Welcome to my Blog!

For those of you who haven’t read the details of my journey across America, please start reading at the beginning. Go here: https://mylongwalkhome.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/t-minus-2-days/

If you would like to help raise funds for Children’s Hospital, please go to my Facebook page and click “LIKE” today! If we reach a minimum of 50,000 fans by end of this week, $50,000 will be donated from sponsoring businesses.  Facebook Link: www.facebook.com/mylongwalkhome.

What are you waiting for? GO!

Stay tuned…

So Close…But Yet So Far!

I have had several days to think about what I want to write here. Today, I still don’t have much creativity, wit or even enlightenment to lay upon you.

So here goes…

I have finished my ride across the country. I was unable to complete the ride with only 600 miles remaining between Jackson, MS and Jacksonville, FL. Why you might ask? Well, it appears over the last 5-weeks, I have compressed the nerves in my left hand enough to cause temporary, and possibly long term damage. Damage meaning that I currently have limited mobility in several of my fingers and absolutely zero strength. I have been “toughing” it out over the last week, but after a few discussions with friends,  the risk would NOT be worth the reward of finishing the ride.

If you would like more info on what exactly is happening, look up Stage 3 Handlebar Palsy on the internet. It’s me to a tee!

Other than that, all is well, and this cat just wants to get back home. Something that is easier said than done on the busy Thanksgiving travel holiday!  The end result is that I will be back in Seattle on December 2nd and looking forward to the next chapter and the closing month of 2010.

Once I get back (and easier to type), I’ll write more and at a minimum, bring some closure to that last 6 months of adventure. I hope to have the motivation to share with you some of the many (funny) stories of finishing my walk, the month before the ride, and of course the ride itself.

For those of you who may be sad, have pitty or bummed. DON’T BE! I am completely comfortable with my decision and proud of my accomplishment!

Sincerely,

Jackmo

The Artic Highway to Yerington

Today is the first day that I didn’t think about quitting. Seriously! Every day, for the last five days, I came up with excuses and planned my exit. But not today. The weather is clear, I’m getting used to the pain, and I can see the temperature getting warmer soon. It’s a good day!🙂

Now, don’t go thinking that today was some piece of cake. It was NOT! The ride over Geiger Pass was a monster that took over a couple of hours to complete. The temperatures were below freezing, and only a couple of degrees above for the first half of the day. My phone doesn’t have bicycle directions on it, which lead to an extra 15 miles of riding today. And finally, in my quest to try to take a couple of pictures, I failed to removed my cleat and fell over on the side of the road…

For all you Microsoft people out there, take notice. This is your chance to attract all the bicycle enthusiasts with cool bike mapping software. For all you Apple minions, the lack of this feature is a HUGE downer for me right now. This sure does sound like the appropriate time for the BING or Windows Mobile team to give me a ring and offer a demo of their stuff! Or maybe not…

Yes, you read the above correct. I fell over on the side of the road! Karma can be a real downer sometimes. When I was walking this summer, I should never have laughed and wrote about the biker I saw falling over. It was funny then, but not today. It HURTS! I sent a picture of my gory bruise to my Facebook page, if you really want to see it. :) 

If it has been only about 10 degrees warmer today, I would venture to say that it was an almost perfect riding down. Blue Sky, decent shoulders on the road, and mostly polite drivers. Probably my best day yet (even with the bloody knee).

After the huge (Geiger) mountain pass, I briefly rode through historic Virginia City, Nevada. Awesome, yet disappointing! I love the Wild-West and all the rich history of how the West was won! I don’t however like to see the towns turn into such a tourist trap. The 5-block long town was pretty much the same souvenir stores and saloons. If I wasn’t on a bike and clicking in my cleats, I may have stopped. Not this time, I will drive through in the future. I am curious to see the advertised ‘Suicide Chair’. If any of you know the history behind the chair, please feel free to reply with a comment.

For those of you wondering if I had any fun during my stay in Reno, the answer is “NO”. The most excitement was the mattress spring poking through my mattress and scratching my back. It was a good thing that I had a room with two twin beds. As long as I sleep angled across the bed, with my head pressed against the head-board, my feet will only hand off the edge a tad.

Today’s stop is in the small little town of Yerington, NV. It is surrounding by lots of large farm/ranches with a noticeably large amount of workers in the fields. Moving lots of pipe, not sure of what else. If you have driven through Nevada before, the area is also full of large brown mountains with the snow-capped Sierra-Nevada mountain range to the West. Since we are in Nevada, the town is full of Casinos.

In addition to writing a little blog, my plan tonight is to catch-up on laundry and attain the horizontal, at-rest position.

If you have any questions or would like me to write about anything specific, please feel free to drop me a line at jackmo@mylongwalkhome.org.

