Well, it has been almost exactly a week since the wonderful "Homecoming Splash Party" at Waldo's on Vero's beachside, and I have no regrets about my big cross-country adventure, only gratitude and satisfaction. I am thrilled that we have surpassed our $50,000 goal to beat hunger, was so blessed by the company of the companions I shared the ride with, and have a heart filled with gratitude for what was a safe and wonderful adventure. I st rived to be keenly "mindful" during my month long trip -- mindful of my surroundings as I traversed this beautiful land of ours...and mindful of the people I shared the ride with. My memories from this trip will last a lifetime, and continue to bless me as I recall this experience to mind and heart.
If you want to watch the video of the sermon I preached my first Sunday back -- when I reflected on the ride and what I learned -- please go to the congregation's website, www.uufvb.org and click on "Watch, listen, or Read Scott's recent sermons" right under my picture on the homepage. I think you will enjoy the sermon.
Thanks again to the many, many people who made 'The ride to Beat Hunger" such a success. Knowing I had hundreds of good people "riding with me" through my blog and other means means so much to me. Blessings to all!
The last day of the ride was wonderful from start to finish. Bill Penney, Mark Schumann (my faithful and congenial companions for the last 4 days of the ride) and I started out from Titusville (after being lucky enough to watch the spectacular — and rescheduled — SpaceX launch from the Kennedy Space Center at 3:44 am, from the balcony of our guest house) and rode into steady headwinds, which slowed our progress just a bit. But it was a great last day of the ride. The sun was bright, and we enjoyed our trip down Merritt Island to Melbourne, where we had lunch, thanks to Sheri Schumann and Karen Penney, who took such good care of us for the last 4 days. From there, we made our way down to Vero Beach, planning our arrival for 5:30 pm at Waldo's, where more than 350 cheering people awaited us at the Splash Party.
The Splash Party surpassed my wildest expectations. Honestly, I was nearly exhausted by the attention and kindness directed at me...it was all just a bit much...and I have never before had a police escort, sirens wailing and all. I am so proud that, with the help of countless people, we have succeeded in raising more than $50,000 to address local and global hunger. Last night, the Splash Party was covered by both the local (West Palm) FoxNews and NBC channel 5, so the word about our efforts has spread even further. Now the one remaining piece of the ride is the "Meal Packing Event," Saturday, June 9, at the Gifford Youth Activities Center, where hundreds of volunteers will assemble 100,000 meals destined for the hungry of Haiti. Please look elsewhere on this website for information about how you can participate on that day.
Thanks to everyone who supported me — in so many different ways — on this month-long cycling and fund-raising adventure. So many good people were involved in this wonderfully successful humanitarian effort to beat hunger. Blessings to all.
This morning, we got up in Palm Coast, Florida, to another picture-perfect day for cycling — we must be living right! With favorable tailwinds, we zipped down A1A, through busy Daytona Beach, and then through the beautiful Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and arrived at our charming old bed and breakfast spot (Casa Coquina) in Titusville about 3 pm. It was another beautiful day, and Mark Schuman, Bill Penney and I enjoyed the ride and our company with one another thoroughly.
My partner, Collins, is driving up to join us for dinner (at a funky looking Mexican and Cuban restaurant next door) and the night, and by chance (by sheer chance), a satellite space launch — originally scheduled for last Saturday — is scheduled for 3:44 am. Our B and B is directly across the intracoastal waterway from the Kennedy Space Center, so we should have a spectacular view of the launch...and, yes, we are setting an alarm and getting up...it is too good an existential chance to pass up!
Tomorrow, after a full long month of riding all the way across America, I return to my home, Vero Beach. I hope you are able to join us at the homecoming Splash Party, 5:30 pm at Waldo's Restaurant on Vero's beachside...it should be a fun and festive occasion, where we raise the remainder of our $50,000 goal to beat hunger. So I hope see you tomorrow afternoon, and blessings to all!
So the Florida Team for "The Ride To Beat Hunger" awoke this morning in Kingsland, Georgia, to what would prove an absolutely perfect day for cycling south. Mark, Bill, and I were actually a bit cold as we started out in our short-sleeve biking jerseys, because the temperature was in the mid-60s, but soon the air warmed, the wind blew at our backs, and we entered Florida and found our way south on A1A. Most of the road was excellent, with good shoulders, smooth pavement and interesting scenery, and traffic was light because it was a Sunday. We made very good time, averaging over 17 miles an hour thanks to a strong tailwind. We got to our motel in Palm City about 4 pm.
One interesting aspect of today's trip was that we got to go through St. Augustine, a beautiful and historic Florida town. Another event of note is that we stopped at a Trek bike store in Jacksonville Beach because Mark's bike needed a new shifting cable, which the wonderful guys there fixed in no time as we ate lunch. So tomorrow, we bike to our last overnight in Titusville, where my partner Collins — whom I haven't seen for a month because of the ride — will join us for dinner and the overnight! I hope to see you at the homecoming Splash Party on Tuesday...at Waldo's restaurant on Vero's beachside. Mark, Bill and I will roll in on our bikes right at 5:30 pm. Blessings to all!