NYC to D.C.

Date:July 30,2011-August 9, 2011
Depart:New York City, NY
Arrive:Washington, D.C.
Distance: 372 Miles

An all too short trip to New York City came to an end, and I was back across the Brooklyn Bridge and onto  a ferry to New Jersey.  The ferry was one of many that I would need to take as I bike along the Jersey coast.  With a degree in Marine biology and a love of the ocean, it had been far too long since I had felt the ocean, so instead of going to D.C. via Philadelphia I chose the long route via the Jersey Shore!

The first day was 72 mile ride to Manahawkin, NJ and went great.  The first view of the beach was amazing and I knew that I would be enjoying flat ground for a while!  I got there and met an amazing retired teacher who I’d be staying with.  He is a cancer survivor and a very inspirational person.  He brought me to a friend of his for some BBQ, got me an interview with the local paper, and has remained a great follower throughout the ride. Through comments and gestures by his friends, it was obvious that this guy was and is a huge inspiration to all those who had the opportunity to be in his class.  I learned alot in my short time there, and he was a great host.

The next day I headed further south to Ocean City, NJ, ate an awesome philly cheese steak and enjoyed the ocean water for the first time in over 4 months!  Suprisingly chilly, but felt great after a days ride.  The hosts were great, and the next day was a short ride to Wildwood, NJ to stay with my childhood friend, and longtime neighbor.  It was great to see him, and he treated me to an amazing lobster dinner.

I went to bed and rose early due to an early ferry ride I had to make which left  Cape May at 7:30am and was followed by a 99 mile ride!  A southern breeze didn’t make my long day any easier, but after traveling through New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland , I finally arrived to Chincoteague Island in Virginia, home of wild ponies and an amazing state park.


Chincoteague Island Wild Ponies

Due to a incorrect assumption on the schedule for the ferries, I had to stay in Chincoteague Island for a couple days instead of 1.  Apparently some of the ferries in this area only run on Friday and Saturday.  Luckily, my host was a great guy and didn’t mind me staying couple extra days.  With the extra days I got some work done, as well as a little exploration of the lush island.  The island was great, but I was itching to get across the Chesapeake bay and head to Washington D.C.

Finally on Friday morning I set off to the Ferry, climbed aboard and enjoyed a long, 20 mile ferry ride to Smith Island, where I transferred over to another ferry for another 20 mile ferry ride.  Once on land, I had another 20 miles to bike before arriving in St. Leonard.  It was a short stay, a short night, and I was again off with Washington D.C. being my destination of the day!

It was a 68 mile ride that I thought would never end!  My excitement for the city was making minutes feel like hours, and when I finally saw the tip of the Washingon Monument, the feeling was overwhelming!  Chills shot through my body just as they did when I saw the Statue of Liberty.  Washington D.C. wasn’t only a great destination in that I would be biking on the same ground in which so many important decisions have been made, but it is here that Infinity and Beyond would be making their 2nd donation!  In D.C. I stayed with a good friend of my dad’s who had a condo in Arlington, VA just a few miles south of all the wonderful sites of D.C.  This made it very easy and convenient to bike there to see the amazing buildings.  I had a few days to explore the city and gets some work done before I headed off towards VA Beach, the Outer Banks, and then Charlotte, NC!


Me at the Capital

Here is an article describing the donation! :)

Removing Cancer from the Race
Sam Davenport Donates $5,000 to DC Candlelighters.

By Maya Horowitz
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sam Davenport is biking 4,400 miles to raise money for and awareness about cancer. As he raises funds, he is finding worthy organizations and donating the money. On Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Life with Cancer Family Center in Fairfax, he donated $5,000 to DC Candlelighters, a nonprofit support group for families of children diagnosed with cancer based in Centreville.“As parents, we appreciate what he’s doing for us,” said Bresner Porres of Warrenton whose 3-year-old daughter Mia has leukemia. “It takes a lot of courage to do what he does. From all of our hearts, we say thank you.”Davenport founded the non-profit organization Infinity Beyond, whose motto is “Removing Cancer from the Race” in February after graduating from Texas A&M in May 2010 with a degree in marine biology.His life has been profoundly affected by cancer. Both of his grandfathers died of cancer, and his father was recently diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer.But the motivation to do a bike ride for a cause was present even before his life was touched by tragedy.

“I’ve always liked helping people out,” he said. “Even before my dad was diagnosed, I’ve wanted to do a long ride. I hope to inspire people to help in their communities whether it’s cancer or something else.”

He started his ride in Denton, Texas, and has so far visited Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago, Ill.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and New York, N.Y. He has kept costs down by “couchsurfing.” His bike and gear weigh about 90 pounds.

Davenport made another donation in Chicago to Compass to Care, an organization that helps children with cancer. He said that although his focus is not children, it has just worked out that both donations have been to children’s organizations.

Despite appearances, he said he is not a professional biker.

“I’m not Lance Armstrong,” said Davenport. “I’ve never done a long distance bike ride like this before. I didn’t have coaches training me. It’s just will power.”

He tries to stay focused on helping people.

“It doesn’t matter how many miles I bike,” he said. “If I can’t find individuals to help out, it’s not a fund raiser. It’s just a bike ride. That’s not the point.”

On Aug. 9, he had a chance to meet and talk to three of the children who would be receiving money that he had raised.

“It’s great to meet the families. When you first start that bike ride, there are so many doubts in your head,” he said.

Davenport’s $5,000 donation is being split between 10 families by DC Candlelighters.

“I think it’s amazing he took it upon himself,” said Gail Scheller, treasurer for DC Candlelighters. “This is a blessing. It’s spectacular. It’s much needed, much appreciated and it will definitely be put to good use. I’m in awe of the fact that he picked us. We’re definitely deserving, but we still feel lucky.”

DC Candlelighters helps families of children living or receiving treatment within 50 miles of Children’s National Medical Center, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Georgetown Hospital and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Children 21 and under are eligible. DC Candlelighters provides new patient care bags, sponsors parent/caregiver teas and holds educational seminars, among other programs.

The charity is an all-volunteer organization and its board is made up of a social worker and parents of children who have had cancer.

“Having been through this ourselves, we really want to support these families,” said Lisa Tignor, president of DC Candlelighters. “We know how isolating it is. It’s such a long treatment. We have a unique understanding of the kind of support families need.”

To learn more about DC Candlelighters, go to www.DCcandlelighters.org.

To follow Davenport’s progress or make a donation, visit www.infinity-beyond.org/ or www.facebook.com/infinityandbey.

Photo by Maya Horowitz/The Connection
Sam Davenport poses with Bresner Porres and his 3-year-old daughter Mia who has leukemia.
Photo by Maya Horowitz/The Connection
Sam Davenport and Wilson Barrientos, a 6-year-old from Manassas who has retinoblastoma.

