Mile 2160: Spirit of America Ride for Hydrocephalus – Day 45 Recap

We concluded our short ride through the panhandle of Oklahoma. After cycling over 2100 miles in total, and we finally crossed the Colorado state line. Mark and Mary Bike Ride Reaches ColoradoWhen we launched this bike tour from Tampa, Florida on September 5, Denver seemed so very far away. As we get closer and closer to our destination, as the elevation gets steeper with every mile and the weather is reminding us (after many years in Florida) what Fall is really like, we can’t believe how quickly this adventure has gone by.


A Crazy Idea: 2500 Miles by Bike

The wheels that made this bike tour possibleIt doesn’t seem long ago that we casually tossed around the idea of just hopping on our bikes, leaving Florida behind, and heading off in search of new places and new experiences. We quickly realized the only thing stopping us was ourselves and thought “Why not?” From there, the Spirit of America Ride for Hydrocephalus seemed to take on a life of its own. Mark and Mary Bike Tour for HudrocephalusOnce we connected with Celsius and they expressed an interest in helping to make this happen, we discussed our desire with them to use this bike tour to support the work of the Hydrocephalus Association that has been so important to Mary’s family and has inspired her niece Madeleine so greatly. Once these pieces all fell into place, the next thing we knew, we were on the road.



Lessons Learned: Spend More on Tires, Leave Room for Celsius

I have mentioned numerous times before that, knowing what I know now, I would have invested in much better bike tires before leaving Florida. On the flat, smooth roads we were used to, there just didn’t seem to be reason to spend the extra for the upgraded tires like Vittoria bike tires. We soon learned why they cost more – they’re worth it!



Celsius Outrageous Orange On the Go sticksWhile we may have left Florida a little under prepared with the tires, we were fully prepared with Celsius Outrageous Orange On-the-Go Sticks  for the ride ahead. The sticks and powders were easy to pack and very convenient for cycling. When we started this trip, we liked drinking Celsius for extra energy and refreshment but, like our tires, we hadn’t yet really put Celsius to the test. After some rainy, windy, uphill rides, now we know what a lifesaver Celsius really is. Celsius is nice when you want a little extra endurance for a workout or a busy day. But, when you know you just cannot make it one more mile, Celsius is great! And we have definitely had a few of those days.

Celsius has also been very helpful as a bit of a lifeline when we were on the road with less than reliable cell and internet connections in some pretty remote places. Their team back in Florida has been a big help with this blog, keeping us connected, and keeping those following us up to date. Celsius has also served as a go-between sometimes with the Hydrocephalus Association and, I am confident speaking for them and for Mary and me to say that this is a great organization doing such important work.

All for a Purpose: Hydrocephalus

Mary and I had the great opportunity to meet with wonderful Hydrocephalus Association volunteers at Houston’s Inaugural Walk for Hydrocephalus. We began this journey supporting the association because it had made such an impact on Mary’s niece Madeleine but, after making this journey, we understand why she was so inspired. As we near the end of our bike tour and will soon head into the next phase of our adventure in Denver for the winter, we are moved by the courage and passion of those living with hydrocephalus every day and those working hard to raise awareness and support for research and programs to serve the hydrocephalus community. If you have not already, please consider supporting the important mission of the Hydrocephalus Association. Any donation that you make will go directly to them and, if you give through our donation website, Celsius will match your donation up to our first $3,000. Your support for our bike ride will count double and, together, we will help fund research, awareness, and patient support programs that will make a difference in lives of real people, like Madeleine, living with hydrocephalus.


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