We woke up at Ben’s three story house to the smell of bacon, eggs and hash browns. He started the cooking around 7am but I couldn’t peel my head off the pillow until at least 8. We took our time eating, packing and debating whether we should hit the road and dodge the rain or stick around another day in Richmond to see our Street Soccer team’s practice. After riding so much in the rain on Day 7 we decided it would be wise to hit the road and chip away at that 400 plus miles that lay between Richmond and Charlotte, NC, which we only have 5 days to complete.
We left Dave’s gloves and the key to my front wheel skewer so we took the scenic route through town and campus to pick up our gear at the Re-Cycle bike shop. On our way noticed the highly recommended Lamplighter Coffee shop next to this city block full of street art. Our new friend Casey from Instagram met us for coffee and explained the story behind this abandoned art installation since he is into real estate. He is also a high school soccer coach and an all around good dude so I’m glad we met thanks to Carrie commenting on our Instagram post and tagging her friends . It’s amazing how social media can bring strangers together in a positive way and amplify the reach of our voice online to help spread the Street Soccer USA word even further.
Speaking of spreading the word, my dear friends Paper Garden Records have been posting to twitter and sharing their playlist specially made for our Bike Cruisade since Day 1. They also just sent out a press release to their robust list of cool cats which not only give me chills while reading but it informed me that they are going to continue giving us 1$ of every sale made on their online shop until Oct 31. So now you can feel good about treating yourself to some vinyl.
I am so blessed to have so many friends share this journey with us and make it possible through donating to my PayPal account for my personal survival so I’ve decided to give all of the Paper Garden Records proceeds to Street Soccer USA’s NYC program.
If you want to donate to the organization and help us continue to bring soccer into the lives of homeless youth and adults then it will help me (and other coaches like me) continue to live out what I believe is my life’s calling of helping others through the sport I love.
Well back to the ride! We got a late start around noon because Richmond sucked us right in with all of its good vibes. With rain clouds over us as we rode out of town through a beautiful park and bridge we felt at home again on the bike. Just as we were picking up some pace we got a flat about two miles into the ride. This time it wasn’t Shane but Dave who was the unlucky rider. He has Gator Skin tires which are great but must be getting worn. So far my Gator Hard Shell tires are the last of the flat-free Mohicans.
Once we got back on the road we turned into these cycling beasts doing about 25 miles in two hours without a break until we found an odd rest stop with a picnic table and speakers blasting 80’s music. When Sir Mix A Lot came on and it became a party and we juggled the soccer ball and refueled. We got back on the road less traveled by cyclist, Hull Rd to Military Rd , for nearly another 50 miles to Crewe, VA where we found the only chain hotel in the area.
Day 8 ended at 73 miles in just 6 hours of pedaling since we didn’t start until noon. It’s good to have this Charlotte, NC deadline of Sept 13th to keep pushing us ahead through the rain and the pain.
I guess we will just keep adding to our 490 total miles as long as we can today until we find the safest spot to sleep around sundown, unless y’all know anyone between Crewe, VA and Charlotte, NC for us to stay with! Thanks for all the support!