Archive for August, 2010

Hello Fans, Friends and Family

August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30th:  Looks like a good day to cycle today.  Started my bike ride at 7:30 this morning.  After 11 miles of cycling I am crossing into the state of Alabama.  At this point I have also ridden 8,000 miles since the beginning of my ride.  One of the first businesses I see is Uncle Bubba’s Country Market.  What would Alabama be without Uncle Bubba’s?  I am now on North Highway 59 in Loxley, AL.  There is a fruit stand on the side of the road and I stop in for a rest.  Kelly was working there today and after hearing about my ride offered me some water, a banana and an Alabama peach.  While I was there a reporter from WALA Channel 10 News in Mobile came by for an interview.  He gave me a very good interview and I should be on the news tonight.  At Highway 31 I headed South toward the bridge crossing the Gulf.  Shortly after arrriving in Spanish Fork, AL, it started to sprinkle.  A few minutes later it was getting heavier.  I looked for a place to duck for cover.  I saw a church and dove for cover just as someone started dumping buckets of water from the sky.  You can see the rain coming down and splashing on the roads and the rain drops bouncing off the asphalt in the parking lot.  I have cycled 48 miles.  I called Judy and she was still 28 miles behind me.  I waited for her to show up, and after 45 minutes she was there and the rain was still coming down as hard as ever.

  We fixed ourselves something to eat, hoping the rain would slow down.  The rain is deciding to stick around.  I had enough riding in the rain yesterday, so we decided NOT to stick around.  I put my bike in the motorhome and we took the Interstate 10 over the Gulf.  The bridge over the gulf was 7 or 8 miles long!  After we finished crossing the bridge and were entering Mobile, we had to drive through a long tunnel.  We continued driving through Mobile and headed toward Highway 45 looking for a place to wait out the storm.  During the heaviest portion of our downpour, the windshield wiper on the right side decided to flop over to the side and stop working.  We pulled off the side of the road and I tried to fix it in the rain, but it wouldn’t cooperate.  I’ll have to wait until the rain stops to see if I can get it working again before the next rain.  It wasn’t until we arrived in Citronelle, AL, that we found a shopping center big enough to park till the morning.  We had pizza at the Pizza Pro which had a very good pizza and friendly people working there.  I am hoping for the rain to lighten up tomorrow so I can get some dry miles.  I am cycling to raise money and awareness to help fight Leukemia and Lymphoma.  Every dollar raised helps to fight this disease.  You may donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by visiting http://www.gsf.lls.llsevent.org/JACOBSONEXPRESS.  During the month of September, donations made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will be matched by Larry Stern, a fellow cyclist, up to a maximum of $1,000.  A copy of his letter to me appears at the end of this post.  Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time . . . Wes & Judy     http://www.jacobsonexpress.com

Hello everyone,

I’ve been following Wes’ blog from the day he started. I am constantly impressed and in awe of his adventure and with his entertaining way of sharing it with us. It is especially meaningful that, through this adventure, he is raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. His goal is $1 per mile and he is estimating that he will ride 10,000 miles for this cause. Without any publicity budget, he is relying on his pedal power and the kindness of those who meet him on the road or follow along on his blog to help him meet this goal.

I have been trying to think of a way that I could give greater support to Wes and his admirable cause and, at the same time, encourage more of his followers to do the same. If each of us, as regular followers of his blog, makes a small contribution – $25 to $50 – it would go a long way toward helping Wes reach his goal of $10,000.

With this idea in mind, I have decided to contribute up to $1000 by matching dollar-for-dollar every contribution made during the month of September. A $50 contribution from each of you added to my $1000 contribution would raise $2000. If more of us also agreed to match other contributions, in any maximum amount, then this fundraising drive could really succeed and Wes’ amazing effort will be rewarded.

Please take a moment to think about what you can do to support Wes and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Please let him know by our matching contributions that his effort is appreciated and encouraged.

As Wes likes to say: “Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time”

Larry Stern

Hello Fans, Friends and Family

August 30, 2010

Sunday, August 29th:  We had some rain last night, but this morning looks nice and I am hoping to get a lot of cycling mileage today.  My ride continues on Hwy 90 with a lot of scenic roads and some city streets.

