with a great view.
We stayed at the Glick household and had a great time. The Glicks are Amish so we spent a lot of time outside. We caught a bunch of crayfish in a nearby stream and cooked up the larger ones and ate them for dessert. We went for a ride in the pony carriage and played with the kids. We had great food and great laughs. We are super pumped to head to Delaware tomorrow and finish up in Point Pleasant on Friday! See you there!!
Today was the furthest day of the whole JettRide. We rode 72 miles, 25 on the trail and the rest on hilly roads. There was one massive hill that took us through the blue ridge mountains and it took around 15 minutes to climb. Luckily for us there was an awesome downhill right after. Once in Gettysburg, we checked in to our rooms and watched some TV. For dinner we went to a great Chinese buffet. After dinner Megan had to leave and head back to Utah to go to work. We said our goodbyes and then Pauly took her to the train station. Today was a tough day but also a ton of fun.
Today was a long exhausting 62 mile day. As we left Cumberland it started to rain and we got covered head too toe by mud from the trail. Fortunately for us, after our first break the sun came out. At lunch we found the bridge that we had jumped off of last year and decided to jump again.
The bridge was about 30 feet high and extremely intimidating. The boys, being so brave, jumped right in without hesitation. Julia was so scared that we had to push her off the bridge. Julia screamed extremely loud but after the first jump she realize how much fun she had. Julia screamed extremely loud and scared away all the local wildlife.
After lunch we found a giant black snake on the trail. Colby tried to grab it by the tail but it was a smart snake and almost bit him. When we finally made it to realize that we would be sleeping in a chicken coop for the night. To cheer us up from a long exhausting day we went to Weaver’s, a local restaurant known for its delicious pies. Now we are all stuffed up on pie and ready to hit the road for Gettysburg tomorrow.
Today was our rest day in Cumberland, Maryland. We got to sleep in a little and were served breakfast by Bryan Wodaski, a local radio talk show host. After Breakfast, Bryan took us over to his office and interviewed Sara, Jack and Colby on his talk show. After the show, Bryan took us by his favorite coffee shop.
Just before lunch, we took the steam train up the mountain to Frostburg. Our original plan was to race the train back down the mountain on our bikes, but we spent too much time in downtown Frostburg. So once again we rode our bikes 17 miles down the GAP to Cumberland. We finished off the day with Asian food and a movie from redbox. We are all super excited to get to New Jersey on Friday!
Today we had another great ride down the Great Allegheny Passage. We rode 17 miles, all downhill, from Frostburg to Cumberland, Maryland. This morning we were joined by Matthan. Together we had a great time flying down the mountain. We spent the afternoon exploring town and taking much needed naps. We worked as a team to make an awesome breakfast dinner. After stuffing ourselves with pancakes and bacon, we went to the local music festival and enjoyed the show.
This morning we left Connelsville and headed toward Rockwood! It was a short 20 miles to Ohiopyle where we went white water rafting. The trip was amazing and fun! We were separated into two boats and had a 7.5 mile trip. We only had one casualty and it was Megan. Don’t worry she is okay! Our guides were amazing and very experienced. After the trip we stopped at the rafting places restaurant and had an appetizing lunch.
Tonight we are staying at a hostel, and have met many other riders here. Thankfully Jack will be returning tomorrow to join the Jettride again! Also we are visiting a boy named Jackson tomorrow for a day to hang out!
Today we left from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and had a 60 mile day. It was all bike path that ran along the river. The view was very scenic and the path was a little wet.
Julia was attacked by a large wolf looking dog! Thankfully there was a fence. Once we came close to our destination we met a tri-fold of bikers that were cycling to Oregon! The pastor led us to the Christian Church. We received showers and left for the movies. After the movies we went to Pizza Hut and had a feast. Then we returned to the church and had an intense game of basketball. After Team Megan/ Colby demolished the competition, everyone prepared for bed.
Today we left Geneva college with a day rider, Sarah! She was connected to the JettRide through Jack Wolf, who we met in the previous years. Our route brought us to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! The ride was hilly and very scenic. Thankfully no flats or crashes.
As we drew closer to the town the roads became more busy and the shoulders smaller. The view of Pittsburgh was amazing, and the weather was very cool. We arrived at the church at around 12. Then we said our goodbyes to Sarah and toured the city!
Around 6 we went to the baseball stadium and met up with another boy named Jack with Duchenne, and got a tour. It was amazing to see the history and culture of baseball in Pittsburgh. We got to see the field, multiple club houses, and the press room!
Once we returned to the church we were welcomed with a well prepared dinner and company. Thank you much for the hospitality and support!
The local newspaper in Canal Fulton featured us on the front page! The day was a short 28 miles. We arrived at the Featheringham’s around 10:46! We were greeted with signs and hugs. We definitely appreciate the effort and work on their side! We took a detour and ended up on a brick road. The road was bone-jarring, while the scenery was breath taking!
At the Featheringham’s, we went swimming with Caden and had some delicious home-made ice cream. Also Caden took a ride on the duet bike. Caden was sporting a mow hawk for Jack who was sadly not here. After showers and a nap we went to the movies in Alliance. We all enjoyed Grown Ups 2!
This morning we left from the Dumm’s around 8:00 after a delicious breakfast spread. Colby missed the only turn and traveled multiple miles down a hilly road. Soon Colby was called and reached the group.
The scenery was breathtaking and the trails were amazing. The first part was a very scenic steep downhill. Surprisingly we met up with the City Manager of Canal Fulton, Mark Cozy, that we rode with in the previous years. He brought us to Oser’s Ice Cream Shop that had over 100 flavors! We met a boy with Duchenne named Ben. He was ecstatic when we presented him with his Kindle Fire! After our ice cream we met up with the press and then took off. Ben rode in the duet and his brother Isaiah tagged along. Ben and the JettRiders departed at the bike shop where we were greeted by the owner. Before we left, Megan got a flat. We are spending the night at a Recreation Center, and for dinner, Bob Evans! The total mileage was 62 miles.
Today we took off from Vermillion, OH heading for North Royalton, OH with an experienced cyclist named Bud. Sadly, we were one man short. Jack Van Houten left last night for his cross country trip. Rumor has it that his team is running about 300 miles! He will return soon…
Within an hour the temperature rose about ten degrees. As the day dragged on the temperature rose drastically. We only experienced a few large hills near the end. At one of the breaks Colby tried popping a wheel in the lot and ended up on his rear. He walked away with a devastating arm injury. No need to worry, he is okay. Megan had two flat tires within an hour. The cause was unknown….bum bum bahhh
Around 2:00, we arrived in North Royalton, OH at the Dumm’s. We were greeted with a pool, slip-n-slide, and food! We spent the night swimming, and playing with the Dumm’s kids and friends. The temperature drastically dropped in the afternoon and made up for the crucial temperature during the day.
The following was written by Tammy Henegar. It describes how much fun her son Braedan had, when the JettRiders came to their hometown of Curtice, OH on July 13, 2013 and spent some time biking, playing mini golf, catching snakes and eating ice cream sundaes!!!
We had a great visit once again with the JettRiders this year. We had an amazing reception when they arrived with lots of food and fun. The kids of course took advantage of the pond to cool off in right away. Jeremiah Przybylski (Braedan’s gym teacher) led the way again with the kids and Scott and I through Toledo to our house.
We picked Braedan up in the Duet bike a few miles out from our house and Scott and I took turns riding him to our place. He loved that and seeing the crowd cheer them on was priceless.
They got to meet some of my Duchenne friends, Tom Kevin Sulfaro (41 yrs old with Duchenne), Bob Sulfaro (his brother and long time care giver) and his nurse and friend Connie Lange. They also met the McNutt Family (Jackson, has Duchenne and Autism and I believe he is 5). They swam, played on the beach in the sand with Braedan making sand castles, streams and ponds for his critters, snake hunted, and even went for a 5 ft. bananna split sundae at DG’s.
On Sunday, we joined them in Sandusky, OH to meet up with The Porter Family, which was the first time we had actually met in person, so that was nice. We spoke to them a lot, sharing some knowledge of things that we have learned on care for Duchenne and the boys played a bit. Austin took a ride in the Duet as well, and it was great to see his happy smiling face. After dinner and Pauly was done making his final arrangements for the next day, we headed off to Goofy Golf to have a blast once again Go Karting and Putt Putting, oh and must not forget the Bumper Boats!