Jackmo

This Ride Made Possible by:

Harry Reid vs. Sharron Angle

I was so looking forward to settling into my cheap Super 8 motel room tonight and watching a little boob-tube. After a warm shower and a few phone calls…the power button was turned on. The result  was a media-tsunami of bad television.

Have you seen the crazy commercials battling for the Nevada Senate seat? If not, you probably don’t live in Nevada! They have overtaken the airwaves and promise to reduce your I.Q. every second you listen to them!

How about the commercials for the sleep-product named Lunesta? Like many pharmaceutical commercials, I usually look at the people running through the flowers, but don’t listen to the audio content. Tonight…I was sucked into it! The first disclaimer is that they don’t know exactly how the product works. The rest was about how your body parts may swell or you could wake up walking in the middle of the street! EEEEK!

Next channel was the Bad Girl’s Club of Miami. Yes, I originally paused changing the channel because there was a platoon of scantily clad girls running around a mansion. Again…as soon as felt myself becoming dumber, I changed the channel and looked for my prescription of Lunesta.

Finally, it was either the Travel Channel or National Geographic that was talking about the dangers of travel. Specifically, the dangers of touring on bicycles. I already knew this first hand (today) and didn’t need Stone Phillips to inform me of the obvious.

Television…OFF!

I was thinking about staying with family of Facebook fans tonight.  Unfortunately, I now have a cold from the last few days. It wouldn’t be good for me to be sneezing and coughing the whole time I’m visiting. Manalo Family; I do appreciate the offer!

If all goes as planned, I will be arriving in Las Vegas on the evening of Halloween. I don’t think I will be in much of a mood to go trick-or-treating that night. I don’t have a costume or extra clothes. I suppose I could go as a Bicyclist???

From Vegas my route will include Phoenix and then off to Austin, TX. As the weather becomes warmer AND my body is more pain-resistent, I hope to meet more people and possible stay with Facebook friends or families. If this might mean you, please send me an email in advance to discuss.

Okay, off to bed I go.

 Blog and Bike Ride made possible by:

Where’s the Beef…I mean Blog?

I have written and deleted this blog entry almost every day this week. Every time I begin, it only takes about 20 minutes before I write something that I don’t feel is fit for print. Not that it is bad, but more that in some way I think somebody may take offense, get upset, and/or have expectations of me that I’m not living up to.

As a few of you know, my walk began with only 3 facebook fans. It took over 3 months to reach 1000 fans. During those times of much pain and new experience, there was a lot of freedom to openly share about my experience. It was also a time to share stories from family and friends . It provided an outlet for me and, I hope, developed a connection between me and the people following my journey.

Fast-Forward to the Present!

I finished the walk and a much has changed over the past month. Most of the changes are fantastic and I feel very blessed to have experienced or received them!  Not only changes, but truly NEW opportunities that would NOT be present if I hadn’t taken the walk! Awesome!

This still doesn’t explain why you haven’t kept current on your blog!

I know, I know. Well, there are several reasons on why I have developed my writers-block. Since I can’t seem to communicate them effectively in  a word / sentence / paragraph structure, I will use bullet-points. Excuses include, but are not limited to:

  1. I am not Lance Armstrong. In fact; I’m way out of shape! You may think that walking across America would have fine-tuned me into an athlete of huge proportions. Huge proportions across the belly maybe…but not in muscle-mass! I am physically sick each day from pushing myself and not training for months before leaving.

  2. The weather sucks! Yes, I know it’s winter-time and nobody ever chooses to ride their bike across the country in the winter! Well…I did! The timing was right, and I believe it was important to leverage the opportunity while the ‘Iron is Hot’!
  3. Exhaustion & Weather Combo: In a little over a week, I have gone from riding 0 (zero) miles per day, to almost riding 100-miles in a day. A feat that may be considered impressive in good weather conditions! My motivation has been mainly to keep in front of the rain/snow conditions that I knew were coming. The combination of being exhausted, cold, and wet at the end of each day has left me with little energy to write.
  4. Minimize Stress: I am very lucky to have so many people (facebook fans) following my journey and supporting me. Unfortunately, I have friends and family that aren’t so supportive. To be somewhat sensitive, I have refrained from whining and describing the possible dangers of the road. Trust me, this first week hasn’t been much fun…
  5. Expectations: When I started my walk, I was an open-slate and I found it very therapeutic to write about whatever I wanted. Today, that isn’t the case! I have 6000 people and my future employer reading about my journey. I don’t want to come across too negative and/or anything less than an All-Star. This week…was anything less than All-Star.

