Day 2 [Key West, FL]


[Distance traveled: 22 miles]

Today’s the day it worked out for us to officially take our trikes to downtown Key West, and road testing them in town before we head northeast next Monday or Tuesday. It is really wonderful weather down here right now – this is definitely a good time for cycling in Florida.

Which reminds me, that next Sunday is the annual Horrible Hundred out in Clermont that I will be missing again this year….ack! Maybe next year. I am sure that Sugarloaf Mountain will still be there!


It was a little “scatter-brained” prepping for the ride….it really had been a long while since we had ridden together, maybe 6 months, and we weren’t quite sure where everything was that we packed on Thursday morning! That takes a few weeks to remember which pocket has which item! Ha.

Here is Earline focused in the morning….what do you think about her “bling” baseball cap?! [I really am not sure WHAT to think!]

Earline focused and ready to ride

We did our usual A-B-C check [Air in our tires, Brakes working okay, and Chain lubed and running free], plus some stretching of our muscles, and prayer time.

BEAUTIFUL day today. Did you now that there are almost 1700 islands in the Florida Keys? And about a hundred of those are connected by the bridges of Highway 1, or what is called the Overseas Highway. And how many bridges?

I was pretty surprised when I heard this.

The number of bridges connecting those islands is EXACTLY the same number of bridges that we went over during the 2010 Mission POSSIBLE Tour.

Do you remember the number? [I’ll tell you at the END of this blog entry.]


There is a separate bike path we are told that goes all the way into downtown Key West. But then, we ran across THIS sign:

Bike Lane ends


Now, where do we go?


Well, we stayed on the same side of the road, and about 300 feet ahead, we ran into another sign:

Bike Lane begins

So I guess the interruption was “temporary.”

We went past the Naval Air Station that I mentioned to you yesterday. I fact, this morning  I was able to record one of the jets taking off….and let me make sure to point out, this is recorded INSIDE the apartment!


Here’s a picture of the entrance:

Front of Naval Air Station

We soon then came across our first long stretch of water….bridge looks a little skinny, but it turned out to be a good 4 foot wide, a lot better than the 36-inch wide draw bridge that we had a tangle with back in 2011. Read about THAT here!

This is called the Boca Chica Channel, channels being the water that separates the islands.

Boca Chica Channel

Once into Key West proper, we rode along Roosevelt Boulevard on the north side of the island….the road had been recently upgraded, and it was a very pretty drive.

Earline along north side of island2

Key West is a VERY bike-friendly town, and it was a little comforting to us to see all the bicycles everywhere….they may outnumber the cars!

Headed to Mallory Square

And the cars did seem to show deference to the various bikes, trikes, and mopeds.

Trouble with the MOPEDS, though, is that there are more things that can go wrong with them…like the ENGINE. But never fear, we saw the Moped Hospital!

Moped Hospital

We eventually found Mallory Square….and we saw these two “colorful” characters. They were being pretty rowdy, one was very drunk, it seemed, and like it describes in Proverbs 23:29-35, he is probably really hurting right now!

2 guys at Mallory Square

Right next to Mallory Square, we did NOT see this last night, so it must have come in during the night, the Disney Cruise ship “Wonder.” It is HUGE, about 50% bigger than even Noah’s Ark!

Disney Cruise ship

It was real pretty down by the pier and the Key West Aquarium. There WAS signage that said bicycles were not allowed, but I saw lots of bikes on the pier, I saw a sign that said don’t lock your bikes here along the fence, AND there was even a place on the pier to rent bikes! So I’m not sure WHO to believe….hmmmm!

Jon on pier

I did some repair work on my trike, and we hung around for a while, looking for folks to engage in conversation, but no one approached us, except for a few kids who weren’t afraid to express their enthusiasm and say, “Nice bike!”

We later ran across an area that had some historical significance…it was called the “Southern White House.” Apparently several U.S. presidents have used it as vacation or second kind of “command center.”

We also saw this sign [I circled what caught my eye]:

Convent sign

Wait, wait, wait, what….what did you say?

Holy NAMES?!

Nope, no-no-no-no. Psalm 111:6-9 says that:

“He has shown HIS great power to HIS people by giving them the lands of other nations. 

