One Wheel, One Day, One Hundred Miles...www.rideforgary.com

I have been planning on doing a 100 mile ride to raise money for my brother’s paralysis since March or April of this year, and finally things have all fallen into place to make it a reality.

On Saturday October 23rd, 2010 I will be riding my 36er (ungeared) on a 100 mile trek starting and finishing in Gwinnett County (Atlanta, Georgia). I’ll be starting at 7 am, and riding until I’m done, including stopping for breaks at some designated fire departments along the route.

My brother Gary was a firefighter for over 20 years in the SW Florida area, and unfortunately was paralyzed from the chest down in a tragic accident in March of 2009. I have been helping take care of him ever since he got out of the hospital, and that’s why I now live in this area. The main goal is to raise enough donations to help buy a handicap van, and pay for various expenses involved in his care.

Some of my brothers “Firefighter brothers” are coming up to help support this event, and they are driving up a refurbished classic American LaFrance firetruck to escort me on my route! I did warn them that they would be only travelling at an average speed of about 9 or 10 mph for 10 to 12 hours, and being as cool as they are, they were good with that.

We are having a pre-event party at Engine 11 in downtown Atlanta Friday night the 22nd from 8 until ??. Then, Saturday the 23rd after the ride we will meet up there again from about 9 until ??. Engine 11 was once an actual fire station, but is now a restaurant and bar.

I recently got a website up and running for this charity ride, and the web address is www.rideforgary.com in case anybody wants to check it out. I will be adding more photos, and some video, to the site soon. Just to further encourage unicycling, I also put a link to Unicycle.com and Unicyclist.com on the links page of my website. Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I don’t normally start new threads, but I think this is a worthy cause.

If you happen to go to the site, feel free to join or post something in the guestbook. Have a great week everybody.

Take care,
Bill

This is a worthy cause and you’re a fantastic brother for setting this up. I wish you luck on your century and I’m sure it’ll be a breeze with all the support you have!

Hey everyone, let’s help a brother out and donate!

Paul

Thanks Paul!

Thanks for your help Paul! My whole family is originally from Los Angeles (Canoga Park specifically), can’t wait to make it back to your state again for a visit. Also, I appreciate your encouragement!

good stuff, man

Awesome Bill, you are a great brother.

Hope your brother get better soon. Also expect your trip. i’ll pay close attention to your show.

That is so awesome what you are doing. And what a great touch having the firetruck escort.

I wish you well in your endeavor and will pledge what I can. It won’t be much, but I feel compelled to add to this thing you are doing.

“compelled” isn’t the right word.

I want to help.

Thank you for your support and encouragement everybody!

I can’t tell you how uplifting it is to get such a great response from all of my fellow unicyclists. Now that the ball is rolling (should I say wheel? ;), I can see how everything is just coming together perfectly. My brother’s firefighter brothers are helping with the details now too, and in less than 10 days I am going to have a hundred or more custom made shirts ready to go. I’ll post a pic of the artwork/shirt soon.

My brothers wife Mary has tomorrow off, so I’ll be doing 60 or 70 miles as another training run. Can’t wait for 6am to come.

I found the Unicyclist.com forum not long after my brothers accident, and it has really helped to relieve stress on those difficult days. This is a great group of people from all over the world, and I’m glad to be a part of it.

By the way, it’s fun to see the visits to the rideforgary site from all over the world. Today I saw The Netherlands, Spain, China, Germany, Poland, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S. I only know because of the site analytics, didn’t see any guestbook posts or members yet, but I’m glad you guys and girls are checking it out. I need to get video and more pics added soon.

Take care everyone,
Bill

It was a great 60 mile training ride…

Yesterday was great weather, and had an excellent ride starting in downtown Atlanta near Engine 11 (where we are all meeting for food and drinks on Oct 22nd and 23rd).

I parked my motorcycle, and before I could even unstrap the 36er, a homeless guy saw the energy bar in my cupholder and started growling, “I’m hungry man! I’m Huuuunnnnggry!” He was nice about it, he didn’t try to take it or anything, just stood there, about ten feet away and stared at the Clif Bar with a crazed look in his eyes. Needless to say, I believe he was hungry, so of course I gave him the Clif Bar. If I had more, I would have given him those too, because holy cow did that guy enjoy it. He chowed it down as he walked down the sidewalk in front of the MARTA building, then turned around and gave me the biggest smile. I think I got more out of it than he did for sure. I wish nobody was homeless…but I digress.

It was about 7:30 am, and after a chilly 45 mile trip to get there on my motorcycle, I was ready to get moving. I jumped onto my 36er (I really need to name it!), and headed off down Peachtree Street SW. By the way, I think there may be more things with the name Peachtree or Peach in Georgia than there are peach trees. It seems like 82% of the women like to describe themselves as being a Georgia Peach, etc. Not that there is anything wrong with that, hey I like peaches too, but what can you do?

I soon discovered that you really have to watch the condition of the sidewalk you’re on in downtown Atlanta. There were some areas where wheel swallowing holes appeared out of nowhere, but luckily I didn’t fall into any of them. It’s fortunate the 100 mile ride will be on the road.

