Friday, June 23, 2017

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

My Family and Friends ,,,

I apologize for not getting out timely BLOGS for last couple of days.  For some reason I could not make it happen at the hotel we were staying at in Williamsburg.  We had driven ahead about 30 miles just to be able to stay at last hotel for two nights then drove back Wednesday to catch up the last real miles into Williamsburg ... Those last miles were real sweet as they were ALL on the Capital Greenway which runs from Richmond to Williamsburg ... Nice trail withg minimal hills and NO vehicle traffic except whebn crossing the route to change sides of the road.  This haqs been another amazing cycling adventure to add to my list of REALLY COOL RIDES !!!  Ridning for the MSAV haqs been expecially rewarding and fulfilling for me as well k!!!  And riding with so many of my family and friends following me along this journey has been a real treat !!!  You all artr the vest !!!  Having friends such as you all is, I believer, a testament to my life which has in so many wys been BLESSED !!!  And if you think this is mty last adventure ... You really don't know me very well !!!  I am well aware that I must stay active in order to maintain ANY level of fitness and continued abikity to [articipate in events like these ... I also know father time is catching up to me as well but as long sas I have a long steep hill to keep going down ... father time is going to need to step it up to catch me !!!  Once again ... I wish to thank each of you for following me along this journey ... It WAS challenging & fulfillinf !!!  For your namy prayers nand good words ... I THANK YOU !!!  For any financial donations to the MSAV ..,. I THANK YOU !!!  And simoply put ... I THA NK EACH OF YOU FOR BEING THE FRIENDS THAT YOU ARE !!!  THAT is mt BIGGEST blessing !!!  Until our paths cross again ... either in person or out "on the road again"  Nay the Lord Bless You & Keep You !!!  May the wind be at your back and may the sun xhine warmly on your face !!  {eace ,,, Kenny

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday Night Day 13

WOW, Can you even believe there are only two more riding days left in this years tour ?!?!?  I dreamed about doing this ride for months, trained even longer and harder and before you know it ... There are only two days left !!!

And after the past 10 days ... today's ride was an absolute dream !!!  almost NO hills !!!  Unlike most other days on this trip that included mountains and other long hills ... today  had a lot of flat with grntly rolling hills with only a couple hills of any significance.  I am glad and thankful for what I now see as some good training.

The roads were mostly flat and for thatI was thankful.   There is more that happened but unfortunaely my head is bobbing up & down  like a see saw on a warm Spring day so  need to get some rest. 

I apologize my friends  but my eyes are becoming very heavy ...   I have not done s steller job representing thix journey and for that I apologize.  I hope I am not  disappointing anyone too nuch with my lack luster reporting and am  asking you to come back for my last night tomorrow >>> I hope not !!!  Kenny


Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday June 19th

WOW ... with one stroke my entire BLOG entry for tonite just disappeared !!!  But As I was saying just moments ago:  For the few of you that actually read my BLOGS. after today you will only three more days of this languish !!!

Today's day began just like any other day with a big breakfast to fuel a big day of hand cycling !!!  That's right : Oatmeal. eggs. bacon, toast, Coffee and a danish !!!  Yes, I ate all of that !!!  And it was !!!

I started riding about 9:30 that morning after Wayne dropped me off near the end of yesterdays run.
I rode by myself for over 19 miles Until Suzanne caught up with me almost by accident but we rode another 20+ miles before calling it a day and charging the higher rate ,,,  as had been par for the course earlier this week ... rain didn't fall today until after the riding day was over ...

And just like knowing when the rain is going to fall ... and how to prevent it ,., trying to predict the course of multiple sclerosis ...  It not going to happen ...   So, with only three more of riding and blogging left  I hope you cab control  that excitement !!!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Wayneswboro (Afton Mountain) to Charlottesville June 17

Good evening all !!!  I trust each of you had a good Saturday !!!  Even though I am in a new location tonite every day is full of many similarities ... even the hotels and the rooms all seem the same !!!  Although I know they really are not ...  I am truthfully feeling the fatigue creeping in on me ... As much as I enjoy cycling ... there are moments when my body just wants to say ENOUGH ALREADY !!!  But then someone sees the sign on the side of my car and stops his vehicle to say he has MS and I am q1uickly brought back into the reality of just what this event is about ... raisning awareness aqbout Multiple Sclerosis and hopefully raise a liottle money for the MSAV !!!

