“Conquered The Monster” Last Day + Recap

This is the last in the series of daily posts covering the 2014 Wrigley to Fenway Road Ride.  It has been a roller coaster of a week, driven by sore legs and warm hearts.  We completed it with no major injuries, and on the schedule we set.  We did it in honor of Hank, and to do whatever we can to drive awareness and research to cure childhood cancer.  As we have mentioned before, we are attacking a specific form of cancer called HALL.  You can see the details here.  Curing cancer is such a massive undertaking it can seem overwhelming.  Just like any large project, we are taking it a step at a time.  Between us, and the other organizations around the world driving funds to figure this out with the help of passionate scientists, we will fulfill Hank’s dream.  It was that no other kid had to deal with the disease he did.  Simple as that.  If you can help us by donating, every dollar is going in the right direction.  Let’s work together. 
We are thankful for each and every one of you for your donation of time, treasure and talent.  For your daily prayers and moral support, and for sharing these posts.  It is what makes this all work.  Our community is amazing!
So, what is next?  I suspect it was a restful weekend for the riders as they returned home to their families, and back to work on Monday.  We are hopeful their stories and experience allow them the opportunity to share the need and knowledge for what they spent a chunk of their life supporting.  Next for the foundation is some baseball! Mark your calendar for the 6:15 p.m. night game on Saturday, June 28, 2014 as the next Henry Schueler Memorial Cubs Game Day! Get your reservations in soon to Matt at mschueler@sdc-atty.com because this could be the Year of the Cubs!  More details will be on the social pages in the coming weeks.
Here is the recap and coverage from Chuck Judy.  A special thanks to him for his insights and daily wrap ups.
We’ve Arrived!

We conquered the Monster! If you have not heard we arrived safe and sound at Fenway Park this afternoon. It is an incredible feeling to finish. I’m happy, relieved, in disbelief and exhausted. Thank you all for your support and encouragement along the way. I will have another blog tomorrow to recap the day and share some of the experience from our day and reception.

Talk soon,


They had this plaque near the seats above the green monster wall.
Chuck’s Recap of the Ride Into Boston and the ride wrap up.
From Chuck:

Our last day’s ride into Boston was a great one. Not so much that it was the postcard picturesque cycling adventure most would expect riding in New England. But knowing that we traveled by bicycle so far; In anticipation of reaching our goal and accomplishing Ignite the Spirit and the 41&9 Foundation’s mission was close at hand.

“Even the downhills are uphill”. That was the running joke throughout the last few days as we crossed the Berkshire’s and Appalachian foothills. For sea level folks like us whom rarely see a hill outside of the freeway overpass, climbing here was something that deserved respect and a considerable amount of training to overcome. I think I can speak for all, that the climbs were the most challenging aspect of this ride outside of the overall daily distance. My legs are tired and will need a week of rest before resuming rides again. Hats off to all riders who made it up and over those hills. I know everyone had to dig really deep physically and emotionally to break personal boundaries and push their limits.

The route today continued on Rt20 until Boston city limits. Firefighter and Police escorts began about twenty miles out. So we made good time forgoing traffic lights and stops. One big stop was at Charlton firehouse whom prepared a wonderful lunch for us. Jim Boyle and his wife Chris helped arrange this reception. College of the Holy Cross made a gracious donation to the foundation as well. Following that we continued eastward traveling through the NewYork’s western suburbs until we reached firehouse 41 in Boston’s Cambridge district. From there we went by escort to Fenway Stadium and reception at the bleachers. We walked to the top of the Green Monster Wall for pictures and took some time to take in the sites of the field.

Thank you everyone whom gave me the opportunity and support to participate in this ride. It was much more of a challenge than I could have ever imagined. I really enjoyed the friendships we made, all families and people involve. The success of our combined efforts for the foundation are deeply gratifying.

