So we made it to the Golden Gate Bridge! This is my first blog post and as it turns out, the final “official” blog post of the trip.
First off, we want to send a big thank you to everyone out there who made this trip possible.
To all of our family and friends, thank you so much for the support that you provide us each and every day, pushing us to challenge ourselves and know our limits.
A big shout out to Sandi Lipnoski for all of your help at the MIT Edgerton Center. This trip would have never gotten off the ground without your help! Thank you also to the MIT Gift Office for helping us with the Crowdfund website.
Thank you to all of our corporate sponsors:
Texas Instruments, MIT Physics Department, MIT Edgerton Center, Mathworks, and MIT Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department
And thank you to all of our personal sponsors:
Hong Tran, Shaun Liu, Michael Mager, Thai Bui, Ellie Neustein, Susan Messinger, Tamar Herman, Georgia Winkleblack, Christine Tong, Kamila Lopez, Kimberly Yu, Arthur Glasgow, Jeremy Orloff, Philippe Visser, Sara Shuter, Adi Wyner, Adam and Jordana Glasgow, Thomas Lee, Phillip Tomezsko, Paromita Gupta, Alberto Ancona, Michael and Judi Siegel and Darrow, Steven Larky, Herng Yi Cheng, Sarah and Jeff Keselman, Emily Terry, Daniel Glasgow, Dan Caine, Silvi Rouskin, Kiet Tran, Joshua Fishman, Cathy Drennan, Jeanette Rosenberg, Carolyn Sax, Bill Winkleblack, Edric Barnes, Melissa Kern, Michel Goemans, Rabbi Henry Zoob, Paul Guglielmino, Don Johnson, Gregory Haun, Richard Zhu, Susan Ronstrom, Greg Boes, and Dena and Jason Glasgow.
Thank you to all of our housing hosts (most of which are from warmshowers.org):
The Fishman Family in Silver Spring, MD (Thank you for helping start our trip off right!)
Cindy and Gerry Gray in Monclair, VA (Barcelona breakfasts are the best!)
The White Family in Fredericksburg, VA (Best of luck on your own cross-country trip!)
Beth Evans in Barboursville, VA (That chicken was delicious!)
Francine Johnston in Waynesboro, VA (We loved the lasagna!)
The Orrison Family in Natural Bridge, VA (Nelly’s cupcakes were wonderful!)
John and Patty Brenner in Abingdon, VA (Thanks for the help in the rain and we can’t forget John’s scrumptious bread!)
The Sorah Family in Wise, VA (Say hi to Brennan!)
Sherry Spradlin at Harmony House B&B in Hazard, KY (Those breakfasts were the best and say hi to Jamie!)
The Howard Family in East Bernstadt, KY (Everyone still raves about those burgers and say hi to Elvie!)
Gary and Diane Rose in Columbia, KY (Thank you so much for the directions and pepper spray!)
Richard and Stephanie Shull at Serenity Hill B&B in Mammoth Cave, KY (We won’t forget your biscuits and gravy!)
The Ayer Family in Henderson, KY (Thanks for inviting the news crew and good luck with the baby!)
The McCormick Family in Harrisburg, IL (Thank you so much for finding us a place to stay the following night!)
Ashlea Appelbaum in St. Louis, MO (Thanks for hosting us for 4 nights!)
Lee Pettijohn in Hermann, MO (Say hi to the kids for us!)
Barbara and David Curtis in Warrensburg, MO (Best storytellers in the world!)
Bruce and Stephanie Hensel in Leawood, KS (Poker was so much fun! Also say hi to Mimi and Louie!)
Jarrett Owens in Ottawa, KS (Seeing Spider Man in theaters summed up a good day!)
Diane Nutbrown in Emporia, KS (Thanks for dinner with your students!)
The Voth Family in Newton, KS (Biking to the ice cream store with Ian was great!)
John Makings in Great Bend, KS (Thanks for letting us take over your living room!)
Ellie and Warren Bontrager in Limon, CO (Thanks for hosting both us and Stanford at the same time!)
Paco VanSistine in Denver, CO (Hanging out with you was a lot of fun!)
The Gudmestad Family in Fort Collins, CO (Thank you for getting us to explore Fort Collins!)
The Albert Family in Vernal, UT (Say hi to Taylor and Logan for us!)
The Nuffer Family in Lindon, UT (Talking with Dan about CS was really interesting!)
Laurie Kauer in Santaquin, UT (Those breakfast burritos were so savory!)
Richard Dziuk in Delta, UT (The grandkids were adorable!)
Peter and Patti Smith in Carson City, NV (Thank you for your flexibility when we weren’t sure about our schedule!)
The Karelina Family in San Ramon, CA (Thank you for helping us have a great finish!)
Also a huge thank you to the three hosts who hosted us at last minutes notice:
Stacy and Mike in Wytheville, VA (Thanks for taking us in when we knocked on your door at dusk!)
Terry and Linda Crain in Murphysboro, IL (We won’t forget relaxing in your pool!)
Steve Musser in Strasburg, CO (Thank you for opening up your home without us even asking!)
Thank you to all of the churches and centers who hosted us along the way:
Al’s Bike Hostel in Farmington, MO
Colby United Methodist Church in Colby, KS
Burlington United Methodist Church in Burlington, CO
Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, CO
Assembly of God – Cavalry in Ely, NV
Epworth United Methodist Church in Fallon, NV (A huge shoutout to the church community who made us dinner and breakfast!)
Rancho Murieta Equestrian Center in Rancho Murieta, CA
Thank you to all of our Learning Festival hosts:
Tom Cravens at the Challenger Learning Center in Hazard Kentucky (and a big shout out to the entire community in Hazard who graciously welcomed us to their community and made us Dukes and Duchesses of Hazard)
Ann Boes at the 4-H Technology Club called Lab: Revolution in Farmington, MO
Ashlea Appelbaum at the St. Louis Homeschool Connection in St. Louis, MO
William Wells at aSTEAM Village in Kansas City, KS
Nathan and Marianne at Newton Public Library in Newton, KS
Beth Gudmestad at the Loveland Public Library in Loveland, CO
The Christa McAuliffe Space Center in Pleasant Grove, UT
And finally, thank you to Ace Wheelworks in Cambridge, MA for putting together and fitting us for all of our bikes along with all of the bike stores along the way who resolved any issues we faced with tires, derailleurs, disc brakes, etc.
Overall, the trip was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had and I will definitely never forget all of the memories made here. There were many times when I was biking where I literally had to close my eyes and take a snapshot of the beautiful scenery. From the great plains in Kansas to the silhouette of the Rocky Mountains when we were biking into Denver to sleeping under the stars in Utah to the sun setting across Lake Tahoe, the views as we biked could not have been fully captured with a camera. Seeing students of all ages get excited about learning STEM was the most rewarding experience for me on the entire trip because it reminded me why we started doing this trip in the first place. Reaching personal goals with biking (such as biking 110 miles in one day!) and ending the day with a hot shower and a warm meal made every day of biking worth it. I could not have asked for a better way to spend the last 70 days with 6 amazing teammates who have developed from co-bikers into good friends.
So after 110,000 ft of elevation, 3579 miles of biking, 484 miles on the loneliest road (US 50), 54 days of biking, 30 flat tires, 25 warmshowers hosts, 16 McDonald’s pit stops, 11 campgrounds, 10 weeks, 9 states, 8 learning festivals, 7 bikes, 6 churches, 5 centuries, 4 state capitals, 3 saved turtles, and 2 biking groups (the Nibblers and the Turtles), we had 1 amazing summer biking across America.
Thanks for one heck of an adventure!