At the end of the night, we went back to the church and Braedan asked if he could play with the boys a little longer, I said a very little bit because they need to get to sleep and we need to get going home. They ran in to the church and went down to their Man Cave. After a bit, I sent Scott down to get him and when they came back up, I could see that Braedan had been crying and they all looked a bit sad. He ran to me and said “I want this to last forever.” It was definitely hard to choke back the tears wellowing in all of our eyes at that time. After a few minutes Colby came up, and gave Braedan an enormous hug, and asked him to hold on to his Boston Red Sox hat and to bring it to New Jersey with him when they see each other again. Ahh.. I thought that was so great of him.
Today was a nice relaxing day off in Vermilion, Ohio. We got to sleep in, do laundry and play around at the beach. The church found us some kayaks to explore the canals of Vermillion with.
Later in the night David Rathbun had us over his house where his daughter and grandson took us tubing on the lake. The night ended with Jack having to leave for a few days but he will be back and hopefully with some dayriders!
Today was a nice easy 17 mile ride from Sandusky to Vermillion. All went smoothly until around halfway when Jill, Kaitlyn and Julianna got pulled over by a police officer because they were riding on a no bicycle road.
When we got to the beautiful beach house destination we all took naps before hitting the town.
In town we walked around and explored the many stores such as the candy shop and thrift shop. We spent the rest of the night at the beach with the church members. We are excited for the day off tomorrow
Today was another great day on JettRide 2013! We rode 54 miles to Sandusky, Ohio with our 2 guest riders, Scott Henegar and Lexi Harvey. Today Jack and Colby rolled their shorts up extra high in order to produce tan lines that could one up Ty Miller’s from previous years. Unfortunately for Colby, he got some nasty sunburn. When we got to the church in Sandusky, we meet up again with Braedan and another boy named Austin Porter. They had lots of fun hanging out in the church together and catching bugs. Pauly gave Austin a Kindle Fire and boy was he thrilled! Later in the night we went to Goofy Golf and drove go-carts. Jack and Colby flew by their competitors and spun out some of the girls but in the end they got spun out by Braedan and his dad. Braedan was the winner tonight but the boys vowed that they would return and beat Braedan next year.
Today we rode 49 miles from Milan, Michigan to Curtice, Ohio. We had 3 guest riders today: Scott and Tammy Henegar and Jeremiah. We rode a tough 30 miles of dirt roads to get to Mr. Henegar’s Uncle’s house for lunch. After lunch we rode though Toledo but had to go on a small detour because there was a carnival in town. Luckily a nice man on stilts helped point us in the right direction. Just before arriving in Curtice, we picked up Braedan, a 7 year old with DMD, and he rode in the duet with his mom, then his dad. When we finally arrived at the Henegar household we were greated by a crowd of people and a delicious barbeque. We met Tom Sulfaro, a 41 year old with DMD, and talked about some 53 year olds with DMD that he met online and our similar hopes for the future of DMD research and a cure! We also met a young boy with DMD named Jackson McNutt. We spent the rest of the day swimming in the giant pond in Braedan’s backyard. For dessert we went to a local ice cream shop and ordered a 5-foot-long banana split! It was so big we couldn’t finish it. After dessert Braedan took us into a field where we caught some snakes. A fun, exciting way to end day 2 of the 2013 JettRide!
Today we woke up bright and early to a very clear, cool day. We were sent off by the Van Houtens and the Bretsiks. Kyle rode in the duet with his older brother, Jack. Once we reached the local bowling alley, Kyle left and we continued riding.
Within minutes Colby got a flat tire from some poorly placed glass shards. Once Pauly came to the rescue, he fixed it in a jiffy. Then they were off! After the first break, Jill took a devastating fall but remained unharmed! Soon after, Pauly also got a flat tire. The rest of the day went smoothly and we arrived at the People’s Presbyterian Church around 2:45. Pastor Kelly and a large group of gracious volunteers greeted us and gave us showers and food. After a meet and greet, we presented our stories and reasons for riding with the Jettride. It was a great day!
The 2013 JettRide got off to a great start today. Colby and Kaitlyn arrived at the Van Houten residence last night. This morning we had to do a lot of work to prepare the trailer and our bikes for the trip ahead of us. Julianna and Megan arrived around midday. We spent the rest of the day swimming and hanging with Kyle and Evan. Everyone got to know each other and are having a blast! Tomorrow is our first riding day and we are so excited!
Please take a moment to check out this awesome video put together by 2012 JettRiders Drew Gottman and Mac Sullivan. Their video chronicles their journey across America starting in Seaside, Oregon and finishing with the rest of the JettRiders in Point Pleasant, New Jersey! They biked for their friend Cory who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
A message from the Jett Foundation Staff:
This year the Jettride 2012 team visited over 38 families affected by
Duchenne, and crossed 8 states in 35 days in an effort to spread
awareness, raise funds and unite families. We would like to thank all
those of you who supported, hosted, donated, fed and cheered them
on…even if from your own home. Just by telling one person about
Duchenne…. you have helped us achieve our purpose. Each year we
have some new riders come and some old riders leave… if you know
someone who is interested in becoming a Jettrider, please contact the
office 781 585 5566. Special thanks to all those who helped to make
the finish line parade possible: Carol @ Point Pleasant Beach Chamber
of Commerce, Aunt Judy Brierly, Point Pleasant Beach Police and Point
Pleasant Beach Fire Dept.
Over the course of the next 2 weeks, we will be uploading all of the
pics and video so please check back for more ….
Dont forget to visit our facebook page as well… www.Facebook.com/TheJettride
Finish line day!! It’s so crazy that it’s here. We woke up at
4:30 and we were on the road by 6:30. Since the roads were flat and we
were so excited we were going about 15 mph. We were actually early and
we stopped a few times. Megan and Jack did a great job leading the way
at the end since they know the area ( their grandfather lives right
near there). Before the parade began we stopped to decorate our bikes
and helmets along with taking pictures. A lot of our parents and
family were up there and it was great to be reunited with them. The
rest were down at the beach and it was very exciting for all of us to
see family. The parade was awesome! We had police escorts, fire
trucks, and most importantly boys with Duchenne leading the way. It
was an amazing way to end an amazing journey. When we got to the beach
we ran into the ocean. The waves were huge! We had some fun in the
water and then we headed over to lunch. It was good to be together as
a big group of riders, family, friends, and members of the Duchenne
community. We took lots of pictures. At lunch medals were handed out
by Pauly and he gave a nice little speech about each rider. Pauly, you
were an outstanding tour leader. You worked hard and you always had
our best interest in mind. You really understood us. Thanks for all
you did for us! Joe, Gillian, Ty, Megan, and Sarah we appreciate all
the hard work you guys put into leading us. We thank you so much. We
love all the leaders! We are so lucky to have had all of you guiding
us on this journey and to have met such great people. We’d also like
to take this time to thank everyone we met along the way. It was
amazing how many people opened up their communities and homes to us.
Your generosity is outstanding and the trip couldn’t have happened
without people like you. A huge thanks also goes out to Michelle Burt.
Thanks for being the mastermind behind this whole trip. You are an
excellent planner and very well organized. Later that night Jack and
Megan’s grandfather had us all over. It was lots of fun to hang out as
a group one last time. We did a lot of group hugs. All the riders
really did become family. We all got along so well ( we didn’t have
any drama on the trip)! It was so hard to say goodbye. We shared so
many days together and we made it through the hard days along with the
good together. We have created so many memories together that only
we’ll understand. The worst part about saying bye was that we don’t
know when our paths will cross again. Perhaps Jettride 2013?!
Love, The Jettriders
check out pictures from the finish line at the link
Today was a sad day. It was Gillian’s last day! We all wish she
could have stayed for the finish line but she was off to do another
bike tour. Now this whole trip Gillian has been the one that wakes us
all up in the morning. That is not an easy task! Especially the
teenage boys, they don’t like to be woken up early in the morning. So
for Gillian’s last day the group decided it was her turn to be woken
up by us. She slept in the car for fear of what we would do but she
forgot to lock it! At 6:30 we opened the doors to the car and began
shaking the car and chanting all sorts of things such as ” wake up
wake up!”, ” chop chop lemon drop chop chop”, and singing call me
maybe ( Gillian’s favorite song). She thought her wake up ended there
but she was wrong. She was then thrown into the pool. What a good
sport Gillian is!! Gillian didn’t complain and said it was refreshing.
