Please join us in support to raise funds and awareness of the Chikumbuso Women and Orphans Project and World Bicycle Relief as we bike from coast to coast June-August 2010.

Our goals:

To provide a well for a community soccer field in the compound of Ng’ombe in Zambia currently used by the Chikumbuso Grassroot Soccer Team. Chikumbuso provides free education and meals to 300 orphans as well as empowering widows and single moms through microenterprise projects.

Estimated cost- $10,000

Raise funds to donate 100 bicycles for an entire school through WBR- Bicycle Educational Empowerment Program. WBR has pledged to supply 50,000 bicycles to schools in Zambia. Recognizing the particular vulnerability of female children and the importance of educating girls, 70% of student recipients will be girls.

Cost- $13,500

To create awareness of Hasbro’s http://www.projectzambi.com/ inspired by a visit to the Chikumbuso Project.

To donate:

Click on the Donate Now link to make donations directly to World Bicycle Relief through our sponor page.

Or mail checks, payable to Friends of Chikumbuso or World Bicycle Relief, to Sabrina Buehler 350B Cossaduck Hill Rd, North Stonington, CT 06359. For more information email Sabrina at sabrinabuehler@aol.com

100% of Donations go Directly to the projects

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Little Press

So for everyone who didn't get to see our interview on Fox 61, here is the link. http://www.ctnow.com/videobeta/98e32c11-61da-4127-a443-3c5506475afb/News/Bicycle-Charity-8-6 And the article run in the New London Day can be found here. http://www.theday.com/article/20100809/NWS01/308099909 Thank you everyone who has been following us on our journey and supporting us along the way.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

“In God We Trust”

Old Lyme to Watch Hill, RI

It’s my and Sabrina’s outlook on life and the thought process we adhered to for this trip and will for the rest of our lives. Every time Sabrina saw a penny on the ground, she’d stop and pick it up. I could have quoted, ”A penny saved is a penny earned” or said that she was a Penny Pincher, but no, it’s because on the penny it says, “In God We Trust.” If the penny is heads up, Sabrina says it’s good luck for her, and if it’s not heads up she would give it to me and say it would be good luck for me. Because we trust in God to care for us, while we concentrate on helping others. Chikumbuso and the Rotary motto sum it up – “Remember to do for others” and “Service Above Self.” With that said, we must thank all of you who have followed us, supported us and prayed for us during this unbelievable adventure. You are God’s work that made it possible for us to complete this journey safely. Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you!!
The Final Day – With Carly at our side we depart from the Kramm household in a timely fashion, 9:00 as we were now on Bonnie Time. Or as Bonnie noted, Sabrina Time. Confused ? Let me explain. Bonnie had informed people that we would be at various points at certain times, so she needed to keep us going, “Bonnie Time.” She also knows Sabrina well enough to take into consideration that there are so many things infinitely more important to “living every moment of every day,” that might hold us up, “Sabrina Time.” And so, with all these variables to consider, it’s amazing that we actually hit the schedule times right on the track. Great job Bonnie! So for six riders, Bonnie, Callie-Jean, Ben, Carly, Sabrina and me, it’s Rt. 1 all the way into New London and over the Gold Star Bridge, into Mystic and Mystic Cycle Centre to pick up more riders. Many rotary club members were there to greet us with a welcome table of water and goodies as well as a map of the USA of all our stops thanks to Elaine Smith and her grandchildren. Rick from Mystic Cycle Centre and staff came out to greet us. In total, there were 18 riders in the peloton riding from Pawcatuck, through Westerly and out to Watch Hill for the final wheel dip at East Beach. They included Bruce, Linda and Kristen Wilkinson, Colby Graves, Diane Kodama, Maureen Rust, Russ Tuthill, Dan Gray, Alex and Carter Dole, Megan Murray, and Beth Macinko. We made a quick stop in Pawcatuck at Sabrina’s parents house where Bill invited everyone back for a big party after the dip. Thanks so much Bill and Charlotte Berardi for all your support before, during and after the ride. And to Bill, Master Chef, the food was “Simply Scrumptious.” It was so overwhelming to see so many friends and family celebrate a dream that could not have been possible without the inspiration of the Chikumbuso Women and Orphan Project and World Bicycle Relief as well as the support of all of you throughout the trip. We would also like to thank all the media organization who lent their support, The Day and their weekly publications , The Westerly Sun and their weekly publications, Jimmy Lehn and WCTY and FOX 61.
So if you are curious as to how much change was picked up along the road, it was $2.32. And yes, that will be donated to the cause. Please join us because as we all know, every penny helps. Hope to see you all in person at the Ben Taylor Benefit Concert on Aug. 29th at the Jonathan Edwards Winery.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Guess who’s coming for dinner

Even though It feels like we’re home, we still have these two more days but at least they are short. We started the earliest ever, 6:45am, but not to ride. We had our TV debut on Fox 61 in Hartford and had to be at the studio at 8. Linda Wilkinson was already there and while chatting with the camera man, learned that his daughter was in Lusaka, Zambia with a church group. When things like this happen, you realize that “It is such a small world.” It was great to visit with her while we waited for our moment with Logan. Ben and Paul were totally thrown off-guard, not expecting to be interviewed for the live broadcast. After viewing the segment tonight, it made us all laugh, memories….
We drove back to West Haven to ride along Rte 1 to Old Lyme. Paul and I had a pleasant ride through familiar roads into New Haven and then Branford where we met Ben and Callie-Jean at Zanes Bicycles for replacement tubes. Tom from Zanes recognized us and guessed that we were making our way back home, so he was kind enough to offered us the tubes, no charge. The next stop was Westbrook where our friends Lee and Joan were waiting to greet us. This day just kept getting better. The shoreline was beautiful but for the first time we got caught in a brief rainstorm. It didn’t stop us from finding our way across the Old Saybrook bridge to Old Lyme where Bonnie and Mark had the biggest surprise for us. We pulled into the driveway and out came Bonnie, Mark, Ben, Callie-Jean and... have you guessed it already from the picture? Carly!!!! She was going to surprise us on Saturday at the beach but after spending some time with Bonnie on MV, she decided to come today with her bike to join us for the ride. IT IS GREAT TO BE HOME! We are so looking forward to our final ride tomorrow with friends and family.
We received such great press this week. Thanks to Jimmy Lane and WCTY radio for the on-line auction for WBR, Bonnie Kramm for contacting Suzanne Thompson who wrote a great article for The Lyme Times (also in the Waterford Times and Stonington Times), Dina from FOX 61 and Julianne for the article that will appear in Sunday’s New London Day.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yeah-Connecticut!!! We’re Home!!!

What kind of a day is this going to be? To start off, we opened the camper for the night, when we didn’t need to and it rained. The first thing in the morning when I opened the truck, I had a flat tire on my bike. So before going out, we had to close up the wet camper and fix a flat tire. Off to the Bear Mountain Bridge. Sabrina and I are off on a real adventure today, the route is all back roads through CT and into West Haven. There are no major roads to go directly there. Ben set off to write out the step by step, turn by turn directions. It was quite a ride through the Bear Mountain region with many great views of the Hudson from the east bank. Once out of N.Y. we were into the hills of CT. Who knew? Those old roads made in colonial times didn’t follow the easiest route, they went over hill and dale, from point A to point B. So chock one up for The Nutmeg State, they hold the record of the steepest hill we were tested by on the trip. One killer hill in Redding, took my all in granny gear standing up pedaling. With Sabrina and I dying from the hills, heat and humidity, we roll into Monroe and fill up the water bottles before trying to finish. It’s getting late and we still have a way to go when Sabrina gets a flat tire. Of all things, I don’t have a spare tube in my panniers. Remember, Ben had a flat the day before and I put my last tube in his wheel and didn’t replace it in my panniers. So, I set out to repair Sabrina’s tube as fast as possible and proceed to rip off the stem as I’m pumping it up! Damn! This day is NOT going as planned. We finally make it to CT and now we run into this kind of stuff. Called Ben to retrieve Sabrina and I set off to finish the ride by myself. Not how I wanted to end this trip. I later learn that 2 good Samaritans, Ian and Chelsea, stopped by Sabrina on the side of the road right after I left her and in no time had fixed her wheel and got her ready to roll. It seems that Ian had worked in a bike shop and had a tube and tools right in his car! He also had ridden cross country after college and was more than happy to help a fellow trekker. Sabrina decided to take the support vehicle ride back to Wayne’s and see the family. Once I rolled into Wayne’s, I was spent as much from the mental drain as the physical. I perked right up though, when I saw Callie-Jean and her Mom were there and was greeted by Connie and Wayne. Wayne cooked delicious Dutch oven fried chicken and roasted corn on the cob. Good food and good friends, what better way to end a trying day on the road? It’s good to be home to the familiar surroundings of CT. Two more days and we hit the Atlantic!
Keep Them Wheels a Rollin’

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New York and New Press

Were almost to CT and we’ve got to stay on our toes now. We don’t want to have accident on the home stretch and if anywhere, on the roads back east is where the traffic congestion is the worst. After a restful night at Angela and Rich’s we push off and head back up to Milford. The heat is on and the humidity is so high that there’s a haze in the air. We stay on Rt. 6 through Port Jervis and even though we don’t get a “Welcome to New York” picture, Port Jervis welcomed us. Riding through the city is not so welcoming though. A couple of near misses with autos reminded Ben and I that we’re “Back East” and these are N.Y. drivers. I kept my cool and just grumbled under my breath. “Stay on your toes,” I cautioned Ben after his near miss. A couple long hills along this ride would have provided spectacular view had it not been for the haze in the air. We did get glimpses of the views, unfortunately we were so wiped out from the heat and the climbs that we didn’t really feel much like standing and taking in the sights, we just wanted to reach the bridge. Because we were staying the night with Uncle Lou in Piermont, we wanted to finish the 45 mile ride at the Bear Mountain Bridge instead of riding more north to West Point. As Ben and I rolled in, there was Sabrina, melting in the truck, it was HOT! Down 9W into Blauvelt, N.Y. to drop the trailer off at Ernie & Irene’s, long time friends of the family who have room for us to park the trailer at their home. After a short visit it was off to Uncle Lou’s condo to say hi, clean up and head out to a delicious dinner at one of Lou favorite restaurants the ”Stateline.” Tomorrow it’s back in CT and next stop is at Wayne and Connies in West Haven!!!
NEWS FLASH…… FOX 61 in Hartford will be interviewing us tomorrow morning(Friday) live at 8. We hope you can tune in. Linda Wilkinson will be joining us to help us with the cause! Also The Day will be writing an article for Sunday’s paper, bathing suit warning…there will be a photographer at the beach!
Keep Them Wheels a Rollin’

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No hill will stop me NOW!

Since Francis Slocum State Park was a few miles off our intended route, and it had a wicked long downhill into it, we opted to pack up camp and have Ben drop us off on the route where the trip was meant to continue. No sense in killing ourselves by starting the day’s ride with a 10% grade for 1 1/2 miles, right? We are starting to feel the miles, especially here in Penns-HILL-vania. This was supposed to be a 70+ mile day so of course we got out early, 10:30. We were anxiously looking forward to spending the night at Sabrina’s cousins’, Angela and Rich Pfeiffer, in Bangor. Only, as often happens on this trip, we under estimated the distance between Milford and Bangor. So after Ben met us at the halfway point he was off, down to Bangor, only to drive 40 miles back up Rt.209 to pick us up at the end of the day. He did get to drop off the trailer and see Angela for a while before coming to get us. By the time we rendezvoused with him, we had ridden 6 mile off course on Rt.209 south, downhill. We’ll definitely account for that when starting tomorrow. Well here we are in the Poconos and of all the mechanical problems a biker might encounter, I hit the worst one in hill country. You bikers out there might be able to guess, my cable to my rear derailleur broke after about 5 miles and no cell phone service! For those of you who don’t do bicycles, that means I’m on the smallest sprocket on the rear cartridge and can only shift on the front. So much for a 24 speed bike, now I’m down to 3. But the Teton Pass was the only hill I would succumb to and so I pushed myself through every climb in 8th.
Luckily, I finally make contact with Ben as he was a couple miles from passing us and he stopped to make repairs. We had new cables in the truck and after a quick repair I was back at full strength with 24 gears. Much of the day’s ride was on a Bicycle PA Trail, which is a specific bike route, but not necessarily a bike friendly road. There were many areas that had a designated bike lane which were much appreciated and then there those areas with no shoulder and heavy truck traffic. After finally meeting up with Ben we travelled to Angela and Rich’s to be greeted by family that we hadn’t seen in probably 10 years. It was a delightful reunion and of course we got to catch up on most highlights of the trip, although it meant we were up until 12:30. They treated us to a great steak dinner and a special ice cream cake with my, signature sign off, “Keep Them Wheels a Rollin”. Angela’s boss let her leave work early to be prepared for our arrival and also made a nice donation to Chikumbuso. It was a worthwhile detour. They had to get up early and go to work, but we had a short days ride into N.Y. the next day and could sleep in a little and leave on our delayed time schedule. Looking forward to friends and relatives in NY.
Keep Them Wheels a Rollin'

Ben’s BIG Belly Ache

Francis Slocum State Park in Wyoming, PA, just a little northwest of Wilkes-Barre is another one of those beautiful parks that we so regret not having the time to stay longer to explore. With very private, clean campsites in a nice wooded area, nice shower facilities, a huge lake for swimming, fishing and boating and a swimming pool that looked so beautiful from a distance that we didn’t want to go up close for the disappointment we would experience from not having time to enjoy it. That has probably been the biggest disappointment from this trip, being on a schedule that only allowed us one night in each stop. I’m seriously thinking about redoing the route with a camper and about 3 months time to really get to enjoy this beautiful country that we just rode across.
Good bye to the home of the Little League World Series and on to our next memory. Sabrina and I started out the day’s ride on the Rails to Trails pathway again, this time in the right direction. While riding along we discussed what simply marvelous idea this is to convert old rail beds into commuter/recreational activity corridors. We saw bike riders, power walkers, conditioning walkers, Moms with baby carriages and people just sitting outdoors enjoying the natural beauty of the environment. It should be a “No Brainer” for businesses, employers, towns, doctors, insurance companies and anyone else with a stake in a healthy community to see the benefits of these projects and to add their support to make it happen. Well, my bucket list keeps getting more things added to it, so I shouldn’t be idol in retirement. I’m writing down these things because, like this trip, if I tell enough people that I’m going to do something it really locks me in and motivates me to follow it through completion. Oh, I was supposed to be writing about the ride. It was a nice day with lots of long hills. The Poconos are definitely challenging hills, but not the Allegany’s. The biggest news for the day was Ben’s BIG stomach ache. It seems that as he was in no-man’s land at the half way point and feeling hungry, he typed “Food” into the GPS. It came up with the name of a hotel out on some defunct road. He passed a Bed & Breakfast with a convenience store and deli, so he stopped for a sandwich. Well, in hindsight, he doesn’t thing they sell too many sandwiches, so his “may” not have had the freshest ingredients. He paid for that sandwich in more ways than with money. Once again right after the bikers hit camp at 7:00 it was off the McDonalds and free WiFi. Sabrina had tons of e-mail with lots of good news about the PR for our ride’s ending NEXT SATURDAY! Hope to see you all there and at Bill & Charlotte Berardi’s house in Pawcatuck afterwards.
Keep Them Wheels a Rollin’

Monday, August 2, 2010

Surprise, Surprise – The Snakes Alive

The first surprise is not what you’re expecting and neither was I. For this day’s ride it was going to Ben and I, so I expected it to be short and fast, however there were so many things that came up that, well let’s just say there were a lot of stories. Start off with checking the bikes out before taking off. Pump up the tires, check brakes, inspect tire tread; OH NO, what this? The tread on my rear tire is split down the middle and peeling off for about 6” and after only 3000 mile on this tire! This is not a good way to start the day. So, since we’re all ready to roll with the camper and everything, I just limp over to the truck stop where there’s free WiFi and Ben and Sabrina do their thing on the laptop and I do my thing to the tire in the parking lot. All better now, let’s hit the road. We are tooling along about 5 miles into the day and we’re at the top of a big hill when Ben pulls over to the side looking back at me. Then I see it, a 3’ long rattle snake on the edge of the road. It was just laying there sunning itself on the hot tar of the roadside. It was lying there perfectly still, but with no signs of damage from being run over, so we were pretty confident that it was alive and just absorbing the heat from the road after spending a chilly night in the hills of PA. I wanted to throw a big rock on it but Ben stopped me because he wanted to get the picture. So after thinking it over, karma told me that we should just leave it alone and not bother it. Well after being out West and never seeing a rattle snake, I guess seeing this one counts for addition to the list of critters we encountered on the trip. So it is on through some pretty nice terrain and once again, Sabrina missed a day of great riding after being delegated to the support driver. As we’re riding along I get a phone call from Sabrina, she’s all excited about finally see a field of Sunflowers, “You must get a picture.” As I’m riding and talking on the phone, I miss an accident that almost happens on the other side of the road. Just as a car stops to let us ride by before turning across our path, the car behind it has to skid 20 ft. to a stop to avoid rear-ending the courteous driver. We travel through Bald Eagle State Park and into Jersey Shores, PA. Here the road we’ve been traveling on ends and we are directed to SR220 which is a “Motor Vehicles Only” road. Sabrina reached this point before us and was kind enough to venture over to a house where there was signs of life and ask for advice on travelling to Williamsport by bike. When Ben and I arrived she told us that she was advised that we should take the “Rails to Trails” pathway to Williamsport since SR220 was “MVO.” Remember my statement of “Signs of Life”? Sabrina then quantified her advice by saying, “If you want to believe a 20 something guy who has more kids than teeth and is standing roadside burning his garbage in a 55 gallon barrel.” What shall we do? She says to me, “You go ask him while Ben and I look at the maps and try to find an alternate route.” So I go over to this guy who is now rebuilding one of those mini motorcycles, and ask about the R to T pathway. He assures me that he has ridden it past Williamsport, it is paved all the way and is well marked so we can exit at Williamsport. OK, thanks for the info. We ride off down the road looking for the start of this R to T. We pass 2 kids on bikes and ask if they know where it is. They say it’s right over the crest of the hill adding “You can’t miss it.” So we ride on and come upon it where it crosses the road. Cool. We figure we should go to the right because with our male instincts and sense of direction, and no signage to help us, that’s got to be the right way. About ½ mile down the trail we come across an old stop station across from the main street in Jersey Shores and there’s the parking lot at the end of the R to T. Oops, guess we went the wrong way, what the heck, only ½ mile right? We head back only to pass the boys who comment, “We didn’t realize you were that unfamiliar with the R to T.” Later Ben tells me that in his mind something didn’t seem right. About 12 miles down this beautiful, scenic old rail line, we haven’t really seen any signs telling us the names of the different roads we’ve crossed or where they go. By my calculations we should have about 5 miles to get to Williamsport when Ben wants to take a break and stops by an entry point with a gas station nearby. Again, the only signs were to the restrooms and several nature point bulletin boards. I’ll go ask at the gas station how far it is to Williamsport. Oops, “You can’t get to Williamsport on this R to T” I’m told. You have to go back to Jersey Shores and go east to get to Williamsport. Ben says, “I knew it!” “Call Mom, I’m done riding!” he says. Oops, no cell phone signals. Well he walks around fuming and finally finds one bar, call Sabrina and walks her through programming the GPS to get her from Williamsport to Waterville where we were. Forty-five minutes and 22 miles later and Sabrina show up to rescue the “Lost Boys.” Well I figure we got our mileage in just as if we HAD ridden to Williamsport, we had a nice ride on the R to T pathway, I dream about working in my retirement on a project to make the old Norwich to Westerly trolley line into our own R to T bike route and we were “Making Memories.” It was a great day, I only hope I can convince Ben of that. Once we found a campsite, which was not as easy as it should have been, the GPS led us into a very nice neighborhood which was once obviously a campground, we cleaned up and went out for pizza. On our way from the campsite to the Pizza Hut we passed the International Little League World Series Complex and checked out the stadium and facilities. The nice waitress at Pizza Hut gave us the scoop on the Little League World Series’ effect on the city’s economy as well as straightening us out on the route for tomorrows ride starting with the local R to T pathway. The first thing we checked out was how many teeth she had compared to the number of kids!
Keep Them Wheels a Rollin’

Sunday, August 1, 2010

And the Beat Goes On/ Homecoming Party Update

An average day, as far as Penns-HILL-vania goes. God answered my prayer and eased up on the hills a little. Sabrina’s best quote for the day was, “There are lots of beautiful vistas to see, it’s too bad you have to ride to the top of a hill to see them.” Ain’t that the truth? There were some pretty high points along this ride which provided scenic views out over 40-50 miles of the surrounding countryside. Even though it wasn’t quite as bad as the day before, the repetition of day after day of roller coaster hills is starting to wear us down. Kudos to the Pennsylvania bike riders, we’ve been on the Bicycle PA Trail for 3 days now and if this is what you guys ride for pleasure, you’re a hardy bunch. This ride reminded us of the start of the trip in OR, some of the hills were long and gradual. But our legs knew we weren’t just starting the journey. Good thing this ride was only 55 miles. We got out of camp as usual, trailer all packed up and going back to the end point from the day before in DuBois, saying good bye to the beautiful Parker Dam State Park in Penfield, PA. We made our usual stop at Mickey D’s and did the e-mail and blog entry for the day. Since it was already 11:30 and I had eaten breakfast about 7:00, Ben and I had the $1.00 menu chicken sandwich to hold us over. We made it into Snow Shoe relatively early only to find out that our site had no electricity. I guess we’re in the minority here as overnight campers, because there are probably 100 trailers of various vintages parked here. Looks like people live here all summer. Oh well, let’s get dinner done and get to bed early. The only thing that held us up a little was going shopping after dinner while Ben stayed in camp to play games on the laptop. At the grocery store, once again we found ice cream on sale. So, you know what that means. We did take it easy this time, we only went for the quart of Eddy’s Peanut- butter Kandy Kake, even though the ½ gallon was on sale too. We are BAD when it comes to deserts, we even bought a ½ dozen marked down donuts. What the heck, we didn’t get the ½ gallon and we need our calories!
Keep Them Wheels a Rollin’