Garmin report from the entire 12 day ride Chicago to Boston
As this image illustrates, careful planning is required. I must say our ride had excellent planning.
Pat and Greg ready their bikes for the final stage.
Saddle up boys
Rich Pinskey and Jim Boyle
Cliff sporting Sub5 Century shorts. The Sub5 Century (100 miles in 5 hours) to support research of Parkinson’s disease, takes place in September, from Union Illinois.
One of the wetlands along our route today.
Greg can see the finish…well in a few hours
Sturbridge Tanker
Group at Sturbridge
Let the escort begin.
The Charlton lunch buffet at the firehouse.
Jim and Matt receiving the gift from Holy Cross
Charlton Engine 2 Logo
Water and Snack breaks every 15-20 miles. Salt and carbs.
Kenny and Jason Soo
Jim Boyle carried Hank’s Jersey today
Wayside Country Store Marlbourgh MA, The Wayside Country Store was built in 1790 and stood in the center of Sudbury, where it was used as a post office, general store and school. On the second floor was a grand ballroom. Henry Ford purchased this building in 1928 and moved it by oxen to its present site on Hager Pond. The store’s interior is still much the same as when Henry Ford ran it. It was the first country store in the United States to be re-established and restored.
Wayside in candy store.
Outskirts of Boston
Engine 41 firehouse in Cambridge. Hanks number comes up again. Our final escort to Fenway.
Arriving at Fenway
That a way
Pat Reardon on top of the Monster
Dakota and John Judy met me at Fenway.
Celebrating with Tony Snyder and Matt Straley
Reception party under the bleachers
Job well done. Thanks everyone.


Last Ride Day – Bittersweet – Fenway Bound!

Here is Chuck’s blog update from yesterday.  Sounds like a beautiful, yet challenging leg.  Today brings joy, work, and some more friends along the way, followed by closure to an amazing experience.   Remember, we do this for a reason.  This ride raises funds to support the reason, and is one of our primary sources to support it.  If you can donate, please do!
Here is Chucks Update:
Albany to Springfield
We added another epic day to the books. Just when we thought there may be a break in the action we are faced with more challenges. 90 miles,  steep hills, rain and a short gravel section for good measure. The route was originally slated to run on Rt20. After the rain started and with heavy traffic the crew rerouted us to country roads. It was a good decision. We ended up riding on the Jacob’s Ladder Trail, Scenic By-way. Which crosses the Appalachian Trail, by Tekoe Mountain through Berkshire County and the Berkshire’s Mountains. Originally opened in 1910 for the growing number of automobiles of the time.
We have already covered 985 miles and have only 90 miles to go today. We arrive in Boston, at Fenway Park about 5pm. I am sad that this ride is coming to an end. I’ve had a great time these past 11 days with my new friends. Its definitely an experience I will cherish for years to come.
Morning role call.
Albany Fire House
In Albany.  I didn’t get the name of the building.
The Hudson River looking North, with Albany to the west.
Todays ride met rain. Slow and soggy.
Creek along Jacobs Ladder
Gale changing a flat tire. We see more of these when it rains. The rain washes debris and glass uo onto the road riding surface from the gutter. The water seems to help it stick to the tire more.
The guys taking a break in the van.
Rob Weel and the entire support crew take good care of us. The crew do so much to keep us riding. Helping us with gear, hydration and nutrition replenishment, driving, directions, safety to name a few. This ride could not take place without their tireless efforts. Hats off!
Tommy and Rich consult on the best route.
After the first 50 miles today riding in the rain with steep hills we decided to stop at an Italian resturant for lunch and a much need break.
Gearing up after lunch for the afternoon session.
Meeting the Westfield police for the escort to Springfield.
The group before departing on the Springfield escort.
Hanks Jersey fell on the shoulders of Dan Degryse today. Dan was a real trooper this week. He flew home to attend his sons graduation then few right back after to rejoin the ride.
The reception in Springfield was incredible. Two tower ladders held a huge American flag over head. We rode in under the flag into Springfield’s downtown square.
Matt Schueler in an interview with local media.
Jason Soo inspires a young fan..
Old First Church, on the Square, Founded 1637
After the ride this evening Ignite the Spirit organized a great fund raiser at our hotel.
Final Day, June 6th, Springfield to Boston
Tomorrow is our final day. Springfield to Boston, Fenway Park. As of today we have logged 985 miles of riding. I’m relieved but sad to know the end is near. I enjoy riding with these guys. We expect to have great reception at Fenway’s Bleacher Bar upon our arrival. Approximately 5pm.


