We start the Lewis & Clark ride exactly one week from today! As I go over my list of remaining To Do's for this trip, I'm getting a "ready or not" feeling. I don't know if my kids and I are ready to take on this challenge, especially cycling over the Rocky Mountains. We'll find out when we try and, ready or not, we'll give it our best shot.
I've been training hard and, two days from now, will do a fully loaded training ride up one of my favorite steep climbs: Perkins Memorial Drive in Bear Mountain. I'll load about 100 pounds of gear on my bike and pull the trailer cycle and bike trailer behind me. Starting from Route 9W by the Hudson River, I'll cycle about 1,250 vertical feet over 4 1/2 miles, with sections as steep at 10%, until reaching the summit. There, a 40-feet-tall tower offers a view of 4 states and the Manhattan skyline 40 miles away. After enjoying the view, I plan to ride back down to the starting point and do it all over again. Should be a good workout, but nothing nearly as hard as what we'll face in the Rockies. I'm hoping my 45-year-old back and knees will hold up when the time comes, not to mention my 12- and 6-year-old kids...
We have received a lot of support so far:
- Katie Arnold at Outside Magazine interviewed me today for a piece she'll write about our trip in the magazine's "Raising Rippers" blog. Cool! I'll post the article here when it goes live.
- I launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the costs of writing a book about this trip (Daunted Courage: Cycling the Lewis & Clark Trail with Kids), putting together a short documentary and giving post-trip talks at schools and science museums. So far, 22 people have contributed $2,530 (thank you!) and chosen awards, like having their name listed in the acknowledgments of the book. Here's the link, if you want to check out the rewards and/or watch my son at age 8 dominate a 300-pound sumo wrestler: http://kck.st/14EqSIn.
Kickstarter is not a charity fund raising site. It's about projects you want to support with worthy awards offered to contributors, and it's all or nothing. If we don't raise the target $15,000, we don't get any of the money. Kinda like this trip, there's pressure to perform and not a lot of room for error.
- National Geographic published an essay I wrote about the trip, in which I answered the question, "Are you crazy?":
My kids are excited. My wife is supportive. I'm intimidated. Time is running out. Sounds about right for one week out from this ambitious? foolhardy? attempt to re-trace the Lewis & Clark Trail with my kids. Thank you for supporting us!