A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: brendagerber07

Pony Tour de USA

The Prologue

View Pony Ride 2013 on brendagerber07's travel map.

Welcome to Savannah! We drove 6 hours last night and another 6 hours today. What a beautiful sight to see the ocean. What an even more beautiful sight to see our three riders with their bikes in the air, dipping the back tires into the Atlantic Ocean. They decided to wear their Armed Forces gear today for the Prologue of 17 miles and will also wear them tomorrow on the official Day 1 of our Tour. Colleen sported a snazzy jersey honoring her son and all Marines. Dan wore an Air Force Jersey honoring his son and all those in the Air Force. And Wynn had on a new Navy jersey honoring my Dad and all those on the high seas.
I will include pics of today's tire dipping, and the riders.The riders took off from Tybee Island at 4:00pm. Karen and I stayed behind to see the Tybee lighthouse and also take a stroll along the beach. We met back up with the team at 5:15. The riders had made their 17 mile trek in 1 hour, thanks to the 7 mile tail wind. The ponies all survived with no flats or problems. We decided to do a Prologue and get through Savannah so we could start our ride tomorrow heading out of the city. We stayed in a Fairfield Inn close to Rt 95 by the airport.
Dinner tonight was Huc a Poos on Tybee Island-pizza and nachos. Yummy! Colleen's niece and nephew gave the recommendation and we all thank them for a great choice. "Georgia On My Mind" was the song for the day and we played it as we rolled into Georgia. We are all looking forward to tomorrow.

On another note, Wynn wanted me to include these next few paragraphs:

As we embark on this great biking adventure, we want to thank many who are thinking of us, wishing us well, and praying for our safety. Others of you helped us train for this event. Thank you all. One thing that has repeatedly been asked of us recently is, ‘Why are we riding?’ We have usually responded, ‘For fun.’ However, we are often asked if we are riding for a cause. So, we have started talking about riding for a cause, and several of them have come to mind.

We want to make sure that this was in no way an attempt to get you to our blog and then drop this on you. The following is in response to the questions from you, collectively, and to give us a greater cause and meaning to embark on this ride than ‘just for fun’. As you look at the causes we have selected, you should only participate as you feel lead. Also, please understand that Colleen, Dan, and Wynn are covering all expenses for the trip and any donations will go 100% to the organization you choose.

One of the causes is the Ohio Association for Regular Baptist Churches (OARBC) bicycle ride for Scholarships for deserving young people to attend college for purposes of going into Christian ministry. Wynn has participated in this ride since it started in 2008. This year he did not participate, but told the sponsors about the cross-country ride and the desire to use it as his ride for 2013. If you would like to give toward this cause, send your check made payable to ‘OARBC’ to OARBC, c/o Dave Warren, 360 College Hill Drive, Cedarville, OH 45314. You can check out their website at http://www.oarbc.org/ for further details and other means of donating toward these scholarships. If donating by check, please indicate on the memo line ‘Gerber Pony Ride’ so that they can track our fundraising.

Another cause that we discussed was the Wounded Warrior Project. Multiple purposes for the organization are listed, but basically their purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members. Wounded Warriors requires registration of our event, and we have been approved. It appears their events are most geared toward one-day events such as banquet, golf outing, etc. Therefore, so we can track the progress for this cause, I am asking that you send checks payable to Wounded Warrior Project and mail them to my home, c/o Wynn Gerber, 38640 Overlook Drive, Grafton, Ohio 44044. You also can check them out at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/.

The final cause that we are throwing out to each of you is Camp Patmos, a children’s camp located on Kelley’s Island. Wynn is a board member of this organization. The Camp is in need of funds to replace operating monies that were used to upgrade the Camp’s water system to satisfy the EPA several years ago. If you would like to donate toward seeing children continue to go to this Camp or just read about the Camp, see the website at http://www.camppatmos.com/. Donations by check can be sent to Camp Patmos, PO Box 1920, Kelleys Island, Ohio 43438. Again, if you can designate ‘Gerber Pony Ride’, it will help them track the fundraising.