  6. Expectations Part II: I am not a Saint! While most of you know this, I may need to share this with some of you!  I am attempting to ride back across the country because goals are an important part of my life. I want to see the money raised  for Seattle Children’s Hospital! It’s my favorite charity! I do however make mistakes, I’m NOT politically-correct, and I may not always communicate my gratitude fully, So in advance, for all of you who are donating and helping us to reach 50,000 fans:

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Soon I hope to write more about my travels and hopefully some of the people I meet. So far I have not connected with a single person. Yes, there has been a couple people at the motels or cabins I have stayed at. But I haven’t really shared my story with anybody or what I am doing. I will do that more soon! The weather is expected to be much better in a few days and hopefully my anxiety levels will decrease a bit.

Until then, thanks for reading and I hope to share with you very soon! Hopefully I will even have some funny stories and make you laugh.🙂

Jackmo

Ride made possible by:

 

Less of a connection with the world around you

A heck of a lot more rolling hills today. I was also feeling the urge to push myself a bit harder today. When combined, the end result is Jackmo feeling not only sore but a bit sick as well. Oh…whoa is me!

To partially answer the question of whether riding or walking is easier, I believe that riding (in the long run) will be easier and much better for the body. I’m actually using (to put it lightly) muscles to propel myself forward. Outside of using my calf muscles, walking just seems to be more mechanical in motion and a constant wear-n-tear on the joints! For now, my legs and neck are the sorest parts of my body. I’m hoping I get used to the riding position with my neck cranked up a bit. After a few hours, it gets rather annoying. I also find myself having to constantly move my hands in different positions on the handle bars to remain comfortable. More info to come as the week progresses.

Regarding weather. I have accepted the face that I will be doomed with rain for several days. South of Winnemucca, Ely or Reno, things should be looking pretty good though.

The negative of biking (compared to walking) seems to be that you are less connected with the world around you. You are moving at a much faster pace and you don’t stop to talk to somebody as regularly. Well you could, but then again you would have to get out of the bicycle cleats. I’ve done it hundreds of times now…and I still suck! When riding you find yourself constantly thinking about the controls and maintaining safety on the bike. Brakes, Steering, Shifting, Traffic, Sweating, Breathing, Drinking or Eating, there is always something to think about. Good at passing the time, but BAD at seeing the world around you!

As I get into a rhythm, I look forward to sharing more with you about the people I meet and experiences. So far I am lucky enough to have several friends who are helping me in the evenings and helping to get past the current pain-points (read: sore bottom)!

Jackmo

PS. As soon as I get the graphics, I will be sure to post the information on Kirkland Bicycles at the bottom of each post. Remember, they have donated 100% of all my gear towards the journey!! If any of you are thinking about purchasing a bike or accessories this year, please go to http://www.kirklandbikes.com/ and ask for Josh!🙂

Ouch!

Okay, I’m 40 miles into this adventure and I can’t tell a lie. My bottom (PG friendly page people) hurts and it’s getting very cold here in the Pacific NW. Being so close to home, the temptation is strong to just turn around and get back to a nice warm home! That won’t happen, but don’t you dare think that the thought doesn’t cross my mind every few seconds. As of right now, I know it will take me a couple weeks to get into a daily routine and feel comfortable. Not only for my muscles to feel better, but also for the fear of the elements to subside a bit. I figure things should begin to get better about half way across Nevada.

Towards the end of October I hope to be in good enough shape to ride at least 100 miles per day. Is this possible? For a younger person or seasoned athlete, absolutely! For this old tubby walker…highly questionable. I want to make this journey interesting and done in such a manner, that people are inspired to tell their friends! Perspiration to Inspiration!🙂

I took lots of pictures on the walk. I’m sad to say that until this gets a bit easier, the camera is going to stay locked up in my waterproof bike-bags. Am I being lazy? Kind of, but if you aren’t used to getting in/out of biking cleats…you don’t want to get out unless you absolutely have to. Stop signs are my enemy!

In a little over a couple weeks, I plan to make it as far as Las Vegas. Once I get to Vegas, this cat is going to head SE to Phoenix, and attempt to hug the southern most border of the U.S. for the rest of the trip. Decent whether is predicted for riding and even camping (when needed).

Speaking of camping, I have had enough of that stuff for awhile! Once out of the NW weather, I hope to spend as many nights with friends, couchsurfing host, or even friends/connections from all of you following my journey. The object of the ride is to inspire YOU to tell your friends about ‘My Long Walk Home’. NOT to torture myself any more then I already am!🙂

Okay, that is enough for today. Tomorrow I will be putting 50 miles on the odometer and more soreness on the muscles. I think this is where somebody writes “No Pain No Gain”? This is also where that same person gets run over by 400lbs of Jackmo & Cannondale .

Jackmo

PS. As soon as I get the graphics, I will be sure to post the information on Kirkland Bicycles at the bottom of each post. Remember, they have donated 100% of all my gear towards the journey!! If any of you are thinking about purchasing a bike or accessories this year, please go to http://www.kirklandbikes.com/ and ask for Josh!🙂

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.