And JUSTICE for all…

June 19, 2012 in Ramblings

So I’m riding…and riding…and riding…trying to knock out 160+miles and get to Zapata TX. I start getting into some really remote areas near the border and started getting nervous…like whispering a few prayers under my breath nervous…
Just then, a big white SUV rolls up on me with it’s 4-ways on…it really gave me a jolt because I did not know why it was so close and why the 4-ways were on…then I noticed that it had a huge black brush guard on the front and strobe lights mounted to the roof. I was never so glad to see the police. I remembered that Frank, Founder of Texas Foundation for Safer Children (texasfsc.org) had mentioned something about trying to get me a police escort…but I did not think he was serious!

So he followed me for a while and I waved him over into a gas station after about 10 miles. I got a few pics with officer Ames. He was a really good guy. He said he was going to follow me for about 10 more miles then break off.

Here’s where it gets really crazy…so he stays with me more than 10 miles…THEN I see a SECOND Sheriff’s SUV roll past me and get in FRONT of me. So now I have a DOUBLE escort! One in front of me and one in back of me!! That went on for another 5 or 6 miles then a THIRD Sheriff’s SUV drops behind me!!! So now I have a TRIPLE police CONVOY escorting me!!! The amazing thing is…it wasn’t a “token” escort…they were serious and this was real!! I was STUNNED…REALLY STUNNED.

It was then something changed inside of me and I started to cry with my helmet on (don’t know if you guys have ever done that but it’s not fun). It was the first time I EVER experienced a sense of JUSTICE in 30 years. These officers made me feel like what happened to me MATTERED. What I mean is…the abuse against me when I was 13 years olds was never reported…no arrest, no conviction…nothing. I never saw a police officer, a judge, nobody. And today, here were 3 police SUV’s with 4 police officers who let me know that it DID matter.

I want to SINCERELY THANK the Starr County Sheriff’s Office for there kindness. So many of these crimes go unreported and there is NO SENSE OF JUSTICE for the Survivors. I have heard it many, many times during my Journey that “My parents refused to call the police or even acknowledge the abuse”. I just heard it again from a woman in Brownsville only days ago. So this gesture of the escort extends to ALL of us who never received justice.

I want to take a moment and thank Frank Trevino Founder of Texas Foundation for Safer Children (texasfsc.org) for helping me this past week. He has invested an incredible amount of time and effort into my journey. He’s planned routes, secured police escorts for me and even supported me financially with a donation on behalf of his own charity. Thanks for Frank and Texas Foundation for safer children, I have a hotel to stay in each night for the remaining 5 days I will be traveling through Texas. It is dangerously hot and humid and sleeping in a hot, humid tent after spending 7 or 8 hours on the road would have been miserable. Thank you Frank from the bottom of my heart (Hey, no pun intended!! LOL). Frank, you and your family are Saints


Frank is on the right!

So the Sheriff’s break off and I am on my own again, about 30 miles outside of Zapata. I notice that clouds are rolling in and it’s going to storm…so I and try to beat it to the hotel.

Suddenly, I hear ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ and it’s LOUD! I pull over and realize that the rear bike rack assembly on the cart that houses the trailer tail light assembly has SNAPPED and it’s DRAGGING! The high winds pushed on the rear sign and caused the assembly to snap. I pull over and realize that I am in an extremely desolate, remote area with no cars passing by. I was worried about violence because I was so close to the border…I felt like a sitting duck. I grabbed a bunch of zip ties and tied the light assembly up and got out of there. Just before I arrived at the hotel, the sky opens up and it starts raining HARD. I could not see the road…and it was very, very windy. I tried to pull over and the front tire hit some loose gravel and I dumped the bike! I did not get hurt other than a mildly sprained wrist. The bike was ok other than the driver’s side mirror getting a little twisted around…but the cart took a hit. I now have a decent size gouge / ding on one of the metal tubes.

I arrived at the hotel SOAKED. I got the bike and the cart in my motel room, changed into dry clothes after a warm shower and started working on the cart. It stopped raining so I walked two doors down and got a Big Mac (Yum/Yuck)…as food options were limited….then went next door to Dollar General for some Mcguyver repair parts for the trailer. I walked back with two kitchen spatulas and some epoxy. I broke the spatulas apart for their metal rods and cut them down a bit. then I slid them into the broken hollow trailer tubing and secured them with epoxy. (Temporarily FIXED!) At least until I can get to Phoenix and make proper repairs.


AND LASTLY – I look out the window after I fix my trailer and I end my day with a RAINBOW

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!