The Riders Are Coming! Massachusetts Bound…

Here are Chuck’s updates and plans from yesterday, and into today.  Been a long one, and the home stretch is in the mind.  I am sure the own bed is starting to sound very appealing about now.  Make sure to check in tomorrow for updates and our BIG ARRIVAL into Fenway Park!

 June 5th Route, Albany to Springfield:

Tomorrow’s route takes us 90 miles closer to Boston. Springfield Massachusetts. We expect a long day with the distance combined with a few climbs. In addition we need to be in Springfield by 5pm for a 6pm fund raising reception hosted by the Springfield fire department at the La Quinta Inn and Suites on Congress St. So we’ll be up early to hit the road.



Jun 04, 2014 11:24 pm | Chuck Judy

 Cooperstown to Albany

I didn’t want to leave the hotel today. I loved the pampering, sleeping in, the five star room, the breakfast waffle’s and homemade donuts. Donuts made by the woman who’s been making them at the OteSaga for 25 years. I had some time to visit the Hall of Fame again. Then packed up to ride. We stopped to take a group photo at the Doubleday Field on the way out.
You have to listen to your body and give it rest when needed. On a ride like the Wrigley to Fenway rest is not always available. You have to get it when you can. I tried to rest on the ride. No hard efforts just an easy spin on the pedals. Try to take it easy up the hills. Coasted as long as I could down. We had a few long steep climbs today. Nothing like yesterday but tough when your legs are tired from the previous day’s efforts. Since most of us are at different levels of fitness and energy we had allot of time riding miles alone. Especially during the climbs. We regroup during rest stops. The last ten miles of the ride we were escorted by Guilderland and Albany, Police and Fire departments. They did an outstanding job bringing us into town safely. It felt like a parade.
Add this to your golf calendar. The 18th hole at OteSaga in the morning. Some of the support crew and riders played a round early this morning.
Old large pines in front of the hotel
I went back to the Hall of Fame this morning to view the photograph section. Here’s a shot they have on display of Wrigley Field in 1929, World Series Game between the Cubs and Philadelphia Athletics.
Pinwheel from the scoreboard of the old Comisky Park, Chicago.
The group heads out along the lake road leaving Cooperstown
Few large farms along the lake as we headed out. Check out that cloud formation.
Jason and Pat arriving at the rest area after today’s big climb.
Pat going over today’s route with support crew and ace RV man Mark
Common style of house along today’s route
The Red Jersey is spotted.
Hanks Red Jersey is having a ride with Cliff Gartner today
Hanks number 41 made an appearance today. This time on Guilderland’s escort truck.
Along the escort route today. There were plenty of cheers and applause as we rode into town. I heard some children on the curb calling it a parade. It sure felt like it.
Sean enjoying the ride into town.
Our stay this evening is at The College of Saint Rose dormitories in Albany.
We were guest for a delicious dinner hosted by Ann and Mike D’Atillio’s. Great finish to the day.


