On a 50cc Mission from God

April 26, 2012 in Ramblings, Speaking

My new friend Julia that I met at the Horry County Candle Light Vigil is a great photographer. We met yesterday and she took a bunch of great pictures of me and my bike.

The first pic was inspired by the Blues Brothers movie back in the late 70′s / early 80′s. In the film, Jake and Elwood were on a mission from God to save an orphanage. It is an epic comedy…if you haven’t seen it rent it..you won’t be sorry. Some of the best car chase / car crash scenes I have ever seen. I was in Myrtle Beach and saw a statue of them. A month or so prior, a biker jokingly referred to me as “a nut on a 50cc mission from God”. So in a light hearted way, I am posting the following for your enjoyment.

I am going to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe as part of my journey. I found a beautiful statue of Our Lady at a local church…so Julia and I went there and she took this picture. I think this is my favorite pic out of all the ones she took.
Tom looking incredibly cool sitting in traffic…lol.
There’s more pics of our day together…as soon as Julia is able to get them to me I will post them.
Here is one pic of Julia that I took with my camera. I love this picture. We were on the beach writing some child sexual abuse statistics on poster board and photographing each other holding the statistic signs. She was kneeling in the sand writing out a statistic when I snapped this pic. I think it perfectly captures her tenacity and strength. I will say it again Julia – you inspire me! You’ve dealt with this in such a positive and constructive way…you are an absolute inspiration!

This is why I am riding 10,000 miles

April 24, 2012 in Ramblings, Speaking

I just received an email from a “victim” of child sexual abuse. Because of my ride, he has made the decision to become a “survivor”. This person just made my ENTIRE journey worth it. This is exactly why I am riding 10,000 miles. I helped someone in the same kind of darkness and pain that I was in realize that there’s a better life out there…if you can find the courage to fight for it.

An excerpt from that email (used with permission):

“I have an appointment monday to meet with a counselor it is time I’ve truly dealt with this! I’ve always felt I’m okay and doing well but your story, courage has allowed me to realize this event has affected me and has for my entire life. Time to confront and work it properly….. Time to take me back!!!”

Go brother. Take your life back.

T

Horry County Rape Crisis Center Candle Light Vigil

April 22, 2012 in Speaking

First, a few links…A local news channel did a story on the Horry County Rape Crisis Center Candle Light Vigil. I was a speaker for this event and I was interviewed by the reporter:

Also, I bought six cans of Vienna Sausages. I need to go through this journey as thrifty as possible and the Vienna Sausages are about 50 cents a can. Cheap protein, right? Well…

Julia’s Story

April 20, 2012 in Speaking

So I get up at 5:30AM and I am back on the road. I reached Myrtle Beach around 11am. I was speaking at a candle light vigil service at the Horry County Rape Crisis Center around 6pm. I got a well-deserved shower then set up my tent. I walked down to the camp laundromat and washed a load of clothes. I started talking to a lady named Linda. I told her what I was doing and she was shocked. She said “What can I do”? “Do you need anything”? I said “some hot food would be great”. She gave me $20 and sent me over to the camp restaurant. I had a hot ham and cheese sandwich…and it tasted awesome. Wow, do you appreciate real, hot food when you are living off of canned Vienna sausages and Ramen noodles…lol.
So I headed over to the vigil and met up with my counselor, (Tina, you ROCK).
I met a girl named Julia there and she spoke at the vigil. She is an absolutely amazing young woman. I asked her permission to talk about her in my blogging. She agreed. She went through “an abusive situation”, instead of letting that destroy her, she sought counseling and did things to help other people. She did missionary work in Honduras. She said the kids there were terribly terribly poor but they were happy kids. She said that if those little kids could be happy, then she certainly could be too. She also worked with terminally ill children who knew they were dying…but many of them were happy to be with their family and live out there limited days. She said again that if they could be happy, then she could too.
Julia, you inspire me because our stories are very similar…and if you can be happy then I can be happy too!

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My counselor Tina

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I am sitting at a Steak and Shake writing this…it’s after mid-night and I’m really tired…so more tomorrow!!

Journey Begins!

April 17, 2012 in Charity, Speaking

Apologies for the silence but I have not had wifi access for a few days. I actually left on Sunday April 15th…about a week behind schedule. We ran into some issues with the cart and it slowed things down.

I had breakfast with my family early Sunday morning. Then I rode over to my starting point. I tracked down the man that molested me via the Internet and chose to start (and end) my ride in front of the retirement hi-rise in which he lives. Symbolically, this was very important to me. I had or have no plans to confront him…I just want to start and end my ride there.

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I rode about 150 miles on Sunday and found a small quaint place to camp in Elkins West Virginia. The name of it was Pegasus Campground. The owners Mark and Bonnie were awesome…extremely kind and friendly. Because it is “pre” camping season, I was the only one there. I had 40 acres to myself!

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Mark and Bonnie

They had a giant stage in the center of the campground and I asked if I could set my tent up on the stage and sleep there. It was so cool sleeping on such a big stage overlooking the campground. The stage was at least 15 ft off the ground so it almost felt like camping in a tree house.

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I slept really well till 3:30am when I heard a bunch of howling and I purposefully stayed up till sunrise then fell back asleep. It spooked me…but in the morning Mark said that it was “just” some packs of wild coyotes. :shock:

I made some special t-shirts for the ride. Each day I can ride for someone different:
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I was back on the road by 1 pm and around 4pm I pulled into a gas station to fill up. As I was pulling in I heard a “pop”. My trailer tire hit a pothole pulling in and it pinched the inner tube, causing it to go flat. Andrew the attendant, took the wheel off and patched it. He was an extremely nice guy and did not charge me a dime. How nice.
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I spent most of the day climbing huge mountain ranges and it really slowed me down. At times I was going less than 10 MPH! The scenery was breathtaking and at 10 MPH I was able to see all of it in great detail!

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I was behind schedule so I jumped into a dollar store and bought some little Vienna sausages in a can and some trail mix. That was dinner. BTW – WOW are those sausages BAD! they taste like soggy hotdogs. They actually tasted SO bad, I was laughing out loud as I was eating them. I washed them down with some trail mix and was back on the road. I was on 250 East towards Richmond and stopped in a small town about an hour past Montery VA. I was driving down the street and ran into a bunch of scooter guys! I asked them where I could find a cheap campground and one of the scooter guys, Teddy, offered to let me set up my tent in his back yard!! He even had wifi for me to do my updates…so I am in my tent in Teddy’s back yard right now, updating my blog. I am going to be back on the road by 6:30am because I HAVE to be in Myrtle Beach by April 19th to participate in a candle light vigil for the Horry County Crisis Center.
Teddy and his family:
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So that was day one! I will try to post tomorrow evening if I have wifi!