Curt’s New York to Wilmington Bike Ride 2023

The Inspiration

My bike ride from upstate New York to Wilmington, NC was life changing, but not in the ways I thought it would be. It had every emotion and feeling surging through me at once. Instead of being a goal that was completed once achieved, the ride became a benchmark in a journey that just got a lot bigger than I ever dreamed when I first started riding.

A little over a year ago, I was starting to fall in love with cycling and decided to get more serious about it. At the time, I could do 30 miles in a ride, and I thought with some more training, I could get up to 50 miles in a day. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if I rode my bike to New York City and met up with my daughter? If I could do 50 miles a day, I could get there in 12 days. 

I told my buddy Zach, an avid cyclist, that I was going to do this ride, and he said he’d like to join me and could bring some buddies, too. He would even bring a team so we’d have a Sprinter van carrying gear and supplies from town to town for us. I was really surprised Zach didn’t just laugh my idea off as ridiculous. I was also nervous because I’d never ridden with anyone, and especially not pro-athlete level cyclists. Zach encouraged me to train and told me that if I could do 50 miles, I could actually do 100.

My wife Ada was an amazing pillar of support, saying she knew I had to follow through and train and she would be there in whatever capacity she could.  So my journey to ride from Wilmington to New York City was in full effect, but I had a lot of work to do.

The Training

I use a couple tools when I ride.  One is the Strava app, which tracks your ride distance, your elevation changes, and the time you spend on the ride.  It also lets you connect with other cyclists, local groups, and the Global Cycling Network, so you can see what other riders are doing on their rides. The app also lets you see how you compare to other cyclists every week, and does a weekly ranking based on distance and elevation gain.  When I started training, I was ranked at about 60,000 out of over 4 million users.

I also use a Garmin GPS navigation to help me map my rides, which is helping in sticking to bike paths where available. 

My first ride that was over 100 miles was to Myrtle Beach, SC. By the time I got there, I was sick, I was ready to puke, I was dehydrated, and I felt like I was having heatstroke. I was sick for 2 days. But even so, I had achieved a milestone, and I couldn’t wait for the next. 

I kept training and kept pushing the limits of what I was capable of.  I studied hydration and nutrition on the bike. My next big ride was a 4 day round trip to Charleston, SC and back. On day 3 of the ride, I did 150 miles in a single day.

My next big ride was Atlanta to Wilmington, which was 450 miles, and I did it in 3 days with my biggest day being 185 miles. 

I then decided to do a round trip ride to New Bern, NC in a single day which would be over 200 miles. Ultimately I didn’t make it because my headlight failed and I stopped for the night at a hotel for safety reasons, but I had logged over 180  miles in a single day and knew I could do more. 

During my training, the big Trans America Bike Race was on, and it broadened my goals to one day wanting to be able to ride across the entire country, around 4,200 miles. I could watch the progress of top cyclist’s journeys through the Strava app as they competed in the race, and it was truly inspiring. From my limited research I found that the record holder did an average of 185 miles per day for 18 days. This number, 185 miles, was in my head as my ideal pace. After the ride, I found that number to be too low. A math mistake I’m glad to have made. 

Near the end of my training, I was up to 13,000 out of 4,000,000 users on Strava, and I was making real progress. However, 3 weeks before my ride was scheduled to begin, I had a big setback. I tried to do 250 miles in a day, but I crashed and got cut up and seriously bruised a rib at mile 194. Most of my friends and family encouraged me to take a break to heal, but I knew there wasn’t time for it. My friend Ignasio, who competes in ironman triathlons and is a very serious athlete, told me I could still train with a rib injury so I kept after it.

Around this time, my friend Zach had to pull out of the ride for scheduling reasons, so that meant that I would be riding solo. This caused me to change things up greatly. All my gear would be different on a solo ride, I could go as long as I wanted each day at my own pace, I would be in charge of hotels and all logistics. In some way this was freeing in some ways it was daunting. Having no knowledge or experience about a trip like this probably helped me to blindly forge on. Eventually we made a family trip out of it! We would drive up to upstate New York to meet up with my daughter, and then I would ride all of the way back to Wilmington. It also meant my ride would be longer than originally planned, around 950 miles. I also decided that I would stop along the ride and give out NeoPad samples to instrument repair shops along the way. I was glad to have my kids with me and this was a big motivator in my decision to pick up Nina first. I really wanted both my kids to understand what I was doing, and see what it means to have a goal for a year and make plans and train and actually follow through and achieve it. -assuming I could do it. 

