Showing posts from June, 2023

We're Back!

We’re back!!! The time off helped recharge our batteries and got us back out of shape, but it was SO worth it to welcome our newest member of the family…Allison and Jon’s son Bennett Michael Font!!!  Did we mention Pennsylvania’s a beautiful state? Well, we should know because today marked our EIGHTH day riding in it…certainly gives Tommy time to record the scenery! But the real story of today was Tommy’s sister, Kate…without her help, we simply never would’ve made the 40 miles from Wolfsburg to Somerset.  Anyone who’s ever had a loved one at CHOP knows the importance of family…a word of support, an understanding hug, a shared experience of hope. Kate was ALL THAT today, and so are all the words of encouragement we’re getting from all over…phone calls, texts, posts on social media, donations.  All the positive energy keeps us going (these mountains will end eventually, right? Ohio? We know you’re over there! Hopefully we’ll be there soon!) \

Taking A Break

 For the next week, Tommy and Matt are going to be taking a break to celebrate the birth of Tommy’s nephew Bennett along with celebrating his sister Allison’s graduation from residency. Upon their return on Thurs. June 29, they will continue to conquer the mountains of the not so flat Pennsylvania. Next stop, Somerset, PA

Fighting the Appalachians

We’re a week into the trip, nearly 300 miles covered, and so far Tommy almost ran over a rabbit, we got chased by a pit bull (hard to pedal with both legs up in the air) and we disturbed a couple of snakes when we sat to rest on one of our many uphill climbs.  After 55 miles from York to Chambersburg on Monday, it took us two full days to do the next 55 because Jill wasn’t around anymore to drive all our gear…and these mountains keep getting in the way!  We’re following PA Bicycle Route S which takes us on a lot of backroads and, honestly, we’re pushing our bikes up most of these hills…but the hills aren’t winning yet! Going slowly helps us notice things, too, so Tommy will grab his camera and start firing away. Do we get frustrated sometimes and want to stop? Pretty much everyday. But then something will happen…a kind word of encouragement from someone we meet (like the sweet people at the Hoagie House Cafe in Fort Loudon), a car stopping to offer us water or a wave from a little kid

Two Things Can Be True at the Same Time…

 We’ve made it to York, PA…almost halfway across this beautiful state and while it has sometimes been a little tiring (see Tommy sleeping in a parking space at a 7-11 in Bucktown), we feel very blessed to be on this trip together, especially since Father’s Day fell right in the middle of it! The 49 miles from  Manayunk to Narvon on Saturday took us along the flat, crowded Schuylkill River Trail to the DEFINITELY NOT FLAT stretch from Valley Forge to Churchtown. Sunday’s 47 miles to York reminded us that life is all about how you look at things: a frustrating wrong turn in New Holland led us to a coffee shop where a sweet couple Q asked our names so they could pray for us (maybe we looked like we needed help?); bicycles parked in a graveyard at first seemed like a bad omen, until we looked through the trees and saw the Mennonite church and parking lot full of horse-drawn carriages and realized everyone gets where they’re going their own way, don’t they?; and a bridge can either be a gre

Maybe we should have trained more...

The idea was to update this every day...but we didn't take into account the fact that we'd get to wherever we were going and immediately fall asleep!!  So maybe this will end up being a SEMI-DAILY update!  We rode about 50 miles on Thursday from just outside Lakehurst, NJ to Cherry Hill, NJ, mostly along Route 70.  Along the way we saw about 20 Wawa's, stopped at about 10 of them and only got yelled at once by an angry guy in a truck (yeah, we were kinda blocking traffic) and visited once by two very nice Evesham, NJ police officers after Matt's Apple Watch accidentally called 911 (or maybe on purpose...we were kind of running out of gas at that point!). Then Friday was a shorter day with a nice visit at Ronald McDonald House in Camden (where Jill lived for several weeks after fetal surgery), Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (where Tommy was born and stayed for the first month of his life) and WAY TOO LONG on the walkway across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge where

"Five More Miles"

 June 14, 2023 Today is the day! We finally began the cross-country trek. Started in Mantoloking, New Jersey, took some pictures on the beach and in the process, Tommy got his shoes wet before the trip even started, so we spent a good twenty minutes looking for replacements. After that we were on our way!  Rode about seventeen miles into a town called Lakehurst. On the ride about ten miles in the clouds started rolling in and then came the storm. Lucky for us, there was a Wawa on our route so we waited it out and resumed our journey. "Five more miles," we screamed at one another, wasn't sure if they were words of encouragement or us genuinely not having any idea where we were. Got some food at an Italian restaurant.