Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Farewell to our Ollie - always on a Wild Ride

Stop and enjoy the little things in life, and always get One More Flower Photo!

This ride for me is not so much about the destination as it is about the journey and the realization of a dream. Other than the headwinds in Kansas, I’m seeking to savor and enjoy the whole American experience…every museum, every flower, every yard sale, every “flea” market, every fruit stand, every parade. In other words; EFI…”Every Fantastic Inch”.

Dad finished his Wild Ride on June 4th, on a beautiful Kentucky road.  He probably noticed the groups of Tiger Lilies on the side of the road, and the beautiful barn on the top of the grassy hill - and I imagine he heard the birds above.  Maybe these are the things that distracted him as he rode his bike through the beautiful Kentucky countryside.  I believe he had a huge grin on his face.

We don't know what made him crash.  He was ahead of the group and no one saw his fall.  This was the end of Dad's journey across the USA and the end of his magnificent journey in life.  It's somewhat cliche, but he DID die something he loved.  He was with new friends, he had just turned 71 yrs old, he had just passed the milestone of his last crash, and he was enjoying EFI - Every Fantastic Inch.

He died in Kentucky, surrounded by his family.  We thank God for loaning Ollie to us, to teach us how to enjoy EFI of life.  Dad lived life to the fullest, the absolute Maximum.  He did what he loved - and he knew how lucky he was to be able to do it.  Dad gave more than he took from this world, and we are all better for it. 

His Celebration will be held on June 22nd - 6pm, at the Chico Elk Lodge, in Chico CA.  His life is to be celebrated with friends who want to remember Ollie as he was - an inspiration.  We invite each and every one of you to come laugh and cry with us, and say goodbye to Ollie.  We hope to see you then!

Thanks for the push Dad, we'll take it from here.

Jake, Erin, Pam Scheideman

Start the day with a smile and a wave!

Dad's New Cycling Pals....still knocking it out!
Follow them as they Cross the USA

His lovely yard art

His Birthday with Nicole

Always with the girls

Happy Birthday Dad!  71 yrs old

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Tonight’s post will be kind of short because I was the cook with Greg.  So I am getting to my blog a little late, and besides, we have not had inter-net for the last two nights so I’m trying to catch up.  So here are some photos of today’s route through eastern Kentucky and some of the scenery including open pit coal mines.  We had three hellacious (sp) climbs today.

I saw a sign today that said “God bless coal and the men who mine it”.  We stopped for our 2nd breakfast at a funky little diner, and while we were standing there an old (62) character rode up on his quad-runner…complete with rain cover…I could barely understand him, let alone try to duplicate his accent!

Then while riding, I held my camera over my head as a big coal truck came up from behind.  In many places on these roads there is very little shoulder and the rumble strip takes up what little shoulder there is.

Lodging tonight is at Dave’s place.  It’s kind of a historical setting that he inherited from his grandmother.  He has 18 cats…and they have been “marking” their territory on our gear.

The road to his place is VERY steep, and evidently I have set the record for the oldest person to climb the hill (without stopping) on a bicycle!   Got to go to bed.


Today tied for the second worst day I’ve ever spent on a bicycle!

Pam knows what the worst day was!  Today we covered only 45 miles, but with torrential rains, slick narrow roads, no or little shoulders, and with coal trucks coming and going on the roads all day made for some scary bicycling.  

At one point, the rain was coming down in sheets with fierce blowing winds, so that it was prudent to get off the road and fast!  IT JUST WASN'T SAFE!  We saw a carport at Anderson’s Body Shop and turned in to stand under the carport for a spell and wait for the rain to abate a little.  Henry, the owner of the shop came out and befriended us.  Brought us all towels, had his wife, Patricia, brew up a pot of steaming coffee, and invited us soaked, weary cyclists into his home.   Ah, yes. Southern hospitality still lives in Kentucky!

We spent an hour and a half with them and they seemed genuinely disappointed when we left.  Now then, our group is three for three camping out…that is…every night we’ve camped out it has rained cats-and-dogs!  As I posted last night, I slept in the “Ark” and when the rain came, the wind came with it. The wind blew the rain in through the windows of the ark, so I continually had to shift my sleeping bag and pad back and forth throughout the night to attempt to stay dry.   Notice, I said “attempt”.  I got wet, but I stayed warm, so I stayed in the ark all night.   I only stayed there one night…Noah and his family had to spend forty nights!  (I can’t imagine)  The good news is that today we cycled out of Virginia and into the state of Kentucky!  Yahoo, our second state!

So far my computer shows that we ridden a total of 655 miles.  Our lodging tonight is inside the Freda Harris Baptist Center gymnasium in the town of Lookout, KY.   When I arrived,  little 6 year old named Kelly, came up to and said: I found a gift for you”.  She then handed me a rusty bolt that she had just found in the driveway…I thanked her profusely and took her picture…she needed no coaxing to put her arm around me.

They are feeding us tonight, (pizza) so I do not have to cook tonight, but will cook tomorrow.  We passed through such towns as Davenport, Bee, (really) Birchleaf, Haysi, Breaks, Elkhorn City, Ashcamp, Hellier, and finally Lookout.  On the road again tomorrow…I hope it doesn’t rain.


Simon made crepes for breakfast today…but it looked like “Pannekoeken” (the Dutch pancakes) to me.

Our route today was through some of the most beautiful Virginia back roads that we have seen in the last 11 days.  We cycled along mountain streams, and through trees so thick that they formed a canopy over the road.

The temperature has changed, so at 7:00am this morning, when we started riding, it was actually chilly…quite an unexpected but a very welcomed change.  I stopped at a little “mom and pop” store with the name; “Dawg On It” and got a drink.

Every once in a while we cycle past a reminder that we are still in the Land of Dixie where they still proudly fly the Confederate flag.   In a typical day we’ll do a lot of little climbs…they’re steep, but usually short. But today we had a couple of four mile climbs that were steep, and seemed to never end…they went on and on…and each had multiple false horizons.  I used my “granny gear” a lot today. All in all it added up to 4,300 feet of climbing!

In case you’re inclined to “Google” our route today, here it is: Damascus to Meadowview to Hayters Gap to Rosedale to Honaker to our destination; Harris Park in Council.  Even though our ride covered only 53 miles, I for one, was very glad to see the campground.

About the only thing in this little town is this community park and swimming pool, complete with showers…Yahoo!  The park has a bunch of wooden play structures for the kids.  But, thunder showers are forecast for tonight, so I’m going to sleep in the “Ark”.  I’m sure the grass is softer, but I don’t feel like setting up my tent, and besides…I might never get another chance to sleep in an “ark”.

Dinner was pasta and meat balls with 8 meat balls for each of us.   Desert was “soccer ice cream!  Put the ice, salt, and ice cream components into the big, plastic ball…kick it around for ½ hour…and, voila...ice cream!

Tomorrow we cross into the state of Kentucky!