More disaster struck a couple weeks before my ride when both of my shifter cables broke. At the bike shop, we decided it would be best to replace the entire mechanism with an electronic shifter, but that meant replacing a lot of parts and not all of them were in stock. I had a spare bike to train with, but my main bike was taking a long time to be repaired. When it was ready, I had already postponed my trip by a day, canceled the hotel and started getting nervous. When I picked it up, I didn’t even test it- I just grabbed it and left so my family and I could get heading north. 

At this point I had four water bottle holders on my bike. Each bottle represents about an hour of riding. With 4 bottles I could do 4 hour sets without putting my feet on the ground. In Wilmington, NC I can do about 75 miles in 4 hours but that is at sea-level without hills. 

I didn’t know it, but it was around this time that I made a mistake that would come back to haunt me. I took off my seat and post and saw an adjustment screw. Thinking it had to do with shock absorption, I adjusted it so the seat seemed to have a little more give and make it easier to ride over rougher terrain.

My wife Ada and my son Kairui made the trek with me from Wilmington, NC to upstate New York. I would ride every morning, and after I had trained for several hours, they would pick me up in the car and we’d drive for a ways. Once we got to upstate New York, I began to taper off my training just like the riders in the Trans America Bike Race did. 8 days before my ride, I started my taper until the day before the ride, where I didn’t ride at all and went to bed at 7:30pm.

The Ride

Day 1 - July 5, 2023

I left Queensbury, NY around 4:30am, equipped with very minimal gear: 4 water bottles, two banana and peanut butter sandwiches, air cartridges and some minimal bike repair supplies, butt butter to keep me from getting saddle sores, energy gels, and sunscreen. My day’s goal was to make it at least 200 miles, or possibly go all the way to Trenton, NJ. I would be focusing as much as possible, so I decided that I wouldn’t be on social media or checking email at night- that I would only be winding down and getting as much rest as I could. I had learned that, on these long rides, every minute of pedaling, or sleeping is super vital. 

Riding through upstate New York is beautiful, and my route took me down along the Hudson River. However, a big storm had just come through and tons of trees were down, blocking lots of roads. When I came across several large trees down in the road, the road crew told me to go a different way. I told them what I was doing, and one of the crew, who was also a cyclist, told me I could go ahead and try to keep going.  Eventually, I came across several downed power lines and the road crew aggressively forced me to turn around. I doubled back and came across the first road crew, where the cyclist lady told me there was another route I could try. It involved climbing a mountain and going over a bridge that had been closed for years.  However, once I got there, there were trees down on the bridge so I had to climb over them in order to get across. This ride was turning into a hike more than a road ride and I started to realize that I was losing valuable time. 

Once I got to the main road, I could see there was another road crew and lots of downed trees. They were waving at me like they would stop me, but I knew if I kept having delays, it would mess up my whole ride. I jumped off my bike, grabbed it with one hand, and started hiking through the woods. The mosquitoes were chomping on me and it looked like poison ivy everywhere. When I made it out of the woods, and back to the road, I came across another downed tree. The guy who was cutting it down tried to get me to turn around, but I had to keep moving and I didn’t see another way to get to the road.  I crawled under the tree, but couldn’t drag my bike through with me.  Eventually, the guy helped cut the tree so that I could toss my bike over the top and get past it. After they calmed down, the lumberjacks started asking me where I was headed and why I was so determined. Finally I was through the storm damage and made it a while down the road for a ways but trouble soon followed. A giant nail punctured my back tire, the likes of which I had never seen. During the ordeal, I lost two of my four water bottles due to a lack of focus on my part. This mistake would cost me time, I had trained up to 4 hour rides, now I could only do 2 hour sets and would have to stop to refill from Gatorade bottles in my holders. On the side of the road, I replaced the tire tube and filled the tire back up. I got moving again, and eventually stopped at my first repair shop of the trip where I got a new tire. All of these delays started to wear on me mentally. 

With all of the delays in the day from storm damage and the nail in the tire, I didn’t make it out of New York. I changed my plans and got a hotel for the night in Spring Valley, NY. This meant that I wouldn’t be meeting up with my wife and kids on night one, and it also meant I wouldn’t have access to clean clothes, my phone charger and charging blocks, and extra bicycle supplies. I got a cheap charger at a gas station, got to the hotel at 10:30pm, ate a bunch of food, and went to sleep at 11pm.

