Connect for the CURE

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Last, but not least...

So finally here it is the last re-cap!
It may seem like I am a giant procrastinator, but really I was out of town as soon as we got back from the trip! I promise.

What can I say about the trip that hasn't already been mentioned in the 3 testimonials by the guys? Well, it was....a journey. A trek that made us dig down deep within ourselves to find out what we were made of. A trip that made us laugh every time we saw Matt's mustache or Nate doing the Zohan "disco, disco" dance. The trip that made you long to be anywhere but sitting on a bike seat and asking yourself, "How did Rosie (Ryan) just dominate us up that mountain?"

It was the type of trip that taught us to trust one another. It taught us that the midwest was not flat. That West Virgina is in fact crazy and their drivers will try to run you off their roads. We learned of the generosity and kindness of regular old Americans. We learned of what not to do when your motorhome is stuck in sand. Gained an understanding of how gravel always wins in a crash, especially if it's Day 2 and how to work things out after an arguement....because let's face it, we were together 24/7 for 51 days. It was bound to happen.

But let me tell you. I cannot wait to see the crew again! I can't wait to say, "Matt....I mean Nat (Nate)! (We did this to mess with each other all the time) I can't wait for that next time we all get to hop back on our bikes and hit the road again. I can't wait for Rosie to kick our butts again up Glendora Mtn. Road. I can't wait for Matt to grow his mustache out again.

I am extremely excited for what lies ahead for Connect for the CURE. It was a journey I will never forget.

On behalf of team C4C, We would like to say thank you to all who kept us in their prayers, housed us, supported us financially, fed us, taught us, sacrificed for us, and loved us. We love you all and truly thank you for being a part of the CURE.

-cg

In Closing

Well, it's been about a week since I got back from the trip. I don't recommend taking the greyhound...anywhere. Because of all the stuff I had, it was much cheaper to take a bus from Colorado Springs to Southern California. That was an experience in itself, but I'm sure you all want to hear about the actual trip, the experiences we had and what I learned and so forth. So here it goes...

I worked with both Christian and Nate in the warehouse at APU during the fall semester of '09. It was probably early October when everyone at work was eating in the cafeteria. Christian came in and the first thing he said when he sat down was, "I'm going to cycle across the country this summer." The other guys were thinkin, 'yeah right.' I immediately became interested. I found out that it was going to be a fundraiser for diabetes research. I thought, 'what a cool thing to do, cycle across the country to raise funds and awareness for diabetes.' My mom has type two and a few other family members has diabetes as well. I was in. I think it was the next week that Christian, Ryan, and I met for the first time at the Chipotle off of Lone Hill. This was the first time I met Ryan. Ryan had everything down on paper (his vision and plans). I could tell he was serious about this. I found out his reason for starting something like this - his girlfriend having type one. I thought this is awesome. Now began a long year of preparation, making phone calls, going from company to company getting turned down left and right. At first it was very discouraging, but as time went on it got easier to talk to people about what we were doing.

We left on June 6th, 2010 from the Santa Monica Pier. We had a big event for our launch; a mix of family, friends, and sponsors were there to support us and see us off. I had so much adrenaline going, this was going to be an exciting trip. We got lost in South Central, but later found a trail that took us all the way back to Azusa - our first stop. All of you know about day two, one of the toughest days on the CURE. I could probably fill an entire book if I told all of our experiences. As the trip went on the days began to blur a little bit. We were forgetting what day it was and the date.

For what we were doing, things could not have gone any smoother. We missed all the storms. We were sandwiched between the storms (storms in front and storms behind us). There was only one day of rain (the 4th of July), and we hit one lightening storm toward the end of one of our days. That was one blessing. Another blessing would be the drivers. Although we got the occasional driver who is against cyclists on the road, we had no major problems (no one got hit). Another one was with our bikes. We were bound to have bike trouble, and we did, but it was nothing that couldn't get fixed. We also met many great people along the way. One couple stands out to me in my mind...We ended up stopping in a neighborhood in Indiana for lunch, and this couple came out. They were interested in what we were doing, and they gave us 'friendship bread.' Their hospitality was awesome. They asked if we needed anything thing else. We couldn't have asked for a smoother trip. I have no doubt that God had his hand in it.

The guys I was with was a blessing in itself. The group dynamics couldn't have been better. For the most part, we all got along, each person brought their own unique personality, and they all fell into place. Their were difficult times during the trip, it wasn't all butterflies and roses, but we got through it. The biggest thing that I learned was patience, and doing what I needed to do, even if I didn't want to. I learned more of what it's like to work in a team.

I just want to say thank you again to all our sponsors and supporters, family and friends. I want to say thanks to the Ezaki's; Brandon was a very big part of this trip, will always be in our hearts. This is a journey that I will never forget.


