Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ellensburg, WA

As I’m sure you saw from Kyle’s post, he made it! It’s been an incredible journey to follow as it progressed; thank you to everyone for following along and for the support to Kyle! We hope you have enjoyed the trip as much as we have and that you have a wonderful summer!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Hello Everyone,
As you might have figured from the title of this post, I have arrived back in Ellensburg. I am excited to be back home after a month and a half on the road. I am including a few pictures taken over the course of the past few days for your viewing pleasure. Once again, I appreciate all the support you have provided and hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the summer!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Made it to Plummer, ID

Day 45

Miles Completed: 3,287

Approximate Miles Remaining: 217

After spending a nice evening and overnight stay with Rick's cousin, Betty, and her husband, Errol, in DeBorgia, Kyle rode 100 miles today to Plummer, ID (south of Coeur d'Alene). Most of the ride was spent on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, a very scenic, paved bike trail that stretches the 72 miles from Mullan to Plummer. Kyle said it was a wonderful bike trail and a treat not to have to worry about traffic! Unfortunately, there was a headwind most of the day, so he is very tired tonight and planning to sleep well. Rick's cousin, Gayle, and her husband, Joe, drove down from Coeur d'Alene to meet the guys for dinner, so that was fun!

Only 217 miles remaining! Kyle plans to arrive in Ellensburg late Saturday or Sunday, depending mostly on the wind.

See Kyle on the map:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

National Bike to Work Day

Day 44

Miles Completed: 3,187

Approximate Miles Remaining: 283 (please note that Kyle’s final destination is Ellensburg, WA, with a goal of arriving this Sunday)

Although he doesn’t have a job, Kyle did the next best thing to biking to work on National Bike to Work Day; he rode 86 miles De Borgia, MT. Today’s route included shadowing highway 90 west in 86-degree sun. Kyle had a nice long weekend in Missoula, MT. Since arriving early Saturday afternoon, Kyle has enjoyed friends, family, plenty of food, rest and relaxation. According to Rick, despite sampling all-you-can-eat restaurants across America, Kyle has lost significant body weight. Accordingly, his first order of business upon arriving in Missoula was to each a bacon cheeseburger, a double cheeseburger, and a quart of ice-cream, before going back for seconds at the reception. This morning Kyle and Rick awoke early and began the last leg of the journey. Although he has tossed around the idea of ending in Seattle, Kyle’s final destination is now fixed on home, Ellensburg, WA, 283 miles due west of his current location. As Rick has the car, he’s riding part of each day with Kyle and driving ahead to set up camp! THE HOME STRETCH

See Kyle on the Map:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Respite in Missoula

Hello Everybody,

With the presence of my Dad and brother, I made it into Missoula mid-day Saturday and have been visiting family, eating my full, and resting as much as possible since. The country has been gorgeous and the people welcoming ever since my departure from Yellowstone. With only a handful of riding days left between here and Ellensburg, I anticipate departing from Missoula early Wednesday morning. It has been wonderful to be back in touch with family and friends here and I am readily becoming excited to finish up the trip. Thanks again for all of your support!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Darby, MT

Day 39

Miles Completed: 3,036

Approximate Miles Remaining: 564

Above is a picture of Kyle climbing over the continental divide today (again, as he already crossed it in Colorado)!!

Today Kyle rode from Dillon, MT to Darby, MT, via Wisdom, MT and north on highway 93. Rick and Kenley drove down and met Kyle in Wisdom and rode the last 60 miles or so with him. As you could tell by his post yesterday, Kyle was very excited for the company! After an early start this morning, Kyle endured a broken chain, his first major mechanical failure since his broken clip in Colorado. He was able to make a repair and ride on. Rick, Kyle, and Kenley are planning to camp near Darby this evening and ride on to Missoula, MT tomorrow! Kyle will then spend the weekend in Missoula with friends and family, preparing for the last push to Washington. For those of you unfamiliar, Kyle grew up in Missoula (until middle school) and will be attending the University of Montana in Missoula this fall, so it's certainly a big deal to arrive! p.s. Rick hand-delivered Kyle his cell phone this afternoon so he is back in contact.