Hills For Days! Ride Day 8 and 9

Here is a great Recap from Chuck’s Blog this AM.  I am shocked they are up and at it again today.  All we can say is WOW.  And Thank You to all of the riders!
From Chuck:
Auburn to Cooperstown
Know your limits. “Today was the hardest day of riding for me this year.” That’s what I commented to Pat Reardon as we were recovering from one of the hills. He replied, this year? How about of all time? I thought about that for awhile and agree.  It may have been my toughest effort ever. 105 miles, 8,786 feet of elevation gain in 7 hrs of actual riding into the western edge of the Appalachian mountains. Needless to stay everyone worked extremely hard and are exhausted after today. All riders deserve great respect and congratulations for making it the distance. What puzzles me is why do we this to ourselves and what are our limits?  When you are in the upper threshold of a physical effort and feel like there is nothing left to give you’re presented with two options. Keep going or stop. I typically keep going, though not always the smartest decision. Pushing the limits, sometimes blindly, in uncharted waters, brings up new discoveries, on what we can achieve. I like that about cycling and especially the Wrigley to Fenway. This ride is taking me to places I never imagined in more ways than one.
Our stay this evening, the beautiful OteSaga Resort Hotel
Pictures from our ride into Cooperstown
I was wondering if Genesse beer came from around here.
Cliff taking the hill by storm.
Skaneateles Lake
Jason Soo, Enjoying the early hills.
Steady Pat Brennan
Rich green throughout the Saracuse area
Caught it…Cliff takes a break.
Brennan shows his cards.
Tony Snyder a top one of the climbs
 Matt “Pistons” Schueler powers to the top in style.
Cherry Valley
Pat Reardon
And its Pat’s Birthday! Congrats buddy!
The hills go on forever. And they’re getting bigger…..
Johnny Appleseed
Fancy Barn. I think its their house
The route that caused all the climbing rutcus today.
There were lots of farms and ranches along the green mountainside today. I caught this lumber mill along the way. They mill mostly local fallen hardwood.
Just when you finish with one hill another is waiting to greet you.
 Sam Kamberis rescues a snapping turtle from the roadway. At least we think it was a snapper. It really did not like to be moved off the roadway.
Jim Boyle with screaming legs.
Greg Piszkiewicz shows us how its done.
Matt and Jason waiting out the rainstorm in the van
Rain delay face
Orange Salamander
Rider of the day and Red Jersey holder. Sean Butler. I didn’t see him much today. Just during breaks and lunch. He was ahead all day. Hanks Jersey was in good hands.
I put fenders on the bike today with the threat of rain. Thought they might slow me down some. Yet on one downhill I topped out at 51 mph.
Carlos and I contemplating a change in hobbies. Golf.
We did a quick tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in the evening.
Interesting fact reveiled. Good friend Karl Tabor commented to my curiousity about how many gallons of water pass over the Niagara Falls. He looked it up and here’s what he found out. “Apparently 3.24 billion gallons go over the falls each day. Now get this; The City of Chicago takes about 1 billion gallons out of Lake Michigan every day- and is allowed up to 2 billion!”
June 4th, Cooperstown to Albany
Its 6am and I’m sitting up in a really comfy bed in the hundred year old Otesaga Resort Hotel Cooperstown. We get to sleep in some today with a planned 11am start. Its nice and I would really enjoy a couple more days here. Unfortunately, the show must go on and I have to get up eat and pedal again. Three more days!
Todays route to Albany will have some big hills but the route is relately short compared to other days. and we should arrive in town in about four to five hours. Albany is the capital of New York and sits on the beautiful banks of the Hudson River. This should be a good stop.



Inbound for Cooperstown!

Geneva FD

A note from Matt this morning:

“Left at 7:30 AM this morning.  The hills we are riding today are huge.  In fact, have only covered 25 miles in 2.5 hours.  We broke up into a small riding group to attack the hills. Some hills, even the more seasoned riders need to walk their bikes for 100 yards.    I just keep my head down and pushing the pedals when I’m riding and try not to fall over.  We are here for a reason.  A darn good one.”

Here is Chuck’s ride update for yesterday, as well as a little information on todays anticipated ride.  I know things are coming along well today.  Enjoy the read, and see you in Cooperstown!