Although last night was spent in Waynesboro, we did not actually ride teere but as there was no lodging on Afton, we decided to drop down into Waynesboro for a room..  As Brenda and Gloria had to part today ... Wayne and Juanita Gilespie came in to help Suzanne with the work needed to help keep this ol' guy rolling down the highway !!!  Even folks back home are getting in on providing support and ALL efortrs are greatly appreciated !!!

It all  began with a good breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express in Waynesboro !!!  Then I sagged to Afton Mountain where there was some fog this morningf but not too heavy ... Then one of my favorite cycling aspects ... A FAST DECENT DOWN HILL ... WITH SOME GOOD TURNS !!!  ;)   The rest of the day consisted of back country roads around Albemarle County until we made a turn onto US Route 250 East right through the middle of town and UVA campus ... Almost as myuch fun aqs a fast dowqn hill run !!! 

So here we are tonite in another Holiday Inn and hoping to get rest for tomorrows ride into Mineral, VA or womewhere close to there ...  This trip is beginning to wind dfown but it is NOT too late to make a donation to the MSAV !!!  I know many of you have already but I know some are still on that fence ... PLEASE take a moment and reconsider making a donation of ANY size to the MSAV by maiking a check to the address on or by clicking on the donation kink on my facebook page !!!

This has been a tough and challenging journey and it isn't over yet !!!  Even when I roll into Yorktown sometime this week ... it still won't be over ... so please help me by making a donation a donation today !!!  Until tomorrow ... Good night and good night !!!  Kenny

Friday, June 16, 2017

Lexingfon to Waynesboro June 16th

This time last week I was sitting in a little hotel in Breaks, VA wondering the the coming days would be holding for me.  As I strongly suspected, there were some very hard days ahead of me !!!  For the most part I have done as well as and,uin some instances, even betterthan I may have hoped and/or even dreamed I would have !!!  And in large part I owe my successto this wonderful support group thathas been all around me overthis past week Orf course, Suzannehas been her usual superlative self !!!  WHat she hasn't made happen,she has encouraged others to step up and provide assisrtance !!! Not wnting to leqave out a SINGLE name ... I will just say "you all" ... Whether having physically been a part or some BUSY behind the scene type of supoport ...My LOVE goes out to eachand everyone of you !!!

For all the folks folowing the photos posted, the BLOGS and for all the prayers and emotional support ... I DO feel you all behind me... And if I don'tfeel you behind me then I know it's because youare in front of me pulling me up each nd every hill and mountain I have crossed !!! This has truly been a TEAM effort and we are ALL on same team... TEAM MSAV!!!  Whether you have this disease, are a care partner or care provider or just someone that simply cares ... We are ALL working together for the same cause,goal and purpose !!!

Today's ride began with an interview from a Channel 7 reporter and I heard it was on the 5:00 p/m/ but we could not get that station here in Waynesboro so if anyone has a copy and can post it to my facebook page PLEASE do so for all, including me, to see !!!  The next buig event for day was  getting crossed up on the map and being a bit delayed which actually helped the day out ...  We ended up out on Route 11m, bnot part of Route  76, but a direct route to Vesuvius and with a GREAT downhill run ... which I love downhill runs !!!  I climbed out of Vesuvius for a short distance and realized it was far more of a climb than I cared, or had ability, to takeon!!!  So,  I decided to SAG into Waynesboro and as we got to I-81 I looked back toward the mountain and saw the sky open up with showers !!!  This is the third day in a row thqat I have missed being hit by rain by 30 minutes or less !!!

Toorrow I will SAG to the top ofAfton Mountain and begin my run into Charlottesville ,,, This is going ti incorporate some of our old MS=150 routes with a lot of hills with twists and turns in store !!!  Please say with me as "our"journey continues !!!  YES... IT IS OUR JOURNEY !!!  And if you haven't qalready pleqase reqach into uyour pocket and consider making even a smalldonation to the MSAV !!!  It WILL be appreciated as much as I appreciate each of you !!!  Good night my dear friends and family !!!  Kenny

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Troutville to Natural Bridge NO ... Lexington

Good evening ALL !!!  At first glance today was going to be an easy day ...perhaps a bit too easy so midway through the morning I made a decision to change the over night from Natural Bridge to Lexington ... And I am glad I did !!!  After leaving Troutville at a good hour ... about 8:00 a.m. ... I found myself making very good time rolling down Nace/Lithia Road and began to realize I would be ending my riding day about noon ... FAR TOO EARLY !!! 