See Kyle on the Map:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dillon, MT

Here's a note from Kyle:

Just wanted to let you know I rode into Dillon today and will probably spend the evening around the UM Western campus. I had anticipated having some headwind for much of the ride but, to my delight, the wind was calm while I was riding. Dad and Kenley are planning on meeting me around Wisdom tommorow mid-day and I certainly look forward to having some company :-)

Thumbing It

Day 37

Miles Completed: 2,842

Approximate Miles Remaining: 758

So here’s the follow-up story for last night: Kyle did ride on past Yellowstone although 30 miles from Ennis, late in the afternoon, he was stuck in a torrential downpour / hail storm / thunderstorm. It was storming so badly that he couldn’t see the road, let alone cars, etc. At that point, Kyle huddled down behind his bike on the side of lonely highway 287 in southeast MT, stuck out his thumb and hoped for a ride. Luckily, shortly thereafter, a friendly wine distributor stopped, loaded Kyle’s bike, and gave him a ride to Ennis. Kyle said the gentleman was great company and certainly his savings grace, as he avoided the same storm that caused 9+ tornados throughout the Midwest last evening! Kyle then commandeered a room at the Sportsman Lodge in Ennis and spent the evening drying himself and his bike. It should be pointed out that even before the storm, Kyle managed a 110-mile day, a tremendous accomplishment given the numerous passes and weather challenges of the day!! Today Kyle rides on towards western Montana.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In Montana – GO GRIZ!

(Old Faithful Above)

Day 37

Miles Completed: 2,792

Approximate Miles Remaining: 808

See Kyle on the Map:

Today Kyle rode northwest through the remaining portions of Grand Teton Nation Park towards Yellowstone National Park. As of noon today, Kyle was at Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Because it was so early in the day, he decided to ride on into Montana, hoping to reach Ennis, MT by this evening. Ennis had been Kyle’s goal for tomorrow so if successful, he will have made up a day and will have ridden close to 160 miles today! At this moment, the weather in Ennis is 70 degrees and partly cloudy with a 6 mph crosswind for Kyle. From Ennis, Missoula, MT (and our cousin Allison’s wedding reception; Kyle’s interim goal for the weekend) is approximately 194 miles west!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Colter Bay Campground, Grand Teton National Park, WY

Day 36

Miles Completed: 2,732

Approximate Miles Remaining: 868

See Kyle on the Map:
Today Kyle rode to Colter Bay Campground in Grand Teton National Park, WY. Kyle said that it had been rainy and overcast although he was able to get a campsite and sufficient food/supplies for the evening! It was a 65-mile day and at this point Kyle has approximately 369 miles left to Missoula, MT and 868 to Seattle, WA.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Dubois, WY

Day 35

Miles Completed: 2,667

Approximate Miles Remaining: 933 (please note that the estimated full distance to Seattle has increased to 3,600, as the first 3,400 figure was an estimate and we now have a much better idea of the route)

Kyle has been making great progress! Today Kyle rode to Dubois, WY, just 50 miles southeast of Grand Teton National Park. He has been making great time for the past few days despite a steady headwind as well as intermittent showers. He rode to Lander, WY last evening and is schedule to enter the parks tomorrow.

See Kyle on the Map:

Here is a quote from Kyle’s e-mail today:

“I made it to Dubois just in time because it looks like it's gonna rain. The wind has been in my face the last couple of days and it will be good to get into more sheltered country. The ride here was very scenic and people continue to be very nice (one man pulled up beside me and asked if I needed anything). I'm not sure what I'll do for lodging tonight, but if I end up choosing a room to evade the thundershowers, I'll make sure to give you a call. I hope everything is well with you guys and I look forward to seeing/talking with you soon :-) Love, Kyle”

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rawlins, WY

Day 33

Miles Completed: 2,466

Approximate Miles Remaining: 934

Kyle rode 115 miles on Saturday to Rawlins, WY. After two 100+ mile days in a row, Kyle is hoping to put in another long day on Sunday and be close to Teton Park and on to Yellowstone Park by mid-week. Kyle sounded in good spirits last night and said his weather has been beautiful!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Walden, CO