Photo by Maya Horowitz/The Connection
Sam Davenport and Carol Martinez, a 7-year-old from Sterling who has leukemia.

Photo by Maya Horowitz/The Connection
Sam Davenport and Mia Porres, a 3-year-old from Warrenton who has leukemia.

I know this was a long article, but I appreciate you all following along as I ride around the country to raise money for infinity and Beyond and our mission.  I hope you enjoy what you read, and I hope it encourages you to get out, get active, and strive to make a difference in the world.

Please consider donating by clicking the here and donating via Credit Card; or by sending a check made out to “Infinity and Beyond” to the address : 210 Shenandoah Ct. Argyle, TX 76226

Sincerely,

Sam Davenport

Founder/Program Manager/Adventure Philanthropist

Next Blog-> D.C. to VA Beach

 

Pittsburgh, PA to New York City

Dates:7/18-7/29
Depart:Pittsburgh, PA
Arrive:New York City, New York
Distance: 372 miles

 

8 days of relaxation, and being off the bike seat in Pittsburgh was a nice little vacation, but I was definitely ready to get back on the road.  I was worried about the hills/mountains/hilltains/mountills that I would encounter as I went across the Allegheny Mountain range of the Northern Appalachians.  By slightly…I was kinda dreading the long hill climbs.  Turned out, I made it :) (obviously)

The first day was a 58 mile ride into Indiana, PA.  The day went from very hot and sunny to  torrential downpour… The last 10 miles had me jumping from awning to awning trying to avoid getting wet.. Not really sure why I did this because there wasn’t an inch on my body that was dry.  Thank god for dry bags, or else my computer, my life source, would be destroyed.  Every bag that I use is waterproof except for my camel back(small backpack) which carries tools, sunscreen, my directions(paper, didn’t hold up too well) and a bladder for extra water storage.  In Indiana I stayed with some local college students, played a relaxing/intense game of Battle Uno(Uno on steroids), and got a good nights sleep for the next days long ride.

I didn’t have a place to stay for the night following my stay in Indiana.  My plan was to ride until I was too tired, and to just crash on the side of the road, off in the woods.  The first 40 miles were breathtaking, as I rode along Ghost Town Trail a rail to trail bike path beside Blacklick Creek.   

After the Ghost Town Trail ended, I got on the highway, and enjoyed the rush of 40 mph on a bicycle for 7 miles down a mountain.  Im not going to lie, there was about 6.5 miles of that in which I was hanging on for my life.  If it weren’t for my sunglasses, I’d have eyes full of bugs because I don’t think I blinked once.  It was a definite adrenaline rush and put me in Altoona, PA after about 73 miles of riding at around 7pm.  This was not good, because Altoona is quite a large town and I needed some forest to camp in.  It was about 9:30pm when I finally reached the forests again, but it was too dark to pick out a safe place to camp, so I decided to push on, hopefully finish 113 miles and end up in State College.  I even felt pretty good about it.  My legs seemed relatively fresh, and it was just another 25 miles.  Little did I know that I would have to go over a mountain before I finish up the days ride around 1am.  I was exhausted.  It was 9.5 hours on the bike and the longest ride that I have accomplished.  The next day, I felt like a zombie.  Everything ached and getting off the comfy couch was a feat in itself.  I had the day off to get some work done before continuing on the next day.

The next day, I left State College for Sunbury where I would couch surf. It was a 65 miles and extremely hot.  How is it that these heat waves are timing themselves out perfectly to occur right where I am?  Despite the 103 degree temperature, its better than 108 in Texas!  I spend the night, and continue 53 miles to Tamaqua the next day.

It was another day of record breaking heat, and I was on my way to Tamaqua to stay with Kevin Smith, an individual who walked across the U.S. a few years ago.  I planned an extra day to stay here in an effort to learn all that I could about his trek, as well as get some further accomodation plans figured out.  His stories made mine seem so minuscule and definitely made me think of my expeditions and adventures to come!  Stay tuned with Infinity and Beyond for what I have for the years to come!! :) )

“The power of imagination makes us infinite.” – John Muir

It was great to hear the stories that Kevin had.  I love hearing about peoples adventures and how they overcame issues along the way.  Prior to meeting him, there was no way I’d ever want to walk that far and for that long, but now it’s a different story!  Who wants to do it with me!?  Every day that I ride my bike I come up with more and more ideas of how Infinity and Beyond can make a bigger impact, grow, get more people involved, and inspire more people to take an active role in changing the world!  I can’t wait to implement my ideas when the ride is over.  Makes me want to bike further and faster!

The next day I headed further east, and across the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border to stay in Phillipsburg, NJ.  The roads are beginning to be more horizontal, and less vertical, and I welcome the change with WIDE OPEN ARMS (and very happy legs).  I’m not completely out of the hills yet, but I can almost sense the presence of the atlantic and its wonderful sea  level roads.  From Phillipsburg, it was 59 miles of beautiful swerving roads into South Orange.  New Jersey country is gorgeous!  Around every turn is a beautiful victorian house on a large plot of land covered with trees.

Once in South Orange, I had only 30 miles left until I was to the half way mark in my biking journey, New York City!  I biked from South Orange across Jersey City, and hopped onto a ferry out of Liberty park.  Liberty Park offered great views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  After the ferry, I rode through Manhattan, and across the Brooklyn Bridge.  I had goosebumps the whole time.  I had never been to NYC but had heard so much about it.

While I was in New York City, I stayed in the Queens area with my cousin.  During the day I worked, and in the evening I tried to see some of the sights.

The city was exhilarating to bike through and the bike paths and lanes made biking way easier then I had imagined.  As always, the time flew by and before I knew it, I was biking out of New York City and onto a ferry to New Jersey.

From New York City, my next destination is Washington D.C. where I will be making another donation to some deserving families who are battling cancer.  I can’t believe that Infinity and Beyond is already able to help more people out!  Stay tuned for more info on the donation, and please donate online so that we can help out more families!  Also, get more up-to-date info on the ride at www.facebook.com/infinityandbey.

Thanks,

Sam Davenport-Cyclist/Founder of Infinity and Beyond

Next Blog-> NYC to D.C.