Updates From Chuck:

June 2, Batavia to Auburn New York

The way I see it you have two options when Tour riding on a bicycle. One – you can ride casually at a pace your physical capabilities allow. See the sites as you travel, take your time, get to know your surroundings, take in the culture, meet people and take great pictures. Or two – you can ride like we have planned here. We have a set distance, time schedule, an agenda of cities to reach each day. No complaints here, just a clarification of priorities. I have ridden by plenty of beautiful houses, churches, museums, historic markers and oddities that I would love to investigate on this ride. It is frustrating that we fly past these places at 18mph without taking notice. I barely have time for to pull out my iPhone, swipe the dashboard, select the camera icon, compose and press the wonderful red button poorly located at the bottom of the phone with one hand. Not to mentions that I’m holding and steering my bike with the other. Not very safe or considerate for my comrades in the group. Regardless, I squeeze off a few shots and hope I can retain those memories to share later on.

The other day we we’re climbing a really big steep hill, very slowly, in great physical pain, which we seem to like. As the masochist we are. Then Tony Snyder said something that made a lot of sense. He said “Just remember we’re doing this suffering for all those people who donated money.” “They are getting their money’s worth.” So true. We are on a mission to raise money for cancer research. I can’t forget our goal. There will be plenty of time later in my life to come back and investigate these great places. For now, keep the goal in mind, stay the course and get the job done.

Please keep the donations coming. You can continue to contribute through the foundation site in honor of a rider on this page.

June 3rd Route, Auburn to Cooperstown

Yea! I’ve been waiting for this day. I really want to see the Baseball hall of fame museum. We plan to visit the museum tomorrow evening. We have hard day planned. Like today, tomorrow will be more of the same and a little more.  Somewhat more hilly (I love climbing) and four miles longer. There’s also rain in the forecast but that never stops us. Its gonna be a fun day.

Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for updates!



Ride Update – We are back in the US of A!

Guest FF Ride
A great recap from Chuck Judy of this weekend.  Like he says below- give us some extra thought and prayer today.  We have some tough climbs and warm weather.  Should get some added energy by picking up a few extra riders in Geneva.  At 622 miles in, they surpassed the half way mark to Fenway on Sunday.  Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the day!
Chucks Update:
June 2nd Route, Batavia to Auburn
Tomorrows route starts off with a 25 mile gradual downhill before a tough hill phase when where we enter the Finger Lakes region. This is the first day we will be challenged with some tough hills. We have an early 7am start in anticipation of the long day on the road. We are also stopping a bike shop in Geneva, about half way, to pickup a few riders who will be joining us for the leg into Auburn.
Jun 02, 2014 06:04 am | Chuck Judy
June 1, Welland Ontario to Batavia New York
Our ride today was a relatively short compared to previous days. We were all exhausted from yesterday’s 105 mile ride in strong headwinds. Today we had planned to ride moderately, stay together and arrive together at the main event of the day, Niagara Falls. The ride also brought to close the chapter of our travels through southern Ontario. Though we covered so much ground, truth is that I’ve seen so little of Canada. What little have seen and learned about the history, geography and culture is enough to convince me that I want to spend more time here. If so, at a much slower pace.
Today also touched a big mile stone, our halfway point in the Wrigley to Fenway ride. We are at 622 miles. Five days left to finish in Boston. Its already a little bitter sweet knowing the goal is so close.
This is my Garmin activity since leaving Chicago May 26th. The mileage is actually 622.  8 miles less during our portage detour. I’m not so convinced about the calorie count. Someone mentioned that I may not lose weight here. We are eating really well.
Our stay last evening was in the Niagara College of Canada dormitories.
During the summer months they are converted to hotel operations. Great economic alternative to hotels if you can find a college in your travels doing the same.
Niagara College
The Welland canal bridge. This is a major shipping lane between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The bridge is operated remotely and takes about a half hour to cycle. We arrive just as the bridge was lowered.
Ship coming down the Welland Channel
We arrived into Niagara along Lundy Lane. Many strip malls, and small businesses.
How many gallons an hour?
American Falls
Our riding visiting partners from Welland. Bob and Kyke Lehan. Bob is a captain firefighter, with the Thorold fire department. Son Kyle is a fireman at Welland.
Our group at the falls.
Crossing the Rainbow bridge to the US
View from the Rainbow Bridge looking at Canadian side.
Waiting for the border check. Passports please.
Our last rest stop today was in Pembroke founded in 1812. And… part of Alabama. Definitely need to read up on the war of 1812.
Some of the guys are sporting these Ignite the Spirit Socks. Pink and Black. Originally made up for the cross country ride in 2012.
Old church on the way into Batavia.
There it is. Today Pat Brennan was the proud bearer of Hank’s Red Jersey
 Rider of the day Dan Degryse. We rode pretty easy throughout the day to conserving our energy. About ten miles out from Batavia a few of us decided to spread our wings and open up. Dan led the charge with a strong pull at 24mph uphill to get us all motivated.
Riders and crew relaxing after the ride.
Batavia FD graciously opened their station to host our dinner. It was Steak Tacos night. Mark from support team led the cooking with Tommy, Jack and Sam. The beef had been marinating since we left Chicago. Mmmmm Good.
Tommy grilling up the steak,
View inside of one of Batavia’s engines. Geared up and eady to go.
We watched the first period of the Hawks game in Batavia’s rec room