It had been years since I had last ridden this route but I still remembered it with a lot of fondness !!!  And after making the decision to roll on to Lexington I knew I would be heading down an old favorite ... Plank Road into Lexington.  And as luck would have it ... just like yesterday, a major rain storm hit about thirty minutes after checking into my hotel !!!  So what ended up making this day special is only going to make tomorrow's ride a little more difficult a little earlier in the day ... VESUVIUS !!!  The climb I have only heard about ...whether you are going up or coming down ... IT IS A BEAST !!!  So, I guess tomorrow I will find out for myself !!!

Another BEAST that effects myself and many of my friends is Multiple Sclerosis ... Whether it's an uphill battle or a downhill slide ... It IS a beast !!!  And that is why I am here ... to help raised awareness about M.S. and to raise a little money to help my friends better cope with this beast !!!  Many of you have already stepped forward to help by making a donation and for that I truly thank each of you !!!  But to those that haven't ... there is still plenty of time to step forward and help out !!!

What ever you decide to do or wherever your life's journey takes you ... I ask that you at the very least to follow my BLOG ... And hopefully you spirit will be touched and  ... which I hope include doing the right thing which is ... you will have pleasant memories from doing the :right thing which I hope is making a donation to the MSAV !!!  I am tired now and crashing out so I will check cards
tomorrow and hope fully wew will soon be on the right thing !!!

So I bid you all a fond farewell and please good night until our paths cross again !!!  So, stay strong, stay fit and peace be with you and yours And until we meet again so good night and God Bless until our paths cross again !!! Kenny

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

June14th: Christiansburg to Troutville

Good evening all !!!  I awoke this morning with the news of a 20 story apartment complex having burned in London last night.  A thought I had actully had last night when the hotel I was in put me in a haqndicap accessible room on the 5gth floor of a five floor hotel and over halfway down the hallway ... My thoughtsat thattime ...In case of fire throw me in first ... Not really funny given there were deaths and serious injuries but that was just my actual thought.

I like hotels that offer a morning breakfast as there is no better way to assure I get some food in me before hitting the road.  Plus, it saves some money along the way as well !!!  It was mostly overcast this morning as I started riding about 8:45 but I knew it was only going to be a matter of time before the sun burned those clouds off ... And I was right !!!  But the initial run down Ellet Road and over to Luster's Gate went quite wel making better time than I would have suspected !!!   And then the sun made its appearance ... just as I suspected !!!  Although it didn't seem as warm today as yesterday there were moments that seemed close ... usually when I was climbing a hill !!!  But I must say that the hills of today are pale to those of just a few days ago !!!

After finishing up Cement Plant Road and crossing Route 220 in Daleville I had to climb my lastthree hills of the day on Route 779.  Years ago I rode these hills often and with generalease but here I am 20 years later with a broken body and a threewheel machine that climbs like a rock ... BUT I MADE IT !!!  The roads around 604 and Route 11 here in Troutville are an absolute mess but I feel swure there is a metghod to their madness ... I just don't get it myself !!!  When we arrived we were greeted by fellow MSers Wayne & Juanita Gilespie ... Although Wayne does not have MS we accept him just as he is !!!  Judy was there as was Brad and Brenda and Gloria had made their way over .. Actually they assisted Suzanne in transporting me across the mountain safely !!! 

Wayne brought a slip of paper to me with the name of some folks that had mailed in donations to the MSAV ... Kay and Chip from my high school days, some 40+ years ago now, reached out and provided generous donations and a couple cycling buddies from Roanoke: Gary and Barbara did the same !!!  THANK YOU ALL !!!  And twice today from along the road ... People would come out and offer cash donations just because my Subaru has the paint on it provided by Suzanne !!!  It's cool getting those donations from complete strangers !!!  But I must admitthat Suzanne said the paint would wash right off ... Well, we ad a big rain storm today just  after we checked in and the paint is still on there as clear as ever !!  HHhhhmmm ...