After that the group went back to sleep for an hour. We got a good
night sleep with the air conditioning. We were all excited for
breakfast because we could actually toast our bagels and she bought
some sugary cereal ( which we haven’t had). The box of fruit loops was
gone in the blink of an eye! It was very hot and humid out but
thankfully we weren’t biking far. We only biked about 2 blocks away to
a local park where we got to kayak. It was so much fun! One of the
funniest parts was when Alec and Ty were flipped out of their double
kayak and they were trying to drain the water out of it. Workers had
to come and help them get back in. Gillian had to leave for the
airport while we were kayaking. Unfortunately not all of us could hear
her when we were on the water. So, not all of us got to say bye to her
which was upsetting. She called later and talked to all of us which
made us feel better. After kayaking we were tired. It’s hard work for
your arms and our arms definitely aren’t as strong as our legs( from
all the biking). We had a great picnic lunch at the park and Jake and
Victor were able to spend the day with us. After that we biked back to
the Doyle’s house. From there we were shuttled to the church we were
staying at. The gps took us every which way which resulted in the
drive taking a lot longer than it should have. This led to Justin
almost peeing his pants. He begged Ty to stop but Ty didn’t want to
make Pauly mad. After about an hour of Justin begging, a wrong turn,
and all of us chiming in that we had to pee too we finally stopped.
Justin was thrilled. For our final night together we went to a local
Italian restaurant named Francos. They were so nice there. They put a
picture of us on their Facebook page, gave us a free pizza, and free
cannolis. Thank you so much! They said they’d love to do more for us
next year. How sweet! It was nice to go out to dinner and enjoy our
last night together. Pauly gave us the option to shuttle tomorrow
because we would have to do 50 miles before 11 but we all want to
bike. It’s definitely bittersweet to realize that the trip is coming
to a close. It kind of feels like Christmas eve. You want Christmas to
come but in a way you don’t want the joy of the holiday to be over. It
definitely will be hard for us to sleep. Ty even redid Justin’s hair
so he would be finish line ready.
August already?! Where has the time gone? Today we headed to
Doylestown. We were all pretty tired from the long day we had
yesterday. The day had a lot of hills. Courtney fell over her
handlebars this morning. Thankfully she wasn’t hurt and she was ready
to keep going. TJ biked with us and he did really well. It wasn’t an
easy day and he should be proud of his accomplishment. After break and
before lunch we were joined by some more day riders. Drew’s
grandfather and uncle got the chance to bike with us. We were glad to
have them and you could tell Drew was happy to see family. His uncle
and grandfather were so fast! We should have guessed that since they
are related to Drew. In the blink of an eye they were gone. We had a
great lunch in the park. We biked to valley forge and we stopped at
the visitor’s center. We got a chance to watch a video about valley
forge and to explore the gift shop. From there we were shuttled the
rest of the day to the Doyle’s house. Last year they got to her house
so late and didn’t get much of a chance to hang out with her. This
year that wasn’t going to be the case. It’s also good that we got
shuttled the roads would have been really hard to bike on because they
were narrow and windy. When we got to the Doyle’s residence we had a
great meal. There was lots and lots of food. We also met Jake and
Victor at her house. Jake is Donna’s grandson. He was very quiet and
shy. We don’t blame him. We are a lot of people to have asking you
questions. Victor and his family came to see us. Victor was an
extremely intelligent boy and friendly. We had fun hanging out at the
house and swimming in the pool.
Hello! Today was a pretty eventful and successful day. It started
off with Megan having to go to the doctors. Turns out she has a uti.
She got medicine and she is a tough cookie who looks forward to riding
tomorrow. Unfortunately, it was back to packing the trailer this
morning. That is one of the toughest jobs on the trip! Once that was
done we headed out for what would be a very long day. In the morning
we made great timing. We were able to accomplish 40 miles by
lunchtime. That was great! We even stopped at one point so that Drew
and Mac could fix Kristyn’s tire. Drew had to true the tire because it
had a huge bump in it. Thanks guys! At lunch a few of us went to the
fire station to use their bathroom. It was neat because the
firefighter recognized us from the paper. After lunch we thought we
had between 25 and 27 miles left. Turns out the day was a lot longer
than the riders had originally expected. The afternoon also wasn’t as
good as the morning because it got a lot hotter and we encountered
tons of hills. When we reached the church we were staying at we had
biked 80 miles! That was our longest day of the trip. Mac, Gillian,
and Kristyn finished their day by biking through a drive thru for a
frosty. Yum! After we got settled at the church we headed over to an
Amish household. Mr. McSherry sells the swing sets that this man makes
at his store. To be honest, at first we were a little hesitant about
going. We didn’t know what to expect. By the end of the night we were
raving away about the experience. It was so cool. The family was so
welcoming to us. The children were adorable and showed us around. Some
of the riders favorite parts were petting the animals, playing on the
children’s scooters and mini bikes ( the toys weren’t like ours), and
horse and buggy rides! Thanks for having us and being so hospitable.
That night Jack Van Houten’s cousin TJ met us at the church. He will
be riding with us for the next few days.
Love, The Jettriders
Greetings everyone! Today was our day off. We haven’t had a day
off in awhile so we were all looking forward to today. As the trip is
getting closer to an end we are getting more worn out. So today
everyone slept in. It was great! We had a nice comfy bed and air
conditioning. For the most part we just hung out today and took care
of some things that had to be done. Pauly took Colby to the hospital
today. They ran a lot of tests and thankfully he is okay. He Has
some strained muscles in his neck but he is eager to ride tomorrow. We
were happy to do laundry today and to have clean clothes. We also had
to clean our bikes since they were wicked dirty from the trails we had
been on the last few days. Dirt was encrusted on them! We also had to
do some cleaning of the trailer. The picture below shows only a
quarter of the stuff that goes in there. Tomorrow we’ll show you a
picture of it nicely packed. One bonus to a day off is not having to
pack the trailer! It was good to have a day where we could just relax
and hang out together. We went to dinner at a Chinese buffet and we
all enjoyed it.
Hi guys- Today started off with us going out to breakfast. What
a treat! It was a good way to start off the long day ahead of us. With
full bellies we were ready to hit the road. The whole day was rolling
hills. Even though it was kind of hot everyone did well. Pauly had
trouble with his bike at one point but luckily it was able to be
fixed. Along the way we even stopped for ice cream. Yum! Gillian tried
to feed the group cat food at lunch and only Joe fell for it. The
people who knew it was cat food made predictions and they were spot
on. We knew Ty would recognize it was cat food because he has a cat.
We also knew Joe would eat it because he would feel bad no one had
touched the sandwiches. When he found out it was cat food he spit it
out immediately. Colby still wasn’t feeling 100 percent today. He had
a headache and Pauly wanted him to ride in the car. The biggest hill
of the day was between 2-3 miles. The lead group made awesome timing.
The other group got far behind because they got a little lost. Let’s
just say the group wasn’t too happy with Joe. He made them go up a
huge hill in the wrong direction! Everyone was happy to get to the
hotel and to have a day off tomorrow. We ordered pizza and we were
excited to watch the Olympics! One last thing, as many of you know Mac
and Drew started from the West coast. Be sure to check out their blog
at the link below for more highlights of their journey: bikestory4cory.blogspot.com/.
Hey guys. This morning had a little bit of a scary start. At
breakfast Colby passed out. We were all really scared for him. When he
woke up he wasn’t sure where he was. We knew Colby was back to himself
when one of the first things he said was “Did anybody get that on the
go pro?!” Colby said he was okay. He was sore and had a headache and
for safety reasons he didn’t bike. We all hope Colby feels better!
Please don’t scare us like that again. Today is also the year
anniversary of when Jack Van Houten broke his hand. Jack was Sherpa
today ( we all take turns being Sherpa- that means you don’t bike and
you ride in the support vehicle and help the driver set up for break
and lunch). Jack and Colby had fun being sherpas for Ty. Meanwhile,
the path the rest of us were on stunk. It was horrible! It was so
bumpy that our bikes were vibrating the whole way. Also, there was a
ton of mud so our tires were fish tailing. It was a long and slow day.