Day 1 Stats:

Distance: 209.4 miles

Elevation Gains: 8,970 ft

Time Riding: 14 hours 4 min

Day 2 - July 6

My alarm went off at 3:30am. My clothes were still wet, and the cheap gas station charger didn’t charge fast enough. My Garmin was at 85%, my charging block at 60%, and my lights were an unknown amount of charged.

In order to make good time, I had to multi-task at every moment, and that meant utilizing the time I was on the toilet. Each morning, I would eat breakfast while on the toilet, make a social media post, check my Strava app, and familiarize myself with the day’s route. Today’s goal was to go from Spring Valley, NY to Washington DC. Since I didn’t stop where I planned last night, I needed to make a new map. 

Finally at 4:30am, I had started my ride, but it didn’t feel good. I was sore, I was wearing wet clothes and my batteries weren’t fully charged, both on my devices and on my own energy level. Since I was down to two water bottles and needed to drink one per hour in order to avoid dehydration, that also meant I’d be making additional stops every two hours to refill. I was worried about my map. I was worried that my Garmin would die before I finished my ride. I tried to conserve power by putting my devices on low power mode, turned off wifi, turned on do-not-disturb, and kept the headlight off during the day. It was always in the back of my mind the whole day though. I had heard that nervous energy and worrying on a trip can wear one out. I experienced that on day 2. 

I finally made it out of New York. When I first crossed into New Jersey, it was really stinky! Further on the ride, however, I saw some beautiful places. I was still having problems with my tire leaking, so I stopped at another bike shop and the guys in there took my bike apart and replaced my tire. One thing I was worried about was if the wrap underneath the tire was damaged from the nail. The guys at the shop didn’t think so, and the new tire was holding air, so I went on my way.

A frightening part of this ride was all of the metal bridges I had to cross. On the first bridge of the day, I hit a mud patch and slid a bit. This reminded me that I needed to slow down. On the next steel bridge, I slid and almost lost control again. The metal grate of the bridge really could have caused damage to my body or my bike if I fell. Looking at those grates as I slid around made me consider how soft I am compared to a hard metal bridge grate. I got off the bike and walked it the rest of the way across the bridge, which was really difficult and clunky in my special bike shoes. After getting across the bridge, I realized much, to my dismay, that my brand new bike tire was low. I had 3 air cartridges with me, and used one to fill up the tire. I would now have to remember every time I stop to check that tire. 

After I had gone about 80 miles, my Garmin was at 60% and my phone was lower. I had already lost air again, so I used my second cartridge to fill the tire back up. I only had one cartridge left. I felt very emotional because I kept losing air and power and it felt like forces were working against me. 

The hills on this day never gave up, but the countryside was beautiful. In Philadelphia, it was rolling hill after rolling hill, but I had to take it easy because I only had one air cartridge left. It was in the city that I saw an intensely sad situation. I remembered the iconic photo of the iron workers sitting on an iron beam high up in the air eating lunch. However, this was five heroin users with needles sticking out of their arms! I watched as one guy took the needle out and handed it to his friend to use. The depressed area had many addicts, sex workers, and unhoused people, and the feeling was quite hopeless. 

At one point while I was waiting at a stop light, someone pulled up next to me on a small moped with big thick tires. He revved his engine and I asked him to race by shouting, “come on!!” We raced for a bit but he won. It was a lighthearted interaction after the previous heavy scene. I considered my plan from the day before where I wanted to ride into the night. I would have gone through these areas around 1:00am, not ideal.  

Because of the delays, I knew I couldn’t make it to DC, so Ada told me I should meet her for the night in Rising Sun, Maryland, where we would get a hotel. When I arrived in Rising Sun, there were no hotels at all, and it turned out that she had made a mistake. It was dark, my Garmin was down to 11% battery, my bike lights were almost dead, and I was so tired that the anger and frustration was setting in. I found a hotel 9 miles away and didn’t know if I had the strength to make it. However, as soon as I started riding again, I had an incredible tail wind that pushed me there with very little effort. I felt guilty about being so upset. I got there as my family arrived, and Ada had gotten me two delicious dinners- one for right then and one for breakfast. After dinner, we all went right to bed at 10:30pm and I told Siri to set my phone alarm for 3:45am. My son said, “wow, you’re really intense.” I think he’s right. 