Folks, it's now time to get a little serious ... I am doing this ride for a cause and a purpose ... to raise awareness about Multiple Sclerosis and to raise a little money to help with our MSAV !!!  Such a cool group with a lot of cool people !!!  Many of you have already sent in donations and for that I THANK YOU !!!  Some of you are sending me good thoughts and vibes for the trip and I THANK YOU for that as well.  But I still ask you to please consider giving even a small donation (or large !!!) to help our group to continue to assist folks living with this disease !!!  And in any case, I ask that you come back tomorrow to continue to follow my journey all the way to Yorktown, VA !!!  This is not an easy venture for me as the natural aging process is further complicated by M.S. and a myriad of other health issues !!!  PLEASE consider giving me a hand with this cause !!!  God Bless & Good Night !!!  Kenny

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Christisnsburg June 13th

Today I planned on riding from Wytheville, VA to Christiansburg but that plan changed after my brake cable broke late in the afternoon on Monday.  As there were no bike shops in Wytheville I determined my best bet was to return to Roanoke and have Bob fix me today.  To a mechanic, it would or should be an easy repair and Bob proved that theory right ... In 10  minutes he brought back my trike at the repair price of $13.22.  As he worked me in duing their busy season I handed him a $20 and told him to keep yhe change.  Cardinal Bicycle takes great care of me and I am grateful !!!

I actually believe this day off may even improve my riding as well !!!  Only time and tomorrow will prove that theory right or wrong !!!  We are staying at the Hampton Inn in C'burg this evening and have a great rate to boot !!!  Plus, as an added bonus, they serve breakfast here as well in the morning !!!  That saves both time and money and that is always a bonus !!!  ;)

The temperature today hit 90 in Roanoke and is slated for the same tomorrow with scattered thunder storms in the area as well.  I am planning on an early start tomorrow morning and will be disappointed if I am not on the road by 8:00 a.m.  I am thankful that Suzanne has ventured outside her "norm" and has actually been aa bit "chipper" in the morning ... impressive for a sworn :"no a.m.: kind of person she claims to be !!!  All I can say is THANK YOU SUZANNE !!!

Tomorrow covers territory I have not ridden in years but I once knew it all so well ... just not on a hand crank trike !!!  With 50+ miles to cover tomorrow and heat slated to be a factor .... an early start is a must for any level of success.  I want to thank everyone that i following me and a special thank you to those who have sent in a pledge or check to the MSAV !!!  Their address is on the facepage of my website and an on line pledge can be made on my FB page by scrolling to a photo of me on my hand crank (not current photo from yhis trip but old one where I was asking for pledges)  Anyway ... do I have you totally confused now ???  :)

Please come back tomorrow and see how my day went !!!  I thank each of you for following me along this journey !!!  Kenny

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday June 11th - Damascus to Wytheville

Today I knew I was going to get an earlier start as this was going to be the longest day yet and the warmest ...  Thia morning wasa cooler than anticipated and I was even hit by a few random raindrops which actually felt good on my body ...  There were even a few areas I rode through that were wet from shoerrs that had just been through the area ...

Despite the morning breakfast at our hotel I was hit by a mid morning bonk which made me feel as though I were pedaling through mud and with flat tires  so, honestly, I did today what I had no intentions of doing ... hitching a ride in the SAG vehicle.  Since early Saturday I had been pushing this body up some sizeable hills and I decided to give my body a short break ... and well deserved if I might6 say so myself !!!

After passing through Rural Retreat I decided it was time to return to my bike for the ride into Wytheville !!!  About three miles from town I loose wi5re suddenly began to dance in my face ... With just a quick glance ... Even my NON mechanical could tell my brake cable was broken ... The one I had just fized last week !!!  I inquired in Wytheville if they had a bike shop to which I was told NO ,,,

After weighing my options ... the most workable one I could come up with was to bring the bike back to Cardinal for repairs on Tuesday and return to Christiansburg Tuesday night and resume riding to Troutville from there on Wednesday morning.  I really don't like missing even one stage but I have a schedule I need to maintain !!!  Funny ... But MS always has and comes with its OWN schedule ... Never knowing when or if it is going to hit or how bad when it does !!!  That's why having a group of friends like the MSAV is SO important !!!  Thank you for your support !!!  Kenny

Suhday Jume 11th - Rosedale to Damascus

By all standards this looked like a much easier day than yesterday ... MAYBE !!!  Unlike yesterday I began the day with a good breakfast which made a HUGE as I began my only big climb of he day, Hayters Gap ... Also another appropriately named climb !!!  But after topping that ... all that was left were rollers and a couple long climbs but the only thing that held me up today was leaving at 9:30 and the late day heat ... I do better than most in the heat but a combination of the past two days has taken some toll on my physical body !!!