We did see some animals on the path which was cool. Some of the
favorites were deer and turtles. A deer even ran right in front of
someone’s bike! Another thing people enjoyed was right after lunch
when people jumped off a bridge and into the water. We biked between
62 and 65 miles today. Us and our bikes were all very dirty by the end
of the day. Thanks to Dave at the Church for buying us dinner at a
Hello everyone! Today was a pretty good day. We left the hostel a
little late but it didn’t set us back too much. At the hostel we met
this really interesting man named Tom. Tom has been biking for 5
months and he is trying to raise money to go to Israel and make
prosthetic limbs for orphans. He had such an interesting story. We
enjoyed talking to him and we were happy he wasn’t bothered by us. We
hope he can succeed in his mission. Pauly couldn’t find a pair of his
riding shorts and we weren’t going to leave until they were found. We
thought that they had gone through the laundry and ended up in
somebody’s bag. So, we all had to look through our stuff. Turns out
they never made it to the wash and that they were in his bike bag the
whole time! He felt horrible about it but we thought it was funny. We
were on the same trail we were on the day before. Since there had been
a storm the night before the trail had a lot of trees and branches in
the path along with mud. The beginning of the day was a steady incline
but at around 20 miles it became downhill for the rest of the day. It
was great! We saw the Eastern Continental divide along with the Mason
Dixon line. It was really cool to see. The group kind of got really
split up today. Pauly, Kristyn, and Colby got ahead of the others
because the others stopped at the local town. In town a really strange
series of coincidences lead to the riders meeting a local boy who had
recently been diagnosed with Duchenne. The riders met a lady and told
them what we were biking for. She was reading a newspaper and saw the
article about the boy who had just been diagnosed. The article had
contact information so they called it and the family came to meet them
and reporters came. It was a great experience. We had a few crashes
today. Luckily, nobody was hurt. Just handlebars to the back and a
fall by someone else but it was an accident. Lunch was cool because we
saw this great old fashioned train. The conductor was talking to Pauly
and next year he wants to help us do a fundraiser. It was a great day
of making connections.We were all happy to make it to the church and
to relax. Thanks to the leaders for cooking dinner. Love, The
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Sent from my iPhone
Today we continued on the trail. The scenery was awesome. The
trail had a canopy of trees covering it and rays of sunlight would
come through. It looked really cool. We got very dirty on the trail
because early morning there were severe thunderstorms. The path had a
lot of puddles that we couldn’t prevent going through. We biked 18
miles and most of it was at a steady incline. The day was a short one
because we got to go white water rafting!! It was lots of fun and the
boys put their go pros to good use. A lot of us fell off our rafts and
one of us accidentally got a paddle to the face. Falling off was a
little scary. Fortunately, we all made it safely to the end of the
rafting. As we were finishing and the company was shuttling us back to
where we started it began to pour followed by thunder and lightening.
We were freezing. As planned after rafting , Pauly shuttled us to the
hostel where we are staying. We didn’t have power for awhile because
of the storm. Thank you to the members of the Jettride who cooked in
the rain. We were all happy when the power came back. We really had to
do laundry! Tomorrow’s ride is supposed to be a good one… Lots of
downhill. We’ll fill you in on how tomorrow goes. Love, The Jettriders
Check out more pictures at the link below: http://www.Facebook.com/TheJettRide
Today was a long day. We got a late start which meant we had a
late arrival. A few things had to be taken care of in the morning so
we didn’t hit the trail until around 11. We biked 58 miles on a trail
that we will be on for the next two days. The trail runs all the way
to D.C.! We obviously won’t be taking the full trail since our final
destination is New Jersey. The trail is great for allowing us to have
more of a relaxed ride where we can talk to each other. Courtney
hadn’t been feeling well for the past few days and went to the
hospital. We missed her biking with us! She was dehydrated. Not to
fret, she is doing wonderfully. She stayed at the hospital for a few
hours and got hooked up to ivs and began to feel much better. Even
with a late start we still made decent timing. We went to pizza hut
for dinner and we had a great meal. We then headed to the church and
had a great surprise.. Gillian and Courtney had unloaded all our
stuff. Score! At the church we all just hung out until bed. Love, The
Check out more pictures at the link below: http://www.Facebook.com/TheJettRide
Sent from my iPhone
Hello! Today we headed to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The riding
wasn’t too bad. We just had to be careful because as we got closer to
the city. It became more and more crowded. We biked 36 miles from
Minerva and got in early. When we left Geneva college in the morning
it began to pour as the packing crew was loading up the bags. Also,
right when we were arriving to Pittsburg it began to pour again.
Thankfully it cleared up and we got to enjoy the day. Since we got in
early we had a chance to take showers and naps before dinner. Thanks
to the church for providing dinner! After that we went to a Pirates
game. It was lots of fun. The stadium had a great view of the city.
Unfortunately, the Pirates lost but we still had fun. That was even
some people’s first baseball game. Overall it was a good day.
Love, The Jettriders
For those of you who don’t know, Pedal America is a TV series promoting biking across the US:
Each 30-minute episode of the on-going series emphasizes wellness, bicycle safety, and preserving climate change while highlighting the icons, culture, and journey through a North American locale that takes pride in being bicycle-friendly.
The series aims to educate, inspire, and encourage riders of all ages to rediscover the basic joys of cycling from journeying through national parks and local urban areas.
The series also showcases best routes; the development of bike trails, bikeways, and bike infrastructure; bicycle repair and maintenance to make cycling less intimidating; and personal stories of how bicycling has helped to transform lives.
Greetings from Pennsylvania!! Today we crossed over from Ohio to
Pennsylvania. We biked about 48 miles. This morning we got a tour of
the spread eagle tavern from one of Cade’s family members, Karen. It
was really cool. It was built in 1837 and was turned into a
restaurant. Karen told us all about the history of the place and even
told us about a ghost that is said to live there. Thanks Karen! People
were especially pleased with the expressos she gave us. What a treat!
From there we headed out for the rest of our day. The road we bike on
was kind of scary because there were tons of semi trucks. On the
positive side, the route was very scenic. There were a lot of hills
but the down hills were good. We had a great lunch today grilled
cheese. Yum! Thanks driver and sherpa. We made good timing arriving at
our destination early and giving us time to relax and settle in. We
are staying at Geneva college. Thanks for letting stay here and for
the great dinner and lawn games. We appreciate it. Love, The
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Hello! Today we left the rec center where we had stayed the
night. We slept in until 6:30 because it was a 32 mile day. We got a
little bit of a late start because somebody’s biking shoes were left
at the last house. They had to go back and get them. When we left the
rec center at about 10 we headed to the local bike shop to pick up a
few things. It was an awesome store and we were like kids in a candy
shop. The biking was tough but manageable. There were a lot of rolling
hills and it was hot out. We stayed with the Rudd family. They had a
lovely greeting for us with lots of signs and cheering. We had an
amazing time with Cade and his mom( Amanda) along with the rest of the
crew. Cade had lots of fun in the pool with everyone. He seemed to
take a special liking to Justin. Cade was an excellent host. For his
birthday he got this really cool concession stand. He served us
snowcones, nachos, and popcorn. He made sure we were well taken care
of. To finish off the day we had s’mores and slept under the stars.
What a day! Thank you Rudd family for your hospitality. We had a great
time. Love, The Jettriders
This morning we had an amazing send off. Lots of friends and
family of the Wolfe’s and Dumm’s came to see us off along with the
local cheerleaders and the police. Courtney got a flat while we had
our police escort! Then less than 30 minutes later Alec got a hole in
his tire because he accidentally ran over glass. It was a rough start
to the day. We biked on a trail most of the day called Towpath. It was
a lot better than biking on a road. At break Gillian ended up running
into somebody that she lead during her last tour. What a small world!
On the trail we saw water locks for the barges. It was cool. When we
had about 10 miles left we met the town manager of Canal Fulton, Mark
Cozy, for ice cream. Thank you! He then biked with us to where we
would be staying the night. Somebody on the bike path ran into him and
he hit a tree! He was thankfully okay but he was a little sore. Pauly
also got his first flat of the trip even though he just changed his
tires this morning. We biked 60 miles today arriving in Massillon,
Ohio. Once again the day was a long one. We were all happy to go out
Love, The Jettriders. Check out more at the link below: http://www.Facebook.com/TheJettRide
Today we left Sandusky, Ohio and headed to North Royalton, Ohio.
