PA IPL bike trip 2013.1: training and preparation

Bike Trip blog: 2013.1 

Our big trip is only five days away, and there’s still a lot to do. I’ve decided to start the blog early this year to give everyone a sense of the preparations that the six of us are undertaking. I’m the only veteran in the crowd, and I have to say that everything’s a bit easier than last year, since I now know most of the route and the places we will stay. The training is harder, though. 

Frankly, we’ve had trouble getting in training rides in between snowstorms here in Central PA. We did get together last week for a 30-mile ride, and our local paper wrote up a nice story, with pictures. You can read it here. Personally, I’m about a week behind my training regimen, but I did make it up Pine Grove Mills’ mountain (pictured above) on Saturday and now have a picture of the view to prove it. 

Donations have been pouring in from family and friends – almost $2,000 so far, which is great! Thanks to everyone who has responded to our appeal; we’re very humbled by your support. If you haven’t donated, there’s still time, and it’s tax deductible! We’re still quite a ways from our goal of $6,000, and we could use your support. Just click here

We have also received many letters from kids of all ages who have written to support 12-year-old Hannah, who is riding along on a tandem with her father, Jesse Ballenger. You can read Hannah’s letter here, and I’m including a few photos of submissions we’ve received. On Friday, April 5, the morning of the day we leave, Hannah will be visiting the pre-school at Grace Lutheran Church; the kids there have been making drawings to send along and are excited for the chance to talk with her. 

Grace is also the site for our send-off. If you’re in State College, please come join us at 4 p.m. You can even ride a few miles with us. If you can’t join us, please say a prayer. It’s a long trip and we hope to all make it in one piece! 

More from our first stop, 
Jon (Andy, Dave, Hannah, Jesse and Ray)