 

Cincinnati to Pittsburgh

Depart:Cincinnati, Ohio
Arrive:Pittsburgh
Dates:July 5-July16th
Miles: 248 miles

After a fun 4th of July with my buddy in Kentucky, he took me east of Cincinnati where we said our goodbyes, and I was off for a short 35 mile day to Washington Court House to stay with some CouchSurfers.  Quick night, early rise, and back on the road, for a nice 50 mile ride into Lancaster.  I’d love to figure out what makes my body effortlessly stroll through some rides and struggle on others.  This ride into Lancaster seemed effortless and I completed it in just over 3 1/2 hours.  Other days, I seem to struggle and fight for every mile! Frustrating…

The next day I knew wasn’t going to be easy.  Having looked at a topographic map, I knew that the day would be hilly beyond anything that I have rode so far,  Yet, I still planned a 90 mile ride..??  One of these days I swear, I’m going to wake up and find myself legless for treating them so meanly.  They’ll simply detach and run away from me in the night.  Fortunately for me, we aren’t action figures and as far as I know…that is impossible.  I’ll continue to feed them lots of calories and hope for the best.

 

The day was hilly.  Beatiful.  Hot. Hilly.  Long. Quite hilly.  But I made it.  I stayed in Barnesville, Ohio with a warmshower host.  Warm Showers is yet another networking tool allowing bike tourers to find accommodation for free.  They prepared me a much needed large salad for dinner.  One of the common questions I get on the road is, “How much weight have you lost?!”  My answer, “none.”  I have to admit, my diet has been far from great.  Trying to eat cheaply, and on the fly makes it difficult to eat healthy.  My goal from here on out, is to try a lot har

der to eat properly. For gosh sakes, biking 4400 miles should be an easy way to get rid of those college pounds.  I am 178 lbs right now, and with you as my witness, I vow to eat better and drop some of those!  Hold  me to it!  No more Mc Donalds! Ok, lets be realistic..A lot LESS McDonalds (they have wifi and they are convenient! Im a sucker for good marketing).


The next morning I left Barnesville, Ohio for historical Wheeling, WV.  Here I crossed the Ohio River on the first ever bridge to connect the east to the west, and stayed at the house of a local.  He took me to a small greek festival, and got me an interview with the local newspaper!  Great guy and great host.  You can find the article at  “The Intelligencer” .

The next morning I had a short 34 mile hilly ride across the Pennsylvania border to my brother’s apartment in Washington, PA.    That evening me, my brother Adam, and a few of his co-workers went to a Cubs/Pirates baseball game!   I definitely miss just hanging out with friends and family, and during my long 8-day stay in the Pittsburgh area, I was fortunate to have lots of time to do that.

After 5 days staying at my brother’s apartment, I went to northern Pittsburgh and stayed with my cousin who set up “Concert for the Cure”, with his band, Hero and the Lie, being the main performer.

Saturday, July 16th was the date of the concert, and it was a HUGE success.  Everyone seemed to have a blast, my sister Emily and parents flew up to see me and attend the event, and Infinity and Beyond raised over $1600 from the event!  I had lots of time to mingle with family, and meet and talk with people about Infinity and Beyond.  We hope to have this as an annual event in the Pittsburgh area!

Another recent and very successful event was the Biolume Glo Run in Denton, TX on July 12.  Biolume was  a night time 5k trail run with a glow in the dark theme.  It was the 2nd run we have put on and was a major improvement on the first.  With over 200 registrants the event raised over $4,000 towards our mission to fund cancer research and assist less fortunate individuals with the costs of cancer care.  While I have been biking, a few of my close friends worked very hard putting this together.  I really wish I could have been there, but from pictures and the comments of participants, I know that it went well.  Biolume will be another annual Infinity and Beyond event.


Hero and the Lie @ Concert for a Cure


Biolume Glo Run Starting Line

The day after the concert was the scheduled day to leave Pittsburgh, however,  there were some bike issues and that got pushed back a day.  At first I thought it had something to do with my chain rings(expensive), but luckily it was a small mistake that I made while putting on a new chain(cheap).  So despite being delayed a day, I was very happy that it wasn’t a costly repair.

With 2 great events and a few great donations, July has been a great month and I am really excited about the amount of money raised by Infinity and Beyond.  Hopefully soon we will be able to help another individual with their cancer costs. :)

Thank you all for your support!

-Sam Davenport, cyclist and founder of Infinity and Beyond

Next Blog-> Pittsburgh to NYC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Chicago, Illinois to Cincinnati, Ohio

Depart: Chicago, Illinois
Arrive: Cincinnati,Ohio
Mileage: 333 miles
Dates: 6/27-7/5

 

Sunday evening news was giving me a headache with predictions of heavy rain, strong winds, and large hail throughout the next day starting around noon.  In an effort to avoid the rain and damaging weather, I left around 5:30am  on my 76 mile ride towards La Porte, Indiana.  The ride was amazing, going through central Chicago to the Lakeshore Trail which took me about 20 miles around the southern portion of Lake Michigan.  For the first 3 hours of my ride, I was lightly rained on but it felt amazing!  Coupled with the gorgeous green of the lakeside vegetation, the whole feeling of the ride was quite euphoric.  No heat, beautiful landscapes, and a nice mellow ride along flat bike trails made for an amazing ride.  Crossing into Indiana, I got onto a small highway and rode through the Indiana Sand Dune National Lake Shore, bringing me to an huge sand peak called Mt. Baldy.  The sand dune was positioned just south of Michigan City on the Lake Michigan coast line, and made for an awesome scenic detour only 15 miles shy of my day destination.  I took off the shoes and enjoyed the amazing feeling of the sand beach, reminding me of my missed and beloved Galveston, Island!


Soon after hiking Mt. Baldy, I headed to La Porte.  My couchsurfing hosts were awesome, entertaining, and the owners of a very photogenic hedgehog named Steve.  I enjoyed staying there in Indiana, and even got a game of sand volleyball in before I was too exhausted.

The next day I headed 71 miles to a small town outside of Rochester, where I stayed for a short night before continuing 65 miles on to Upland in the morning.  In Upland I stayed with a guy who had motorcycled  all through out South America.  It was definitely a good evening.  Then went out for a beer with him and another local CouchSurfer that I almost stayed with.  They were both pretty entertaining and I had a great time with them.  They informed me of a local that was a big-time Bike Tourer and also of a bike trail that would take me all the way to my next destination, Richmond, Indiana.

In the morning, I went to meet the Bike tourer/owner of a big bike touring outfit called Wandering Wheels, which takes dozens of people on cross country bike rides every year.  I had no idea the caliber of biker that I was going to meet.  Bob Davenport, or Coach Davenport as most call him, is 73 years young, and has biked for the 43rd time across the country, the most recent being just 3 months ago!  Starting his company in the late 60′s Bob has guided 100′s of individuals across the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic.  AWESOME GUY!

After a chat with Bob I headed onto the Cardinal Greenway, one of many old no longer used railways that were converted into nature trails(check out Rails to Trails).  I was on the trail for about 45 miles and biked for a total of about 59 miles before reaching Richmond around 8pm.