  About 35 miles into my ride it starts to rain so I give Judy a call.  She is right behind me and finds a spot just up the road to park the motorhome.  I grab a snack and put on my rain clothes.  Jacket, pants and shoe covers.  As I get ready to leave it looks as if it is clearing up.  I leave my rain gear on and good thing… less than a mile up the road it starts to rain again.  This time the rain doesn’t stop.  Another 30 miles down the road and I get a flat tire.  Judy is about 5 miles behind me this time.  She says I should get in and just drive the rest of the way in for the day.  I finish fixing my flat tire and the rain has slowed down.  I decide that I am already drenched, so I might as well continue the ride.  When I meet with Judy at Walmart in Pensacola, FL, I have cycled 77 miles, 39 of them in the rain.  As I remove my rain gear, everything I have on, including my socks, is totally soaked.  So much for rain gear keeping you dry!  At least the dirt and grime from the road is on the outside of my rain clothes.  Remember that this ride is being done to raise money and awareness in the fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma.  On this note, I received an email from a cyclist that I ride with in California.  His email, in it’s entirety, is printed below:

Hello everyone,

I’ve been following Wes’ blog from day 1 and am constantly impressed and in awe of his adventure, and with his entertaining way of sharing it with us. It is especially meaningful that through this adventure he is raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. His goal is $1 per mile and he is estimating that he will ride 10,000 miles for this cause.

I have been trying to think of a way that I could support Wes and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but just as importantly, of a way to encourage more of his followers to support him in some small way in this worthwhile effort. If each of us regular followers make a small contribution, say $25 to $50 each, it wouldn’t take very many of us to help Wes reach his goal of $10,000. With this goal in mind, I have decided to contribute up to $1000 by matching dollar-for-dollar every contribution made during the month of September. If only 20 of you contributed $50 each and including my $1000 contribution, that would raise $2000 very quickly. If more of us also agreed to match other contributions, in any maximum amount, then this fundraising drive could far exceed the $10,000 that Wes is shooting for.

Please take a moment to think about what each of us can do to support Wes and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and let him know by our matching contributions that his effort is appreciated and encouraged.

As Wes likes to say: “Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time”

Larry Stern

If you would like to ensure your donation gets matched by Larry, type the words “Matching Funds” where it asks you to send a message to me at the top of the donation form for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I will make sure Larry gets informed of your donation so he can match your funds.  I will also work with any one else in the same manner who wishes to match funds as Larry is doing.  Every dollar received is greatly appreciated and will help to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma.  Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society may be made by visiting http://www.gsf.lls.llsevent.org/JACOBSONEXPRESS.  Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time . . . Wes & Judy    http://www.jacobsonexpress.com

Hello Fans, Friends and Family

August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28th:  There is a light rain this morning.  Judy is not sure how to get out to the road we want to travel today.  We are currently at a Walmart on Hwy 27 in Tallahassee, FL and decide to drive to another Walmart, also in Tallahassee on Hwy 90, which we will continue on for the next few days.   By the time we get there it is 9:30AM and is still drizzling a little bit.  I put on a light jacket and start my ride on Hwy 90.  I will be going farther than Quincy, but not quite as far as Pensacola.  Quincy is the birthplace of Dexter Jackson who was the MVP in Super Bowl XXXVII for Tampa Bay Buccanneers.  There are a few more hills today than there has been.  That is a good thing.  For every uphill, there has to be a downhill.  Some of my ride will be on city streets and others on country roads.  I never saw a sign before that warned you about the sun being blinding.  Good thing it is in the morning and the sun is behind me as I am heading west.  We stop for lunch in Chattahoochie, FL  at Hardee’s, which is the same as Carl’s Jr in California.

  A couple of miles later I cross the Apalachicola River in Jackson County.  We are now in Central Time Zone and gain an extra hour as we set our clocks back an hour.  As I cross the river I take a picture, first from the north side of the bridge and then the south side of the bridge.  As I continue my ride, Judy is waiting for me just before the town of Caryville, FL.  According to the sign, Caryville is the Worm Fiddlin’ Capital of the World.  I spoke with a local couple about Worm Fiddlin’ and they told me that you place a stave in the ground and cause it to vibrate by rubbing it with a brick or using a saw.  I looked it up and all this is true.  Some people stick a pitchfork in the ground and twang the handle.  Any of these and other techniques will cause the worms to come up out of the ground.  Caryville has their annual festival in early May.  After cycling 120 miles, I again arrive at Walmart, this time in De Funiak, FL.  This ride is being done to raise money and awareness in the fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma.  Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society may be made by visiting http://www.gsf.lls.llsevent.org/JACOBSONEXPRESS.  Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time . . . Wes & Judy http://www.jacobsonexpress

Hello Fans, Friends and Family

August 27, 2010

Friday, August 27th:  We woke this morning to the sights and sounds of morning rain.  By 8:30 the rain had stopped and it looked like a good time to start my bike ride.  The road today is not much different than it has been.  I started off on Hwy 19 and 98 and was soon joined by Hwy 27.  There are quite a few egrets along side the road.  I got a picture of this one as he was flying away.  There were also some wild hogs on the side of the road.  It seems they had found something to eat .  I took the one picture and they all scampered back into the forest.  There are quite a few waterways that pass underneath the road.  Hovering over one waterway I notice a spider patiently waiting his next meal.