Met some really nice people throughout the ride, and covered a lot of ground that I had never seen before. I like midtown Atlanta.

Met one of the owners of Engine 11, and we worked out the details to have them as a sponsor and to be on the shirt. Sent the logos to the artist last night, and should have shirts in a week. I’m psyched about this whole deal. Gary’s firefighter friends are keeping things rolling in SW Florida, and are also getting a banner for the back of the firetruck for the ride.

Thanks for everyone’s support of this endeavor.

Maybe that Clif Bar would’ve pushed you up to 70 miles :wink:

Sounds like you had a great training run despite the road conditions. We’ll be keeping track of your progress!

That’s funny Paul, and maybe true! I did get to have a great double cheeseburger with bacon at The Varsity though,(The Varsity is evidently an Atlanta institution. It’s basically fast food, but it was unique, and it tasted amazing - although I was extremely hungry, so that may have influenced my opinion).

I plan on doing 75 miles this Saturday, so I will make sure I take pics and some video this time. I will post my ramblings in this thread, and hope that my storytelling digressions are not too distracting.

Here is a pic of some of Gary’s firefighter brothers. They are all great guys. There are tons of hilarious stories connected to all of their antics.

I just got word from one of them that it looks like the Marriott is going to provide some accommodations to a bunch of the firefighters that are coming.

I just got a Facebook message from another one that offered his expertise in nutrition and b*ke mechanics if I could use it (he’s done two Ironmans, etc).
Just great people…

Great day at the Abilities Expo and Airshow…

Had a really busy day yesterday promoting rideforgary.com
First there was the Abilities Expo at the Cobb Galleria, there were a lot of great products for people with disabilities there. My brother got to try out a wheelchair that lets you stand up at the touch of a button, very useful device.

Met this pro pool player, so we got a picture of our wheel(s).

While getting ready to leave the expo, I met this cool dude Travis, aka Alfa T. He does special events and is re-opening a nightclub not far from where we were at. He saw me promoting the rideforgary, and came over to let me know that there was an airshow just a couple miles down the road that was going to have over 100 thousand people in attendance. He said I could park at his club and then do my promoting around there.

I’m glad he introduced himself to me, because I was able to tell hundreds of people about rideforgary.com as I rode up and down Cobb Pkwy during the airshow. In between planes flying overhead (which was of course awe inspiring with the Blue Angels and other jets and planes), there are extended periods of inactivity when these hundreds of people sitting all up and down Cobb Pkwy on the grass are receptive to a unicyclist promoting a charity event. I stopped for pictures with a lot of people, handed out laminated promo material for the event, and had an advertisement for the rideforgary on the back of my camelpack that I know got a lot of exposure. The event is on again today, so I’m definitely there. I need to finish this post and get the promo materials generated. Things are rolling at rideforgary.com!

These two little ones were so excited to see the big unicycle when I was taking it through the inside of the attached mall.

I could have prevented this UPD (un-planned dismount for those friends of mine that are here at unicyclist.com for the first time reading this).

The crowd had me pretty pumped, I could put about a dozen quotes into the “quote of the day from non unicyclists” thread, so I was going too fast down a hill when I went to make the transition from road to a sidewalk on-ramp. Man, I must have gotten some air as I came off that dip, and I couldn’t help but get bucked-off. I went into an instant in air tuck and hit the ground rolling like a roly-poly bug! It was actually a fun fall, because other than this minor knee scrape there was no other injury. Life is good. I don’t usually wear pads because the long miles in pads just is not comfortable.
I should have used my custom disk brake set-up (courtesy of www.Mountainuni.com - they sent me the Sinz dual hole cranks, mount, and custom rotor at no cost in exchange for some feedback about how well the brake performed). The brake works flawlessly, but you have to use the brake for it to work, you have to pull the lever :roll_eyes:

More updates to follow…maybe tonight if I have the energy. Thanks for checking in on this thread and reading about the rideforgary progress…

Another Epic Day

Back at the airshow again today. It was even better than yesterday. One couple that I met yesterday, named Ken and Barbie believe it or not, were back today and this time Ken had his high-end camera with him. He took a bunch of pictures for me and I thought that was really nice. I’ll post the good ones once I get them, I know the file sizes are probably huge so I probably have to wait for him to mail a disc.

One thought that occured to me as I was cruising down the road on my 36er with the Blue Angels flying overhead was the interesting juxtaposition of one extremely simple object (the unicycle), and one extremely complex awe-inspiring object(s),(the F/A-18 Hornets overhead). It was a great moment, because at the time I was headed downhill with the airfield on my right (just grass and a fence, and no people) and on my left was a two-mile stretch of thousands of people. The booming of the breaking of the sound barrier made it even more impactful. You probably had to be there. Glad I was.

Blue Angels FA 18 Hornets.jpg

Great Deed and a Great Cause Mr Mueller! Yes the disc is just a hunk of metal without the caliper engaged :slight_smile: Wishing you Sunny Skies and Smooth run outs moving forward!

Thanks Buddy! …

Yep, you have to pull the lever if you want the brake to work. Doh! Luckily all I did was re-open a previous wound, and in the end, had fun on the fall.

