Monday, June 30, 2008

Day T-1: Waiting to Start

Distance Biked Today: 19.8 miles

Time Spent Biking: 1:33

Starting City: Seattle, WA

Ending City: Seattle, WA

Terrain: Flat

Today was filled with details about the tour, a safety class, meeting lots more people and the first Sunday Celebration.

We all made sure our helmets were adjusted just right and learned some specific bike handling techniques that'll help us this summer.

2008-06-28 Day T-1 Orientation and Preparation 002

2008-06-28 Day T-1 Orientation and Preparation 004

My first ride after getting my bike together was for the safety class. It was hard to stand around while we waited to do our drills, as my legs are so anxious to start, or at least go for a ride. With a couple hours free time, I managed to do just that. I went North on a trail that goes along Lake Washington. It was beautiful to bike along the water while seeing the mountains in the background. What a change in scenery from Michigan! I also took this time to make adjustments to my bike after being packed.

(Notice in the picture below the mountains in the background, and also how well the Sea to Sea jersey colors go with my bike)

2008-06-28 Day T-1 Orientation and Preparation 006

2008-06-28 Day T-1 Orientation and Preparation 011

But I didn't go to far or to fast as I had to get back for the group photo, which I don't have, but did manage to catch some of us going up the stairs. There are so many cyclists (around 120) its amazing! I tried learning names, but I'm starting to give up...


2008-06-28 Day T-1 Orientation and Preparation 008

Tomorrow starts the tour! We start with dipping our tires but more on that tomorrow. If you want you can watch the webcast of it at 9am pacific.

Today started really early with a flight out of Grand Rapids, to Minneapolis and later to Seattle. Everything went great and my luggage survived the danger of baggage handlers.

2008-06-27 Day T-2 Trip to Seattle and first day 002

2008-06-27 Day T-2 Trip to Seattle and first day 003

2008-06-27 Day T-2 Trip to Seattle and first day 011

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We were biked up at the airport and shuttled to the University of Washington to spend the weekend. The afternoon consisted of meeting dozens of cyclist, registering, unpacking my bike and gear, and sleeping. It was a long day, and going to bed felt great, even though it was on a rock hard mattress.

So many things have gotten me to this point. It fun to think of all the tasks that I have done and its great to see all the planning and logistics that are going to make this a great tour. Things like:

    • Deciding if I could really bike across the country and raise $10,000
    • Getting the summer off work
    • Having a church sponsor me
    • Making an awesome brochure
    • Mailing brochures to many people with handwritten notes
    • Email a brochure to everyone
    • Purchasing gear that I will need for the summer
    • 3 months of spin classes twice a week followed up with lots of biking outdoors
    • Raising over $11,000
    • Preparing projects at work, amongst other things that'll need to be done in my absence
    • Constant reassurance that I can actually do this and still want to!
    • Packing my bike

I feel so good to have done so many things to prepare for this journey. I know there are many other things that I've done and haven't realized also.

Also, it was clear skys flying into Seattle, so we got to see many many mountians. Now in Seattle we can still see them off in the distant. It almost a constant reminder of the struggle ahead to bike over them.

2008-06-27 Day T-2 Trip to Seattle and first day 007

Below: Me pointing at Mount Rainier

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day T-3: Packing and Partying

Early tomorrow morning I leave for Seattle. It's hard to believe that the day is finally here. However I am anxious to begin and to see you well my preparations have prepared me for this epic tour.

Today, I worked my last day for two months. It was hectic doing my normal work, working on projects that I won't be able to help with for the summer, and moving all my files and items in my cubicle to storage.

I had a blast going to work with lots of my coworkers and said my goodbyes to my them for the summer. Later in the afternoon, my boss pulled me aside and told me I was in trouble and we needed to talk. So he took me to conference room but it ended up being a surprise going-away party. He had me fooled at first! There was a huge cake and tons of people that came to say goodbye. I'm excited and motivated by everyone's support and words of encouragement not only at work but everyone I talk to about it. Thanks Amber, John, Karen and everyone else that helped.

Later in the night I hung out with some friends. We had a great time playing some games and just relaxing.

However the night wasn't over I still had to go home and finish packing. I took my huge pile of stuff and crammed it into two small boxes, while still trying to protect the delicate items. Finally after 2 or so I made it happily to bad. It felt good to be completely packed, trained, and in bed!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

One last time

I have been talking about all the 'lasts' for the past several days. The last time that I have to sleep in, the last Sunday dinner, and the last time biking down the Kent Trails. Even though there are many lasts for a couple months happening in the next several days, I can't help but think about the many beginnings that are happening.

Biking on Kent Trails from Dave Teitsma on Vimeo.

This is a journey for me and I have done many things to prepare to get to this point. It has been great seeing all the pieces fall in to place to get all the cyclists to this point.

Let the epic begin.

EDIT: Opps I was a little too excited and exaggerated a little... First, it really is beautiful but definitely not the most beautiful place in the world as I say. Second, the sun wasn't setting but it is gorgeous when it does.

Here is a video of the service yesterday at Shawnee Park:

Sea to Sea -- Church Send off / Commissioning from Dave Teitsma on Vimeo.

In the service, I introduced my bike and talked about the tour. We also followed the litany that the Sea to Sea office provided in order to send me off. It was a great experience and everything went as planned.

It was great to talk to everyone after the service and answer lots of questions and also hear how supportive everyone is. I bought several of the Shifting Gears books to sell afterwards. I wasn't sure that they would all go, but they did!

5 Days till I'm in Seattle!