Day 32

Miles Completed: 2,351

Approximate Miles Remaining: 1,049

It’s a beautiful afternoon in Colorado and Kyle has already passed his goal for the day, Hot Sulfur Springs, CO! His plan now is to ride on to Walden, CO, which will total 97 miles for the day. Unfortunately Kyle forgot his cell phone at the hostel this morning so it’s being mailed a few hundred miles in front of him (so don’t be surprised if he can’t be reached for a few days). He will have internet access at several of the upcoming towns and also has a calling card so we’ll certainly keep plugging along. Today Kyle is riding past Rocky Mountain National Park and Steamboat Springs, CO (which is slightly off of his route to the West). When he completes his trek to Walden this evening, Kyle will be only 15 miles from Wyoming! The wide majority of Kyle’s ride today, north on highway 125, is between 8,500 and 10,000 feet. Sustained mileage at this altitude is certainly a challenge yet after the rest yesterday, Kyle sounds ready and in great spirits!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Silverthorne, CO

Day 31

Miles Completed: 2,254

Approximate Miles Remaining: 1,146

See Kyle on the Map:

Today Kyle rode through Frisco, CO, across the Dillon Dam, past Dillon Reservoir and on to Silverthorne, CO. It was a shorter day at 15 miles although it did mark the approximate 2/3 point of the journey! Today and tonight Kyle is staying at the Riverside Lodge Hostel.

Kyle said that it had been raining and cold all morning and he quite literally had no energy so decided to rest for the day. Because of what I imagine is cold weather, high elevation, and four weeks of tough riding catching up to Kyle, he sounded over the past two days’ calls as tired as I’ve ever heard him. I can imagine there comes a point during any journey such as this that weather, physical and emotional fatigue, loneliness, and the sheer magnitude of the challenge catches up with a person. Ever-persistent and forcefully positive in words yet not in tone, Kyle is soldiering on. If you have any words of encouragement, today might be a great day to add a comment; I’ll forward them on as received!

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”
-Frank Lloyd Wright

Kyle’s plan tomorrow is to ride to Hot Sulfur Springs, CO, approximately 60 miles north and at the base of the next major mountain pass.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Breckenridge, CO

Kyle made it to Breckenridge, CO today! As I guessed, he made it a short way past Guffey, CO last night and stayed in a Hostel out of cell phone reach. Today Kyle rode through Fairplay, CO, over the continental divide (see picture) and on to happy hour at Breckenridge Brewery. Kyle said the pass was cold and it even hailed a little. There was a spectacular view from the top and at 11,500 feet he said he could really feel the effects of the altitude and even well into the following hours. He said he was happy to make it to Breckenridge, where the weather is nice and he enjoyed Loaded Fries, Beer Battered Shrimp, and Avalanche Ale. Tonight Kyle is staying at the Fireside Inn in Breck and will continue his ride north tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Off the Map

Kyle left Canon City, CO this morning riding northwest. His plan for the day was to climb far into the Rocky Mountains on highway 9 and either end in Balfour, CO (52 miles) or ride on to Fairplay, CO (76 miles). In addition to the mileage, today also was to encompass several tremendous ascents as Balfour is at 9,000 ft. and Fairplay is at 10,000 ft. At this point I can’t seem to reach Kyle on his phone so it’s anyone’s guess as to exactly where he is. Although he’s temporarily out of touch (and if I know Kyle I’m sure he doesn’t mind), these roads are frequented this time of year with hikers, bikers, and police so from a safety standpoint Kyle is in good hands. From here, Kyle is on to Breckenridge, CO tomorrow, then north towards Wyoming.
See Kyle on the Map (most likely):

Monday, June 8, 2009

Canon City, CO

Day 28

Miles Completed: 2,110

Approximate Miles Remaining: 1,290

Kyle left Pueblo, CO this morning at approximately 8:30am, heading west towards Canon City, CO, an approximate 50-mile ride. The three pictures are as Kyle departed the Pueblo city library. We had a wonderful weekend, lots of food, boating, fishing, and relaxing - thank you Glenda and Pat for such hospitality!!!

Kyle arrived in Canon City early this afternoon and after realizing that camp sites were $25, opted for a motel room for only $30. After a relatively flat day today and good night’s sleep, Kyle is expected to experience several tremendous ascents within the next few days. The first 30 miles tomorrow will total an ascent from 5,500 ft. to 9,500 ft!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Relaxing in Monument

Hello Everyone,

I've spent the day with Steve, Katie, Glenda, and Pat hanging out around the lake, eating, and relaxing. We took the pedal boats out on the lake, but I don't suspect pedalling in these boats was too hard on my recovering legs. It's great to know we have another full day of relaxtion before hitting the road again. On Monday Steve will take me back down to Pueblo. From there will continue up into the Rockies and will gain elevation much more rapidly than through Kansas. This is certainly beautiful country and I look forward to continuing the journey further into the mountains!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pueblo, CO

Picking up Kyle in Pueblo!