-Matt Kaiser

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

ReCap by Ryan Rosenhahn





First off sorry for this blog taking so long, as you can imaging things have been pretty crazy. So thank you to all of those still watching the blog. As we set off in the motor home for Colorado we had a lot of time to reflect on the trip. The first thought in my mind was how this trip would not have been possible without the support (financial, spiritual, emotional, encouragement, etc…) from all of you. Together we were able to raise around $26, 500!!!!! Great work and thank you to everyone!
As I began this journey I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I can remember walking into Dr. Bezjian’s office in the beginning of the year and telling her, “I am going to cycle across the country for diabetes.” She then replied, “When? With who? Who is supporting you? How much money do you need for expenses? Do you have a non-profit set up? Who is helping with logistics? What route are you taking? Can you fix a bicycle?” I simply replied, “I don’t know”. From day one of this project, it is important that I point out God’s hand in all of this. He provided people, students, mentors, donors, encouragement, and so much more. I can honestly say that every-day God provided something we needed to finish the miles. One day it would be we miss-calculated the miles and had less to go than we thought. Another day it would be we met someone who had endless encouragement for what we were doing. Sometimes it would be a family coming up to us in the Red-Robin parking lot and donating $50. Other days it would be hearing that Christian’s mom has her A-1C levels down to normal, or Laura’s doctor telling her, “these are the best levels I have seen in your entire life!” Sometimes it was thinking of Brandon Ezaki and what his family is going through. When we needed it, God was always there to provide. I can honestly say the only day I felt alone was July 22nd “Gut check day” when we climbed almost 13,000 ft in two days. I don’t have a great analogy or sermon for why I felt alone that day. I can only reason that God just wanted me to go through it without any breaks. Maybe to be out there and truly test me physically and mentally. Usually I ride with a strategy when climbing hills/mountains and always pay attention to my form and cadence. That day there was no strategy or technique. It was grit your teeth and hammer the next peddle. There was no break that day, that day I will remember vividly the rest of my life. From sand on the west coast, to 40 mph wind in the desert, to living like high rollers in Vegas, to literally not breathing much on top of wolf creek pass, to a not so flat mid-west, to dancing in memory of the bike seats, to the ghetto in Phili, to the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. and finally to the Big Apple greeted by the most amazing family and supporters, this trip has been the adventure and learning experience of a life-time. The lessons learned and trials faced will forever be with us, there are things no one can take from us. Together we all got to learn more about this terrible disease and what it means. I personally can’t thank you enough for supporting our cause in fighting diabetes. This disease is very close to me and I pray for a day when we won’t have to worry about our loved one’s whether its in this life or the next His timing is right. I do know that we all took action; you are doers of the Word. I do not know all your reasons for donating/ supporting but know that it did and will continue to make a difference. “Greater things are yet to come, yes greater things are still to be done…” Congratulations pat yourself on the back and be proud of what we have accomplished together. Anyone who says that it was just four young men has no idea. Connect for the CURE is so much more. A special thank you to all those people Nate mentioned in his blog. Wow I can’t believe it is really over! That feeling of riding to the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Ave, hearing the cheers of all our family and friends, and seeing the sea of blue sent chills and a lot of emotions racing through the body. What a feeling to know all that hard work has come to completion. This moment, after 14 months of work was something to be cherished. My first thought was wow they are loud ha, then I realized the support was truly our fuel. That moment was exciting, emotional and impossible to explain without being there. When I got home my mom said to me “Well Ryan, you’re not a baseball player anymore and your not cycling across America. Do you feel like just a regular guy?” I’ve been thinking about that over the last few days and I would say if I have learned anything from this trip (which was a lot) it’s that passion and purpose surpasses all possessions. This summer because of all of you I was given the opportunity to make a small difference. That feeling of doing something for other people and trying to spread hope for a CURE is one of the most rewarding feelings. I don’t want to be just another person. I don’t think anyone does? I want to live with passion and purpose. Whether it’s fighting diabetes, missions, discipline others, working, family, personal relationship with Christ, whatever… my hope is that you too have passion and purpose. Maybe I’m just young and naïve right now, I still have so much to learn; but one thing I hope is to never lose passion for helping others. I want to say a special thank you to my parents, without their love, support, and motor home this trip absolutely would not have happened. God bless you all.

P.S. She did say YES!!!! I’m truly blessed and honored to be engaged to an amazing woman of God who I love, and has put up with me for over six years now.

P.S.S. I know a lot of people are wondering if Connect for the CURE will continue past this year. We will be meeting with the school of business at APU sometime this fall. It will depend on people/ classes and who can take the head position. We will most likely be doing a debrief at APU in an open forum for questions and stories. I will keep you posted when I have dates and times. Thank you all so much.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

-Final Video-

See both 'Final Video' and 'Outtakes Video' in higher quality on the main website under the blog tab.

Monday, August 2, 2010

-The Last Words-

Stay tuned for each members recap of the trip as they arrive home and FINAL VIDEO w/ New York Ride-In exclusive footage.
(final video will be on the website under the "blog tab" and the blog Tuesday August 3rd, 2010)


Recap from Nate Martinez-

First and foremost I want to thank God and give Him the glory as He lead us across this beautiful country we are so blessed to live in.
In these past two months I have been stretched into what I hope might be a better person. And I couldn’t be surer that all the people placed in my path weren’t by accident, but all part of Gods plans in my life. The kindness, and generosity without seeking anything in return lived out by The Rosenhahn Family, Kurica Family, Mamma Gail Akard, Schmidt Family, Adam, all the donated RV parks and hotels, Keith and Margaret Thom, Yuta, David and Bob Berkimer, Feldman Family, Cork, Pastor Trudy and Tony, Grandma Nail, George and Becky McLean, Calvary Chapel Montebello, Ezaki Family, Iowa Family, Granitz Family, Uncle David and so many more that will come to my mind when i need it most. You all have in one way or another taught me something about life whether it was your words or simply by the life you live daily.
It has been my honor to be a part of this team set out to find a cure and inform people across the country of Diabetes; a disease very close to my heart. There was a need for a support car driver and I felt lead that this was the way I could help. Thank-you friends, family, bloggers for your support throughout this journey of a lifetime I will never forget. Your support has kept our inner engines running when we were personally out of gas.

