October 28, 2008
I am finishing up my visit here in Amarillo, TX after having spent two nights at the Civic Center Inn and giving a slide show at the Amarillo Central Library. The turnout was modest, but among the attendees was a photographer from the Amarillo Globe News – check www.amarillo.com during the next couple of days where you will hopefully be able to see photos from the slideshow. Amarillo, as it turns out, has a good-sized cycling community, although STWF is still working against short lead times running up to our presentations, so we had a hard time getting the word out to local cyclists. Going forward, these kinks will hopefully be ironed out! Oklahoma City cycling clubs have already been alerted about our Nov. 3 slideshow at Bicycle Alley. I had some great experiences in Amarillo, which included visiting the Ground Café coffee shop – so-named I presume because it`s on the ground floor of Amarillo`s tallest building, the Chase building (and b/x the coffee is ground of course) – and chatting for a long time with its owners, Kimberly and Kevin. They have been in Amarillo for a long time, and are themselves cyclists. In addition to providing some great info about the journey ahead of me into Oklahoma, they posted flyers for the STW slideshow in their shop and treated me to some delicious food from the Café!
Check out their website, and visit the coffee shop if you`re in town. Look below to see some photos of the Amarillo skyline, of the Amarillo Central Library where we had our slideshow, and of the Amarillo Globe News which publicized the event.
October 25, 2008
I am now in Canyon, Texas only a short twenty miles from Amarillo where we will have our second slide show of the Seize The World tour! The riding up to this point has been fabulous with few hiccups/technical difficulties etc. I have (hopefully) dealt with the problem I was having with flat tires during the days leading to Santa Fe by installing new tires before leaving there. I now have 700x28c Specialized Armadillo tires on the bike which are bigger and which have a layer of (kevlar?) armor to resist punctures. The larger size will hopefully reduce the number of pinch flats I get on the road… I did hit a piece of metal on the road today (*hard*) and did not flat, and have pulled many goat heads (thorns) out of the tires without flatting, so I feel as though the change has been worthwhile so far…
Here’s the daily log of what`s been going on!
Total Mileage up to this point: About 660.
10/21: Slideshow at Bike-n-Sport in Santa Fe went really well! There was a small but enthusiastic turn out of people who had, despite publicity difficulties (i.e. the event was organized last-minute, we did not get publicity from the Santa Fe New Mexican, and otherwise just had a difficult time getting the word out) managed to find out about the slideshow by word of mouth, and by seeing the flyers that had been posted in the shop. I managed to set up the projector and screen that Bike-n-Sport lent me, and come 6:15 p.m. had the slide show running. I showed pictures of the ride from Telluride to Santa Fe, and we discussed what it`s like to live on the road, what it`s like to ride through the areas between the two towns, and what some of my experiences were during the first week on tour. Also, I talked about the Seize The World Foundation: what we`re trying to do, and how we are set up to operate (board of directors running publicity, me running around between events!) The Santa Fe show was, all things considered, a great success! Thanks go out to Tony and Cheryl at NM Bike-n-Sport for their help with the event and for their support for Seize The World!
10/22: Ride from Santa Fe, NM to Clines Corners, NM. The coldest day of the trip…I wore all of my layers except for my down jacket while riding on this day, and managed to stay kind of warm. There was a constant crosswind during the ride which was probably running at about 15-25mph to keep things brisk… I was very happy when the manager (or maybe it was just some guy?) at the Clines Corners Shell station told me that I could pitch my tent right in the grass outside the station…
10/23: Ride from Clines Corners, NM to Ft. Sumner, NM. My first century of the trip! This was about 105-110 miles (my computer got reset accidentally…) of very beautiful, very straight riding. I had a constant tail wind of about 20-30mph from the start – which was at about 9:30 a.m. until the end – which was at about 6:00p.m. Something interesting that would happen is that whenever I stopped to eat or rest, I would freeze in the whipping wind and huddle for cover behind my panniers until I got back on the bike and sped up to 25-30 mph at which point the air was still again and it actually felt hot outside…an interesting phenomenon! This was the easiest, most pleasant century I`ve ever ridden… 3000 feet (I think) of elevation loss and powerful tailwind the whole way! This was just one of those days where I didn`t want to stop riding – I did not plan to ride all the way to Ft. Sumner, but I just kept going at the end of the day because I had plenty of light, plenty of energy, and plenty of wind. Fabulous riding! The video below is also worth a look! It makes reference to Ft. Sumner, TX – although Ft. Sumner is actually in NM!! Oops…
10/24, 10/25: Ride from Ft. Sumner, NM to Clovis, NM, Ride from Clovis, NM to Canyon, TX.