Day 2 stats:

Distance: 191.7 miles

Elevation Gains: 7,756 ft

Time Riding: 13 hours 7 min

Day 3 - July 7

I got up at 3:45am, and I used my time on the toilet to eat my delicious leftover poke bowl my wife got me the previous night, and I made my social media post. I stocked back up on air cartridges so I’d be ready for the day. I got on my bike at 4:45am leaving Cecil County, MD and hoping to make 200 miles. There was a heat wave during my entire trip, but this was the day that it really got to me. Almost as soon as day broke, it was ridiculously hot, with the unrelenting sun pounding down on me and the pavement reflecting the heat back onto me. I ran out of water a few times during the day, which was stressful and can be really dangerous. In conditions like that, you have to be so careful to not get dehydrated or you might cause serious damage to your body and it will affect your ride. I had to fill up my water bottles with garden hoses a few times.

One thing that I didn’t know until I started training is that if you’re going to make good time on a ride, you don’t stop to eat, to drink, or to pee. With the amount of water you have to consume to avoid dehydration, you have to pee a lot, like sometimes twice an hour. I’m not sure how other male cyclists deal with not stopping to pee, but there’s a bit of an art to doing it correctly. If you go too fast, your pee turns into spray, and if you go too slow you pee on your feet. 

Eating on the bike can have its challenges too. I had to eat high carb, high salt foods to have energy and to replace salts from sweating. At the end of a bag of pretzels, you have to basically eat the salt like a hummingbird, sticking your tongue into the bag and licking the salt crystals. These extreme measures bring it home for me. They are the human part of the trip. 

In addition to the extreme heat, I was also up against big hills and my back tire was still leaking air. This was the hardest day and the day I didn’t have it in me to get as far as I wanted. I made it through Baltimore and Washington DC, and I really wanted to quit after 90 miles.  However, I kept going and kept refilling the back tire. I passed several blackberry bushes and dreamed of stopping. I was also really hungry all day. Tired and upset, I passed by a larger blackberry bramble on the side of the road and gave in. I took a moment to stop and pick some to get some energy. 

The heavy rains and city navigation took a lot out of me this day. It slowed me down kicked my spirits. I was down but also aware that this is the challenge I was after. 

When I could go no further, I stopped for the night in Fredericksburg, Virginia and met my family at the hotel. I took a shower, ate dinner, and went directly to bed at 9pm. I felt defeated but knew tomorrow would be a better day. 

Day 3 Stats:

Distance: 155.25 miles

Elevation Gains: 7,576 ft

Time Riding: 12 hours 1 min

Day 4 - July 8

I woke up at 3:45am and I felt great. I felt recharged from the setbacks and knew it would be an awesome day. The great waves of emotion from putting your body through intense physical exhaustion can mean that you go from great to terrible to great again. Everything hurt and my muscles were sore but I felt like I could take over the world. As I was getting my map set for the day, I went ahead and plugged in Wilmington, NC as the destination. It was so close and I thought maybe I could even just ride straight through the day and night and get there.

Just before 4:45am I was on the road and was surprised by how incredibly hilly Virginia is! The hills didn’t let up but I was riding at a good pace. Because I trained in the relatively flat landscape of eastern North Carolina, the largest hills I was used to having to climb were just highway overpasses. This was the most scenic day of the journey with the best views and vistas, and I didn’t have to pass through any major cities. Today had some surprising challenges, and one was guys in giant jacked up pickup trucks with modified exhaust systems so they could “roll coal”. A number of these guys thought it was funny to get right in front of me and blast smoke in my face. It made me really mad and I wanted to fight these cowards, but they just zoomed off and didn’t give me the satisfaction. However, if they had, it would have slowed me down so I just carried on. 

As the day went on, I was still struggling with my back tire losing air and I realized I wasn’t going to be able to make any more stops to deliver NeoPads in order to keep on schedule, so to that end, my marketing mission was not the big success I had hoped for. I stopped at a bike repair station along the trail to fix my tire yet again when a bike shop caught my eye. I went in to see if they could help but they said it would take 45 minutes and I decided not to wait. They tried to dissuade me from leaving because a big storm was rolling in, but I carried on and rode through the rain. It was incredibly hot and the rain was cooling. However, once touch screen devices get wet, you can no longer control them. I couldn’t zoom in on the map to make decisions so I went on and hoped I was on the best route.

When the rain let up, it was cool and beautiful with bright blue skies. Along the side of the road, I saw blueberries and blackberry brambles everywhere and was overtaken with the feeling of abundance in my life and in the world.  I was also hungry, but all of my snacks which were in my pockets had gotten soaked in the rain, so as I rode along, I ate mushy peanut butter filled pretzels and wet Oreos and soggy Chex mix. There’s not an option to just not eat, though, because on big ride days, the goal is consuming around 9,000 calories.