In Richmond I stayed with a couchsurfer, had some dinner, and called it an early night.  The heat has started to come back, and combined with the sun just absolutely drains me.  In the morning it was a 52 mile ride to where a childhood friend from Kentucky was meeting me.  It was awesome to see my buddy, Matt Chestnut, whom I had been friends with since I was 3 but haven’t seen for about 10 years!  I spent the rest of the evening with him and some of his friends, and the next day met up with Sun and Ski Sports-Cincinnati.  Sun and Ski sports helps me with some of the equipment costs and had some new tubes, jerseys, CO2 and other equipment for me to use in the next few weeks of my journey.

I stayed with the manager of the Sun and Ski sports that night in Cincinnati before returning to stay with Matt for the 4th of July.  I had a great time taking a break from the work associated with the ride.  We went to Lake Cumberland in Kentucky and spent the day hanging out in the water.  The next day was an early wake up and car ride back to where I left off.  I had a short 35 mile ride to Washington Court house to stay with Couch Surfers, Dario and Anna Fuentes ahead of me, and I said a quick bye to my buddy Matt.

 

 

If you enjoyed this blog, please consider donating to the mission of the ride.  I am biking around the eastern U.S.A. to raise money for cancer research at M.D. Anderson Cancer center, and to assist less fortunate individuals with the costs of cancer care.  Click here to donate!

Donations from people like you made it possible to help 14 year old, Christina during my stay in Chicago.

Thank you,

Sam Davenport

Next Blog->Cincinnati to Pittsburgh

 

 

 

 

 

Des Moines to Chicago

Depart: Des Moines, Iowa
Arrive: Chicago, Illinois
Dates: June 16-June 26
Miles: 388 miles

Enjoyed my time in Des Moines, but back on the bike with a change in direction, east towards Chicago!  The first day was an uneventful 62 miles to Grinnell, IA where I stayed at a house of 5 room mates attending Grinnell University.  The house was really neat and the people were great, fixing me an amazing mound of spaghetti! :)  The stay was short and the next morning I headed 69 miles to Iowa City, home of the Iowa Hawkeyes, and referred to by many as “the fun place to be” in Iowa.  With a population of nearly 70,000 and a university with an enrollment of over 40,000, I think I know why this is the fun place to be.

I arrived in the evening and the town is absolutely amazing.  My route took me over a river bridge, through one of the biggest dog parks I’ve seen, around a big frisbee golf course, and then by a golf course to their front door.  The guys in the house were great hosts, taking me out on the town the first night and then treating me to a great chinese buffet for lunch the next day.  I had a great time taking a break from ride in Iowa City, and was ready to head 64 miles to the city of my last name, DAVENPORT!

In Davenport, a college friend of mine set me up to stay with her parents.  They were great people, fun to talk with, and prepared some great meals for me during my 3 night stay!  Nearly all of my time was consumed planning my ride into Chicago, the first big city since Dallas-Fort Worth.  The first day out of Davenport was a 90 mile ride  across the Upper Mississippi and into Amboy, IL to camp out at Yogi Bear Park!  The staff was amazing, treating me to a breakfast, a tour around the park, and a complimentary t-shirt before I headed off to Aurora, IL.


STATE NUMBER 6!  Crossing into Illinois from Iowa


Leaving Yogi Bear Park-Picture with the GM and some staff

I arrived in Aurora around 2:30pm after a day of 59 miles and met Jake, my couch surfing host.  Jake does work with a line of nutritional products that are supposed to better your health and decrease your likelihood of degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.  While I was there I was fortunate enough to hear his wife give a short lecture on the products and some healthy habits that can help you decrease your chances of having these life altering diseases.  I loved hearing their take on the subject and about the product.

In life I believe it is extremely important to always strive to learn more and do more.  Every day I am trying to learn more about how I can better myself and the world.  Through simply listening to people on this trip I have learned so much. By conversing with strangers that I’ve met, reading travel blogs about people doing similar things, and reading books related to my interests, I continue to learn every day and I believe that is what we are meant to do!  Not just in a classroom, but in real day to day interaction.    From learning about Cancer and health to marketing and non-profits, the whole trip has been a great educational experience.  There are never enough hours in the day and I don’t have enough time to do everything that I want!  I need to learn, I need to plan, I need to write, I need to bike!  I am always overwhelmed and it is often stressful, but I love it!  As I grow, I hope that I become more efficient and capable of taking on more, so for now, I’m piling it on…  Although I wish I could just relax, I know that as I relax I am not gaining anything new.   DO MORE and LEARN MORE, strive to better yourself everyday. Sitting on your couch is wasting your day away! Get out and do something!

After a nice night’s sleep at Jake’s house in Aurora, I was off to the big windy city of CHICAGO!!  A gorgeous 30 mile nature trail all the way into the outskirts of Chicago where I met the not so beautiful west side of the city.  I later learned that I had biked through a “bad” part of town.  Squeezing between drug dealers, dice games, and empty whisky bottles made it kinda obvious.  I survived the culture shock, and continued on to finish my 45 mile ride arriving at a very nice friendly neighborhood.

Chicago turned out to be my favorite city so far and I definitely regret not giving myself more time to explore it.  I had some amazing deep dish pizza and took a short ride through town, but other than that didn’t get a whole lot of site seeing done.  Biking through Chicago was an amazing rush, and I loved how it was so bike friendly.  Bike lanes on major roads combined with the common usage of bikes for daily transportation made for a safe tour of central Chicago

The big reward of being in the city was the chance to give Infinity and Beyond’s FIRST GIFT!  Thanks to dozens of donors over the past 4 months, I was able to finally help someone out.  Compass to Care, an organization in the Chicago area, focuses on scheduling and paying for the travel arrangements families require to seek the best cancer care for their children.  Compass to Care helped me find Christina, a 14 year old who has been battling Osteosarcoma since January 2009.  Due to her serious state, she was in the hospital while I was there and I was unable to meet her, but I am very excited and proud to have been able to help her.  THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR MAKING THIS POSSIBLE.  Infinity and Beyond was able to give her $5,000 to aid in her travel from Chicago to Houston, TX for treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

With your continued support, I hope to be able to help out many more people like Christina.  Please donate today and help Infinity and Beyond help others like her.  My goal is to help another individual in New York City, but for this to be possible, PLEASE donate! :)  Don’t let my legs work for nothing!