Day 25

Miles Completed: 2,060

Approximate Miles Remaining: 1,340

Speaking with Kyle, he’s outside of Pueblo, CO, with mileage today equaling just over 50 miles. He’s been shadowing the Arkansas river for the past few hours and will continue to trace its origins far into the Rockies, west of Pueblo, beginning on Monday. For the rest of the day Kyle will be replenishing his food, fuel (for the camp stove), and bike necessities in town.

Having ridden over 2,000 miles during the past three weeks, Kyle is certainly enduring some aches and pains, in addition to a broken pedal which worsened yesterday. The pedal is still somewhat functional and thus he’s limping it along to Pueblo; we’ve located a replacement at a bike shop in Denver and will make the repair over the weekend. As for the weekend, Kyle will be recovering and preparing for the last push through the mountains and on to the coast. He’ll be in the hot tub, barbequing, swimming, paddle boating, and generally relaxing until Monday!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kyle is in Colorado!

Day 24

Miles Completed: 2,010

Approximate Miles Remaining: 1,390

Kyle arrived this evening in Ordway, CO, a small town on highway 96 at 4,312 feet after a long day in the saddle: long riding days are being redefined as Kyle has now traced 118 miles today and just shy of 746 miles within the last 7 days!!! Great work & we can’t wait to see you tomorrow buddy! And so the ride (and beard) continues.

See Kyle on the Map:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kansas' Last Stand

Above is a picture of Kyle's campsite and dinner in the park this evening in Tribune, KS!

Day 23

Miles Completed: 1,892 (for those of you counting, this equates to 673 miles over the last 7 days!!)

Approximate Miles Remaining: 1,508

Kyle left Ness City, KS this morning and continued riding west. 8 hours later he arrived in Tribune, KS, just over ten miles east of the Colorado border, concluding a 105-mile day. On top of the long days, Kyle has been steadily climbing; he said today that “up is the new flat”. Over the last 48 hours he has climbed from 1,400 ft. to over 3,600 ft. The ascent will certainly continue as Pueblo, CO (4,700 ft.), Breckenridge, CO (9,600 ft.), Alma, CO (10,500 ft.), and Scott Gulch, CO (11,500 ft.) are all along the route within the next week. At this point Kyle can say adios to the central time zone & tornado alley!

I just spoke with Kyle as he arrived at the public library in Tribune so I’ll sign off here so you can have an update from the source…it’s all yours Kyle.

Thanks Steve,

First off, thank you everyone for your encouraging comments (I really enjoy reading them). Luckily I've had a couple of days through the Great Plains of Kansas during which the wind was slightly to my back. This makes a huge difference and allows me to put in the longer mileage days. Now that I'm on the long established "Trans America" bicycle route, I've run into a number of riders. Four were headed east from San Diego, San Fransisco, and Oregon, and three were headed west including a couple from Belgium and a lady from Vermont. It's been exciting to run into these people during the day and chat about our trips. Yesterday and today have been two long days during which I rode about ten and eight hours respectively. Luckily the bike rides smoothly and I'm able to split up the hours with relatively large meals :-) The plan is to ride to Pueblo, CO by Friday afternoon in order to spend the weekend with Steve and Katie (which I am eagerly anticipating).

Thanks again to everyone keeping up with the blog and thanks to Steve for staying in contact and updating the blog frequently.

See Kyle on the Map:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ness City, Kansas

Day 22

Miles Completed: 1,787

Approximate Miles Remaining: 1,613

Kyle just arrived in Ness City, KS. It was a 152-mile day! There was a mild tailwind for most of the day until about 3pm, when strong thunderstorms from the west ended his day. Luckily, Kyle had arrived to Ness City and was able to secure a motel room for the evening. He said that he left this morning at 4:45am and had a great day. He stopped in Rush Center, KS for lunch at the town’s only small diner. After sitting down at the only open table, Kyle was soon joined by an older local gentleman, they visited for about thirty minutes and eventually he treated Kyle to lunch. Kyle will continue tomorrow morning towards Scott City, KS, directly west on highway 96 (most likely the straightest road in the world, as evidenced by the above picture). Speaking of straight roads, Kyle mentioned that all day today he would pick a spot on the road ahead of him and see how long it took for him to get there, it was consistantly 9 miles later that he would arrive. This was Kyle’s longest one-day ride to date!