The closer to home I got, the landscape began to look more and more familiar, with crops changing to tobacco, soy beans, and corn, and not as many big stones in the fields. Because of all of the rain the previous day and the massive amount of hours on the bike, I was beginning to suffer from saddle soreness. In order to relieve the soreness of my butt and groin, I switched to pedal standing for a while but it was exhausting. It seemed like the seat had moved somehow but it wasn’t clear how to adjust it without tools. Eventually after a stop, I realized the only way out was to power through the pain, to conquer it with my mind. I had been listening to music the entire ride thus far, but I turned it off and took off my headphones. I experienced the outside world more fully and was able to lose myself in the sounds of the wind, the tires on the pavement, and the occasional songbirds. Once I had figured out how to manage the pain, I wanted to keep going.

I was on the phone with Ada checking in when I crossed the border into North Carolina and let out a joyful cheer! I stopped in Henderson, NC just over the border because there wouldn’t be more hotels for some time. I was in a lot of pain but sort of in a euphoric state. Ada had brought me two dinners from a Mexican restaurant, but I didn’t feel hungry or feel like I needed food. I barely ate my meal and my kids even had some of it because they liked my meal better than theirs. Something in my body had changed because my body wasn’t telling me it needed calories, and I should have eaten anyway. I took a shower and it was incredibly painful on my nether regions which were wounded by the seat, and then I went to sleep. 

Day 4 Stats:

Distance: 191.7 miles

Elevation Gains: 7,358 ft

Time Riding: 13 hours 56 minutes

Day 5 - July 9

I woke up today determined to get home but in a lot of pain everywhere, especially my neck. When I was doing my morning routine and making maps, the Garmin map showed that it would be 239 miles. The Google maps version, however, was only 178 miles. I shut off the Garmin, but I also had to shut off Siri, because she repeats every direction that google maps says, and it makes me crazy. I use Siri a lot, like asking about the weather, and asking Siri to open an app when it's too wet to use touch screens. It also meant that Ada wouldn’t be able to see my route, which isn’t ideal because it helped her keep track of where I was and she could also warn me if I was going off route for any reason. 

I embarked around 4:45am and the pain from the seat was bad. The bottoms of my palms were covered in giant calluses and hurt so bad I could barely grab the handlebars. Everything that touched any part of my skin was so uncomfortable I wanted to be free of all of it. Today was also the hottest day of the trip and the discomfort was starting to be oppressive and unmanageable. I ditched my gloves and I ditched my sweat band under my helmet. I unzipped my shirt and let the air hit me. I felt free, almost like skinny dipping. 

There was a strong head wind that was not letting up and I settled into the fact that I would struggle this head wind all the way home. I ran out of water because there weren’t any stores on the route once my supply was getting low. Tired and dehydrated, I came upon a convenience store, and I bought drinks, a soda (my first soda in years since I gave up caffeine) snacks, and a popsicle. I asked if I could sit on a crate out front and eat my popsicle and the clerk agreed but looked at me with pity, so I knew I must have been a sight. When I was leaving, she suggested that I wait out the incoming rainstorm, but I told her “it can’t be any worse than what I’ve been through”.

I pedaled on in the rain and it poured. My shoes were soggy and my butt pain got worse from my clothes being soaked. The lightning was striking everywhere and thunder immediately followed. I realized that “thunderstorm” is incorrect and it should be called a “lightening storm.” 

I wondered if I should stop and shelter but I remembered Howard Romack, my science teacher telling us that under a tree is just as dangerous, so I kept going. Once I got through the storm about 30 minutes later, an incredible tailwind started pushing me toward home, I was so relieved! Without pedaling, I was going 22 miles per hour, it felt like I was surfing. I rode that wind for a long time and went hard because I knew I was between storm squalls and it wouldn’t last. 

Eventually, the next storm hit with lightning so close and so loud. I felt defeated and decided to stop. I found a lean-to with a tractor tire to sit on. As I sheltered, I called my mom and told her about how well everything was going and how beautiful the views were. Then I called my wife and told her about how brutal the storm was. I would have taken a nap then and there if there was a dry place to do it. 