-Sam Davenport

Next Blog-> Chicago to Cincinnati

 

 

 

 

 

St. Joseph, Missouri to Des Moines, Iowa

Depart: St. Joseph, MO

Arrive: Des Moines, IA

Dates: June11th- June 15th

Distance Biked: 225 miles

Leaving St. Jo on Saturday morning, I had a new energy from the days of rest.  The nice cool air also helped, but I knew the ride between here and Des Moines would be the most hilly that I had ridden so far.  Another bonus for the morning, is the privilege to ride out with a group!  I had made contact with the St. Jo Bicycle Club and they had a group ride that started at about the same time I was leaving, so we decided to meet up and ride out together!  It was a welcomed experience because ever since I had started I’d been biking alone, and this gave me a chance to talk to other people while riding!  These small luxuries in life are taken for granted until you decide to bike solo around the eastern U.S…  After about 30 minutes we came up to our first hill, and THIS is where I lost em.

Having not been a big cyclist prior to this 4400 mile ride, I had no idea how much the weight of the front and rear panniers slowed me down.  Riding with these guys made it very clear that the weight DEFINITELY slows me down(or maybe I’m just very slow).  By the time I got to the top of the hill, the group was a good 1/4 mile ahead of me.  Regardless of our short cycling time together,  I appreciated the company for the few miles, and it gave me the support and encouragement I needed to get through the hills ahead.

It was a 64 mile ride from St. Jo to Albany, Missouri where I stayed at a local hotel thanks to the Albany Methodist Church.  The bed and amazing rural location was great in North West Missouri, but the stay was short.  I arrived at about 6pm and was out the next morning at 6am.  I think I’m going to jinx myself by writing this, but I have been extremely lucky as far as weather goes.  There have been numerous threats of thunderstorms producing hail, lightning, and tornados, but so far, I have barely had it sprinkle on me.  This morning yet again brought word of scattered storms forecasted through out the day, so I headed out early, hoping to get to Afton, IA before the storms had a chance to hit me.

I applied layer after layer of sunscreen waiting for some cloud cover to show any sign of potential rain… Only once for about 30 minutes did I get some relief from the sun, and only about 15 seconds of that cloud cover produced a light drizzle.  Luckily for me, the bright sun wasn’t bringing any of that Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas heat with it that I had grown accustom to over these last few weeks.  About 8 hours and a quick 75 miles later, I had arrived to a gorgeous lake  in Afton, IA called Three Mile Lake.  Not only was the park beautiful with its bright green colors, and large flat lake, but the park employees were kind enough to upgrade me from camp site to CABIN!  I got another comfy bed with luxurious A/C!  I made friends with some Nebraska Cornhuskers in the cabin beside me, and after a couple hours of conversation, they headed to the lake for some catfish, and I headed to BED!  Another amazing accomplishment of the night: DALLAS MAVERICKS BECOME NBA CHAMPIONS!  I was slightly bitter for missing the game, but am proud of the ol’ Mavericks for beating the Heat!

NEXT DAY! I keep goin north to Des Moines on a long, looooooong 80 miles which took me about 13 hours…  Hills, Heat, Humidity, and a BIG STORM slowed me down quite a bit on this last stretch to Iowa’s capital.  AGAIN, I lucked out and was next to a beautiful “site seeing opportunity” when the storm blew in.  It was called, “Godfathers Pizza” and was made up of mounds of pizza next to valleys of lettuce and salads.  The aroma of pizza filled my nose as the taste of their buffet filled my tummy.  It was a welcome treat because I hadn’t eaten today, and the storm was a BIG ONE bringing lightning and lots of rain and wind!  After waiting out the storm for 1 1/2 hours I was back on the road. Rolling hill after rolling hill, I was closing into my destination with only about 10 miles remaining when I decided to disregard construction signs.  I quickly realized my mistake when I ended up accidentally going through some mud. Little problem turned big when the mud began to cake between my rear wheel and fender.  It froze up the wheel making it necessary to take it off and scrape all the mud off.  Impatient from the long day, one mistake lead to another, which involved my wheel nearly coming off while I was riding!  After a quick repair,  I continued on and finally arrived at the friend of a friend’s place, where I would be staying for the next couple nights.

I actually was staying about 10 miles north of Des Moines in a town called Ankeny.  I stayed there for 3 nights, mostly working on thank you letters, my route, places to stay, and the Biolume Glo run happening in Denton, TX on July 9th, 2011.  Often times the days “off” are becoming more overwhelming than the days in which I am riding.  As I become more in shape, the riding is starting to be a better day off than the days in the cities.  Soon I will have everything down to a science, and my time off the bike will become more enjoyable and less “work-like”.

“Every good act is charity. A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.”-Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Moliere)

PLEASE consider donating to Infinity and Beyond.  Our goal isn’t to bike around the world, but to bike for the benefit of the mission.  That mission is to raise money for cancer research at MD Anderson Cancer Center and to assist less fortunate individuals with the costs of cancer care.

Click here to be directed to a donation page.  All donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law.

Thanks for following along, and for your help and support,

Sam Davenport

Next Blog->Des Moines to Chicago

Wichita, KS to St. Joseph, MO

Depart:Wichita, KS
Arrive:St. Joseph, MO 
Dates- June 4 to June 10
Distance- 268 miles

After a great stay in Wichita, KS with couchsurfer Alisha, it was time to head off towards the next destination, St. Joseph, Missouri.  With record temperatures all over the news and forecast, I knew this was gonna be a tough leg!  Then again, when I first started planning this I knew there would be tough days and there would be easy days.  Facing the tough ones with my gloves on ready to fight is what makes you strong.  So with my cycling shoes on, my sun screen on thick, and my water bottles full and cold(for about 30 minutes), I headed Northeast towards my first stop, Florence, KS.

Hot is an understatement on this first day.  Temperatures reached 100 degrees with no cloud in the sky.  I made it a mere 15 miles before having to retreat to a small convenience store.  I had biked in some heat, but this was absolutely brutal.  I felt light headed, my legs were completely shot, and I still had 42 miles to go.  It was right at noon and I wasn’t feeling great, so I hung out for an hour and a half before starting back up.  Most days I had a southern wind at my back giving me a light cool breeze, but not today.  I’d go 5 or 7 miles before stopping and finding a shaded bush to sit under.  The 67 mile day took me about 10 hours to complete, and up until I finally arrived, I felt like death.

Every time a car would approach I’d consider throwing up the thumb and asking for help, but I somehow kept going.  Minutes and feet felt like hours and miles.  I found myself thinking if this is truly what I wanted to do.  It’s only the beginning of June and the heat isn’t going to stop.  I’d stop and lay myself out on the asphalt, staring up at the sky.  What am I doing…Is my effort really making a difference…why can’t I just go back home… Just ahead I could see a storm.  Lightning, hail, tornados never crossed my mind.  The cool rain was the only thing I could imagine, and it was like dangling a carrot in front of a horse.  It somehow kept me barely going.  I never caught up with it..

I arrived into Florence around 7:30pm.  A local resident had reserved me a bed and breakfast, and also bought me a nice juicy burger at a local joint.  I feel like the whole cafe could see straight through me. It probably wasn’t too tough, I could barely hold my head up, and was chugging water like I had just crawled across the Sahara.  They’d ask me questions, and my exhaustion had me struggling to come up with a response.  At the end of our conversations, I had somehow raised nearly 80 dollars from these friendly people, and it gave me a new found energy.

Now writing about this, I can fully realize, I MADE IT.  Despite how vividly I can remember the pain, and struggle I had experienced that day, I made it to my goal.  My questions of doubt were answered.  If we fight through our struggles and keep going, we are rewarded.  The reward being the knowledge that I still haven’t reached my limit.  I have grown mentally and physically. Had I quit, I would’ve missed out on that mental victory and sense of achievement.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” -Fredrick Douglass

I had passed out around 9pm texting my brother, “I dont know if my legs will be able to go tomorrow.” The next day it was like my legs were shouting, “IS THAT ALL YOU GOT!”  Same temperatures, same wind, same sun, but with a different outlook on my abilities.

The Flint Hills make the legs tired but are a true sight.  With different shades of green, the hills were gorgeous and made losing your self in thought an easy occurrence.  Knowing the struggle that I overcame yesterday, made it easier to face them today.

Questions of success are no longer in my mind and I have a new found focus.  Before I know it, I biked 73 miles through gravel/dirt roads, over bridges and hills, and have arrived in Miller, KS, population 30.  I stayed with 2 very nice people who made me a GREATmeal in their country home.

The bed was comfy and I was up the next day ready to tackle the ride to the capital, Topeka! A hot 46 miles later I was at the capital and getting a fun tour of the capital by my host.  Couch surfing has proven very useful and I definitely enjoyed my short time here.

Quick nights sleep and out the door again on my way to Atchison, KS!  I rode 57 miles to get to Atchison, arriving late in the afternoon to my new host, Kyle Walter’s home.  After a very refreshing shower and a little conversation, me and Kyle went out for dinner with his mom at a local chinese buffet.  OHHHH MAN.. so good, and I ate so much.  We had a great conversation regarding mind set and cancer.  Kyle’s aunt was diagnosed with cancer and underwent alternative treatments, and is now cancer free.  The question at the table was wether or not the treatment or the the aunt’s constant positive outlook was responsible for her recovery.  I am no expert on treatments, but I do know that no matter what obstacle you are faced with in life, the outcome is generally much better if you go into it with confidence and a willingness to fight.

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”- Bill Cosby

Positivity is the most efficient and effective cure to any of life’s problems and the best part of it all?  IT FREE!  You don’t need insurance to cover it, you don’t need to take a loan to pay for it, and you sure don’t need a doctors prescription to receive it.  Every morning you have 2 choices.  Roll out of bed with your head down low, dreading the day to come and the problems that come with it, or you can hop up ready to tackle what comes and grow stronger.

Due to the delayed delivery of a package I was expecting, I stayed another night in Atchison, before heading 25 miles to St. Joseph, MO.  The extra day was great, and Kyle drove me into Kansas City, MO so I could check it out.  It was a good day of motorized exploration that I wouldn’t have gotten to do otherwise.  Thanks Kyle!

Anyways, in St. Joseph I stayed with couch surfer  Jesse Rice and his two room mates who were all 3 VERY nice and great hosts!  While in St. Jo, I visited my usual office of choice, a local coffee shop, got some work done, and did an interview for the local news!  That evening, I went to a local hangout and listened to an awesome 8 piece acoustic band.  It was a great and  much needed time for relaxation.

The riding is getting easier, my legs are getting stronger, and it seems that the amount of people following along is growing!  I have thoroughly enjoyed the riding, and am 100% appreciative of all the support that I am receiving.  I encourage you to donate today so that Infinity and Beyond can fulfill their mission to help fund cancer research and treatment for those who can’t afford it.

Thanks!

Sam Davenport

Next Blog ->St. Jo to Des Moines!

Norman to Wichita

Dates- May 28 to June 3

Distance- 207 miles

Depart-Norman, OK

Arrive-Wichita, KS

 

Sorry about the delay in the blog!  The amount of planning involved in this ride is sometimes overwhelming, but I’m making it!  The ride is going AMAZINGLY so far.  I have already met so many great people, and I am just getting started!  My legs are becoming more in shape, my ability to approach people about the mission is getting way better, and not a single chance of tornados on this ride!

 

Before I begin, let me go ahead a squash a few rumors. Oklahoma.. ISNT FLAT.  Kansas? NO, NOT FLAT EITHER.  I’m not sure where these rumors arose from, possibly the same place as Texans still riding their horses to work and school.   Go ahead and remove those thoughts from your mental hard drive.  There are definitely some flat roads, but I rode along some wonderfully curvaceous landscapes, and my legs were quite upset for lying to them about the possible relief lying up ahead. From my entrance into Oklahoma across the Red River to HWY 15 crossing into Kansas, searching for flat land was like searching for the Holy Grail…

 

Also, I want to let everyone know how I am setting up my free accommodation (the majority of the time)!   I am part of a free online organization called Couch Surfing, www.couchsurfing.org.  It is an amazing network of 1,000’s of people all over the world willing to host travelers on their couch/bed/floor.  I have been apart of this organization for a few years now, and absolutely love it! Unalterable references, monitored conversations, and location verification all contribute towards the safety of it all.  You have the choice of who you stay with, and they have the choice of hosting you, based on references you’ve received and information you have in your profile.   If you love traveling, I highly recommend you check into it.

“The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.” -Robert Cushing

Leaving Norman, I headed north to stay with family of mine in Arcadia, OK, a town NE of Oklahoma City.  The ride was short, about 45 miles, HOT, the roads were pretty good, and I had a short experience of riding on the famous ROUTE 66!  It was kind of exciting to bike on it, but the adrenaline came when noticing the lack of shoulder to bike on, and the bountiful number of semis and cars frequenting it.  Lucky for me, I was only on it for a few miles.

It’s memorial weekend and I lucked out finding out I was going to be treated to steaks tonight at my relative’s house!  I am one of those guys that couldn’t live without meat.  One day I tried to be a vegetarian to see if I could do it.   My friend invited me for fajitas that night.  What was I to do? Not eat it?  HA…I ate the heck out of em, and dismissed the idea of Sam Davenport, a vegetarian. Anyways, I love meat, and the wonderful dinner they provided was greatly appreciated!

The next morning, I headed towards Stillwater, OK, home of Oklahoma State University, to stay with one of my great childhood friends, Ally and her boyfriend Tyler.  The ride was another relatively short one of 43 miles.   Heat and my inability to wake up early are sure to get the best of me on this trip.   One of em has to give.  Heat, “stop being selfish and give up.”  I need my sleep.  I’m going through water like a fish, and “convenience” in “Convenience Store” has never been more true. These stores are like angels, with their air-conditioned goodness and their ability to make empty water bottles full.

It was a short day, and I arrived into Stillwater around 5.  We relaxed and cooled off, eating some yummy bratwursts for dinner before hittin the hay!  The next day I got some work done in a local coffee shop before going to another relatives house in the Stillwater area, for an amazing dinner! As I’m enjoying this amazing dinner, im wondering how on earth I will survive once I leave.  From here on out, I’m not staying with friends and family, but with strangers willing to open their home to me.  No more steaks and family talk.

Here is a short video that was broadcasted on the Oklahoma News.

Past this point, I am truly out on my own, able to rely only on myself and the goodness of others for help on the road.  The adventure, motivation, and outside support holds back the doubt.  What is to come is sure to be a life altering experience, and I just have stay faithful.  As with all big steps in life, there will be ups and downs, but this journey isn’t about me.  I must realize that the journey is bigger than myself.  I am aiming to inspire and encourage others.

I am not an avid bicyclist.  Outside of these long distance bike rides, I have probably biked a total of 300 miles in my entire life.  I am not an extremely athletic individual.  Im undersized and slow.  I am an ordinary every day guy, with a lot of drive and determination.  The ride isn’t about getting through the day, and from point A to B, or about making it 4400 miles.  It’s about the ability for an ordinary individual to do something extraordinary.  I hope that the endurance and drive that I show in these rides, gives you the inspiration to go out and do something outside your boundaries.  I think I am amazed as you are, that I can do these long rides day after day.  The more you attempt to step outside those self-set boundaries, the more you will realize they aren’t really there!

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”- Harriet Tubman

Leaving Stillwater towards Ponca City, OK, is where this whole journey becomes unfamiliar.  I am on my way to stay with someone I have never met, in an area I’ve never been.  I no longer have the comfort of close by relatives and friends, but on I go!  Its about 39 miles, another short one, before I arrive at the home of Roger and Carolyn, an older couple, both cancer survivors and now enthusiastic travelers!  They were testaments of the ability to fight and win.  Despite doctors opinions, they overcame cancer in the 90′s and are now couchsurfing, traveling, and remain eager learners.  While I was there, they were planning their trip to Peru this Fall, and told me of their travels to Austria and Turkey.

From Ponca City, the end of Leg 2 was the city of Wichita, KS, 80 miles away.  Despite the heat, the day and the miles flew by.  Something that is still puzzling me, is my body’s ability to one day go through it all with ease, and then the next day struggle so hard to make it even short distances.  Who knows!?  Anyways I fly through the day and arrive in Wichita and meet my host, Alisha.   Alisha is not your ordinary person.  She taught me a lot in the short time I was with her.  I’ve never met a 25 year old who helped out the world in so many ways.  She is an employee at Breakthrough(non-profit dedicated to providing support for individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental illness.), her dog was from the Humane Society, she had homemade recycling bins in her apartment, she is a volunteer for YMCA, she is a member in a youth group forming their own church, and thats just what I can remember… Not only all this, but she is a very humble and extremely down to earth person.  Looking at her and talking to her, you would never know that she had so much going on.  Oh, and the day I left, she ran a 10k.  Awesome person, and I am very glad I got to meet her.

Keeper of the Plains

Every day we subconsciously evaluate ourselves in comparison with others.  When we are in the presence of those who are lazy and making no effort to better their life and those around us, it’s easy to feel satisfied with ourselves.  Better your selves by surrounding yourself with people who want to better themselves.  When your in the presence of people like Alisha, it just makes you want to do more.

“We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

-Sam Davenport

Please consider donating to the cause.  Infinity and Beyond is an organization that is doing extraordinary things to help raise money for cancer research and to help fund cancer treatment for those who can’t afford it.  Without donations, we can’t continue our efforts!  Thanks for the support!

Next Leg- St. Joseph, MO to Des Moines, Iowa

 

 

From Denton,OK-Norman,OK-180 miles

After months of preparation and planning, the 4400 mile journey around the eastern United States started on May 23rd from the Argyle Town Square.  With around 30-40 family members and friends there to send me off, it was definitely an exciting and motivational morning.  Around this time last year my father was getting his first treatments of chemo and now, here to see me off was my father still battling cancer @ MD Anderson and still strong as ever.  While I would love to spend these next 5 months with friends and family like I usually do, I know that with my effort and journey, I can spread awareness of my organization and hopefully raise money towards fighting this debilitating disease.

Family and Infinity and Beyond Team

“Focus on the journey, not the destination.  Joy is not found in finishing an activity but in doing it.”-Greg Anderson

The first few days of the ride definitely didn’t go idealy.  From being a tornado chaser (unintentionally) to multiple road closures in the first 10 miles, this leg was a test of my will and motivation.  The weather lately hasn’t been ideal for biking, but I couldn’t push the start back, so despite the weatherman’s tornado warnings and news of giant hail, I headed off.  I was told that only an hour or so after I left, Argyle was hit with hail…

The first day’s destination was 49 miles to Muenster, TX and started off great(sarcasm), taking over 2 hours for the first 10 miles.  I was forced to back track 3 different times due to road closures before I decided to carry my bike over a lightly flooded road.  I also would like to add, that I am definitely not physically fit or prepared for this ride, and the cool water on my feet was quite amazing.  Over the last month since my ride to Denton from Galveston, I rode my bike 2 times for a total of 12 miles.  All of my time has been devoted to planning the ride, getting the word out locally, and setting up  the Biolume glo run in Denton, TX (find out more at www.runbiolume.com , and a special thanks to my friends at home for putting this event on while I am gone!).  After getting across the river, the ride was actually pretty nice, taking about 4 more hours for me to arrive in Muenster.

The next day was even more eventful with the news of severe storms producing hail and tornados being forecasted throughout the whole state of OK and most of North Texas.  Knowing that I go through quite a few small towns, I went ahead and started.  I guess I’m not a weatherman, cause the whole time I thought the forecasters were nuts.  All day, all I saw and felt was the hot sun, applying coat after coat of sun screen.  That is until I got to Wilson, OK…I could see the clouds starting to build, and word of all the schools closing early started to get me a little worried.  Asking around the town what they thought, the universal answer was “get off your bike and find shelter”.  But I couldn’t find shelter..I still haven’t reached my destination, a CAMPSITE in Healdton, OK.