Days 4 and 5 “It all blends together”


Well, it doesn’t really blend, but with this many miles on the road you just simply put your head down and pedal, but it has been a fun and challenging last couple days filled with some stops that we will never forget.  We have a great team, and really enjoy each others company.  Even after a few days!

We grabbed these posts off of Chuck Judy’s blog to share.  He has been encompassing a great bit go the ride on his personal blog to support the ride.  There are a couple days worth here, starting with Friday.  We will have Saturday tomorrow for you.  If you are wondering why we are always a day behind, because by the time we get 100+ miles of tired pedaling legs showered and fed, you can imagine the additional energy it takes to put pen to paper, and upload photos, etc.  Your team is doing this.  Every night.  Makes us really thankful.

Here are your recaps from Chuck:

Day Five – Leamington to St. Thomas
We had a great day on the road today. We stayed at the SeaCliff Hotel in Leamington. It’s nested on the shores of Lake Erie directly north of Sandusky Ohio, Cedar Point and Pelee Island. At the end of the road is the ferry which can take you to Pelee and beyond. Leamington is Tomato capital of Canada. Leamington sitting on the north shores of lake Erie (which are noteably warm in this region) provides a idea humid climate and soil composition for growing produce and flowers. There are miles of greenhouses along Rt3 as we rode into town.  From Leamington we rode east, northeast toward St. Thomas. Tom Omsted, a local cycling trainer guided us along the Talbot Path Rt3


Day Four – Ann Arbor to Leamington Ontario
Day four’s ride took us out of the country. We recieved a very gracious and lengthy escort from Dearborn’s Fire and Police department which led us through Dearborn and into Detroit. When you receive one of these escorts you’re riding at a distance behind the fire engine. Dearborn added police cars to create a rolling blockade. Kind of reminded me of being in a parade. You get to march right down the center lane. All traffic in front and behind is delayed while we pass.

We bypassed downtown Detroit and traveled to the south of town around to the Ambassador Bridge which crosses over the Detroit river and into Canada. At eh bridge, two Leamington Firefighters with pickup and trailer met us to help transport our bicycles over the bridge. The bridge is closed to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Our two support vehicles and Leamingon crew passed through the boarder crossing quickly. The RV was detained for a brief period so customs could review everyones passports. After we finished at the crossing we stopped for lunch at a nearby church parking lot before heading out on the Leamington stretch.

We took the scenic route today. That wasn’t the original plan but it rarely is. We look for the best roads to ride, use local knowledge and try to take routes that are interesting to travel. Our original route was to go at a direct diagonal from the bridge to Leamington. Firefighter and cyclist Bob from Windsor’s fire department met us at the bridge and joined in the ride to Leamington. He recommended the route following the river South and then along the lake. It was quite the scenic route and we are glad we did it.

Ride Day 3 “Hills, Wind, Hills – Tracks!”