Once the storm passed, I headed back out and there was a slight tailwind with cool weather, pretty ideal riding conditions. When I got to Teachy, NC I was so excited and knew I was practically home! At only 50 miles away, this was a frequently visited place from all of my training and things were starting to look familiar. It was pure joy. Knowing exactly when I’d pass through another town, I opted to not stop in Teachy for food even though I was out.

By the time I got to Burgaw, I knew I’d made a mistake. Once you feel like you’re starving, you’re done for, because it takes your body an hour and a half to process food. I bought watermelon and another soda and pickles and peanuts and other salty stuff. I ate as much as I could and felt awful.

When I was about 15 miles from home, I thought I was going to get sick and I thought I was done for. I called my wife and told her I wanted to give up. She jokingly said, “do you want me to pick you up?” which is what she always said when I was on a ride, since she knew what the answer would be. I said “no, I will crawl home before I let you pick me up”. I forced myself back on the bike and started pedaling. 

About 5 miles from home, I began sweating profusely and knew my body was starting to shut down. I yelled at myself, just go! Shut up and go! Once I reached the city limits of Wilmington and turned off my GPS, happiness came over me and I knew I could make it! 

As I pulled onto my street, I saw my neighbors in their yard and they cheered for me making it back from New York. I got off my bike and barely had the energy to shut off my lights and put my bike away. I took a shower and had a celebratory dinner with my family, but it was all so strange for this trip to just be over with. Somehow, I had managed to achieve this crazy goal of mine, but the world just kept moving on. Going to sleep in my own bed, utterly exhausted, was somewhat bittersweet.

Day 5 Stats:

Distance: 177.77 miles

Elevation Gains: 6,257 ft

Time Riding: 13 hours 2 min

Wrap up

After making it back, I had so many emotions.  The high of achieving a goal I set out more than a year prior.  But a feeling that almost seemed like PTSD, though I don’t say that with disrespect to trauma survivors. It was just as if I’d fought this incredible battle that no one else could truly understand, even my family. I couldn’t even look at my bike for a few days because no ride I was going to take on it could live up to the one I just did. The physical pain faded, but I still have very complicated feelings about the ride even a couple weeks after. The world just seems the same, but I’m changed somehow. And it wasn’t due to an amazing epiphany or coming away with a new work ethic or motto. It’s more like a benchmark on some undermined future.

I know this isn’t the ending of my cycling journey. Many other adventures await elsewhere, and who knows which one will be next. Maybe it will be across the whole country, maybe it will be in the mountains or the swamps or the desert. I understand the addiction. I want to push myself harder, for longer, I want more pain! I want the overwhelming beauty and freedom of having one singular goal and mission for every minute of the day, where all other responsibilities are stripped away. 

I learned a lot from the ride, and will use every lesson to help me train smarter and more efficiently as I plan for my next great ride. One thing I learned is that I have a two-part seat post. When I originally adjusted it, what I actually had done was loosen an adjustment screw which eventually allowed the seat to tilt. My extreme saddle soreness likely could have been avoided without an improperly tilted seat. There are things like this that makes experience the best teacher.

When I looked at my Strava app after completing my ride, I had reached #6 in my mileage and my elevation gains out of 4,800,000 users that week. And it’s also worth noting that #1 and #2 were technical glitches so that one adventure put me at #4 technically, which is an incredible achievement for me. After all five days, I averaged 185 miles per day- the same average that the record holder in the Trans American Bike Race had. My average for miles per week was up to 389 for the year. That’s a lot to be proud of. 

I feel an overwhelming appreciation for my family and friends. I couldn’t have done this ride without the endless love and support from my wonderful wife Ada. She believed in me and was right there with me the whole time. My kids are so special to me and it meant so much to have them both there on this journey. Being able to see my family after each challenging day gave me motivation and comfort. Friends from far and wide, both new and cherished childhood buddies were cheering me on, thinking about me, and encouraging me the whole time. It’s funny what your brain latches onto sometimes, but a text from my friend Leroy on the 2nd day saying he knew I would reach my goal kept coming back to me. If Leroy thinks I can do it, then I must be able to do it! I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many good folks.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t thank everyone at MusicMedic, who not only cheered me on, but also held the fort while I trained and went on this epic journey. I didn’t reach my goal of delivering NeoPads to shops every day, I made several stops and I still believe this part of the mission was important. I’m also grateful to Blue Clay Bikes for sponsoring this ride and for getting me set up with the gear I needed to make it through this ride.

Whole ride stats:

Distance: 925 miles

Elevation Gains: 37,918 ft

Time Riding: 66 hours and 10 minutes

-Curt Altarac