When you get a chance, check out the site (www.rideforgary.com), and let me know if you want to change anything regarding your link, etc.

Feel free to post there too, would love to hear from any fellow unicyclists on there!

Bill

Ride for Gary shirts are done!..

The shirts have been printed, and are being picked-up today by one of our firefighter buddies, Kenny Retzer, who has been an invaluable asset in getting all of the details coordinated in a timely manner. Also, collapsible cool-cups are done, and will be here on Thursday. We had an initial run of 100 shirts printed, more can be had in about 3 or 4 days if we sell out. The cool cups are the foldable kind, sort of like rubbery wetsuit type material, and they just say “One Wheel, One Day, One Hundred Miles” and rideforgary.com below that. They are fire engine red with white lettering. The coolie cup holders will sell for $5 each, and we had 250 of them done. The shirts will be $20 each. Both of these items will generate more funds for the cause. This order was done so quickly that one of the guys helping me gave final approval on the design, so I didn’t get to make a change that I would have liked to do, specifically, the unicycle on the front of the shirt would have been a graphic of the 36er that I am riding instead of the generic unicycle that is on it. I am very happy with the final product, guess I’m just being a little particular about the unicycle (I bet a lot of you can relate to that).

More updates to follow, can’t wait for the ride on Saturday!

By the way, anyone reading this is more than welcome to post here!
Also, if you have a favorite video of yourself unicycling and would like to post it on my website, www.rideforgary.com just let me know. I haven’t put any video clips on the site yet, and thought a mixture of different styles would be great! (I know you have a ton Unigeezer - Terry, and would love to have you pick a couple favorites to add, it’s all good exposure). Currently the site is getting 75 to 150 visits per day.

A reporter called me yesterday from a local Cape Coral, Florida paper called The Breeze, so an article should be coming soon from them. Still working on some television coverage for the event, and maybe even a live remote from a local Atlanta radio station.

Thanks fellow unicyclists!

Unicycle.com is sending me a banner to put on the firetruck also, along with the new tire and tube that I ordered as a back-up.

RideForGary TShirt.pdf (2.24 MB)

Unicycle Escort Vehicle leaving Florida at 5am

Tomorrow morning seven firefighters are coming up two days early in this 1980 American LaFrance fire truck. It’s all checked over and ready to go, when it gets here it will also have the Unicycle.com banner added to it. The guys are leaving at 5 am.

Also here is a picture of the back of the shirt, I opened the file and just took a pic of the monitor. The front has a picture of a unicycle on the left breast.
(Thought it would be easier than opening the pdf file. The pdf file shows the front too).

RideForGary event…

“One Wheel, One Day, One Hundred Miles” took place here in the Atlanta area from Thursday night Oct. 21st, through Sunday Oct. 24th. Seventeen people drove up from SW Florida (a 1,200 mile round-trip) to see my brother Gary and support this cause.

We all had an amazing time. What a great feeling to have that many people all in one place to support their firefighter brother. It really is a brotherhood, stronger than many brother relationships that I know.

Unfortunately, my brother Gary had to go to the hospital right before everyone got here due to a bad infection that required surgery and a 14 day course of IV antibiotics. He is now here at home, and we are doing the rest of the IV antibiotic treatment here so that he didn’t have to stay at the hospital. On the actual day of the ride, we ended up taking a 4 hour break to visit Gary at the hospital so he could see everyone, and see the fire truck in person. The only drawback to this was that once I got back on the unicycle I rode until after dark and still didn’t reach the 100 mile goal. To rectify this, I am doing a new 100-mile ride this Friday, Oct. 29th on a bike path (with no fire truck escort this time, and no passing cars to worry about). Need to get my name on the “century list”, and I also need to validate the T-Shirts that are out there!

Coolie Cups are still available for $5.00 each. They are the foldable, wetsuit-type material. Postage included in the continental U.S., but turnaround time will probably be close to two weeks due to how busy things are here.

Some T-shirts are also still available (large and X large) with all proceeds going towards the handicap van. Shirts are $20.00, they are preshrunk cotton, and shipping is included in the continental U.S. also.

AMS Vans, Inc. was our biggest supporter, and that is where we will be buying Gary’s handicap van once we have met our goal.

RideForGary Gainesville Cover.jpg

It’s finally official…

Friday Oct. 29th, completed the 100 mile ride. Final stats are: 102 miles, 10 hrs. 51 minutes pedalling time, average speed 9.4 mph. Riding an ungeared 36er, pedals at the 150 position.

This is the only pic that I took during the ride. This was 72 miles in, when I stopped at Starbucks for some coffee. I completed the first 40 miles of the ride on a bike path at a local park, and the last 62 miles all around the Mall of Georgia.

Even though the ride is now over, the cause continues. We will continue to fundraise until we raise enough to pay for the handicap van. We are having a RideForGary Redfish Tournament, and a Golf Tournament, in February in SW Florida to go towards the cause. Those two events are being initiated by some of the firefighters down there in Florida.

Overall, it’s been amazing to witness the generosity of everyone that has taken an interest in helping out with this endeavor. :slight_smile: