Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Plan

Ok, so until now, we've been a little vague as to what exactly our plan is for next year.  That's partially due to the fact that we're not totally sure what charity we want to work with, and partially because we're still figuring out the logistics of how exactly this will work. 

Here are the important pieces we know so far:

1.  My brother, Dave (now Kimuli) is in the Peace Corps in Uganda.  Adam and I visited Kimuli last summer. We saw, and were inspiried by, the good work he does for the people of Africa who are in desperate need of any and all help they can get.

2a. We want to give back.  Last May, we organized a 1/2 marathon (ran in the middle of the night to accompany Kimuli running in Uganda).  We raised over $1,000 and had close to 15 people participate in the run (Adam won).

2b. We applied for a grant through the Timocracy Foundation and received $5,000 to be given to Lukaya Polytechnical Institution, the organization that Kimuli works for in Uganda, to help build their resources so they can become a more self-sustaining organization.

3.  We talked to someone in the field of sponsoring trips like this.   His advice: find something you are passionate about and go with that.

4. Adam and I are passionate about the outdoors, about being active, about helping at-risk youth and communities, about Africa.

5. We are also passionate about sushi, and one night when we treated ourselves to some at our favorite restaurant, Hanami, we came up with this crazy plan, drawn out on the back of our placemat, to bike ride all 50 states and have fundraisers in each state to collect bikes for those without.  This was our first draft of our plan and it has since evolved, but the basic plan remains the same.  Adam and I talked about, and are still debating, different charities and organizations that will help us attain our goal: Holding bike collections in every state to send bikes to Africa as well as to local people in need.  We feel that now is an even more important time to be promoting bicycle use, especially on the heels of the oil spill.

I realize this is still vague... but it's what we've got.  We'll keep posting updates so keep checking in!

(all photos by Adam Coppola)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

RI Bike Trip VIDEO

Adam Here: Just finished making a video of our bike trip... check it out!  I'm a photographer, not a videographer but I'm learning.  Sorry for the no-shirt and spandex scenes.

Rhode Island Bike Tour from Adam Coppola on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

190 miles/ 4 days

Yee-haw! We made it through our trial bike-ride.  And we couldn't have asked for better weather.  It rained twice.  The thunder and lighting storm that had been talked up to unyielding proportions was no more than a passing shower as we gulped down Blue Moon's at Chaps in Westerly, R.I.  And there was a bit of a pour as we, er... at least I... rested peacefully under the shelter of our waterproof tent.  Adam woke up from the sound of the people passing by with a boom box blasting and he felt the urge to take some video from inside our tent that night (you'll notice I was not so excited).

The first day was hot hot hot. We got up early to beat some of the heat, but I guess I should have done a better job warning my mom and Scott that traveling with Adam means stopping at any and all opportunities for a nice picture, even if it means stopping before we get out of the actual driveway.  And that was only the first!  When we got to Old Lyme, we took a detour down Rocky Neck State Park and shot some video and took some pics. The mile ride down to the shore was nice at 10 in the morning, but we regretted it later on when our butts were sore and our legs were tired. Our last photo shoot of the day was in Mystic where Adam and I conveniently stopped right in front of an ice cream shop to wait for Mom and Scott. We had to grab some ice cream and some pics and when the woman behind the counter heard of our plan for next year's 50 state honeymoon bike trip, she laughed and called it a "torture-moon." After a long, long ride (65 miles), we made it to our campsite while Mom and Scott traveled a few extra miles to an air conditioned hotel room.  A ll we needed was a swim in the lake and some good meat at a nearby restaurant that we traveled to by taxi, all thanks to Mom and Scott, and we were ready for bed.

Day two promised to be another scorcher and Mom and Scott had the right idea with sleeping in and spending the day at the beach.  But Adam and I trekked on, our sites set on Mashamoquet State Park in Pomfret, CT, 49 miles away- hoping there would be a campsite available when we arrived.  It was a rough start for our bottoms but we got up bright and early, trying to beat the heat again, and enjoyed the most beautiful scenery of the whole ride that morning. There were brooks, ponds, rivers, corn fields, horse pastures, cow pastures and best of all, tree cover!!  As the day progressed and the sun got hotter, the tree cover subsided and we took refuge under a lonely tree near a softball field.  We ate some ciabatta bread, cheese, pepperoni, and strawberries that we picked up at a grocery store earlier that day... all part of our effort to spend $40 a day or less (which is a tricky task as we quickly found out).  The shade was so perfect that we even spread out our tarp and took a little nap before continuing on.  It was with achy joints that we left our little haven, but even achier butts that we finally zoomed into the State Park later that afternoon.  There were sites available and a pond for swimming... what more could we ask for?

Day 3 took a different turn, literally.  Instead of traveling 40 miles northwest to Dan and Hannah's followed by 65 more miles south the day after to get home, we opted to head towards home and split the distance a bit, 45 miles followed by 30 more the last day.  Though we tried to keep our spirits high, the lack of a good breakfast, the pain in our knees, and the constant up hills on a busy road didn't help our cause.  It was a quiet morning, but when Adam saw this sign :

we knew things were changing for the better, and boy were we right!  Each time we thought we were running into a dead-end, the world just opened up and helped us out.  It was getting late into morning and I hadn't had a proper breakfast or coffee (a recipe for disaster that Adam knows only too well)  when around the corner was a little gas station with actually yummy coffee and some muffins.  After our $4.95 map of CT proved useless and Adam's IPhone dangerously low on batteries, we just happened upon a little library in Hebron with internet!  When we wanted a break from speedy cars, we found some pretty fun trails to bike down and get away from traffic for a while.  And a big thank you to the man who left his campsite at Devil's Hopyard a day early- we got a sweet site for free!!!  We did forget to grab any food for the night, but not to worry, Campground Gene came along in his pick-up and Adam grabbed a ride with him to the local Mom and Pops store for dinner and breakfast food.  Things really couldn't have lined up better for us yesterday, that's for sure!

So this brings us to today.  Day Four.  We booked it.  It took us 3 hours to ride 30 miles and we were home by 10:25 AM.  I guess our butts needed some well deserved rest and relaxation.

So we learned a few things on this trip:
1. Training is a must.  It will not be any easy thing to bike 65 miles a day and our 3 training rides of 25 miles just didn't cut it.
2. $40 per day will be tough to stick to.
3. Adam can eat 3 full meals after a day of biking.
4. $40 per day will be impossible if Adam always eats like that!

*** Pretty Awesome Side Note: Even on our trial bike ride, we felt the effects of charity powering us through the tough parts of the day.  Two nights before our trip, our friends held a lobster-fest fundraiser for us.  Our friends Jason and Katrina bought a bunch of lobsters to feed to the group, and everyone pitched in to donate to our charity without even knowing the charity yet!  We're still working on exactly how this trip will work, but we do have $208 ready to go to our charity.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Camera Bike Trial

Adam here: Today I received some new camera/bike gear for our road trip.  I have been trying to figure out different ways that Christy and I will be able to get some amazing images/footage from our road trip...

Problem.... how do you use a camera hands-free while you are biking!???

Solution... See Below. 

Camera Bike Trial from Adam Coppola on Vimeo.