Not as many miles as the previous day, but more strenuous…crosswinds and headwinds this day… I did have the pleasure of watching two F-16s (Most-likely from nearby Cannon AFB just-outside Clovis) perform maneuvers in the desert along my route for about 15 minutes. They flew the same pattern over and over and over which involved banking low over the highway, then descending toward the desert, then climbing up over some mountains, then returning to do it over again. Pretty awesome… I arrived in Clovis to Walgreens pharmacy where I waited for just over two hours for a prescription of seizure medication that they had failed to transfer earlier that day from City Market in Montrose… It was good people watching, and interesting to watch the busiest pharmacy I`d ever seen in operation (LOTS of prescriptions get filled (or don`t get filled ;-) ) at the Clovis Walgreens. I finally got my medicine, then rolled over to IHOP, had breakfast (unlimited pancakes!!) did some work on the computer, and then began riding E out of town in the dark while I listened to Moby on my iPod. This was an interesting experience…the end of the day found me sleeping on top of my tent next to a corn field about 2 miles S of highway 60 E of Clovis. I woke with the sun, loaded my bike, and had a nice conversation with a man named Pete who works on the farm – he has a beard that goes to his belt, and we talked about life in Clovis, touring, and farm equipment. Once we had said all there was to say about those things, I put my hood on (I was wearing the down jacket still – cold mornings every day!) rode back to highway 60, and began riding toward Amarillo.
I did not make it all the way to Amarillo on 10/25 as I had hoped, but I made it as far as Canyon which is about 20-miles short of the mark.
That is where I am typing this blog entry right now – at Hastings Coffee shop. One of at least two free wireless hotspots in town (the other being McDonalds). Both are close to West Texas A&M which is right across the street, and presumably that`s why they offer WiFi – for college students. I am camped tonight at an RV park with nice grass, friendly camphosts, and nice views of the local grain elevator. If there is one thing that`s made an impression on me about Highway 60 through Eastern NM and through West Texas it`s grain elevators – they are massive, they are mysterious, and they are copious. There seems to be a gigantic elevator along the train tracks (that`s another thing about this stretch of highway that is massive, mysterious and copious – Freight Trains) / highway here about every 5-10 miles. I`ll try to learn a little bit more about the grain elevators and post about them when I do – for now, all I can say is that I suppose that they are where all of the grain from the surrounding farms gets stored until being shipped out by rail or road to the rest of the world. But still – there is a LOT of capacity out here!
Tomorrow will be the second slide show of the tour. Ian – one of the directors of STWF – has lined up a presentation at the Amarillo Central Library at 5p.m. I look forward to the show, and have some excellent new pictures of the ride through NM and TX. Spread the word!
October 21, 2008
Finally! The first update from the road! First off – Slide show today (Oct. 21) @ 6p.m. in Santa Fe at New Mexico Bike ‘n Sport. Next: Slide Show #2 on Sunday, Oct. 26 in Amarillo, TX at the Amarillo Central Library at 5p.m. Check these out if you are able!! It has been difficult to find time and places to access the internet during my first few days of riding through Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico, but rest assured, updates will be more-frequent in the future.
The ride so far has been characterized by great people, beautiful weather, classic CO scenery, the beginnings of some desert landscapes, and many many many flat tires. 700×25 tires are just not big enough for loaded touring – at least not for the load I`m carrying! The tires get punctured frequently, then when I patch them or replace tubes it is nearly impossible to get the tires to full pressure (120 psi) and then as soon as I hit any kind of bump/curb/rock etc. I get a pinch flat. This problem began on Sunday in Chama, NM when I began to walk my bike out of camp at 7:30 a.m. to get on the road only to realize that the rear tire was flat…that was the first of 4 flat tires that day. Yesterday I dealt with three more flats. Yes – seven flat tires in two days. The solution will – hopefully – be to install 700x28c Specialized Armadillo tires which will not puncture as easily and which will have more volume so as not to pinch flat so easily.
On the bright side, I have met some fantastic people. Day one of the tour, which began in Telluride, was a wonderful experience in the sense that I was accompanied by many friends both at the courthouse for coffee and donuts and then on the ride out of town. Two of them, JuJu and David rode with me to Rico and beyond. JuJu treated us to a delicious lunch at the Rico coffee shack (don`t know the official name) before heading back home, and was kind enough to donate a pair of Ortlieb panniers to the Seize The World bike ride which have been coming very-much in handy! Then David and I actually camped along the Dolores river together on night one. It was great to be able to get to know David a little bit before he took off on his own tour out to Death Valley. Once the last of my Telluride companions left me at the turn to Mancos, I really felt as though I was on the road. I put in my headphones, and started pedaling steadily for Durango. The fourty miles between Dolores and Durango were wonderful – hilly, beautiful, fast, full of sweat and great music. Once I arrived, I met my friend Dell who let me stay at his apartment for the night.
The stay in Durango was a great time – I got to meet Dell`s roommate Joe Ben, Joe Ben`s girlfriend Holly, and their kitten (Pumpkin). We spent a great night drinking beer, eating pizza and watching Saturday Night Live DVDs. I woke up in time to make it to the Durango Herald for a 9a.m. interview before hitting the road again for Pagosa Springs. The section of highway between Durango and Pagosa was actually one of the more sketchy bits of road that I`ve experienced – lots of traffic, no shoulder, big pickup trucks, dump trucks, semis. This is all too bad because the scenery is actually very beautiful. I arrived in Pagosa and made a somewhat wild camp – I just wandered into the forest a few miles outside of town and pitched the tent. All worked out well, and I had a nice fire while I chatted on the phone with friends and family. The following morning saw me rolling down one of the most beautiful descents in Colorado – the hill that goes E into Pagosa is spectacular – long, steady, fast, great pavement, wonderful riding! I rolled into town and had a $10 breakfast at the Elk Horn – David mentioned that if there`s one meal to eat out while on tour that breakfast is the way to go. I tend to agree! I looked forward to what should be a short (45mi.) day to Chama.
The ride from Pagosa to Chama somehow dragged on and on, but it seems to be the case that the last hour of the day brings my second wind, as well as an appreciation of the scenery. This was, fortunately, the case with the ride to Chama as well. The scenery on this segment is the most amazing scenery of the tour between Telluride and Santa Fe. Some might say that such a statement might be like comparing apples and oranges – although those people should also be told that oranges are better! In all seriousness though, on this particular ride, the stretch between Pagosa Springs and Chama made the strongest impression on me in terms of scenery. Perhaps I`ll ride this tour again in 20 years and feel differently, but in the mean time, I highly recommend that you all take a look at the wide green valleys between Pagosa and Chama as soon as you get the chance!
Chama to Espanola to Santa Fe?? Lots of flat tires…all the time. I don`t even like thinking about it really! I am going to purchase new tires today and – hopefully – be done dealing with flats for a while. But it`s been insane for the past 2 days. I have never dealt with this volume of flat tires! Enough said there – the riding is beautiful, there`s quite a bit of traffic, but there`s also a good deal of shoulder for most of the way, so it`s never very stressful.
Please let me know what else you would like to see from these updates in terms of information included/left out, photos, video content, etc.! I want the blog to be as compelling as possible, so please send feedback! Check back soon for a report – and possibly a clip / photograph – of the first slide show.
October 12, 2008
The fundraiser last night was EXCELLENT!! After so much work, preparation, and excitement leading up to the event, I am so happy to have seen all of you who made it to last night’s show! The food was delicious (Thanks Fat Alley!) the drinks flowed freely, and we were able to maintain good spirits through the first bit of adversity that nature dished out on during this venture. During the fundraiser we had about 45 minutes to an hour of darkness in the Bubble Lounge while we dealt with a power-outage. Troy and Kelly, who own and operate the venue, were quick to light candles, and if I didn’t know better I might not have known that it was almost totally dark inside the Bubble Lounge for nearly an hour. Despite plans to give a slide show on a screen (lent generously by my friend Dean, and set up by another friend Rob) with dimensions of 6 feet by 8 feet or so, we decided to simply do the show on my laptop in light – or lack thereof – of the circumstances. People gathered around, I maxed the volume on the laptop, spoke as loudly as I could over the din, and told people about my experiences touring up the coast of Callifornia two years ago and about my plans for the upcoming Seize The World tour. Shortly thereafter, we raffled off our door prizes which had been generously donated by Paragon Ski & Sport and the Nugget Theatre. That was a fun 15 minutes of craziness during which many people won a fun prize (or two in some cases where members of couples each won a prize!) In retrospect, the power outage seems as though it may have been a good thing – it gave people a sense of the nature of Seize The World and the idea that one of the important factors we will be dealing with during the journey is nature (rain, snow, dark, etc.). A question I answered was, “Stephen, what will you do on nights like this?” my answer was, “You mean, nights hanging out at the bars having drinks with friends?” the response – “No – I mean nights when it’s cold, raining, snowing and dark…” So in that sense, the loss of power made the fundraiser a memorable, fun time . . . Moving along, once the slide show was over, we just started hoping that the electricity would return so that Neshamah, the folk/world music trio which had traveled from Denver to perform in support of the event, could plug in and start giving the crowd some incredible music. My friend Rob decided to remedy the situation by going to retrieve his generator which would, hopefully, be sufficiently powerful to run the band. Just as he returned with the generator, electricity returned, Neshamah plugged in, and we listened to some amazing songs. I’ll post a photo or two of the evening in the next day or two. It was an exciting night for me, having been my first time working as an event planner. I was thrilled to see everyone who came out in support of the bicycle ride. We were tremendously successful from fundraising, publicity, and sheer good times points of view. Thanks again to all of you who made it out and helped support Seize The World on Saturday. I’d love to see you again at the library on Monday at 6 or on Wednesday at 9a.m. (at the Courthouse) as I head out of town!
October 9, 2008
It feels like an age since I last updated this page, although in reality I suppose it’s only been three days! A lot has been going on between newspaper interviews, talking about STW on KOTO, re-working this website, and working to prepare for the fundraiser and for departure. Check out the “About STWF” section of the site: there you will find the first few bios and photos of the volunteers who are working closely with me to make this project happen! I’m very happy to finally have that section of the site reflect more-accurately the nature of the Foundation!
I have started filming some of what I am doing with the new JVC camera, and so far it seems to be working well! A microphone arrived today (for use with the camera) which is kind of cool – it looks like a miniature news camera with the mic installed. There are still a few glitches to be ironed out (for example it does not seem as though my plan to ditch the laptop is working quite as smoothly as I had hoped: the i-touch which I had hoped to use to interface between camera and portable harddrive may not be up to the task). There are a couple of other details to smooth out as well. However, on the whole, things are going incredibly well considering that I’m about to begin a tour that will begin and end in Telluride. After a year of planning, everything is still on track for departure next Wednesday (October 15) at 9a.m.
October 6, 2008
The Camera arrived from Osaka, Japan which I am happy about… however, all of the buttons are labeled in Japanese. I suppose I will etch some new labels into the camera with a needle or something! I’m glad it’s here, and I will start filming some stuff ASAP. The Nugget Theatre has offered to provide door prizes (in the form of movie passes! Awesome!) for the upcoming fundraiser, which is exciting, and posters for the event are now up all over town in Telluride.
I am still hoping to publicize this event as much as possible, so please tell people about it and hopefully it will be a great success! Mmm, great success! My mountain bike is on eBay, and some of you (those of you who read the previous post as well!) may have noticed some changes to SeizeTheWorld.com – in a nutshell, the website has now moved to an entirely online-based setup (wordpress.com rather than being run from a program on my laptop) which will allow me to update it from any computer in the world. In other words, I do not need to bring a laptop with me on the trip now. This is one of the big things I was working to accomplish before departure, and I am glad to have completed the task of overhauling SeizeTheWorld.com before taking off! This also means that my laptop will be able to join my mountain bike on eBay in order to help fund the journey. I look forward to seeing all of you – i.e. everyone who’s reading this! – at the fundraiser on the 11th, as well as at the Travel & Adventure Series Slideshow @ Wilkinson Public Library on the 13th! Thanks for reading and I hope that some of you are feeling a bit of the same excitement that I am!
October 1, 2008
Paragon Ski & Sport has offered to provide a door prize or two for the STWF fundraiser on Oct. 11 at the Bubble Lounge (6:30) which is very exciting! This marks the beginning of my quest for prizes… I’m very happy to have Paragon’s support with the project. I’ll keep you all posted with details about the fundraiser as they become available… Also, the flyers are being printed as I type this at Telluride Paper Chase.
They will be posted in town either late today or early tomorrow. I hope to put some posters in Norwood as well. Also, I was interviewed by Karen James from the Telluride Watch about Seize the World on Monday. It will be great to see some material about STW in the Telluride Watch! I’m planning to go on my last pre-STW mountain bike ride on Sunday, Oct. 5 in the Ophir Pass Hill Climb. This will be the last time I ride my mountain bike before selling it and adding the money to the Seize The World account. Time flies!
The Departure date for the tour has been moved up from Oct. 31 to Oct. 15 in an effort to get out of town before it snows. Hopefully the plan works! If there are any riders who would like to join for the first segment of the ride (I will be riding to Dolores on day 1, but perhaps people might want to ride to Ophir, or Lizard Head Pass, or even just Society Turn!) then feel free to join me at 9 o’clock at the Courthouse on the morning of the 15th!
September 27, 2008
“Camera No Longer Needed.” I Just sent payment (of $800 total) to an eBay seller in Osaka as well as to a couple of American sellers and to Amazon.com for a JVC Everio HD7 Camera and accessories (lens, tripod, case, microphone, etc.). Hopefully these will all wind up being good investments for Seize The World! The picture below is from one of the eBay listings I came accross for an Everio HD7 camera from another seller in Osaka… for whatever reason, sellers in Japan are able to sell these cameras for about $300 less than Americans… hopefully all goes well with the camera!
ALSO – I will be posting flyers around town in Telluride for the upcoming fundraiser (Oct. 11 @ the Bubble Lounge) within the next couple of days, so keep your eyes peeled for those! Oh yeah…
September 24, 2008
Fat Alley will be catering the Oct. 11 Fundraiser (@ Bubble Lounge in Telluride), and the Daily Planet is excited about putting a story in the newspaper about Seize The World, which is great. As the show gets closer, stay tuned for updates here on the website… Things are starting to cram together as I near my departure day in mid-October – I still have to order several parts for my bike, some new clothing, and random things, still have to convert the website to a site that can be updated without a laptop, still have a few things to sell on eBay, and there is more work to be done on our 501c3 application. I still hope to have – in addition to the fundraiser – a slideshow at Wilkinson Public Library before leaving town as well. Check back for information about when that will happen if indeed it does! Thanks for reading – your interest is much-appreciated!
September 22, 2008
In terms of fundraising, we are working on producing flyers to put up around town, and I am hoping to line up delicious catering for the October 11 event at the Bubble Lounge. ALSO, I just purchased my plane ticket to go to Europe (from STA travel) which is exciting to me! I will be flying from Charleston, South Carolina to Lisbon, Portugal on December 8, 2008. The ticket cost $650. I hope to leave Telluride as soon as possible after the Bubble Lounge / Neshamah fundraiser on OCTOBER 11, and make it to Charleston in time to board my flight. I am now – for the first time – on a bit of a schedule!
In other news, my father and I rode in the fifth annual Mountains to Desert bicycle ride from Telluride to Moab on Saturday, September 20th. In addition to being a community bike ride with the goals of promoting fitness and health, the M2D bike ride is a fundraising event held annually to raise money for the Just For Kids Foundation (www.jfktelluride.weebly.com). For more information about the bike ride, check out www.m2dbikeride.com. The ride was spectacular. It was about 130 miles long and had some incredible scenery: Paradox Valley, the area near Norwood and Redvale, the cliffs outside Moab, and the Telluride box Canyon at 7a.m. I made a couple of silly decisions during the ride (such as trying to chase the lead group of riders for about ten miles – hopeless!) and a couple of good decisions (chasing back on to the main group of riders when I fell away from the group during the descent out of Telluride). For those of you who are interested in the ride, go to www.m2dbikeride.com.
September 18, 2008
Excellent News! The Telluride Bubble Lounge will be hosting a fundraiser for Seize the World on October 11, 2008! There will be LIVE MUSIC provided by Neshamah, one of the hottest trios to hit the Boulder – and soon Telluride! – music scene. There will also be a cycling slide show with photos of touring I’ve done on the coast of California, as well as many more exciting things TBA! It all begins at 7 p.m. Check it out – this is going to be the most incredible fusion of cycling, music, spirits and other entertainment in the history of mankind! Major thanks go out to Neshamah and to the folks at the Bubble Lounge for their help with the event.