ALL He does is just and good, and ALL His commandments are trustworthy.They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity. 

HE has paid a full ransom for HIS people. HE has guaranteed HIS covenant with them forever.

What a holy, awe-inspiring name HE has!”

Oops! No Mary here!

And Peter CLEARLY states in Acts 4:12:

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

That should clear up ANY confusion!

Finally headed back to Coppitt Key, and again rode past the Salt Pond Keys on Roosevelt Boulevard.

North Roosevelt Blvd in Key West

Also on the way home, we saw a couple jets circle over us, and descend to land….LOUD! And I got a picture of one of them:

Jet fighter landing

Final mileage total today — 22 miles.

Oh, and we did stop one more place….I was able to engage a couple people in conversation for almost AN HOUR outside of a Ross clothing store….because, yes, Earline was IN the store buying a few white things that she forgot to bring to counter the heat of the sun on hot days like today!

Hour front of Ross


ONLY thru God’s grace,


[Oh, and by the way, there were 42 bridges over the Mississippi River on our 2010 Mission POSSIBLE Tour, EXACTLY the same number that we will be crossing in the Florida Keys. Of course, we will be crossing other bridges later, like the Venetian Causeway from Miami to Miami Beach, so we’ll do MORE than 42 this trip!]

Day 47 [somewhere along County Road B, MO – Clarksville, MO]


Thank you, Lord for our little garden farm campsite!

Little garden farm

I don’t know if their neighbors knew they were gone, but no one stopped to ask. Bless them anyway, Lord, even if they didn’t know they were being a blessing.

(P.S…..we recently received a phone message from Mrs. Burroughs, saying that they had RECEIVED the note, and that they were sorry they had missed us. We appreciate that! Thanks again for your hospitality! Send us your contact information through our web site here – the link is way to the right on our home page – and we’ll keep you informed of some of the latest things happening with the WiFi Pedalers.)

We continued east on Hwy. B….some pretty grueling ups and downs….kinda reminded of the Horrible Hundred in Clermont (see blog from Nov. ’09). Earline is actually really starting to get the knack of speeding down the hills to help make it up the next one with less difficulty. Here’s Earline in action:

Up a rolling hill

This area is also a strong agricultural area, and we passed many tractors carrying a variety of farm implements.

Tractor and Earline

Went thru a long flat bottom, even slightly downhill, and then saw this looming….ah, hill…ugh…

BIG hill approaching

What you DON’T see is that this hill CONTINUED UP as it curved to the left. No, not as bad as the 15% Chestnut Mtn. south of Galena, IL, but it was pretty bad.

BARN ART alert!

I call this an organic barn…ala naturale….

Barn Art organic

Maybe if we leave it alone for 400 million years it will turn into a red barn with multiple barn quilts!! [a little evolution humor there].

Let me inject just a couple quick facts here:

It is turning out that evolution….

(We’re talking about what some call macro-evolution, not micro-evolution. Micro-evolution, or the changes that can take place as things mature or adapt to surrounding conditions….we can see these changes, this natural selection, all around us. Darwin’s finches would adapt to the changes in weather conditions at the Galápagos Islands, and their beaks would become longer or shorter…..but they REMAINED finches.)

(Maco-evolution is what you would call the addition of genetic information to an animal that results in changes from, say, rocks to cells to apes to man. This has NEVER been observed….ever. And the obvious absence of transitional fossils supports this!)

….is one of the cruelest, most preposterous hoaxes ever perpetuated on human kind. And these things are STILL being taught to our young people in our schools.

Evolution HA

As the technology has gotten better, as microscopes have gotten stronger, we are discovering MACHINES, millions and millions of machines inside of EACH cell in our body. Machines with screws and pistons and rotors….machines that are obviously DESIGNED. I heard one gentleman estimate that there are more machines in EACH cell in our body than there are machines on the entire planet earth!

Charles Darwin himself admitted over 100 years ago, that if cells turned out to be anything more that gelatinous blobs, that his theory of evolution would “most certainly break down.” Well….

It is estimated that there are now approximately 30,000 scientists worldwide with their masters and doctorate degrees that believe in a literal six-day creation, and are presenting scientific evidence to back that up. And that number is GROWING! Awesome.