The weather was not the greatest at first. The morning was dark,
gloomy, cold, and drizzly. We were having lunch provided for us about
20 miles out. This gave us time to explore Vermilion, Ohio before it
was time for lunch. Poor Alec blew out his tire so his group didn’t
have as much time to explore. We saw lake Erie and did some window
shopping. Colby got a free haircut at the barbershop when the barber
found out about the Jettride. Colby was really happy. Lunch was great.
Thank you. Then we headed out for the rest of the day. The weather got
a little better and the cool air felt nice biking. The stinky part of
the day was the headwind! We were biking most of the day with it and
it made pedaling a lot harder. It was a long day. Joe’s bike spoke
broke so he had to make a makeshift one to get through the end of the
day. We were all happy when we arrived at the Dumm residence. The day
was a little longer than expected and we ended up doing 65 miles.
Everyone was so friendly and happy for us to be there. Thank you so
much for the great time and the hospitality. We were happy to get to
talk with John Owen and Jack Wolfe. Thank you to Sue ( Jen Dumm’s
sister) for having the girls stay there. Leader Gillian returned after
leaving for a week to attend her mom’s wedding. Alec also got Ty back
for making him think his liver was failing. Alec hid when we got to
the Dumm’s house and had people tell Ty he was missing. Ty had to dive
the car and go out looking for him. Now that they are even it is the
end of their war. Love, The Jettriders
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Today was a rest day and we certainly used it for rest. Last
night we rented some movies and watched those late into the night and
today we got to sleep in as late as we wanted. It was great. Having a
lazy day allowed us time to just relax. Some of us went and did
laundry ( clean clothes are always nice). Others were still sleeping
so they just washed their clothes in the sink. The other task we got
done was going to the bike shop. We had to pick up more tubes since we
were getting so many flat tires. For dinner we had a surf and turf
theme, steak and fish. A big thanks goes out to (leader) Megan’s mom.
She lives in Ohio and hung out with us last night and helped with
dinner tonight. We appreciate it! It was delicious. We were joined by
the Porter family for dinner. Their son Austin who is 7 has Duchenne.
He was adorable. He was a little shy at first but Megan and Courtney
got him out of his shell by inviting him to play volleyball with them.
He was thrilled to play that and other games. He also sampled most of
the desserts even with his missing front teeth. By the end of the
night he didn’t want to leave. It was great to hang out with him and
his family. Thanks to Pastor Paul and the church community for having
us. We have some busy days ahead of us. Wish us luck! Love, The
Today was an awesome day! We biked 25 miles from the church to
the Henegar’s house. Braedan Henegar is almost 7 and he has Duchenne.
His family was thrilled to find out that we were in the area and they
wanted to host us for lunch. Thanks for all the great food! They also
had a really cool pond in their backyard that we got to swim in. It
was a blast. They had a dock in the pond which we had fun jumping off
of and pushing each other off, they had a tire swing that you could
use to jump into the water, rafts, and paddle boats. We also had a big
game of baseball in the front yard. It started to rain a little but
that made the game even better. We got to be shuttled the rest of the
way to Sandusky, Ohio due to the time. The Henegars helped shuttle
which we appreciated. Then we had a delicious dinner provided by the
church. After dinner we went with the Henegar family to goofy golf. We
did mini golf, bumper boats, played in the arcade, and go carts. The
overall favorite was the go carts. Lets just be thankful that some of
us don’t bike the way we drive the go carts! It was great to be able
to hang out with Braedan all day! Thank you so much Henegar family. We
hope you guys can come to NJ. Love, The Jettriders.
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We had a blast with them!!!! I love them all, and they are welcome back to our place anytime!!!
They all have such BIG hearts and were wonderful with Braedan! We spent the whole day with them, until 10:30 last night. We had lunch, swam, played baseball, swam again, and then went to Sandusky and went putt-putting and Go-Karting with them. They are such an awesome group of kids, and I actuall hated to even say good bye to them last night. Braedan loved it so much!!!!!
Thank you so much for allowing us to host them, and we would love to have them back next year!!!
Hi guys! This morning we were escorted out of the Van Houten’s
neighborhood by Kyle in his golf cart. It was really fun. The day was
a tough one though. The roads we were biking on weren’t the greatest.
This morning where we were biking there was tons of traffic. It was a
little scary but the leaders made sure we all were safe. The roads
also were really bumpy and had a lot of potholes! It was rough. We had
a lot of flats. We had lunch at a great place where we could swim. It
was an awesome way for us to cool down since it was so hot out. We
biked 75 miles today and made it safely to Temperance. We made it in
sort of late due the swimming but it was worth it. The local YMCA
provided us with dinner and showers. We were really thankful.
Tonight’s church has air conditioning which is a bonus. The pastor of
the Church is really cool. He even let us use the instruments to have
karaoke. Love, The Jettriders
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Hi! Today is the halfway point of the Jettride. We can’t believe
it!! Being here has given us a weird concept of time. It Feels like
time has been going by quickly but thinking about being at home seems
like a long time ago. Last night we got our care packages. It was nice
to get a taste of home. Today was a rest day. We slept in and had a
great breakfast. Later on we went to the movies and had a lot of fun.
Kyle came with us and we saw the amazing spiderman. It was good to be
able to relax and enjoy the air conditioning. After that we came back
and hung out by the pool. It was such a great day. They also made us
an awesome dinner. The Van Houten’s are the best! Thank you so much
for hosting us. We had a blast and don’t want to leave. You guys went
above and beyond to make sure we had a good time. We appreciate all
the hard work that went into having us. We have a long day ahead of
us. 75 miles! Love, The Jettriders
Hello everyone! Today was a hot and sunny day. We made great
timing and were able to leave the church by 7:45. Before we left most
of us thought the day was going to be a 50 mile biking day but the
leaders did the route the night before and it was 65 miles. The
morning was mostly flat so we could bike quickly. At break we saw two
deer. Then the afternoon was a bit harder but manageable. Once again
we saw lots of road kill. There were a good amount of hills but we
made great timing. We made it to the Van Houten’s residence by 3. The
Van Houten’s are rider Jack’s family and extended family of rider
Megan Drake. Jack’s brother Kyle is 13 and has Duchenne. He is a great
kid! He took us on golf cart rides and explained fantasy baseball to
Kristyn. The Van Houtens had lots of friends and family to greet us.
We had a great time hanging out by the pool. There definitely was not
a food shortage. We had an excellent dinner and lots of desserts.
Another little boy who has Duchenne named Evan came to hangout with
us. The boys had a great time swimming with him and playing Legos.
Tomorrow is a rest day and we look forward to being with the Van
Houtens! Love, The Jettriders. Jack’s take on the day: I was very
anxious to head home to see my family and spend some quality time in
my pool. I feel like the luckiest Jettrider of all time because I get
to sleep in my own bed. Please
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Hello everyone! Today we were lead out by Ed and Bill from the
church we were staying with. The morning flew by! We biked 23 miles on
a trail. The only downside was that we encountered the smell of poop.
The afternoon got a little harder as it got hotter and there were a
good amount of hills. Some of us got a little lost at one point but
luckily the streets met up. We made great timing and made it to the
church by 2 after biking 50 miles. We had some visitors tonight. Alec
is going into 4th grade and he has Duchenne. His two younger sisters
and his dad came with him. They also brought brownies! Tonight we
pulled an awesome prank on Alec Scroggins. We all convinced him that
his liver was failing because his foot was turning yellow/orange. We
even had him soaking his feet in orange juice. He thought the vitamin
c would take away the fungus. We had him believing that he was going
to the hospital. Ty and him drove around but then they had to come
back for his “file”. That’s when Ty told him it was a prank! He
couldn’t believe it. Love, the JettRiders.
Hello! Last night most of us decided to sleep outside because the
weather was nice and inside was a little warm. What seemed like a good
idea turned out not to be. It was buggy out and our sleep was
interrupted. The police made a visit because they thought we were
trespassing but we were able to explain to them that we were guests at
the church. Then the sprinklers went off twice in the middle of the
night!! No one made it through the night. We all ended up returning
inside. Needless to say,the adventures of sleeping outside might be
over. Despite a not so great night of sleep, we were able to leave the
church by 8:30. The temperature was in the low 90s and we were biking
on road all day. We encountered a lot of road kill. Yuck! We met the
nicest lady at our 1st break. We accidentally stopped there thinking
it was park area but it turned out to be a lady named Kendra’s
property. She was more than happy to let us stay there and even
offered her pool up to anyone who wanted to cool down. She was so
interested in what we were doing. She even took some pictures and a
little video of us to send to her local paper. It was great to spread
the message. She’s already planning on having us stay with her next
year. It was great to meet you Kendra! Kristyn got her 4th flat o the
trip. What bad luck! One highlight of the day was going to get ice
cream after lunch. It hit the spot! We rounded off our 62 mile day
between 3 and 3:30 making it to St. Johns,MI. It was a good day. Then
at around 6 we had a picnic dinner provided by Bonnie. Thank you!