With Love,
Nathan Martinez


Last Words:
“What good is it for a man to gain the world, yet forfeit his soul?” –Mark 8:36

No matter how many worldly possessions we desire, it amounts to nothing if we don’t have fellowship and relationship with others, and with Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CHECK BACK ON SUNDAY FOR THE BEST BLOG YET AND A RECAP FROM EACH MEMBER!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 50: Philly Philly Philly.....Next Stop....NYC!!!

Tonight's blog is short and sweet because we have to wake up at 4am in order to make it on time to the Ferry in New Jersey before our final destination....NEW YORK!!!



This is a shot of West Philadelphia where we ate awesome Philly Cheesesteaks at Jim's Steaks!



The Jim's Steaks' Crew who were extremely friendly and welcoming




.....and who could forget




Some delicious Philly Cheesesteaks!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 49: A Home Away from Home

All across America, team CURE has been taken care of by families, hotels, and camp grounds and would like to say thank you to all of those who have helped us along the way. Especially Gail Akard! She made sure that we were well fed, had a place to sleep, and she even let us borrow her car to check out all the amazing sights in D.C. Gail was extremely hospitable and wanted to make us feel as much at home as possible.

Here is a photo of Gail and Team CURE in front of her home in Sykesville, MD:





Here is a shot of Camden Yards where the Baltimore Orioles baseball team plays:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 48- Rest Day in D.C!

District of Columbia – Our day in the Capitol.

We had a great day of seeing the beautiful sites of our nation’s capital. Thank you to Gail for letting us use her car to drive into the city, so we wouldn’t have to take our support car/RV. We walked a ton, but it was well worth it. We started with a short walk to Union Station. The place was incredible; it felt like a mall. We ended up seeing the famous Capitol Building. After that we went to two Smithsonians; that’s right, two, count ‘em people. There are actually 14 Smithsonian buildings in what they call “The National Mall.” The weather here is unbelievably hot and humid. With a short stint of down pouring rain which he had to run in for 7.5 mins. It was great to see the monuments of our nations capitol and crazy how we made it all the way here on our bikes. The highlights of today were The Washington Monument, The Vietnam Wall, and The Korean War Monument (where both Matt and Nates grandpas served) Enjoy the pictures we took today in the beautiful District of Columbia.







Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 47: Washington, D.C.



Ryan's Tan Lines



Lincoln Memorial



The Crew









Washington Monument

Friday, July 23, 2010

2 days, 1 crash, 12,991 vertical feet.

We began our day pretty late, as we just couldn’t seem to get ourselves out of bed before eight. The physical exhaustion from yesterday’s 7,600+ climb left us tired, sore, and longing for New York. Within the first two miles of our ride we had our 2nd crash of the trip. As we where cruising downhill around 30 mph, Christian hit a bump that popped his hands off the handle bars, threw his chest where his hands should be, and sent him rolling across the pavement; thankfully all the people driving where paying attention. Everyone stopped, got out of their cars and helped us out. After the clean up (video below) we began the ride again. In my short life, I have been able to experience some amazing opportunities. Anyone who has been blessed with parents that love them and provide every opportunity for their child to succeed is a blessing beyond words. We as a group are truly blessed to be on this trip. But today was a different experience than the rest. Today wasn’t a day that was handed to us or we just magically made it to the next city. Today was a self-actualization day; a day that some people call “gut check time.” Right from the start we where met with huge climbs, never ending rolling hills that hit you one after another like being caught in an over-powering surf in the ocean. Today we climbed to the summit of five peaks, climbing 5,372 vertical feet with grades ranging from 6%-15%. Bringing our two-day total to 12,991 ft with 11 summits. It’s hard to explain the feeling when you have only gone 10 miles, your body aching from head to toe and your legs feel like they are on fire. The best part is that you know what is still ahead of you…. It starts with your feet. Cyclists call it “hot feet” when your pushing on the pedals so hard that they begin to feel numb and hot. It then creeps up to your calves and quads and hamstrings; never mind the fact that your knees hurt from riding everyday and your shin is literally tearing from the bone. Ya, today is “gut check day”. As you finally summit one mountain your mentality is crushed by the sight of another mountain just ahead. So you continue, one burning pedal after another. The grade is so steep that you can no longer sit in the saddle; you have to stand and “attack” the mountain. The bike shifts violently back and forth as your body twists in agony, and the pain only gets worse. Then you look down only to see the pavement crawl by, like honey out of a cold jar. You look down at your once black shorts and they are stained with salt, the sweat pours down your face into your eyes and down the frame of your bike. Only to meet another turn where this daunting task continues. Then your mind wanders and you suddenly feel yourself doing things you don’t normally do or thinking of obscure things. I have heard cyclists describe this when you’re completely exhausted; you have maxed out your lactic threshold and you might be in heat exhaustion. I think it’s just because you want to think of anything else besides that mountain ahead. But you keep on pushing; the motivation feels far away, but you keep on pedaling. It’s a lonely feeling where it is just you, the bike, and what seems like endless feet of pavement. Yet you keep on pushing one stroke after another until finally you have reached your mark. We may not know a whole lot about life and the struggles of raising a family and providing for them, but today I would like to think that we became men just a little more; something no one can take away. So I ask you, what is your mountain? What is something in your life you have been avoiding or putting off making excuses? Maybe it’s a physical goal, or a spiritual matter, or a relationship that needs mending. When will it be time to “get on your bike and push over that mountain?” Was it hard? The most physically demanding 2 days of my life. But I would not go back and change it for anything. Of course we couldn’t have done it alone, the strength from Christ is the sole reason we have made it this far. But today was “gut check day” and we took it head on and overcame. Take on that mountain, and overcome. There is no better day than today to start that climb and when you get to the top you know its done and you can have that feeling forever.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 45: We climbed 7,619 vertical feet....Yikes.

Today's ride was most definitely our number one hardest day. We have had tough days (the Arrowhead pass, the winds of AZ), but nothing can compete with today's climb of the Appalachian Mountains. Oh yeah, we made it to our 11th state.....Maryland! We thought it was never going to end. When we came to our lunch stop for the day, we were spent (the first half of our day was only 30 miles...and we had 30 more to go). We rested our legs and ate delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Gagné started cracking up, "I don't want to ride any more." Neither did the rest of us, but we slowly made our way back on the bikes. The second half was worse than the first. Nate also claimed today as being the most difficult driving day as it was extremely stressful. It's just been an exhausting day for the whole crew and we're looking forward to resting, eating, sleeping, and gearing up for....NEW YORK!!! Woo woo!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 44 - Tail Mix

hey bloggers. can you believe it. 44 days down. With only 1, thats right you read it correctly, 1 week left! We are starting to see the light at the end of what has been an incredible tunnel. Todays mileage wasnt as long as we had anticipated so we were able to get a little bit of a sleep in, setting our alarms for 9:30. Like many of the days have been, we did not get on the road until later than we plan, but it was okay for today because todays trip wasnt too lengthy. We had heard from Maureen Cunningham of South Hills Country Club that there was a nearby bike trail. Also, thank you Maureen for the Gatorades. Gatorade: is it in Team Connect For The CURE? Yes. Here are some clips of todays bike trail through the beautiful terrain of Pennsylvania.







Tonight we are staying at an RV Park right on the river. We had to hop in of course. Tomorrow, we have heard from many locals, should be very strenuous as we will climb a pretty nasty pass. But hey, we're stoked that its one step closer to seeing our loved ones and lady liberty that'll be waiting for us in NYC.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 43: At least I could say, "I didn't stop!"

So.....when we said that 10%-12% inclines were tough yesterday. We were wrong. It was another tough day for Team CURE. Our 92 mile trip took about 6 hrs, traveling through 2 states, and we burned over 7,000 calories. It was physically, mentally, metaphorically, spiritually, figuratively, emotionally, and unanimously taxing. Throughout the day we were continuously hit hard with hill after hill, some even had a 20% grade incline. Every time we turned a corner, there was another one waiting for us. We were drained and Nate was bored. However, we did see some really great things: I, Christian Gagné, passed the 3000 mile mark on my bike (see photo), we went through West Virginia (Voted new worst state because of all the middle fingers we got), and reached our destination in Pittsburgh, PA. Enjoy all of the photos courtesy of Nat Sanchez!

Connect for the CURE would like to give a special thanks to Ed Zurich from the Pittsburgh Red Robin for helping us out by keeping our expenses low and our stomachs full. We would also like to say thank you to Chelsea, Kaitlyn, & Lauren from Chick-fil-a for their unexpected donations and being so kind towards Matt & Nate.









Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 42: Oh, Hi…oh.

Today marked the beginning of our most consecutive 100 mile days before our final stretch to New York City. Our goal is to hit Washington, D.C this Friday the 23rd, so we are gonna be busting our butts (and Nate's driving foot) across West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland to keep on schedule! Pray for a tailwind and pray so that other drivers can see Nate's blinker as he tries to merge into an open lane.

We started out from Columbus and we slowly, but surely made our way to New Philadelphia, Ohio! Again, whoever said the Midwest is flat was obviously driving in a car along the interstate. We rode up some epic climbs today all throughout Eastern Ohio. It was extremely beautiful scenery, wide open spaces, 10%-12% grade climbs complete with Amish horse and buggies cruisin' around. The midwest has a lot of similar traits in the majority of its states (i.e. corn, farmland, cows, horses, barns, etc.), however, each one possesses it's own individual beauty and qualities that separate one another from it's neighbor. It was a tough day physically, but God has presented His handiwork in everything that we see around us. On a side note, the midwest also has crazy dogs that try to chase after us and kill us (See short clip).

We will strive to press on through these last final days, but we can also remain in awe of the creation that we see everyday, the once in a lifetime opportunity that has been presented to us, the support from family, loved ones, and even strangers.

P.S. We found our missing link in our license plate hunt! We had been looking all over the motor home for weeks and had finally come to the conclusion that we must have thrown out our Nevada license plate, but much to our surprise……IT WAS UNDER THE SINK!! Gagné found it and was dubbed as best license plate finder ever.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 42: Rest Day in Columbus!




We can't believe it, we are only about 10 days away from NYC!!! This trip has been long, but it sure has flown by. Anyway...let's focus on our day in Columbus, OH. Last night my (Matt's) Japanese friend Yuta who lives in Indiana drove over three hours yesterday to share dinner and to hang out with us for the first part of the day. Thanks Yuta for spending time with us and for buying us dinner. Anyway...after dinner last night we came back to our hotel room at The Westin where we stayed up pretty late. Because of that we slept in til 10AM. Yuta swung by the hotel to pick us up for a late breakfast/lunch/brunch (whatever you want to call it). Driving through town we saw a convention center which had a food court, so we decided to eat there. Even though it was Sunday we had trouble finding a parking spot. There weren't very many people in town, and there was a lot of parking, but most of it was RESTRICTED/PERMIT ONLY, so we ended up walking a few blocks (oh well, we need the exercise - NOT!). After lunch, Christian, Nate, and Ryan went to CVS while I (Matt) ran a few errands with Yuta. When I (Matt) came back to the hotel, we all said our goodbyes to Yuta - he has something called a job that he has to attend to tomorrow and he needed to make his 3+ hour drive back to Indiana. For a good part of the day we hung out in the hotel room to rest (one of the few rest days where we actually rested - which is good). A huge storm came in where the rain was literally blowing side ways (I'm from California...not really used to stuff like that). We later went out to dinner at this little burger joint called the Thurman Cafe (Nate claims that the Thurman-ator was the BEST burger he has ever tasted. "It was indescribably amazing" - Nate). While we were waiting (there was an hour and a half wait on a Sunday - popular little place), another thunderstorm rolled in. It was pouring like crazy. Back to the Thurman-ator...here's the breakdown - The Scene: bun, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, hot pepper, 12 oz burger, bacon, cheddar, another 12 oz burger, sauteed onion, ham, american and provolone cheese, top bun and served with fries. Don't worry folks, Christian shared with Nate. The Thurman-ator was actually on Man V. Food which is this Travel Channel show where Adam Richman (a food enthusiast) travels the country in search of eating challenges. The Thurman-ator was one of his challenges which brought us to the Thurman Cafe in the first place being that it was located in Columbus, Ohio. Awesome place. We made our way back to the hotel, and here we are...oh, by the way, more storms tomorrow...thanks for your prayers. Goodnight!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Love Hurts Dance Video

See the video on the actual website (connectforthecure.net) under the blog tab for the full 720p HD version. Yeah thats right you heard it here first we're giving you options. Hope you enjoy the video as much as we did making it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 41: Ride with us




Hey ya'll. Today we started early, waking up at 7am in our room at the Hampton Inn in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. We had our continental breakfast, got ready and headed out for today's trek. We met up with a Type 1 diabetic and avid cyclist, David Berkimer (The first Diabetic to ride with us!), and his dad Tom (Bob) Berkimer. Tom followed Nate to our destination so that David could get a ride back. We first met David in Nebraska when we were eating dinner at the Whiskey Creek Wood Fire Grill. When we were about to leave the restaurant, Ryan couldn't help but notice that David was wearing an insulin pump while he was eating with his family. We introduced ourselves and told him what we were doing. He was very interested, and we found out that he had done many fundraiser rides with the Juvenile Diabetes Relief Foundation (aka the JDRF). He kept in contact with us for about a week and then he decided to ride with us...awesome!



Our ride was very enjoyable today...it's great to have more company on the road. David joined us from Ft. Wayne, Indiana to Lima, Ohio. Nate wasn't left alone either. He was able to hang out with Bob which was awesome too. We stopped at another park to have lunch (Nate does a great job with our lunches...thanks Nate) and then hit the road some more. After our ride, we took a few more photos with David and Bob and we said our goodbyes. We want to thank David and Bob for donating and for spending the day with us. We then headed to a college campus where we filmed another video. Nate is now editing...so be prepared for another great one in tomorrow's blog...this next one is going to be funny.




Oh yeah, we made it to our ninth state!. (we be cruisin')

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 40: Rain and some great Hoosiers

Today Team Connect for the CURE was greeted by some rain, but at the best possible time. Christian had broken a spoke on his back wheel so we had to pull over and check it out. After the inspection of the rim, we could see a giant storm comin' directly at us and fast! So we walked over to a Church of Latter Day Saints that happened to be on the corner and took shelter before the storm even started. Nate then picked us up to get the rear wheel to a nearby bike shop called Summit City Bicycles where Mason hooked us up with the repairs and some much needed supplies. After the shop, we made a pit stop at Red Robin where the manager Juan completely comped our meal and even gave us a gift card to use at another location when we get hungry again! As we were talking with Juan about the adventures that we've had so far, a family sitting across from us overheard what we were doing and wanted to help out! Thanks Feldman family for the support, we truly appreciate it!

We would like to thank everyone who has been able to help us out financially, spirituality, etc. We know that right now is very difficult time for some people, families, businesses and we would just like to say Thank you all again for being a part of Connect for the CURE!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chi-Town

As promised, here is our Chicago Rest Day video. Ryan, Nathan, Christian, and Matt would like to give The Granitz Family a huge (as huge as the Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower) thank you for taking the time and energy to show us around the city. If it weren't for you four we would not have had nearly the same Chicago experience as if we went ourselves. You made us feel like instant family and gave us all a day we will never forget and we owe it to you Granitz Family. God has much in store for you all as you love on others without seeking anything in return. Love you guys.



Day 39: Oh you in Indiana, huh?

We've hit our 9th state! Can you believe it! We've already gone through Chicago (Chi-city, Chi-town, The Windy City) and now we're in Plymouth, Indiana! Before we hopped on our bikes, we we're treated to a delicious breakfast by Pastor Trudy and Tony from the Prince of Peace Lutheren Church in Woodridge, IL. Tony is a church member and avid cyclist, and both we're extremely excited to hear all of our adventures and stories from the road. After our meal, Pastor Trudy also reminded us of the story of the Good Samaritan, gave us communion, and blessed us with oil before we started out on the day's trek towards Indiana.

We ran into more extremely rough roads, more flat tires, and I'm almost positive that the drivers of Indiana love us so much that they just want to get as close as they possibly can! They've also told us that we're "Number 1" in their lives (aka the middle finger) on many occasions. So yea, we love Indiana so far as you can tell....Oh we also are now on the Eastern Time Zone so we lost an hour! That means we need to get our sleep on right now!

We love and miss all of you back home! Your thoughts and prayers have truly encouraged us throughout this trip. We recognize that we could not do this alone, and we just want to thank all of you for stickin' with us! Goodnight!



Christian and Matt in Indiana



8th State with Ryan



Indiana!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 38: Video Soon....promise. =)

Day 38: video blog from Chicago on its way. I (nate) forgot my camera at the famous Gino's East Pizza which was the best pizza i've ever had by the way! Chicago style pizza can only be produced in Chicago! anyway we're picking it up tomorrow. then, and only then will you get to experience with us what we did on our Rest Day in Chi-Town! we thank you for your patience as we will take care of this problem very rapido. Ive learned through this little incident not only to remember to hold on to my camera for dear life but also when things dont go according to plan sometimes we have to go with the flow. as mcjagger says, "you cant always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find that you get what you need." and our NEEDS as a team are doin' a-okay. we thank God for our health, guidance in direction, no serious injuries, nourishment, and we are all becoming even greater friends. things are good here for Team Connect For The CURE. videos and pictures will be up and running manana (tomorrow). Good night to all of you bloggers, and welcome to anyone who's first time this might be.

Made it to Chi Town...barely.

Day 37: Matt found his long lost cousin

Made it to Chicago....barely. We woke up this morning at the Comfort Suites in Rochelle, IL and treated ourselves to the usual continental breakfast. We got ready to ride (like we do every morning), and headed for Chicago! Once again, we were expecting rain, but once again, we couldn't find any. We have had such great luck with the weather. We were planning on riding through the city, but were informed that things could get pretty hectic, especially with the "support car," so we decided to ride to the western suburb of Wheaton where we met up with Kelly Schmidt and her parents. They made us some tasty bbq that bedazzled every one of the taste buds that sat upon our tongues. Thank you Schmidt Family for your hospitality and making us feel at home, even all the way in Illinois. We then headed down to the southwestern city of Woodridge where we met up with Bob at The Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. We would like to thank Charlene Mirkiani and The Prince of Peace Lutheran Church for hosting us for our stay in the Windy City. Adam (Matt's 2nd cousin – Charlene’s son), met up with us at the Church and took us to this tasty pizza place called Home Run Inn in Darien for a late night snack...thanks Adam!!! Well..that pretty much sums up our day. Hope everyone is doing well. Have a wonderful morning.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 36: Illinois Baby!!!!



Hey Connect for the CURE bloggers! We made it to state number 7, ILLINOIS!!! Our day started out as we crossed the famous Mississippi River and waved goodbye to Hawkeye State (Iowa). Our team then faced some more technical difficulties 10 miles into the trip with a broken spoke on Ryan's bike. After we got everything squared away, we hit the open road again and much to our surprise....WE FOUND AN ILLINOIS LICENSE PLATE!!! Yesss!!! We're just so pumped to find the plates because they will always be a reminder of what we did, what we rode for, and the experiences that we all shared along the way!

We also met a great couple named Kyle and Anne Lorenz from the city of Dixon, IL. As we were stopped on the side of the road for our lunch break, Kyle noticed our signs on the side of the motor home and wanted to get the scoop on what we are doing. He offered us water and even friendship cake that his wife made (which was so delicious that we ate the whole thing at lunch)! Their hospitality and kindness made a lasting impression and encouraged us to extend that hospitality to others that we meet. Thanks Lorenz family!!!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 35: Day after trim.

Day 35: We began our morning with a little 60 mile ride from Iowa City to the town of Davenport, IA. Though it was only 60 miles total, it was the first time this trip that we had completed the full mileage in one shot! It was pretty difficult, but we made sure to fill our jersey pockets with gels, bars and as much water as we could carry! The plan worked out great because it allowed Nate to have some free time and for us to focus on getting to the Best Western as quickly as possible....and I mean quick! We were flying, averaging 19.1 mph with cross-winds and various small climbs.

Tomorrow we look forward to crossing the Mississippi River as we move into our 7th state of Illinois!!!

Now to describe the pictures below:

1) Here is Nate after cleaning up his beard. Looking like he was made for the summer and the open road! Great look Nate!


2) Here is Monsieur Gagné with a fantastic looking curly mustache! With most of the beard gone....you can actually see his neck! Way to go Gags!!!




3) In our efforts to find license plates from all of the states along our route, we have given up on scouring the roads in search for those missing links....so instead....WE JUST STARTED ASKING PEOPLE FOR THEIR PLATES!!!

So thank you to Dylan Martinez for donating his Iowa plate to us! Thanks Dylan!





Friday, July 9, 2010

BACK TO THE CENTURIES!!!

Day 34: After enjoying the 80 – 90 mile rides through Nebraska we set out today at 6 am to ride a century (100 miles), from Des Moines to Iowa City. We are getting much stronger as a team. Our overall average speed is increasing and our mapping is also improving. We are still fighting off some minor wear and tear on our bodies but are still riding strong. Today we rode 100 miles in five hours and 15 minutes with only two stops. We burned 7,000 calories today!!!!! But made up for it at The Olive Garden where we got $20 off our meal. After dinner we somberly strolled into our great hotel, the Comfort Suites. The team wants to give a special thanks to Jason Richardson a recent graduate of APU (Business Marketing Major). Jason was apart of the sales class that helped us with our project. He has gone above and beyond what was expected in class. Almost all the hotels we are staying at are because of his great work. He is actually still working closely with us on hotels and more. He would be a great asset to any company and we are thankful to have him continuously work with us. Thanks Jason! Once we walked into the Comfort Suites we were met with a great surprise Thank You also to Marc and Clay for their casting in the video…. Enjoy the video y'all.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 33: Iowaaaaaaaaa

Check this out! Enjoy Connect for the CURE fans!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 32: Hometown Iowa




Day 32: Matt's writing this one. You know what to expect.


Today was a great day of riding for the CURE. Weather conditions couldn't have been better. We woke up at the lovely A-ford-O Motel around 8AM and quickly got ready. We then found ourselves back on the road again looking forward to more thunderstorms. It wasn't long before we ran into more GPS problems (the GPS had taken us to a dirt road). With a quick fix of the GPS we were on our way again. We had the privilege to view more of the Iowa countryside (more corn - more hills - with the occasional herd of cow). About a half an hour into our ride we looked up at some pretty dark clouds. Thinking it was going to pour anytime we booked it. We couldn't believe it, we missed the scattered T-storms. Today we arrived at Des Moines, Iowa to meet up with Nate's family. So back to the weather…it was overcast, making it much cooler than if the sun was out. It didn't rain, however, it was humid (but in Iowa, you can't beat the humidity). We arrived at Nate's cousin Dylan's house where we caught up with the Tour de France, Stage Four. The Martinez Family later treated us to a tasty steak dinner at an old town gem, The Open Flame (where we met more of the Martinez family). We got to pick out our steaks and cook them ourselves on the "open flame." We are now home just chillin and watchin t.v. It's chill time. Good night everyone!





Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 31: Whoever said the Midwest was flat....is a liar.




We made it to Iowa!!! Our sixth state covered in our epic journey! We started out this morning in Omaha on what we expected to be a fairly flat ride...Little did we know, we ended up smack dab in the middle of a giant set of never-ending rolling hills. I'm talkin' about the kind that makes your crankset squeek. The kind that makes your shin-splints ache. The kind that make your support car driver wonder how the rest of his team is doing....that kind.

Just kidding. It wasn't all that bad, it just was not what we had expected the Midwest to look like. Be that as it may, we continued our day in Atlantic, IA home of the CJ's "Cy Hawk" award winning burger and chili! It was hands down the best burger that Nate has ever had (excluding the DAM burger in Page, AZ). And believe Nate, He knows a thing or two about burgers! He worked at In-N-Out for over 2 years! That's right...that long.

To top off our day, we have just been relaxing at the A-Ford-O Motel. Our room was donated to us by a very kind and generous lady named Rita Ford. Thanks Rita! Oh yea, and also thanks for helping us with a spare key when we locked ourselves out (and by we, I mean Matt).

Stay tuned for our photo of the Iowa state sign as we did not see it entering the state today.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 29: Independence Day

Day 29: Independence Day

Today was an extremely difficult day! We rode about 70 miles….all of them being in the rain. Our crew started out in the city of Sutton, NE which consists of a Subway…and that's about it. We greeted the rainy day with a Connect for the CURE rendition of Francis Scott Keys' "The Star-Spangled Banner!" (See video below) After being pumped up on Freedom, we headed on our way deep into the heartland of America and arriving at our destination of Lincoln, NE which is the state's capitol.

We were fortunate enough to find a place to stay here with some of Nate's family connections! They made us a delicious smorgasbord of sweet corn, potato salad, pork & beans, and BBQ spare ribs! Yum…I know believe me. I'm stuffed. After dinner, we were treated to a block-party-fireworks-bonanza by the locals! (See video) It was a great way to wind down the evening. Goodnight to all of you who are following us, but we gots to watch the Tour de France before we hit the hay! You think we would be sick of cycling by now!

We miss you and love you….and HAPPY 4TH!!!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 28:




Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 27: Rest Day - Ezaki Shout Out

Thank You to the Ezaki Family for your prayers, love, and support. We love you all.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 26.

Day 26: Stay tuned for next blog tomorrow. We are still getting adjusted to the time change. video in progress.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 25: Farmland Nebraska

Day 25:
We started off the day with our earliest start of the trip as we woke up at 6am and were on the road by 7:45am. Getting the early start ended up working out better than planned, as we lost yet another hour coming into Nebraska. It has been an amazing trip thus far and seeing God work through the people we have come across on our journey. Yesterday we were able to have a RV park donated to us through Hitch 'N Post Campgrounds. Today Christian got us a sweet hookup (see video attached) in Culbert, NE. A special thank you to Hitch N Post campgrounds and Ted Rippen for so kindly making us feel at home. side-note: Gagne came up on his first flat (tire) since California. Anywho, we're all super stoked to get into Nebraska as we end the month. Also, just right now as Nate was taking pictures of the countryside he almost got eaten alive by a snake! (just kidding about the eaten alive part)...not kidding about the bitten by a snake part. This is just day 1 of Nebraska. any more adventures and stories to come...stay tuned folks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Look Ma, No Hands!

Day 24: A relatively uneventful day lead to the making of our video as we got into Wray, CO fairly early. Hey, sometimes no news is good news (means no day 2 crash). Tomorrow we are scheduled to get into Nebraska. Enjoy the video, as we love making these videos for y'all.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 23: To Grandmothers House We Go!!!

Day 23: To Grandmothers House We Go!!!