Todays ride recap is from Chuck Judy.  Chuck is among the amazing team that is taking this ride, and making the most of their experience.  Yesterday was a challenging one, and we will see what today brings.

From Chuck:

Hills, Wind and Hills and, wait watch out for those Tracks. The mood is pretty jovial with my teammates. We are by the way on vacation and doing what we love to do. Ride bikes. The benefit that we’re doing this for a great cause is icing on the cake of life. So when our day starts out on the rode, the vibe is sky high. You grab your gear, top off your tires, fill your water bottles, stuff your pockets with snacks and hit the road.

For a brief time we leave most of our cares and worries behind. Then when you least expect it, you let your guard down and it sneaks up. In this case, railroad tracks, about 5 miles into our first leg of the day. While riding easy down the road the group had to cross rail road tracks which led over the road at a long diagonal. Unless you can traverse the tracks at a perpendicular angle, you probably are going to get a wheel caught and fall. It happened before he could react.

Founder Matt Schueler and riding partner Brian Foley fell. Nothing broken, but each recieved some scrapes “road rash” from the pavement. I’m searching for a name for this ride and I think it may be “The trip of care”. We have Firemen, Paramedics, a Lawyer and a Doctor.” We are protected. So care to Matt and Brian was immediate. All supplies you would see in an ambulance are onboard in our supply trucks and RV. Within minutes each was treated and released to return to vacation.

As we resumed to riding, that’s just what we did. There was not much time spent on reliving the moment or contepating the thought of Matt or Brian abandoning. Which speaks a great deal about their character and the group as a whole. We resumed our two by two formation and pedaled on as one. We are all different individuals, united together for two weeks, with one cause. “All for one and one for all”. It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of this group.


Thanks to Chuck for sharing his insight and the story of the day.  We capped things off with a firetruck escort to the Michigan Stadium tunnel onto the football field.  The riders got the opportunity to ride through the tunnel into the field.

Once in, they were welcomed by UMich women’s lacrosse coach Jenny Ulehla and staff members Alec Zimmerman, Whitney Dixon, Ashley Jackson, Christy-Lee Miller and Whitney Tarbor.  All the team members on campus for summer school that were still there came by to also say hello.  After a few photos, the riders started throwing football around in the Big House!  Who gets to do that?  These guys!

After a short ride back to check in at the Sheraton, the team went to downtown Ann Arbor for dinner at NeoPapalis (a local favorite of Umich students, parent and Ann Arborites) where owner Joe Sheena served the riders dinner.  The dinner tab was picked up by Michigan alum/Loyola Academy lacrosse parent Tim Schulte.
Thanks to all who came out to support us, it really brightened our day!
Today we will be getting out the passports (that hopefully all the riders remembered ) and heading for Canada.  Will update you all as the day progresses.  Make sure to watch our Facebook and Twitter feeds!  We have lots of photos we are going through, and will be posting as the day goes by.

Ride Day 2 “Thunder and Pay It Forward”

Day 2 ride recap from Matt Schueler is included below.  Looks like things are going well!  Remember, if you would like to donate to support this ride, you can simply click here.  Have a great day!

Here you go:

Ride day two kicked off with a bang.  The team was in good spirits, and all the equipment is still holding up.  No breakdowns (body or bike) to report, which is fantastic.  A few sore legs (and saddle soreness, which is to be expected), but everyone is ready to roll out tomorrow.

We left the beauty of the Lake Michigan shore out of New Buffalo, MI with a 103 mile ride in sight and a goal destination of Coldwater, MI by afternoon.  As we rode through the small towns and winding roads, covering the inland gap between the tips of two great lakes (Michigan and Erie), I really began to feel how lucky we all are to live in this great place we call the USA.  The Michigan countryside is such an overlooked example of what it has to offer.  Beautiful rolling hills, smells that fill your heart, and fields filled with farmhouses from years past that are still every bit as operational as they were 50 plus years ago.  We all get excited to go on vacations to see the world, Europe, different continents, when in reality we could spend a lifetime exploring our great country and it’s unique corners.  Inspiration at it’s best.

