I've passed my halfway mark for both mileage and raising funds to eliminate childhood obesity*! I still have a ways to go, however (for both!). My charity of choice is the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG). AHG works to eliminate childhood obesity in school and out-of-school settings all over the country. They are in over 18,000 schools and not only does the organization lead obesity prevention work among youth in the US, but supports implementation of best practices in many settings. My goal is $25,000. Help me get there. To donate, click here.
*Halfway mark on TransAm (OR to VA) not including riding up to RI ;)
Kansas is getting better. It was cooler yesterday and today. In fact, when I started cycling early this morning there was no wind for about 2 hours! It was dreamy. And, it was the first time that it felt like I was on the eastern side of the United States. The crickets, birds, humidity. The smell and sounds reminded me of Connecticut, where I grew up. Kansas is getting greener as I head east and a bit hillier (that's actually a good thing!). I still have to bike between 20-60 miles between towns, but it seems less remote somehow. For example tomorrow, between Larned and Sterling, there are no services on Route 19 for 58 miles. So, on the way into Larned tonight, I stopped at Subway and got my 6 inch sub for tomorrow's lunch. I'm getting a little sick of PB and honey or cheese sticks. I'll need to carry my water for the day.
I met a great group of cyclists, with a support truck that are riding to raise money for Wounded Veterans (Wounded Warrior Project). You can learn more about them or donate by clicking here. I haven't met all of them while riding the past couple of days (they ride spread out), but ate lunch with Cliff today. There are 7 cyclists from all over US and range from 31-78 years old! Super diverse group, including one woman who is on active duty, but got released for 2 months to ride with the group. She is a wounded warrior herself, but can ride- she flew by me today! They invited me for margaritas in the park where they are camping, but I didn't make it. I have been so exhausted from the heat and battling the wind this week that I get in around 2-4pm, shower and take a nap for a couple of hours before I eat dinner. I almost slept right through dinnertime tonight. I didn't nap for the first 6 week of my trip, but this heat has added a layer of exhaustion to my day.
The next two nights, I am staying with family of friends or friends of friends. In Sterling KS and Newton KS. I've actually been to Sterling, my destination tomorrow night. I'm a trainer for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Training Tools for Healthy Schools Training Cadre and I had the opportunity to do a training to 50 educators (pre-service and current teachers) on Sterling College Campus a few years back. It was for a tool called the Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) and I remember having a great group of educators.
I can't believe I'm halfway through my trip. A friend posted a photo of my destination on Facebook today, the breach way on Charlestown Beach, Rhode Island. I guess I've never explained why Rhode Island is my end point. My parents have a little cottage in Charlestown and I grew up on that beach. That beach is where I learned how to swim. That beach is where I dug holes for hours with my dad and built sand castles with my brother. That beach is full of perfect childhood memories. It's one of the most important places in my life.