  I see Judy parked on the side of the road just ahead.  It has just started to rain and she is parked by a building with billboards advertising frog jam and moonshine jelly.  We really had to check this out!  Frog jam is not really made of frogs.  The ingredients are Figs, Raspberries, Oranges, & Ginger.  The first letter of each ingredient spells FROG.  Moonshine jelly is not made with moonshine, but it does have wine in it.  We bought a jar of each and thought they were both delicious.  It looks like the rain might be going away so I get ready to ride again.  I notice that my rear tire is low on air.  Sure enough, I have a flat tire.  As I am fixing my flat the rain is starting again.  Judy and I decide that someone is trying to tell us something.  It is now 5:00PM and I have cycled 86 miles.  We are about 1/2 way between Perry and Tallahassee, FL and have about 30 miles to go to our next scheduled stop.  We decide to skip riding in the rain and Judy drives me the rest of the way to a Walmart in Tallahassee.  The rain never did stop during the entire drive.  I have now cycled 22 weeks and have cycled 337 miles this week.  My total cycling mileage is now 7,793 miles and I have raised about $1,800 to help fight Leukemia and Lymphoma.  Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society may be made by visiting http://www.gsf.lls.llsevent.org/JACOBSONEXPRESS.  Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time . . . Wes & Judy   http://www.jacobsonexpress.com

Hello Fans. Friends and Family

August 26, 2010

Thursday, August 26th:  There are still a few clouds in the sky, but it looks a lot better than it did yesterday.  Left Brooksville at 8:00AM this morning and after cycling about 4 miles I made a right turn onto Hwy 19 North.  It is a very nice road with a shoulder of at least 3 feet for the vast majority of today’s ride.  A bit further down the road I come across a sign warning that this is Bear Habitat area for the next 12 miles.  I didn’t even know that bears knew where Florida was!

  The road continues to be very nice and now they put pictures of bears on the warning signs just in case you don’t know what they look like.  I never got to see any bear.  I guess it’s too early and they are still sleeping.  Upon arriving in Crystal River the shoulder on the road disappears and I now have a bike path that takes me through the town.  Of course, what would a day riding a bike be without road construction?  Not much room for me to ride, so I wait for a break in traffic and make a run for it.  A short ways past the road construction, and Judy is waiting for me with lunch.  It is 11:00AM and I have cycled 42 miles so far.  After lunch I continue on my ride on the very nice road of Hwy 19.  I arrive at Walmart in Chiefland, FL with 80 miles of cycling.  This is a milestone day for me.  It is 153 days since my departure from Seal Beach, CA and my 100th day of actual cycling.  These 100 days of cycling have given me a total of 7,707 miles of cycling for Leukemia and Lymphoma.  Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society may be made by visiting http://www.gsf.lls.llsevent.org/JACOBSONEXPRESS.  Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time . . . Wes & Judy    http://www.jacobsonexpress.com

Hello Fans, Friends and Family

August 25, 2010

Wednesday, August 25th:  Another cloudy morning and getting ready to ride again.  Continuing north on Highway 41.  After about 7 miles I come to the junction of Business 41 in Tampa and decide to ride through town.  As I start across the bridge I try to take a picture of the buildings ahead, but my camera says I have a SD card error.  Maybe it’s full?  I get almost all the way through town before I find a K-Mart where I can purchase a new SD card.  Wa-La!  That fixes my problem.  Judy calls me after about 35 miles of cycling and asks me to find a place where we can have lunch.  She says she has had some rain and I let her know that I am still dry.  She is only about 5 miles behind me and I find a spot just up the road.  After lunch it is starting to look a little more like rain.  I put on a jacket and start out again.  There is not much room on the highway so I find a closed off section of the road on the right where I can ride.  A short while later however, there is road construction and I am forced off my path and back into the traffic through the road construction.  The road construction only lasts about 3 or 4 miles and I now have a little shoulder on the road.  Judy told me that I should come to my next turn on County Line Road after about 7 miles.  I’ve cycled 9 miles since lunch and have not seen that road yet.  I ask some people on the side of the road if I had passed it or if it’s still ahead.  They say I still need to go about another 7 miles and they ask where I am heading.  I tell them the roads I am planning on taking and they advise me of a bicycle trail I can take to avoid all the traffic.