Tonight Megan Matrka, a leader of the 2010 Jettride arrived. She will
be a leader for us for the week.Great meeting you! We are all pretty
tired. Tomorrow we have about a 50 mile day. We are staying with the
Van Houtens tomorrow and Monday night! Please enjoy more pictures at
the link below: http://www.Facebook.com/TheJettRide.
Happy 16th Birthday Courtney! We all got to celebrate with her
because we had a day off. We got to sleep in and the leaders made us
an amazing breakfast. Thank you so much! It was such a treat. After
breakfast we headed over to Michigan Adventure. We had a blast! The
rides were great and the lines weren’t long. The favorite ride for
most was the Ripcord. During this ride you experience a free fall of
over 180 feet! It was amazing!! We were flying through the air and
could see the whole park. Ty took videos of us on the ride so
hopefully they will be on Facebook soon. We were joined for dinner by
the grandparents of Kevin and Kyle. Kyle and Kevin both have Duchenne.
Thanks for coming. We appreciated your company. Most of us are pretty
tired from the day. Good night everyone. Love, The Jettriders.
Hello everyone! Today was an awesome day. We got to sleep in until
8. We took the ferry to Michigan and it was so much fun. We didn’t
have to go until 12:30 so the morning was very calm. The ferry ride
was nice and relaxing! The weather was beautiful and so was the
surrounding water. We had a great time just hanging out. We only had
to bike a total of 7 miles today.
Once we got to the church we joined some members of the church
community for a picnic. Later we swam in Lake Michigan! Tomorrow is a
day off! We can’t wait. Love, the Jettriders
Hello! Today we left Dousman,WI and headed towards Milwaukee. We
got to sleep in until 6:30 because we didn’t have to bike as many
miles today. We all had a great day of biking and completed our 36
miles. It got a little busy as we got into the city but it was good to
switch up the scenery. We got to go to the local high school for
showers which felt great. After showers we came back to an excellent
dinner. Thanks to everyone who cooked such a good dinner. Some of
Alec’s family came to visit and that really made the night. We love
We had to say goodbye to Sara tonight. It was so sad, none
of us wanted her to leave. We’ll miss her so much.
After dinner we
headed to a local musical festival. It was fun and we got to tell a
lot of people about our trip.
Hey guys! We’d like to start this post by wishing Alec a very
happy 15th birthday!! His mom even came to visit us and brought party favors for all of us.
We were all glad to see her.
As for the actual day….it was just one
of those days. We could tell from the minute we left the parking lot
and couldn’t find the trail that today wouldn’t be easy. It was really
busy and crowded going through Madison, Wisconsin. We added about 8
miles to our planned 55 mile day due to getting lost in Madison.
Luckily, this was the first time we had gotten lost the whole trip.
The leaders have been very good with planning out our routes each
In Madison we did a lot of stop and go biking. We really had to
be focused due to all the traffic. The weather was in the high 80s and
on the trails we saw a lot of corn. At lunch most of us took power
naps. We were all pretty tired from the morning’s ride. Kristyn had 2
flats today! It was rough. One of the tires blew out just minutes
before we got to the church. Today felt like a long one and we were
all happy when we completed our 63 miles.
We were greeted by some
members of the parish community and they had a great dinner ready for
us. We also had a really nice visit from a local family affected by Duchenne. Hopefully tomorrow will run more smoothly.
Alec’s view of the day: Today was an all-around amazing day! It was the best
fifteenth birthday I could ask for. It was an easy riding day and I
was surprised with a cake at our first break. To top it all off I got
to see my Mom who surprised me and dropped off treats for everybody!
Hi! Today was a great day. We left Wisconsin Dells and headed to
Wisconsin’s capital, Madison. The weather was great. It was a lot
cooler and made biking much easier. The temperature was about 80
degrees. There were a decent amount of hills today but they weren’t
too bad because they were short. The hills also gave us some very good
rewards for all our hard work, great downhills. We saw a lot of corn
fields and farms but as we got closer to Madison the area became a
more crowded town. We made great time biking 55 miles and arriving at
the Hilton by 3:30. We were all so excited to get a chance to stay at
a hotel for the night. What a great way to relax and take a great
shower! Candace Miller, a mother of two sons with Duchenne,
organized the free night at the hotel and she also came with pizza!
Your generosity means a lot to us. Thanks so much! She brought her two
sons Ethan and Joseph. They both were very cute. Joseph is a great
little guy with quite the sense of humor. We had lots of fun playing
hide and seek with Joseph. One last thing is that we wish our leader
Sara well. Today she was having trouble with her eye and had to go see
a doctor. Instead of leaving on Sunday she’ll be leaving on Tuesday.
Get well soon. Love, The Jettriders.
Please enjoy more pictures at the link below http://www.Facebook.com/TheJettRide.
Justin’s feelings about the day: Today was a
fun day. We biked from the Wisconsin Dells to Madison, Wisconsin.
Today was an easy biking day and we were treated by staying at a
hotel. We were joined by a family affected by Duchenne. We had fun
playing and eating pizza with Ethan and Joseph. We are all having a
good time enjoying ourselves and hanging out.
Today was a wonderful and much needed rest day for everyone. We slept in and enjoyed blueberry pancakes this morning before heading over to a water park called Wilderness in the Wisconsin Dells. The water park was awesome there were a ton of water slides and lazy rivers to enjoy. When we got back from the water park we did laundry in town, which has lots of cool shops, and we cleaned our bikes too. We had a nice dinner provided by Sarah’s family including burgers, chips, and cake. We all enjoyed the church and sleeping on couches.
Alec and I accompanied Pauly and Ty at a road side store where we were generously given a donation from the cashier. On the way back we stopped at Taco Bell so I could try it for the first time, it was great. A day of rest is always fun.
This morning at the beautiful farm house we had a full and delicious breakfast generously made for us. There was almost everything we could have hoped for. By the time we left, we all were full and ready for the day. We biked about 50 miles during another 116 degree day. We made it into Wisconsin Dells to a church with a couch for practically everyone. A great pasta dinner was provided for us in the evening, accompanied by a visit from the local newspaper reporter. Later that night, most of us walked into town to enjoy the shops, snacks, and arcade. We all are excited about our rest day tomorrow at a nearby waterpark!
Hey guys! Last night we celebrated the 4th of July with sparklers
and we watched some fireworks. Also, the prank wars started when the
leaders mixed some pickled herring, turkey, potato salad, and
mushrooms into our smoothies! Don’t worry we’ll get them back.
Today we left from Trempealeau, Wiconsin and the Williamson family
had us over for breakfast. We loved meeting you guys and appreciated
all that you did for us. We also hope that your 7th annual shootout
fundraiser goes well. After we left from breakfast we had a 60 mile
day ahead of us. We biked on a trail which was fun because it gave us
the chance to talk to each other as we biked. We saw a lot of open
fields and greenery as we biked. We biked through the bicycling
capital of America ( Sparta, Wisconsin). Once again it was over 100
degrees out. One of the best things we saw today while biking was some
tunnels. It was awesome! One was about three quarters of a mile and it
was 45 degrees. It was so refreshing! We all completed today’s ride
safely into Wilton, Wisconsin and we were very happy when we finished
the day. We got a to swim at the local pool and the Dipen family is
hosting us tonight. They gave us a very warm welcome, an awesome place
to stay, and lots and lots of food. One more day of biking and then
Saturday is a rest day. – Love, The Jettriders
Mac’s perspective on the day-
Today was really awesome, one of the best rides of my trip so far!
(That is including Oregon to Minnesota). Today went by really fast
because we were on the pedestrian paths the whole way, we were able to
talk to each other and we were in the shade most of the time. Even
though it was hot, the tunnels that we went through did a great job of
cooling us off, we knew that they were going to be awesome when the
woman in Sparta told us that there might be rain inside them today…
Anyway, I am ready for a god night’s rest to prepare for tomorrow!