After we enjoyed about 80 miles of our ride, we started to see some big boomers build in the distance.  About 15 miles out from Coldwater, things started to look a little hairy.  We decided to take cover for safety reasons and let the storm pass.  Even though it wasn’t a planned break, it worked out well and only lasted for about 30 minutes.  It was actually a real blessing, as it cooled things down and allowed us to ride in a light rain for the last 15 miles.  We arrived pretty close to on schedule, wet and tired, and ready for a recharge.

I can’t wrap up without sharing the highlight of our day.  It is amazing how our world has changed, and the digital outreach for a cause like ours can make an impact like never before the advent of social media.  We have worked really hard to increase our internet and social media presence for this ride, and to see some fruits of that effort is awesome.  As we pulled into our hotel at the end of the day, a nice lady followed our truck into the lot, and after chatting for a few minutes shared that she is following our ride on the internet.  She gave us a donation, and some words of encouragement.  That is what lights our fire, and make us ready to tackle the next day.

ride donation photoKind of funny, when we were kids you would joke after a long bike ride that we felt like we “rode to Canada”.  Well, we ARE riding to Canada in the next couple days.  Headed out this morning from Coldwater, with our destination of Ann Arbor in our sights.  Please continue your thoughts and prayers for our rider safety, our cause, and that our efforts will continue to make others more aware of what they can do to help.

See you in 100 miles or so!


Day 1 “In The Books”

SB 004A ride recap from day one from Matt Schueler and team.
All was successful, with a couple hiccups, much like any planned event.  The team is currently on the road for day two, and we will get you an update as we progress through the week. Here is the update: Day1 in the books! We started with pictures in Wrigley Field at 8:00 am and a prayer if blessing from Father O’Boyle.  Sometimes it feels really good, after running and prepping to get things right, with a million things going on to just be quiet for a couple minutes and take it all in.  Thanks to Father O’Boyle and to all of you who continue to pray for our safety on this journey and for the overall mission we have for the foundation.
With excitement in the air, and legs moving at a fever pitch we pulled away from the front of Engine 78 on Waveland.  And right on cue at 8:35, the chain on Susan’s bike promptly fell off!  With a smiling face and some quick repair work we had her back rolling as the group was escorted down Clark Street to Belmont Ave and over to the LSD bike path.  If that was the worst breakdown we have for the day, we will take it. A perfect day for a ride.  The sun was shining , the breeze refreshing and the water of Lake Michigan calm.
Twenty miles later we pulled into Calumet Park for our first rest stop.  After riding coast to coast last year, we experienced some unique things as you do when you are riding a long distance.  The first leg seems to go by really quickly because everyone is excited.  Day one in general is fueled by passion and fresh legs.  Day 2 can be a tough one, and then by day 3 you are in a a pretty good rhythm.  So far the team seems healthy and ready to go for tomorrow.
Our second segment took us through Hammond ,IN and thru Gary, IN where had a great lunch stop at the Gary Railcats ball yard.  Really cool to see these ball parks in small town America.  Even though we were here during the day, I can just imagine a cool Summer evening with the family here.  Smell of fresh cut grass and the sound of baseball chatter.
After refueling at the ballpark, we embarked on our longest leg of the day over Route 12 and through the Indiana Dunes National Park.  A quick rest stop in the Town of Pines for water refills and rider check up before our final leg into New Buffalo, MI. Five miles outside of town we were met by the New Buffalo police and fire departments who gave us a grand entrance into New Buffalo and Casey’s Bar and Grill.
It felt really amazing after a long day to be supported and loved by others for what we are trying to do. Cold beer, a sense of accomplishment and some sore bodies were abundant, as were many close friends who shared in our first day ride. Only 11 more to go! Tomorrow we ride to Coldwater, MI which awaits just 95 miles away. Stay tuned for more updates.