Never have I felt more vulnerable than I did as I biked the remaining 7 miles to where I had reserved a camp site to observe the formation of these tornados from the comfort of my tent and sleeping bag.  After arriving and scouting out what tree I would tie myself to, a local came and saved me the hassle of picking what type knot to use by bringing me to a local church to stay the night.  :) THANK YOU.  With the hospitality including the donation of a subway sandwich and a cheeseburger, my new found accommodation was great. I was able to watch from indoors as the hail came down with ~50mph winds and sideways rain.

The kindness in people shows 10 fold when they see the kindness in you, and I am continually amazed by the help given to me from people who don’t even know me.  What if everyone just naturally showed this kindness?  Walking into a small town, fully geared up in bike clothing makes it very easy for people to strike up a conversation simply out of a “what the heck are you doing” interest, but what if you showed the kindness and openess to the people you see every day?

I also had a conversation with an individual that really had me thinking.  After offering me a gatorade, a gentlemen in a convenient store told me how he tries to help everyone he can. After having a car wreck while in his twenties, he feels like he could never pay everyone back for the help they had given him.  The sad part was that he was truly troubled by this.  He acted as if the charity given to him was now a burden on his life.  Made me think.  How will I ever pay back all the people that donate and volunteer?  How will people pay me back for starting this non-profit?  These are questions people think about too much,  and often the inability to “pay” someone back can cripple relationships, and can seriously affect people.  Charity shouldn’t be about paying people back, but “paying it forward”, continuing the chain of charity.  If everyone did charity work and good out of action and not just reaction think of how different the world would be.

“Did universal charity prevail, earth would be a heaven, and hell a fable.”-Charles Caleb Colton

Day 3 came with HEAT and WIND.  With about 93 degree temp. all day and a 30 mph west wind attempting to blow me off the narrow country roads, I was kept on edge as I attempted to make it to Norman, OK.  It was about 80 miles of gorgeous country side and hilly roads and it was definitely proving to me how out of shape I was.  The day was relatively uneventful up until a Chevy Avalanche full of kids decided to switch from its collision course a mere 10 feet from back tire, fly 20 feet off the road into the grass, and proceed to peel off, and drive away.  If it wasn’t for the heat evaporating all the water from my body, I’m pretty confident I would have wet my self.  With the shock of the event still going through my mind, I decided to push my pride to the side and call for a friend to come get me in Purcell, about 10 miles short of my Norman goal..  I stayed the next 3 nights with some high school buddies who attended OU, relaxed, and got some desk work out of the way.

I was able to attend the Sun and Ski Sports-Norman’s store for their grand opening, do a few interviews for Oklahoma papers, and get my route updated.  The fun stuff…  But soon I was back on the road to Arcadia, then Stillwater, and onto Wichita, KS!


Next Blog-From Norman to Wichita

With donations and support from people like you, Infinity and Beyond is sure to make a difference in peoples lives these next few months.  How many people I can help, and how much I can help them is dependent on the support that I receive through out my journey.  Along this journey I am going to find and help families that are struggling financially with the costs of cancer care.  I would like to meet and help out the first family in Chicago, IL at the end of June.  Please consider making a contribution so that this is possible.

-Sam Davenport

Next Leg- Wichita, KS to St. Joseph, MO

End of Leg 1 and Arrival to Argyle, TX-Day 5

Originally posted: 4/19/2011

The final day!  320 miles so far, and about 75 to go before I make it to my nice comfy bed in Argyle, TX, my hometown of 17 years.  I already miss the ocean and all the friends I have made in Galveston, but I know that what I have started is going to be something to be remembered for YEARS to come.  Not only that, but the support and love that I have been receiving from my Galveston family has been endless.  Talking to friends after a days ride and getting congratulations messages on Facebook makes me realize that while I may not live near them any more, I will never forget them and they will never forget me.  Plus, this world is WAY TO BIG and life is TOO SHORT for me to settle anywhere at the age of 23.  I was born to ROAM!

So roam, I do!  I pack up my belongings at Waxahachie Creek Park, and head out on the road for what is to be the scariest ride of the trip.  The gorgeous country roads and dirt paths wind throughout the first 20 miles making the early-morning start quite enjoyable for a change!  Crossing wooden bridges over small flowing creeks and weaving in and out of large fields of wheat, I reach my first city of the day, Waxahachie, around noon.  A large town of over 30,000, and conveniently located on a really, really large hill.  I guess as far as flooding goes, this town is perfectly safe, but as far as biking goes?  You might prefer visiting via motor-vehicle.  If you can’t tell already, I wasn’t prepared for hill climbs.  It takes me about an hour to navigate through the town, stopping at a local gas station for some peanuts, a refill on water, and continuing on my way towards the finish.  About an hour later, and 30 miles out, I’m seeing a lot of familiar street signs.  I go through Grandprarie, then Irving, and finally arrive in Grapevine.

 

Thiiiiis is where I start getting a little scared.  Apparently I should’ve looked a little closer at the route I was taking.  Anyone from Argyle would know, 2499 is NOT a good road for a bicycle(especially during rush hour).  My bike and me weigh a combined 280lbs and shake with every 55 mph pass of a semi.  And theres alot of them.  Sooo, this is where I admit to walking part of the ride.  I decide that shoulderless, sidewalk-less roads at rush hour are not a good place for 10mph bicycle, so I walk along the grass with my bike for a couple miles until I reach a safe zone.

Once I got off that road, it was smoooooooth sailing.  I call in to let my sister know of my arrival, and about 2 hours later I make it to Argyle, TX!  My sister Emily, being the amazing sister that she is, has a small group of close friends waiting for my arrival with enough fajitas to feed a small army (not an issue, because I could eat enough to be considered a small army) and an awesome Infinity and Beyond cake!!  Whats better than a Mexican food and cake after a 5 day 396 mile bike ride?  Well, this is my first time to do this, so I dont know, but lemme tell ya!  THIS WAS A WONDERFUL SURPRISE!

 

You may have noticed, that a major message in my blogs is MOTIVATION and SUPPORT.  I believe with these 2 elements that anything is possible.  Without them, there is no way that I could have finished this ride and with the continued support of people like you, I think Infinity and Beyond can make a huge difference in peoples lives.

Surround yourself with people that can supply you with both of these in unlimited quantities and seek this out in times of weakness.  Whether your biking, studying for a test, starting a business, or fighting cancer I think that these 2 things are paramount to your success.  Remember that the only limit on what you do, is yourself.

Push yourself, fight for everything you love, and never give up.

If you enjoyed what you read here at my blog, please consider donating to Infinity and Beyond.  The reason for the bike ride is to promote my mission to raise funds for cancer research and treatment for those who can’t afford it.  Please subscribe to the blog by entering your email on the top right.

Thank you and God bless,

Sam Davenport

Next Leg-Denton, TX to Norman, OK

 

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