  I call Judy and let her know I will be taking a detour on the bike trail.  She again asks me if it is raining and this time I tell her I am getting wet.  A short distance after turning onto County Line Road I easily find the bike trail.  Sure enough, I don’t have to worry about cars for a good 10 miles, but the rain will stay with me for the rest of the ride.  After 62 miles of cycling I arrive at Walmart in Brooksville, FL.  Time to get out of my wet clothes and put something dry on.  This ride is being done to raise money and awareness for Leukemia and Lymphoma.  Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society may be made by visiting http://www.gsf.lls.llsevent.org/JACOBSONEXPRESS.  Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time . . . Wes & Judy    http://www.jacobsonexpress

Hello Fans, Friends and Family

August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24th:  On Sunday we spent the entire day relaxing at Eric and Melodi’s home.  There was a little bit of rain, but we were indoors so it didn’t matter much.  Monday morning arrived with heavy morning rains.  I guess we will put off riding one more day.  We stayed home for most of the day and went out for mexican dinner later in the evening.  It is now Tuesday morning.  We picked up the ‘Charlotte Sun’ morning newspaper which had a very nice article written by Sharie Derrickson about my ride.  Before I left on my ride I also had an interview on a live radio program with Ken Lovejoy.  The skies are cloudy, but there is no rain at this time.  We say goodbye to our gracious hosts, Eric and Melodi as we load up the motorhome to get ready to ride.  We would also like to extend our thanks to Tom and Betty Ponder for allowing us to park our motorhome at their house.  We truly had a great time getting to know all the members of the Peace River Riders and the SCOR bicycle clubs.  The short time we spent there we made a lot of new friends that will be fondly remembered.  Judy will give me a couple of hours head start as I cycle out to the North Hwy 41, also known as the Tamiami Trail.  The Tamiami Trail is the southernmost part of US Hwy 41 connecting Tampa with Miami.  It took 12 years and $8 million dollars to complete the trail which has recently celebrated it’s 75th year since it’s completion.  The road has varied greatly in my ride today, sometimes being very scenic and not much traffic and other times right through the center of a busy city.

  While cycling through the Sarasota area I noticed a large statue of a sailor kissing a nurse.  This is a statue of the famous “Sailor Nurse Kiss” from Times Square, NY.  The sailor has been identified as John Seward Johnson II and the nurse as Edith Shain.  In 2005 Johnson had a life size bronze statue sculpted in Times Square and multiple other 25 foot sculptures made of plastic and aluminum, one of which is displayed here in Sarasota, FL.  I continue cycling, crossing over the Manatee River and after 87 miles of cycling, arrive at a favorite stop for the night, Walmart in Gibsonton, FL.  I fill up Judy’s motorhome with gas so I will be ready to ride again tomorrow.  Remember that this ride is being done to raise money and awareness to help fight Leukemia and Lymphoma.  You may donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by visiting http://www.gsf.lls.llsevent.org/JACOBSONEXPRESS.  Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time . . . Wes & Judy    http://www.jacobsonexpress.com

Hello Fans, Friends and Family

August 22, 2010

Sunday, August 22nd:  Yesterday we had a busy day.  We drove up to Myakka State Park in Sarasota County in the morning and met with the Peace River Riders and the Florida SCOR bike club on one of the bike clubs’ most popular rides.  The first thing we saw when we arrived were dozens of vultures in the trees and by the trash bins.  The ride took us through small roads with many trees and bodies of water all through the park.  During our ride we saw a couple of deer along side of the road.  After the ride we had lunch and tried the gator bites and the gator stew.   There are also airboats that you can tour the waterways on.  Before leaving the park we took a little hike to the Canopy Walk.  Along the way we spotted a small lizard and a large spider.  I think Judy and Melodi are getting close to each other to keep from getting scared.  We climbed up the stairway all the way to the top and went across on the canopy walkway.  The walkway bounces and sways with every step you take.  Once at the top the view is amazing.  You are high above the tree tops and can see for miles in every direction.  There was even a grasshopper on one of the posts at the very top level taking in the grand view.  The height at the top of the stairwell was 76 feet and even Judy said the climb to the top was well worth it.