[Exodus 20:11…“For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them…”]

It was so hot today, and it made the hills even tougher. Close to 100 degrees. Finally made it to….to….wait….the trip’s over? It says we’re in Louisiana!…..oh, the TOWN Louisiana. Got it.

Louisiana sign

Finally got to a convenience store, JUST as we were out of water. And in the store we met a Deaf man, Bill. We spent almost 30 minutes talking to him. His profoundly deaf wife had died about 10 years ago, and he had lost touch with other Deaf friends. He had some speech skills, and there weren’t really any other Deaf close around that he knew of.

Deaf Bill

He did go to the state school for the Deaf, after going to a public high school where the hearing kids were so cruel to him, and teased him about his hearing aids. He has 2 hearing sons, one retired from the Marines, and the other is a Pastor in a neighboring town.

Bill learned the trade of printing at the state school and did that for almost 20 years. He encourages all young Deaf to get a trade, to become more independent. Right now Bill does landscaping and helps mow lawns for additional income.

We headed downtown, and discovered the Eagle’s Nest Diner and B&B. And they had wifi!

Eagles Nest dining in Louisiana

Thanks to Shelly, Brittany, and the whole crew at Eagle’s Nest. You let me work several hours on this blog. Your food was SCRUMPTIOUS, and your service was even better!

Stocked up on water at the town’s edge convenience store, and headed to Clarksville. (Great story ahead alert!!!….you won’t believe this!)

But first, a word from these cows: (moooing)


Amazed cows what huh

(You’d think they’d never seen a recumbent before…well, maybe they haven’t!)

It was so hot…Earline was getting tired. Here’s our weary (yet still looking good) traveler:

Sun sets on weary traveler

I was looking for what Bob’s book described as the Silo Campground. I thought I saw it on the left, but the only sign there was “Road Ends at Water”. I saw some guys and pickups down by the water, maybe boating or fishing, but it just didn’t look like a safe situation to bring my wife into.

Shortly after that we entered Clarksville, and it seemed a little run down….I understand that this is the midway point between the Canadian border and the Gulf of Mexico, and we have traveled (I just checked) over a thousand miles, so we’re close to the halfway point of our Mission Possible Tour!

Clarksville river front sign [dark]

By now the sun has set, but there’s still some light. We went down to what looked like a fairly new riverside park by the Lock & Dam, and met an older gentleman who looked a little rough, carrying a Bible, talking about his brother’s Holiness church that he attends in another town.

When we asked him what we could pray for – he said “that he would obey God better.” But then he didn’t know the “obedience is better than sacrifice” verse [1 Samuel 15 :22, as well as Proverbs 21:3], and I “got a flag” (sensed I needed to use caution concerning his character).

We went back up the hill to the only motel we saw, and Miss Beverly assisted us. She was nice. HOWEVER, the AC in the lobby wasn’t on because she said the owner wouldn’t let her turn it on, the wifi and the TVs weren’t working from an earlier storm, and she said the owner said that she still had to charge over $60 for the night.

Ah…no, thanks.

She said she used to go to the Baptist Church in town, but she hadn’t gone in years, she didn’t know what time their services were, and didn’t know the names of the other churches in town…..pray for her!

Miss Beverly mentioned the Clarksville Station Bed & Breakfast on the edge of town, so we thought we’d check there. (Why, I don’t know, because I KNEW we didn’t have money for a Bed & Breakfast.)

We found it fairly easily, and it was a gorgeous place! Kinda reminded me of an upscale Cracker Barrel restaurant.

We inquired about a place to stay (and again, I don’t know why) but a young lady named Hanna said they only had 14 places/rooms, and they were booked for the night. (We were told Hanna has an excellent singing voice!)

We met Tim, the Executive Chef there who used to work at Disney World and lived in Kissimmee. He said that this Clarksville Station was a chef’s dream, because they got fresh produce daily from local farmers and developed each day’s menu from what was available.

Hanna mentioned that there was another place just a mile down the road (keep in mind it is now dark), and tat they also had a Bed & Breakfast where we might stay, called Eagle’s Bluff. She said her mom worked there, and Hanna tried to call for us, but couldn’t get an answer.