We started our day at 7:30 with an amazing breakfast prepared by Margret Tom. As we left Denver and set out for Fort Morgan, Colorado, the scenery quickly changed from Mountains to plains and rolling hills. Today we burned just over 5,000 calories according to our new GPS system. We are hoping that it will help us not get lost so often. Day 1 with GPS = successful! As we arrived in Fort Morgan we were met by Garrett Lebsock’s grandmother, Elsie Naill. We quickly made up for those calories lost during the ride. It was clear that we had not been on the bike for a few days because all of our butts are sore, even Nate’s. If you haven’t heard the story of Garrett and his wife Kelly your in for a treat. I have known Garrett for over 2 years and Christian has known him for even longer. I first met Garrett on the baseball field at APU. I could tell immediately that he was one of those great friends and just a great person to know. Garrett’s wife Kelly is that same type of person. If you have noticed on the back of our jersey we have a Bible verse, Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good for in time we will reap if we do not give up”. To get a logo on the back of our Connect for the CURE jersey, we were accepting donations of $1000. About 2 months before we set off for New York City, Garrett and Kelly called me up and told me that they have been saving some money for over 3 months and wanted to donate. Needless to say, I was excited by the mere fact that this recently married young couple was interested in what we (Connect for the CURE) were doing and wanted to help. I was blown away when they told me that he wanted to donate enough money to get a verse on the back of our jersey!!! There is more.,, Garrett’s father had passed away recently to a long battle with cancer. Garrett and Kelly wanted to donate and have a verse put on our jersey in honor of Garrett’s father. To me it was extremely encouraging to see these two young people care so much about their father, our cause, and supporting their friends. Thank you Garrett, Kelly, Elsie and everyone else who has and continue to be apart of Connect for the CURE.









Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 22: A Day Through Matt's Eyes

Day 22:

7:15 am - woke up in my bed at the Kurica's
7:20 am - went upstairs
7:21 am - ate a bowl of Life while watching a couple of deer feed out in the front yard
7:33 am - walked downstairs
7:35 am - brushed my teeth while staring at Christian as he exited the bathroom
7:50 am - finished getting ready
8:01 am - ate a delicious breakfast(I ate twice) with the Kurica's(they made us eggs, bacon, and toast, yum)
8:20 am - hopped in the Kurica's Land Cruiser with Christian and Nate and headed for the Procycling parking lot
8:33 am - entered the Procycling parking lot
8:33 am - waited for Ryan to show up with the "support car"
8:34 am - Ryan showed up
8:57 am - got dressed and ready to go for the ride (quite a few people showed up to ride with us - awesome!)
9:14 am - met with our fellow riders and took a few pictures
9:28 am - said our final goodbyes to those we left in the Springs
9:41 am - started our ride (a little behind schedule)
9:46 am - a mile into the ride - first flat tire in CO (made the group wait)
9:52 am - fixed the problem and we were on our way again
10:10 am - about eight miles into the ride my rear hub was acting up
10:11 am - Larry stopped with me to try and fix the problem
10:13 am - didn't work
10:19 am - our "ride with us" people had to go (!dumb bike!!)
10:42 am - threw on the spare wheel and we were on our way again
10:43 am - really behind schedule - rode like the wind (during this time there was just a lot of riding...not a whole lot went on, so it jumps to 3:32)
3:32 pm - made it to Denver (Nate is a great driver...)
3:45 pm - made it to ABC 7 news station
3:51 pm - Ryan did a good job at the interview (YAY Ryan!)
4:02 pm - we rode a little to give the camera guy a few shots (footage of us riding)
4:13 pm - hopped in the "support car" and went to a local bike shop to get our bikes fixed
4:42 pm - went to the Toms (We want to thanks the Toms for opening up their home to us)
4:45 pm - took a shower in the steam shower room
5:00 pm - hung out with the crew by the t.v. to watch us on the channel 7, 5 0'clock news
5:41 pm - Nate and Christian talked on the phone with ladies
6:00 pm - many guests showed up including the Kuricas
6:15 pm - had a lovely dinner (pasta salad, cookies, chicken, appetizers, etc.)
9:30ish pm (I really don't know) - the guests left (had a wonderful time with them, sharing stories, touring the "support car")
9:25 pm - replaced another flat (don't know how that happened - mysterious) on my bike
9:45 pm - said bye to the remaining guest that were leaving
10:00 pm - went downstairs with Christian and Nate to relax (if there is any confusion we are still at the Toms) while Ryan was upstairs figuring out our new bike GPS!
10:12 pm - got ready for bed
11:37 pm - Good Night!

Thank You to all the riders that rode with us on our way to Denver. It was great having you there and truly appreciated to us.








Saturday, June 26, 2010

Last day in Colorado Springs: Going out with a bang!




Day: 21

Big day for Team Connect for the CURE. We got up around 8:30am had breakfast, then headed for the Pro cycling parking lot where we had our event. We would like to give a huge shout out to Bob Athey and Chris Pratts for roasting the pig (they began roasting at 2:30am...crazy!). Thank you guys we appreciate all the work put into making the pig taste like Christmas. The team set up with the help of the Rosenhahn's, Kurica's, and friends. We each had free demos done by Kelli Crosby at Synergy, a physical therapy place in the same parking lot. It was weird...she used this thing called trigger points where she stuck needles in our muscles. The muscles were twitching like crazy; it was the first time we had this done. Back to the event. The event was great. There was family, friends, and even people who came because they heard about the event from either the news, an email, or word of mouth. It was especially exciting to see a couple we met in Pagosa Springs hot springs attend the event we had invited them to many days in advance. And they won a helmet raffled off. woot woot! We were able to share conversations with our guests over great food and live music by Danny Yuan. Thanks Danny for coming out, the music was awesome. We want to thank all of you who came out and for supporting us. We will be riding from Colorado Springs to Denver tomorrow, so come out and ride with us...it's going to be a blast from the past!