September 14, 2008
I just placed an order for the first batch of t-shirts – the prototype looks great, so we should have a lot more available soon! The t-shirts constitute the first purchase made with the Seize The World Foundation account… exciting! Check back here often so that you can order a shirt of your own! On a more-exciting note (haha), my good friends Ian and Tali from the band Neshamah have said that they would be up for playing a gig as part of a Seize The World fundraiser in mid October. So keep that on the radar! We have set the date of Saturday October 11th (very tentatively) for the fundraiser, location yet to be determined. Save the date! I’ll continue to post updates as the fundraiser plans solidify. I am also going to try to get a slot for a slide show in the Wilkinson Public Library Adventure series in Telluride – hopefully that will happen before departure as well. Here is a photograph of the completed bicycle (a Surly Crosscheck) with the new t-shirt design (available soon!) in the background. Thanks all of you for interest and support with the project!
September 9, 2008
Seize The World is now a non profit foundation. We are awaiting 501 (c)3 Status – my father will be filing for it soon – but we are officially a non profit foundation with a corporate account (Seize The World Foundation Incorporated)! We are now able to take contributions, and we will soon – hopefully – be able to take tax-deductible contributions. Ben is just a step away from securing office space for STW in Steamboat Springs, and my friend Pam has agreed to be our accountant.
Here is a short list of my pre-departure goals:
1) Give a presentation in Telluride about lightweight bicycle touring and about touring with epilepsy – perhaps through the Adventure Series at Wilkinson Public Library?
2) Hold a fundraiser in Telluride.
3) Line up my first slide show / presentation on the road – Durango? Santa Fe?
4) Convert this website from being Sandvox-based (see icon at left!) to being Joomla-based (or similar) so that I can update it from the road sans laptop. Add a donation section to the site (most-likely with Paypal credit card processing).
5) Finish liquidating what I can on eBay.
In other news, I’ve signed up for the Mountains to the Desert bicycle ride which takes place on September 20th – m2dbikeride.com. I’m excited for the ride, and it will be a great chance for me to test out the new bike! The Crosscheck has been riding very well during commutes to and from work and on a couple of rides up to Lizard Head Pass. That’s all for now. I can’t tell you all how grateful I am for the help I’ve been getting with this project – it means a lot!
August 27, 2008
Sorry for the gap between news postings… despite the dry spell, I’ve actually been fairly productive in terms of Seizing The World! I just placed an online order for my first t-shirt, the bike I plan to use for the tour is now assembled, and most importantly my father and my friend Ben – among others, thanks all of you! – have been working hard to get Seize The World established as a non-profit entity. Hopefully we will be a foundation soon. I know I’ve said that before, but it seems now as though we really are getting close. I have begun working at the Telluride Sports bike shop during the day and at my computer at night (listing items on eBay) in my continued effort to save money for the tour, and both of those things have been fun so far. Here are a few photos of the new bike and of what the t-shirts might look like. I just ordered a sample from a website a few minutes ago to check the quality, and if it’s up to my standards (which shouldn’t bee too difficult), then you will be able to purchase your own SeizeTheWorld t-shirt right here in about a month!
August 10, 2008
This is actually a news entry that I meant to put in a couple of months ago before leaving Boulder. I thought it might be interesting for one or two of you to see some of the stuff I’ve been doing on an ongoing basis to prepare for Seize The World.
1) Here is a picture of all of the supplies which went into building my wheels (this was the first complete set of wheels I’ve built, and also the first time I watched Bubba Ho-Tep – pretty awesome!)
2) I renewed my passport with the hope that this tour might actually last long enough to get me all the way around the world. My old passport would have expired in 2010, but this one will last until 2018… definitely an upgrade! It also has a new creepy picture to make it consistent with all of my other forms of ID from the past 5 years as well as a collection of quotes from the U.S. constitution on many of the pages. Pretty cool… Here’s the picture I was talking about:
This picture is fresh from Mike’s Camera in Boulder… the version on the passport itself has stripes and holograms on it as well.
