Some of Stephen Prince's Travel Blog
For more pictures and details of the bike ride, visit bikeforandrew.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, June 10, First Day of Riding
So we woke up at 6 a.m., and it was overcast and 45 degrees. Before we even started riding, I popped a tube. Wyatt brought out some spoons and used them to get the tire off the rim and pulled the popped tube out, then we replaced that baby with no problem. We biked 78 miles today in about five-and-a-half hours.
Monday, June 22, A Post for Andrew
Today is June 22, and it has been three years since my brother Andrew passed away. It feels like yesterday I was talking to you and confiding in you. I still think about you every day and I hate that you were robbed of a full life. I miss you, Andrew. This journey is for you.
Love, Your Brother
Wednesday, June 24, Stories of Ohio
Conneaut, Ohio: We decided that we'd go to the midnight showing of "Transformers." We walk up to buy our tickets around 9:30 p.m. and get to talking with the people that work there. One of the guys happens to be a biker and offers us a place to camp in his yard for the night.
We're riding in Ohio and stop at Arby's because they had a sign out front that said get a free sandwich if you paid for a small drink. We order, and this couple commented that they had seen us in Pennsylvania the other day. They ended up giving us some money for food after we told them what we were riding for and wanted to take our picture to show their grandkids.
Sunday, July 12, Garden City, Kan.,
Distance traveled: approximately 2,300 miles
So we arrived in Garden City at about 8:30 p.m., and this was by far our best ride of the trip. We made 105 miles in five-and-a-half-hours. For the first time this trip we had tailwinds that made us fly.
The two places we're told we can camp at turn out to be inadequate. This is a city, and we've heard stories that you shouldn't be in the Southwestern part. Well, it's getting late and the second park we checked out is in the Southwestern part. All of a sudden we see a family of eight sitting out front of their house, and we ask if we can camp out in their backyard. They say that we can and even pull out some mattresses for us to put our tent on so that we can have a comfortable sleep. This morning we get up go to McDonalds and get to talking with some of the locals. They asked us what we did last night and we told them we camped out over on 4th street by the zoo. They were beyond shocked, telling us that the gangs in the area live over there and even they don't head to that part of town.
We're about to head off in a bit and we'll ride into Colorado today, which will be a nice change. We're ready to see some sweet mountains and do some climbing.
Wednesday, July 29, The Gates of Hell
The last two days have been interesting. We went from probably having the best bike ride of our lives to one of the worst. We started off in Flagstaff and headed down about 40 miles into Sedona.
This was the most breathtaking ride ever. All of a sudden you ride into this canyon which is about 3,000 feet lower and you transition from forest to red rocks. You drop to this elevation in about nine miles. The roads are narrow and two lanes and wind around the mountains. The cool thing was cars can't go much faster than 25 mph so we could actually go faster than cars. It's a sight that I will remember forever.
The next day was when we realized what we're dealing with. We descended from about 5,500 feet and 100 degree weather into the heart of the desert. The gas station right at the top before you dropped down to 20,00 feet said that we were entering the "gates of hell." I can't think of a better description.
The temperature increased by 15 degrees and so we were hit with 115 degree weather. I literally felt like I was being roasted in an oven. It was so hot!! We persevered and made it to Wickenburg in the heat. I carry about 20 water bottles with me so I'm very hydrated as a much proven method has shown me.
We have 332 miles to go on the journey. It's hard to believe that's it.
The Big Finish, Total Distance: 3,590 miles
Wyatt and I reached Imperial Beach, Calif. around 1 p.m. Pacific Time Sunday, Aug. 2. It will be a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
There were a few things this trip definitely helped me sort out. I was lying to myself when I thought I had completely grieved about my brother. I thought I had dealt with his death, but truth be told, I had just pushed it away and tried not to think about it. I spent anywhere from six to 10 hours a day on my butt riding on that bicycle and I had so much time to think. I thought about my brother constantly, wondering what he would have wanted out of me. I thought about how life dealt him a bad hand. In the end, I realized that he wouldn't want me to be angry at the world or to be sad all the time. He would just want me to be happy and to always remember him in my thoughts. I did and will always. He will continue to live through me.
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