AND I HAVE TWO ANNOUNCEMENTS TO MAKE !!  The first is HUGE !!!  My friend Billie was slated to help me this trip but her sister had extensive surgery last Monday and Billie will be going home with her to help her recover ... These two have a special bond as 20 years ago Billie had a Stage 4 cancer and her sister provided her with a perfect match bone marrow transplant that save Billie's life !!!  I KNOW BILLIE DID THE RIGHT THING LOOKING AFTER HER SISTER !!!

So loosing my SAG driver just a couple days before the tour can be taxing but I quickly had a second to step up and volunteer ...  Qualifications: a GREAT heart and a hard worker ... With little experience working before noon !!! ;)  Not wanting to seem picky ... at all ... and with no other volunteers stepping forward ... Suzanne O'Connel stepped forward to offer her service as a SAG driver ... And she has really grasped hold just to what she needs to do to help keep this ship floating !!!  Suzanne ... without your stepping up and support I would NOT have been able to do this trio ... And that would, or may, have had some effect on each of us ... especially a HUGE effect it would have laid on me ...

And just like MS effects each of us differently ... isn't it wonderful to have a place like the MSAV to bring or "stuff" where we can share with others that truly understand !!!  And I want to remind each of you to register for our conference this July 27th thru the 30th ... It is going to be a special event with MANY speakers that are well versed in ALL of the current isues and therapies ... So please try to make it part of y7our plans this July !!!

June 10th ... SORRY SO LATE !!!

Well, I would like to blame it on a faulty computer or maybe no service but all the blame is on ME because I could not remember my password until today ... AND after I called Beth Garst at Howling Dog Designs ...  Glad I have a friend that knows just how sorry I am so she has kept ALL my codes and passwords ,,,  I keep telling her I owe her an ice cold adult beverage but today she ssaidf it was now up to a KEG !!!

The first day of my cross State adventure was just about my last on a couple aspects ... AT LEAST !!!   This day was FAR from the longest day I have ever ridden on ANY of my bikes but it was positively one of the toughest days ... including my 11,000' peak I crossed just last year !!!  We had 5 separate mountains to traverse not counting the endless hills of SWVA !!!  As I approached my first town, Haysi, VA, I saw a sign which said Corporate Limits so I figure the town would be over the next hill ... NOT !!!   Three monster hills later I rolled into town

I was told while eating a bit pf lunch that one last mountain was still in my way of tonites finish line
... Big A Mountain ... Well I think I have ab idea what the "A" is short for now !!!  It was a long fay with over 10 hours in the saddle !!!-

I had one mechanical issue today when both my large and small derailure failed to work ... leaving me stuck with just one gear ... NOT very conducive to riding these hills and mountains !!!  Several times I almost pulled to the side of the road but I kept pushing and after just continually working the shifters they just began to work on their own ... I am not a mechanic and I have no way of explain both how they jammed sand how they began to work again  . 

And that's the way this body works ... Sometimes it just quits when you want or need it most and at other times it works ... almost ... as we would like for it to !!!   That
s the way MS can effect you ... JUST ON WAY as there are so many different ways !!!  Our MSAV is a special group as we have all found out !!!  It is a place we re accepted just as we are !!!  And t6hat is one reason I am riding to raise awareness and to raise a little momney to help kep our group moving forward !!!  Most of all ... I thank each of you for following me and sending me all your great support !!!  Until later !!!  Kenny

Friday, June 9, 2017

June 9, 2017

Today I am leaving for Breaks Interstate Park to begin my cross VA ride.  This is going to be a daunting task ... I feel it and I know it !!!  I felt the same last year before going to Colorado ... I have trained but the body has the finak say in the matter.  PLEASE follow me and send me any and all good thoughts as I have no doubt they will be appreciated !!!  See you again later ,,, Kenny