August 9, 2008
I just returned from the field after working two courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS – www.nols.edu) and am happy to report that they were both great successes. Both were four-week backpacking courses based out of NOLS’ Rocky Mountain Branch in Lander, WY. The first course was a Wind River Wilderness course, the second an Absaroka Wilderness course. The course in the Winds was characterized at first by heavy snowfall, cold temperatures, and frequent post-holing. However, the weather improved a great deal during the second half of the course, and once we crossed to the W side of the continental divide we had smooth sailing. The Absaroka course was defined by exciting flora and fauna – there were four bear sightings, one of which was a grizzly bear – various bighorn sheep and mountain goat sightings, a black fox, countless raptors, beautiful wildflours, and seemingly-endless miles of travel through deadfall. I will head home to Telluride on Monday to begin another one – two month period of fundraising and then I hope to hit the road with this project!
May 30, 2008
I am about to head into the field to work my first of two NOLS courses (www.nols.edu) of the summer, both in Wyoming. These courses constitute the beginning of fundraising for Seize The World. I also just signed the articles of incorporation for the Seize The World foundation which will, hopefully, be approved by the IRS. Thanks go to my father George for putting in the hours of work necessary for establishing the foundation. There is still a great deal of work to be done in that regard, but the first big strides have been taken. The non profit foundation is the backbone upon which this whole adventure will – hopefully – flourish. The foundation will support the two primary goals of Seize The World:
1) Talk to people all around the world about how it is possible to lead active lifestyles while living with epilepsy.
2) Fight epilepsy directly by raising money to research cures so that in the future it will not be necessary for people to continuously find ways to deal with the problem.
April 30, 2008
I just updated my gear page – check it out. I am fairly settled on the idea of using a Surly Crosscheck for Seize The World. This could still change, but the bike seems to make quite a bit of sense. I am working to get in touch with Surly to see if they might be interested in sponsoring the project – stay tuned for updates there! Also, I am hopeful that Jandd will come through with a sponsorship offer as well. It would be great to have their support on the ride. During the past couple of days, I have been organizing several gear orders to get my equipment prepared for the ride before I leave for employment with NOLS for the summer. NOLS begins on June 2. I will work for two months teaching backpacking courses in Wyoming this summer. One course will be in the Wind River Range, another in the Absaroka range. I’m very excited for those to begin. They also mark dead spots during which I will be unable to work on planning for Seize The World. Once I return for Wyoming, I plan to work for another 1-2 months in Telluride, CO, and then the ride will begin. I am still hoping for an early-October departure. Thanks for checking in! Please let me know what you’d like to see on the website, or if you have any new ideas for the trip. I’ll keep y’all (yep I just went there) posted with the status of t-shirts…
April 24, 2008
Things are moving along with the planning for Seize The World. I have been sending out sponsorship letters to my favorite gear companies to generate interest with Seize The World, and to facilitate its launch. I have been working on renewing my passport (and by “working on renewing my passport” I mean “thinking about renewing it” :-), and deciding what kind of bicycle to use for the journey. I will be using a steel-framed road/cross bike with 700c wheels and a mostly-Ultegra gruppo. I’m not yet sure what kind of frame will be going into this project, but I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out. During the next week I will submit the Seize The World logo to a t-shirt company and print up some t-shirts for sale, which you will be able to order from the website. Also, the corporation will – hopefully – be ready sometime within the next week or two. The IRS will then grant it tax exempt status during the following months at which point Seize The World will be a non profit foundation.
At that point, Seize The World will be able to sustain itself and grow, which will allow its mission to be accomplished: to raise substantial funding for epilepsy research by traveling around the world and demonstrating that anyone – even those with epilepsy – can have an adventure.
March 17, 2008
Welcome to the news section of seizetheworld.org. This is the place to be for updates, trip reports, gear reviews, etc. Trip planning is coming along well. My Dad is working on creating a non-profit organization for Seize the World, I have a new logo (visible to the left of this text), I am working on sponsorship letters to be sent out to various gear companies, and the timeline for departure is solidifying. Right now it is looking as though I will begin riding East from either Telluride or Boulder in September of 2008. Thanks go out to my friend Daiva in Telluride for her work in creating the logo for Seize the World, and to my parents for their work relating to every aspect of the project. Once the non-profit corporation is established, it will be possible to make direct donations to Seize the World through this website, so check back often for updates. Also, my friend Ben wanted me to acknowledge him for having come up with the name “Seize the World.” Thanks Ben! I am beginning to get very excited about this adventure, and I hope that my reader(s) are as well!