Lord, you know our needs.

It is late, we’re tired, we’re stinky, and a shower would be so nice, but you know our resources. Help us.

So we ventured out on the dark road, and eventually did come to lighted sign that said “Eagle’s Bluff Golf Resort and Lounge”….this a golf course!


They’re not gonna have anywhere for us to stay. But this is the place Hanna mentioned, and Lord, we’re trusting you to lead our steps (even if it means going up this long, steep driveway!) (VERY steep!)

So up we trudged up the hill, using the technique we’d learned going up other steep hills….go a little ways, stop, hold your hand brakes, rest your legs, and then go a little further. It took us 8 to 10 stops, but we made it!

Some staff we met at the top by some kind of clubhouse went to get Clarissa, the manager. Apparently they had had a wedding earlier and the reception/party was in full swing. (Everybody was admiring the trikes and our efforts coming up the hill!)

We explained as we had to Beverly, Tim, and Hanna along the way about our Mission Possible Tour, and what our current situation was. They were in the process of converting the owner’s farmhouse into a B&B, but didn’t really have it ready yet.

Clarissa asked if we had a tent, and we said yes, if she’d let us pitch a tent, that would be wonderful….just, could we have access to some bathrooms?

She then asked if we had some sleeping bags….we told her yes….and then she said we could sleep on the floor of the room the bridesmaids used to get ready for the wedding in, and it had a shower!! Yea!! Thank you, Clarissa!

(Side note…..Earline asked Clarissa a couple times if there was anything we could do to help…..hmmm…..kind of an odd question for our situation, but Earline said she felt lead to ask, and did so, a couple times even. There is an answer to this mystery tomorrow.)

Apparently this big room is also used as a men’s locker room for golfing parties, but it was not being used. Wow….tell God thank-you! And here’s what it looked like:

Fancy God gift place

Where we slept

Are we happy or what??!!

We are TRULY grateful for His leading and protection!!



Some final thoughts on yesterday’s HH, and a few pictures

NOVEMBER 16, 2009 – 10:25 PM

Failure? Some might call it that. Realistically it was a goal not achieved. It’s true that I didn’t have all the facts. When I got to Rest Stop #4 around 3:30, Tom was so gracious to bring me water even after the rest stop closed. But THEN….he let me know that if I was still riding after dark that for insurance reasons they would have to pull me off the route. I was shocked! I didn’t remember reading that anywhere, but I must have missed it. I thought back immediately to all the “putzin’ ” around I had done up to that point.

Monteverde convenience store
Now doesn’t this trike look noticeable enough to ride after dark?!!? Actually, this was at the Montverde convenience store. By now all the Rest Stops were closed, and Nature WAS calling. I guess the camera flash reflected off the the shiny spots. This was probably around 15 minutes before I was pulled off the route.

Blogging and texting from my phone, taking pictures. I did have a little mechanical difficulty when one of my brake lines came unhooked, and it took maybe 15 minutes or so to figure out how to fix that. The main culprit was the first rest stop. There must have been 30 or 40 people line up at the 4 porta-pottys when I got there. That took some time. I walked around trying to find Earl – I thought he said he’d be at the first rest stop. But I couldn’t find him, and talked with a nice lady volunteer to see if she knew Earl, but we couldn’t figure out who he was (I later saw him at rest stop #3…..HEY, EARL!)

I was walking around looking at all the food, gathering ideas for our own trip next summer; I took pictures of a couple groups in front of the fire truck, I had my picture taken:

Firetruck at HH
Jon! Stop taking pictures and get busy!

I met Phil Mix and his friend Paul, that were riding their I.C.E. trikes; we discussed what a good dealer Mark Power at Power On Cycling in Riverview, FL was (that’s where they got their trikes).

Mark and Linda
Mark and Linda Power

Phil also noticed a loose bolt on my trike, so he fixed that (so perhaps there was a critical purpose for meeting Phil and having that large bolt tightened – it was more than one full turn loose!).

Phil Mix
Phil Mix and banana consumed. Thanks for the fix-it, Phil! You can see some folks lined up behind Phil, but most of the people at the porta-pottys had cleared out by now.