  When we arrived back at Eric’s home there was a gecko waiting for us on his window sill.  A couple of hours later Judy and Melodi are pointing at an alligator in the canal near their backyard.  All you can see is his head, but if you look close you can see him in the water.  Later in the evening they had a meeting at their home with about 20 members in attendance.  We had pizza and drinks with desert.  Afterwards, Judy and I did a slide show presentation detailing much of the trip we have done so far.  We had a lot of fun doing our presentation and enjoying the company of our new friends.  This morning Eric cooked us breakfast and we are getting our laundry done in preparation for continuing our journey.  The last 3 pictures, taken this morning are of their house, Eric and Melodi standing next to me in their back yard, and us standing with the canal behind us with Melodi holding their dog Ethel.  Remember that this ride is being done to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society may be made by visiting http://www.gsf.lls.llsevent.org/JACOBSONEXPRESS.  Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time . . . Wes & Judy     http://www.jacobsonexpress.com

Hello Fans, Friends and Family

August 20, 2010

Friday, August 20th:  Today is a day of rest.  We took the motorhome to get an oil change for the motor and generator.  While we were waiting we went to the Englewood area for a walk along the beach on the Gulf of Mexico.  While we were there we had an interview with Sharie Derrickson from the local newspaper.  It was a nice interview and she took a lot of pictures.  After the interview, Eric, Judy and I went to the Morning Muse Cafe for lunch.  Lori was the only one working there today.  Eric and Lori are both originally from England and the cafe was very much like you would find in England.  The food was delicious and we had a wonderful conversation.

  On the way back to pick up the motorhome, Judy saw a van for “Academy of Little Achievers”.  She wanted to know if there was one for Big Achievers?  While waiting to pick up the motorhome we noticed that the men’s restroom had a full size piano in it.  Is there a message there?  I have now cycled 21 weeks.  This week I cycled 453 miles giving me a 21 week cycling total of 7,456 miles of my goal to cycle at least 10,000 miles around the United States.  I have now completed over 74% of my cycling goal and 18% of my $10,000 fund raising goal for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society may be made by visiting http://www.gsf.lls.llsevent.org/JACOBSONEXPRESS.  Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time . . . Wes & Judy    http://www.jacobsonexpress.com

Hello Fans, Friends and Family

August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19th:  Started my ride this morning at 6:30AM.  The sun was almost ready to rise, but it was still dark outside.  Within 4 miles it was getting light enough to see and be seen.  I left a little early today as I am scheduled to meet with some cyclists from the Peace River Riders at 9:00AM in Arcadia, FL and I always like to be early.  Along the way I pass a fenced in area with a sign warning not to feed the alligators.  I wonder if I will see any alligators during my stay?  After 27 miles of cycling I arrive at 8:30 and even Judy isn’t even there yet!  Soon I was met by Scott and Court on my left and Mike and Bill on my right.  Judy arrives a short time late and the five of us line up ready to ride.  We will be riding to Port Charlotte, FL to meet with Eric Stockley who is also a member of Peace River Riders and the Port Charlotte chapter of SCOR, of which I am a member of in Whittier, CA.  Eric is also a member of SCOR in Caifornia.  We will be staying with Eric and his wife, Melodi during our visit here.

  On our way to Eric’s home we crossed over the Peace River which flows into the Gulf of Mexico.  I have now cycled 64 miles and we arrive at the home of Eric and Melodi.  We visit for awhile in their lovely and cool home.  During our conversation, we asked about hurricanes in the area.  They said there have not really been any this year, but then started recollecting the hurrines of 2004 which destroyed Port Charlotte.  Later in the evening we drove out to meet some other cyclists to do an evening ride at 6:00PM.  Eight riders showed up including one new rider.  The riders are, from left to right, starting with Eric’s wife, Melodi, Cindy, Scot, Diane, Me, John, Eric, Ed, and Tom.  Being as there was a mixture of experienced and beginning riders, the group was split into 2 groups, both beginning and ending at the same location.  I don’t know how far the beginning riders rode, but the group I rode with went 10 miles, making my total cycling mileage for the day 74 miles.  At the end of the ride we all met for dinner and conversation as we watched a beautiful sunset from our dining area.  Remember that this ride is to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  You may donate by visiting http://www.gsf.lls.llsevent.org/JACOBSONEXPRESS.  Until next time . . . Saving Lives One Mile at a Time . . . Wes & Judy    http://www.jacobsonexpress