Happy 4th of July! Pauly was very pleased with how efficient we
were this morning. We worked great as a team to do our chores before
we left. A special kudos goes out to the packing crew.
We started out the day by signing the guestbook for the town of
Eleva as we left. It was a cool experience to leave our mark. Today
was a strange day because the route didn’t have any turns until the
end. Courtney fell at one point because her shoelace got caught in her
tire. Luckily, she wasn’t hurt and she was ready to keep biking right
away. We were on the same road the whole way. We went up a killer hill
that seemed never ending ( about 4 miles)! For the 4th day in a row
the temperatures were over 100 degrees. We got in a little past two to
Trembealeau after biking 45 miles. We got to go swimming and take
showers at a local pool. Everyone had lots of fun on the diving board.
The school were are staying is great. It has a huge gymnasium which
gives us lots to play with. Tonight we met with the Williamson family. Garrett is awesome! He was showing us the tricks he can do on his
wheelchair. We also appreciate the pizza donation. We’ll fill you in
on how tomorrow goes. – Love The Jettriders
Courtney’s feelings about the day:
Falling was pretty bad but it wasn’t as bad as losing my chain
twice, eating grass and getting banana thrown at me. It was overall a
good day but the weather has been really hot lately. Only about 112
degrees. It was fun to meet Garrett at the school we stayed at and the
free pizza was cool too.
Hi guys! Today was a great day. We were on a bike trail most of the
way (which was nice and shady). Once again the temperature was over
100 degrees! During our ride we stopped for a tour of the Eau Galle
Cheese Factory. It was crazy how much cheese they had. The rooms where
they were stored were covered from wall to wall! After the tour we got
to have some of their delicious ice cream and then we were on our way.
We were all happy when we finished our 47 mile day and made it to
Eleva,Wisconsin. The church we stayed at was very accommodating.
Pastor Kermit was very welcoming ( he even helped shuttle us to the
local high school for showers). Thanks for your hospitality. We had a
good day and look forward to tomorrow. – Love, The Jettriders
Drew’s take on the day: Although there was once again scorching
Wisconsin heat, the Red Cedar state trail provided some much needed
shade with wild green trees towering over the trail. I found that
trail really neat because it reminded me a lot of the roads in Oregon
because of how dense and green it was. The cheese factory after the
trail was definitely my highlight of the day because I had never been
to a Wisconsin cheese factory before. While in the gift shop of the
factory I sampled some ghost chili cheese, which delivered a spicy
kick unlike any other I had experienced before. They also had
chocolate flavored cheese, which tasted exactly like fudge. It was
also interesting to tour the factory and see how the entire cheese
making process works. They had cool rooms filled with aisles and
aisles of cheese wheels. I hope we get to visit more cheese factories
and dairy farms as we make our way through Wisconsin.
Hello! Today we left from Hudson, Minnesota and biked to Menomonie,
Wisconsin. Gillian’s brother Adam ( member of the 2010 Jettride)
biked with us this morning. We appreciated his company. The weather
was hot and humid. We biked a constant up and down hill route.
Luckily, we were able to have lunch at a nice beach and take a
refreshing swim. Then we were off for our final miles of the day. We
encountered a lot of green scenery along the way. All of us were happy
when we finished our 50 miles and were able to stay at a nice,
cooling, and relaxing church. Overall, it was a good day. No flat
tires or falls and we had a nice group dinner at a local Mexican
-Love, The Jettriders
Colby’s take on the day: Yo, today was hot, muggy, humid day; and
very challenging. Our breaks and lunch refreshed us greatly. Thanks to
all for the place to stay and food, we all greatly appreciate it!
Today we rode to Hudson, WI where we’re staying with the Yeorg family. I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit about the Yeorgs. You’ll see Adam and Gillian in the picture below. (Hi guys!) Anyway, Gillian and Adam have both ridden in the JettRide before, and Gillian is an LIT on this year’s ride.
It’s really cool to see how they’ve been involved with the JettRide and the Jett Foundation since the first ride back in 2007. Thank you guys and your family so much for hosting us tonight!
Tomorrow morning, we hit the road again. We’ll have updates soon!
Today is the start of the 2012 JettRide. Check out the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thejettride for more updates from the road. Special thanks to Mayor Winsteads office, Todd Lewis Chief of Police.Bloomington, and REI Bloomington for your efforts with our start line today. The group departed REI today after a few words from the mayors office via police escort under a temp of 92 degrees, cheered by family and friends of the Duchenne community. Today they will ride to Hudson WI where the Yoerg family will host them this evening, and they will also enjoy a swim and scenery at Willow River State Park Waterfalls.
We’ll have more info and pictures from the road soon, and everyday we’ll have an update from the team right here on the JettRide site.
Hello everyone! We have all arrived safe and sound to Bloomington, MN. Most of us filtered in sometime yesterday and Drew, Mac, and Ty arrived mid morning. This will be their second leg of the trip. They have biked here from Oregon! They were biking for a boy named Cory Stalling, who has duchenne muscular dystrophy. You can read more about their trip thus far at bikestory4cory.blogspot.com.
Today we did a shake down ride so that we could get used to biking as a group. What started out as 15 miles turned into 22 but it was a nice ride around the city. It was also pretty hot out, high eighties so we had to get used to the heat that we will be dealing with for the next few days. After our ride we came back to the church for a little while and then headed over to the mall of america where we ate our lunch, which was generously donated by the Panda Express. We then had a few hours to explore the mall where we shopped, went to the aquarium, and rode some rides. When we came back we encountered the issue of a stolen bike! They took Colby’s bike from the church. A little call to the police and a bike thief who was dumb enough to return to the scene of the crime was caught. So luckily all jettriders will be with bikes. Tonight we also had a great pasta party with some families from the duchenne community. We really appreciate all the work they put into tonight. Thanks so much Jacob, Jackson, Erica, Xavier, and Kyle it was great playing with you guys. We had lots of fun and won’t forget the time we spent together. Tomorrow our ride officially begins!
Love, The Jettriders.
P.S. Mrs. Drake, we loved the little goodie bags you made for us!
JettRiders; Jackson McSherry, Alec Sroggins, Justin Marino, Krystin Marino and Courtney Burt were recently interviewed by Wicked Local Pembroke. You can check out the great article and also a fun video interview with the JettRiders at the link below!
JettRide 2012 kicks off on July 1st in Minneapolis, MN. The REI store will be hosting a gathering for the launch of Jettride 2012 at Bloomington, MN store location. Bloomington Major Winstead and Chief Todd Lewis will be in attendance to see the JettRiders off!
If you are in the Bloomington area please stop by the REI store and give our JettRiders a big send off and wish them well on their cross country bike tour!!!
Please join us at the British Beer Company in Pembroke, MA on Father’s Day for a fun day of Fundraising for a couple of JettRiders!
When: Sunday June 17, 2012
Where: The BBC in Pembroke, MA from 1pm-5pm
As you may or may not know, Jackson McSherry and Alec Scroggins (15, freshmen at Pembroke High School) will be taking their second tour (2011) this summer biking 1/2 the country to raise funds and awareness for Duchenne. The boys need to raise $5,000 to cover their costs to go on the tour.
Jackson is the younger brother of Jett and Alec is a close family friend and neighbor.
The Pembroke community has watched Jett go from a running, sport playing young boy to a severely handicapped 16 1/2 year old, with a limited future. Jett’s brother and friend Alec are watching and dealing with this in the best way they can – they can bike…and they will bike for 30 days this summer, 50-75 miles a day. Along the way, they will visit with other families who have children with Duchenne, they will speak to press about what they are doing, and they will spread hope.
Please come to the BBC and cheer the boys on. The boys will be riding their stationary cycle trainers 50 miles for four hours during the event. There is no cost to come, you might choose to make a modest donation, $25 will buy you raffle tickets for the chance of a GRILL, RED SOX/YANKEES tickets and more! WATD will be broadcasting live and Billy Boyle is helping us to assemble some comedians for your entertainment. The BBC will have some Father’s Day activities for the dads!
Please click on the link below for more information:
JettRiders, Mac Sullivan, Drew Gottman and Ty Miller are currently making their way across the country on their bikes! They are meeting up with the rest of the JettRide in Minnesota on July 1st. Until then you can follow their journey at: A Bike Story 4 Cory.