See Kyle on the Map:

Half Way & A Big Day In The Works!

Half Way! I just spoke with Kyle and he’s already booked over 100 miles this morning. He woke up early, departed Hillsboro, KS and is already past Great Bend, KS. He has overcast weather, a slight tailwind at the moment and is anticipating thunderstorms this afternoon. At this point he is 35 miles past the approximate half way point of the trip and is putting the peddle to the metal! It’s going to be a big day! We’ll keep you posted!

Monday, June 1, 2009

21st Birthday, Bearded Dinner in Hillsboro, KS

BirthDay 21

Miles Completed: 1,635

Approximate Miles Remaining: 1,765

See Kyle on the map:
Kyle rode 85 miles today with a steady wind from the south although he said it felt like a headwind and made for a long day. He is currently in Hillsboro, KS, which is directly north of Wichita (nearly half way across Kansas). Kyle will continue to peddle his way west on highway 56 towards McPherson, KS in the morning. Assuming Kyle’s able to put in at least a 65-mile day tomorrow, he’ll be at half way!!

As for tonight, as I mentioned, it’s Kyle’s birthday, and not only any birthday, his 21st! He just sent me the above picture as he gets the celebration underway with a big dinner and a beer. Happy birthday from everyone Kyle, you’re doing great, live it up, enjoy the evening, and see you Friday bud!

Kyle's 21st BIRTHDAY!

Today is the 21st day of the trip & it’s Kyle’s 21st Birthday; HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYLE!

Kyle rode to Eureka, KS last evening, which is just northeast of Wichita, KS. He camped in the city park and said it was great, with a city pool, showers, etc! At this point he has approximately 1,550 miles completed.

When I spoke with Kyle last night he promised a noteworthy picture this evening, celebrating his 21st, I’m anxiously awaiting the text! In the mean time, here are a few pictures from Kyle’s early days – enjoy!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kansas in a flash!

Day 20

Miles Completed 1,520

Approximate Miles Remaining: 1,880

See Kyle on the Map:

Kyle had breakfast this morning in Fredonia, KS (see picture). He had a monster day yesterday as between Friday night and breakfast this morning he had logged 156 miles. Kyle is now headed towards El Dorado, KS and is planning to skirt Wichita to the north. The last few days Kyle has made tremendous time and is already 1/3 of the way across Kansas!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Kansas Border!

Kyle crossed the border into Kansas at approximately noon. At that time he had approximately 14 miles left today. Above is a picture at the border. There was a slight headwind today so progress has been labor-intensive!

Walnut Grove, MO

Total Miles Completed 1,364

Kyle rode to Walnut Grove, MO and camped lastnight. It was another 100 mile day and he anticipated being in Kansas by mid-day today. At this point he has made it through the notorious Missouri rolling hills and is ready to blast across the plains!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Houston, MO

Kyle rode 45 miles today to Houston, MO. He said there was a headwind but otherwise nice weather. The reason for a shorter day was that the next town is about 70 miles ahead with not much in between. The ride is going well, had another slow-leaking flat on the rear tire yet otherwise all is well!
Kyle is now headed west on Highway 106, towards Springfield, MO. The above picture of an old mill was taken just west of Eminence this morning as he left town.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eminence, Missouri

Day 16

Miles Today: 67

Total Miles Completed: 1,219

Approximate Miles Remaining: 2,181

Kyle rode 67 miles today, setting up camp in Eminence, Missouri. Eminence is the canoe capital of the world and accordingly Kyle spent much of the day riding along the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (see picture), with his current campsite on the edge of the Mark Twain National Forest. At this point, Kyle is approximately 75 miles southwest of St. Louis and 75 miles north of the Arkansas border (see link below). Kyle said that the ride today was great although fairly roundabout as well as very hilly, as he experienced increasingly steep terrain as he progressed. He was in his lowest gear several times, slowing grinding up the grade then attempting to tame the extreme load during the downhill portions.

See Kyle on the Map: