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

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’

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