While the riders were biking through Drew and Mac’s hometown of Missoula the Missoulian published a very nice article along with a few pictures! Check it out at the link below!
JettRider’s Drew, Mac and Ty have already taken off on their cross country bike ride! Drew and Mac are riding for their friend Cory who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Drew, Mac and JettRide Leader, Ty left from Seaside, Oregon on May 28, 2012! So far they have been having an incredible adventure! They will be meeting up with our JettRiders in Minneapolis, MN on July 1st! But until then you can follow their inspiring journey through their facebook page at “A Bike Story for Cory”. Also check out their blog at bikestory4cory.blogspot.com.
Calling all 2012 JettRiders!!!
If weather permits… we will be doing a practice ride
this coming Tuesday, April 17 in Pembroke Massachusetts.
The starting place will be at Cycle Lodge Bike Shop located at 808 Washington St
Pembroke MA 02359 at 10am. Stop in and say hello to Jim and Beth, they
have been very generous to the Jett Foundation. This is a great place
to shop for any bike supplies you may need.
We will meet in the parking lot, Pauly will give a brief safety instruction and then we
will be on our way. Please make sure you bring a drink and snack. We
will be bicycling 6.5 miles from Pembroke through Duxbury on the
picturesque roads leading to beautiful Duxbury Beach where we will
stop for a break. After break, we will head back to the bike store
6.5 miles with an anticipated return of 1pm.
All are invited with parents to lunch across the street at Charlies Too Restaurant,
825 Washington St Pembroke MA 02359.
Please rsvp to this firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to
attend so I will know how many are coming. THANK YOU
Here are a few packing tips from 2 of your 2012 JettRide leaders, Ty Miller and Gillian Yoerg!
Hey there JettRiders! Here are a few tips for packing your bags this summer:
You are allowed two bags (and two bags only) for the trip. One duffel-style bag for your clothes, toiletries, and other necessary items that you’ll want to have for your wind-down time at night. You are also allowed another small bag to keep smaller items with you on the ride (or to keep cool stuff you might find along the way!). For this, I recommend something with a bladder insert. It makes it much easier to drink from while riding. And plus, it’s just nice to have a smaller backpack to keep with you for excursions and activities.
So, to re-cap: Two bags. Pack LIGHT. There will be a million and one opportunities for laundry, so DON’T over pack clothes. Plus, it just makes it more stressful for you all to keep track of everything.
Here’s a list of some non-essential items that would be just good to have:
~Close-toed water shoes (Perfect for playing in the rivers and camping)
I know it’s early, but now’s a good time to start thinking about packing! One of the most important things to bring is a few pairs of padded spandex bike shorts. Be sure that they fit well– it’s important for them not to be too loose or they may chafe and rub. Some of my favorite shorts are made by Pearl Izumi, Terry’s (for girls only), and Cannondales.
We are pleased to announce our 2012 JettRide tour leader, Paul (Pauly) Nason. Pauly was a valuable leader on our 2010 and 2011 tours and we are very excited for him to lead our JettRide team in 2012!!! Welcome Pauly!!!
Check out these great pictures taken at the end of JettRide 2011 in Point Pleasant, NJ on August 5, 2011!!! Thank you to everyone who made this a such a great homecoming for our riders!!! They were amazed by all the support of so many people cheering them on!! Also thank you to all those families the JettRiders met along the way! Thank you everyone who supported the riders, provided them with a place to stay, kept them fed and hydrated, the ride could not have happened without you!!! We are forever grateful!!!
Today we were shuttled about 15 miles towards Philadelphia , because we didn’t think we would make it in on time. Guess what, we still didn’t make it in on time. We arrived an hour and a half late. The Gambhir family greeted us at the Liberty Bell in Philly and provided a delicious lunch for us. We met their nine year old son Yuva, Yuva has Duchenne and he and his sister Jasmine made us some wonderful thank you cards and an END DMD key chain. Thanks guys, we love them!!!
During our lunch break we got to go and see the Liberty Bell, it was really cool getting to look at it up close and taking some photos. We did 20 miles after lunch and before getting to the church we went out for ice cream to celebrate the end of the trip. We are all really excited to get home and not have to ride everyday, but we will also miss all the fun experiences that we have had here and all the friends we have made. Now we get to relax, and think about our journey, think about all the families affected by Duchenne we have met, and what they and their sons, brothers, grandsons, nephews, and friends have taught us along the way. They have shown us what true love means, that it’s staying and fighting against this disease and it’s shadowy future even though all you want to do is run. It’s staying with someone who can’t run from their diagnosis, carrying them over obstacles and standing by them no matter what life entails. We thank you all for welcoming us into your lives and allowing us the chance to meet these amazing young men with so much love for life. We will never forget the kindness you showed us when we arrived at your front door, smelly, sweaty, and dirty, looking for a place to sleep. See everyone tomorrow on the Jersey Shore, you won’t miss us, you can smell us from five miles away.
Today was long, cold and rainy. We had a good start, but within the first 25 miles the trailer broke down. So we were basically on our own for the rest of the ride. We went to a gas station for breaks but by lunch we still didn’t have the trailer and sometime in the afternoon it began to rain. We witnessed many car accidents and one Liam bicycle incident and thankfully there were no other accidents in this weather.
We were so late getting into the Doyle’s house that we had to get shuttled the rest of the way, between 8-10 miles. The Doyles, who have an 11-year old Grandson named Jacob who has Duchenne, welcomed us into their home for the night. They made an awesome dinner consisting of 3 kinds of lasagna, salad, and an enormous table of desserts. Unfortunately for us, the trailer wasn’t returned to us until nearly 11pm and we’re getting to sleep a little late. But we are comfortable, finally warm, and very well fed, exhausted now, can’t write anymore…Philly tomorrow it’s going to be a lot of fun! HUGE Thank you to the Donna Doyle and her family and everyone else for all your love and support, it is greatly appreciated. See you in Jersey!!!
Today was a really good day for everyone. The ones that weren’t Sherpa’s (helping in the car) today did 63 miles before 4:00pm. I don’t think this has ever happened before on this trip. We got started around 8am and got at least 30 miles in before stopping for a break. After lunch we had less than 10 miles to the church. We had an amazing day and are so happy to be able to relax and chill out. We are ending the day with breakfast for dinner, pancakes and scrambled eggs!!! The next few days are going to go by so fast and while we are excited for real showers and our own beds, we will miss each other.
Meranda says “Mom please clean my room and make my bed before I get home…love you ”, Abigail says “Grandma, make sure Deon isn’t at the house when I get home =D”, Colby says “Mom, please bring my new guinea pig to New Jersey”, and Jack Van Houton says “Mom, Dad…I want a GoPro.” See you all in Jersey…
On August 1st we got to sleep until nine, it was awesome because we all really needed the rest. We had the day off in Gettysburg, PA and half of the group decided to tour the battlefield and the other half opted to stay at the hotel and watch Shark Week (I swear to God it’s better than Christmas Vacation week).
We had a very relaxing day watching people get chewed up by sharks. When everyone got back we all cleaned the trailer, aired out the tents, washed the water jugs, food containers, and tables, and cleaned out the car to get it ready for the end of the ride. Then we went out to dinner at a Chinese Buffet, the food was really good we all enjoyed it. After dinner we returned to our rooms to pack our bags for the next morning and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Gettysburg was incredible, it was a humbling experience and it shocked and saddened us to learn that 10,000 people died and 50,000 were injured on that battlefield in 3 days (July 1, 2, and 3). It is an experience I don’t think any of us will ever forget and many of us hope to return to this historic place in the future. Thanks for your all support and well wishes; we can’t wait to see you all in Jersey!!!
Today we had a great time on a really bumpy bike trail, but it was still nice to ride on because of the beautiful scenery all around us. We started of at the pavilion across from the YMCA, and headed on to the trail from there early this morning. The trail was amazing and had lot’s of wildlife. We stopped and had our first break on the trail beside the canal after 18 miles before we headed back out to the trail.
After the first break we went through The Paw-paw Tunnel. It was so dark and about a mile long. We had to use our flashlights and headlamps to see. When we were out of the tunnel we went to sit above it on a ledge 20 feet up, it was really cool looking down at everyone while we were up there. When we were done for the day we went out to eat and had amazing food and some terrific tasting pies. We ended the day with another day of camping, and hanging out with friends.
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.
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!!
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.
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!!!
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.
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 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!
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!
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.