And I talked with some other folks – I easily spent 30 to 45 minutes at that first stop. Well, you live and you learn.

And, like Earline said, isn’t that what family life is like? You set goals: you succeed at some and you fail at others. But the question is, how do you respond to those failures? If you fall down, you get back up, you learn, and the next time you do better, you make more informed decisions.

And STILL with all the extracurricular stuff I did, I guess I still almost finished before dark – my finish would have probably been around 6:30, 6:45. And considering I had only ridden a trike any significant distance only 2x before this in my life: each time about 25 miles or so when I rented the Sun trike at the Lake County Line, once on the West Orange Trail, and once when I went up to Sugarloaf to make sure I could make it up that hill with a trike….so, this time, 92 miles….I guess I did alright. Not hurting TOO much today….HA!

And I DID finish this morning. And I DID go up EVERY hill without stopping. The 3 steepest pitches (IMHO) were:

3) The Scrub Jay Rd. pitch up from 561A

2) One of the Buckhill Road pitches headed south from 455 – can’t remember which one – 1st or 2nd one, I think. (there’s so MANY!)

1) That darn little pitch up from Old Hwy 50 called Forestwood

The FUNNEST to go down: Ta-Dah! It’s a tie between Sugarloaf SE and North Ridge – did some SERIOUS whoopin’ going down those two hills. What speed did your computers say? Had to be close to 50.

Well, enough of that….what most of you want is PICTURES! Here’s a few:

Trikes in PT
Yes, both trikes fit INSIDE the PT Cruiser.

Trek booth at HH
Outside the Trek booth on Saturday

Iowa bent
An early bent made in Iowa

Earline and Keiron
Earline and Keiron at our table on Saturday

Early morning fog on Lake Minneola
Some early morning fog on Lake Minneola

Getting warmed up before the ride

Howard on his bent
Howard on his “bicycle” bent

Nervous for the ride to start
Do I look nervous? I AM!

Prayer before the ride
Moment of reflection and prayer before the ride. Now THAT’S cool!

Start of the HH
AND THEY’RE OFF…..Start of the 100 mile ride

West Side of Lake Minneola
West side of Lake Minneola

West Side of Lake Minneola2
2nd photo from the west side of Lake Minneola [I actually STOPPED and took these pictures…..ack!]

Northridge Assent
Here we go! First big Climb, up Northridge Boulevard – people clumping, walking, falling….

North Ridge assent2
But this is FUN! It really is [keep telling yourself that!]….

Third time tower
A THIRD look at the tower on Scrub Jay Rd. (the same one in 2 previous blogs). Look at the blue sky! (and say, did everyone stay under 15 MPH when going DOWN the hills…..NOT!)


Some of you hundred-ers might remember these hay bales out on, I think, Lake Emma Road. Here, and on Villa City Road, it was so peaceful! Wonderful ride.

Top of SugarLoaf
From the TOP of Sugarloaf…..beautiful, huh?! But late!! (with a SAG truck nervously watching just to the left of this picture!) Also, take note of the SINKING sun….ack!

Of course, it was not much later that I ran out of daylight and was forced to stop my travels. SO…..

Back to the same spot I got stopped at last night.

Notice the one flag had suffered some battle damage! There’re pieces of it somewhere (probably on the Sugarloaf downhill!).

Fosgate tower
Remember the tower on Fosgate? Wonder what it would look like from the bottom looking up? (Now that’s a weird picture!)

Top of North Ridge
This HAS to be a fond memory….the last thing you remember seeing before falling off the North Ridge cliff! Wheeeeee!

Cheerleaders reception
FINISHED!…..and a cheerleader’s reception….cool. Way cool.


HH 2009 century.cdr

HH Thoughts from Earline

NOVEMBER 16, 2009 – 1:27 PM

It’s a happy Monday in spite of how dog tired I’m feeling. “And why am I so tired?” you might be asking, so let me share about my experience at the Horrible Hundred.

Well, it was my first … first everything that is. My first time been hanging out with thousands of the world’s coolest cyclists, my first time being involved as a Polka Dot sponsor for such a historic ride as the 30th Horrible Hundred, my first time presenting the mission of The WiFi Pedalers and GHA to the cycling community at large, and so much more.

I even got a little emotional when the Hundred milers took off. I thought wow, God where are you taking us in all of this and yet I’m still saying that I”ll boldly go wherever it is He wants me to go.

Lesson #1 is “Don’t be afraid to step out in unfamiliar territory … You never know what you might discover.”

So, after yesterday’s Horrible Hundred … ninety-two for the WiFi Pedalers was not gonna do. So,  just like it goes in real family life, we regrouped this morning and finished what we started. Yeah!!!

I even found an exercise group turned cheerleading squad that enthusiastically helped me welcome my man in across the finish line. You go girl!!! Even if I have to say so myself, I will encourage myself… hey ladies … Hint hint, Lesson #2.

So, perhaps you’re asking, “Did Earline ride The Horrible Hundred?” No mame and sirs, but I did what a good “help-meet” does, I smiled a lot, and was blessed to meet a lot of very interesting people that came up to our booth, all the while enjoying picture perfect Chamber of Commerce weather lakeside, downtown Clermont. Lord, I really do love the mission ministry opportunities you give us we follow your lead. Lesson #3 … “Seek to bloom wherever you are planted.”

Special thanks to GHA’s family and friends to include: Bakisha Maddox, Tracey Brown, and Jill Ivory who patiently prepared 2000 Mission Possible “Info-vestment” Packets for this event (yeah, I created another new word just then) and Keiron Johnson who hung out with me from sun up to sun down both Saturday and Sunday. I love u all!!!

Pedaling w/ Purpose,



NOVEMBER 16, 2009 – 10:32 AM

Finished! Whoop-whoop! Who’s your daddy?! (North Ridge downhill was AWESOME! Almost better than SE Sugarloaf.) Whee!

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

We’re on the ROAD again!

NOVEMBER 16, 2009 – 9:12 AM

(Actually I’m on the trail BESIDE Old Hwy 50 – lot more traffic today than yesterday.) Wait! Isn’t this what got me in trouble yesterday – texting while triking?! Ha….no such deadline today. Let’s get this 100 finished! (I’m especially eager to FINALLY go DOWN North Ridge….remember, that’s where I had my 10th flat the first time doing this route….see the 1st HH entry.) Okay, onward! Be strong and of good courage!

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.


NOVEMBER 15, 2009 – 1:33 PM

….to Tom, and Earl, and the whole crew at Rest Stop #3 for the applause and cheers when I pulled in. It really lifted my spirits! About half done now. Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing!

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

Made it to the 1st rest stop!

NOVEMBER 15, 2009 – 9:52 AM

Beautiful day! Seen a couple people fall already. I heard there’s over 2,000 of us out here! (So THAT’S why there’s over 50 people in line at the port-a-potty!) Met a couple other gentlemen riding ICE trikes. Nice folks. Next segment takes us around Sugarloaf. To the next rest stop!

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

Rider Pak Pick-Ups / Day before the Ride

NOVEMBER 14, 2009

Okay – just slept for 6 hours (cuz I got NONE last night), and now [11:30 PM] I have to get up in 5 hours to head over to Clermont to get ready for the Horrible 100, but I did want to send out a few thoughts quick.

This blogging thing is still new to me, so I appreciate your patience. I’m going to try and set it up here now to send you blogs FROM the ride (how about WHILE going up Sugarloaf….

Sugarloaf with clear skies

….now that would be cool). (And if I ever upgrade my phone, I should be able to send you pictures from the road, too!) (2 cools)

I’ve got some pictures from today’s pre-day race, but you’ll have to wait until next week for me to load these here.

We had set up a booth, and showed off the ICE Trikes that Power On Cycling supplied for the weekend. We had a chance to meet many wonderful folks like some of you, and some of you had a chance to even sit in them and take a little spin. I will be riding the T tomorrow, oops, I mean, TODAY. Earline will stay with the booth while I’m riding, and be showing off the Q that we also have along.

So, let me get a few more hours of shut-eye….the weather looks like it’s going to be absolutely gorgeous, and they’re expecting as many as 2,000 riders, so this should be interesting. Even if everyone was spread out over the 100 miles evenly, that’s 20 riders per mile, or one rider every 250 feet! I’m taking the camera WITH ME, and should get some GREAT pictures. (Remember, on a trike you can do that!)

Lord bless!



Pre-Horrible 100 [for REAL] Thoughts

NOVEMBER 14, 2009

Here are some thoughts I wrote earlier THIS morning for the Florida Free-Wheelers mailing list:

It is late (2:50 am) and in a little more than 24 hours I’ll be headed out on my first “official” Horrible 100.

I’m looking forward to meeting many of you, and those of you who I already know, pray for me, that I can finish this ride before all the food runs out! Ha! (Mike says it’ll likely run out around 3, so maybe that’s a little incentive for some of you to ride a little faster!)

I’m just trying to finish by 5. For those of you who don’t know, when the maps came out several weeks ago, I decided to “test and verify”…..and let’s just say it was an interesting, dare I say “Horrible” experience! So for those of you feeling a little trepidation about the ride, or just want a good laugh at my expense (!), (as well as some GREAT pictures) check out my web site blog at:

My wife and I will be setting up a little booth at the event, and if I may, I want to also share a couple quick notes about our heart, and the purpose of this ride.

I have only joined the Florida Freewheelers in the past year, and have already seen a number of great causes come thru the e-mails, but let me just share this with you. A lot of us don’t pay too much attention to these causes because, well, they just don’t really pertain to us, and on top of that, money is real tight right now, etc. etc.

And I say to that, well it may be partly true, but what do we have, over 1,500 riders this weekend on some rather “expensive” bikes? There’s some money to go around, and what I’M talking about according to the latest stats affects 1 in 4 American families.

My wife and I went thru the experience of raising 2 Deaf children, but they, along with a “hearing” Gator freshman are now all VERY independent adults. And the stats say hearing loss affects 1 in 4 families.

Two quick FAQS, and then I’m outta here:

1) 90% of Deaf children are born to HEARING parents, and 2) (and this really tears us up) Less than 10% ever learn to effectively communicate with their own children thru sign language. Only 10%. (And most Deaf do NOT read lips….okay, I snuck a third fact in there!)

Well, these and other faqs are what we are trying to teach the community as well as individual parents who are struggling with this “invisible” disability. This is why we are headed out on a mission tour next summer down the Mississippi River Trail. We’ll be exploring and surveying Deaf culture all throughout the trip, staying at people’s homes, talking at clubs and functions and churches, wherever we can share what we’ve learned.

We also are using it as a BIG venue, with lots of publicity, to raise funds for our non-profit to help continue the services we provide right here in the Central Florida area.

So stop by our booth (The WiFi Pedalers), take the “Deaf or Hearing?” test in one of our brochures, and pick up an “ABC” sheet. Get involved!

Sign Language ABCs sheet

I mean, all of us crazy “Horrible-Hundred-ers” know how to get involved, right? And if your heart tweaks you a little bit, we sure would appreciate your sponsorship of one or more of our miles. $35 a pop gets you on the list, and we’re going to have drawings, prizes, and lots of cool stuff to give away to nudge you to pick a mile, but you’ve got to have a MILE NUMBER! So join in! (you can contribute thru the Paypal connection on the web site – and if you have a specific mile in a certain state that you want, check out the approximate mileage on the Route web page.)

Oh, by the way, the weird 56-year-old on the trike? (This “T” for the Horrible 100 is compliments of one of our sponsors, Power On Cycling in Riverview, FL – check out their site!) That’s me on the trike, and that’s what MY WIFE and I will be riding down the MRT. Stop by the booth and tell her, SHE CAN DO IT. And check out the route at:

If you know any contacts, or have any family along our route next summer, we’d appreciate any connections you could give us.

(Oh, and Tom tells me that in the 30-year history of the HH, I am the FIRST registered trike to attempt to complete the 100 miles.) (arrrive by five, arrive by five, arrive by five….)

Anyway, thanks again, and may the wind always be at your back, and all (okay, MOST) of your roads go downhill. (I told my wife the MRT was all downhill…..rivers run downhill, right?!)