All these organizations should send you a receipt for your gift for tax purposes. Thank you for your participation.

I will close with the promised pictures.


Posted by brendagerber07 17:17 Comments (4)


Goodbye, Ohio

The ponies are ready to depart. Everyone has their one little bag packed, their travel bag and of course the bike gear. As Sag Master, I have browned the beef and chicken and have the electric skillet ready as well as the grill. I picked up my riding buddy last night at the Ohio/Ind border. We plan to get on the road from here at 5pm and then pick up Dan before hitting the highway. We plan to travel through Ohio on Rt 77 and then take the West Va turnpike to VA. We hope to stay at the LaQuinta Hotel in Wytheville and then pick up the journey in the morning to hit Savannah. The Toyota Sienna is packed to the hilt, including the rocket box on top and the bike carrier on the back. (Picture will be up tomorrow. ).

Poor Wynn had a flat and a bad tire yesterday so had to miss the last training ride with Silver Wheels ( his local riding club). He made it out to Century Cycle and got his bike back in tip top shape. Thanks, guys! Glad that happened here and not on the first day of the adventure. So what lies ahead? I hope to write a little something each day. Keep us in your prayers for safety, good weather, finding lodging, and remaining good friends.-Ha!

Glad to have all of you sharing our journey. It is hard to imagine for me, being away from home and my kids, grand kids and dog for a whole month. This blog is my connection with things back home. Included today is a picture of me and my SAG partner, Karen. SAG stands for Support and Gear

Love to all of you as we keep riding....
Brenda and the Pony Express


Posted by brendagerber07 09:16 Comments (9)

Meet Wynn (the one who started this dream)

6 days and counting...

We will be heading to Savannah on Thursday evening. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I want to give you a little insight into my husband and his love for riding bike. We started throwing this idea around of actually doing a ride after reading "Riding Through". Then Wynn found a blog of two riders that actually completed this ride in 29 days, averaging around 90 miles each day. We chose the southern route because it is the shortest distance across the USA and also because the weather would be favorable there in the fall. We thought the fall would be the perfect time to ride because we would have all summer to get in riding shape after our Ohio winters. At first it was going to be just Wynn on his bike and me in the van, but our good friend and fellow-rider, Colleen started talking about joining us. Then her friend, Dan jumped on board. Finally my sister-in-law, recently retired from the computer lab at a school in West Chicago, decided to come be my van partner for the first couple of weeks. So out little group of 5 are raring to go. Wynn so seldom has pushed for anything in our marriage of 33 years, but this is something he really is excited about. My prayer is that we make it across in the 29 days planned and that his dream will be all he wants it to be. I love him so! Here are the answers to his questionnaire:

1. When did you start biking? I started biking in 2003 after getting interested in watching the Tour de France. I was fascinated how far these guys
could ride in a short period of time. I also was at the end of my running days and cycling was much easier on my body.

2. What is your favorite thing about biking? Biking is a big release for me after working in an office all day. Also, I am 15-20 pounds lighter on the
average for the past 10 years since starting cycling, which certainly cannot hurt my overall health. As I grew to enjoy biking, rides became an
adventure, as length of rides were extended and I ventured out into new unexplored roads.

3. Is the Pony Ride your longest adventure? Absolutely. My average miles per year have been between 4,000-4,500 over the past five years. This
one month ride will be 2,600 miles.

4. What other fun rides have you been on? In 2009, my wife and I took a week-long tour of the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, about 350-400 miles
for the week. Colleen and I have ridden RAIN twice, which is a one day ride across the state of Indiana, 160 miles in a day.

5. What are you looking forward to on our upcoming trip? First, I am looking forward to testing my biking and physical abilities. Second, I am
looking forward to meeting people as we cross the US who we can talk to and find out stories and history for their region of the USA. Finally, I am
hoping to enjoy seeing the southern states first hand from the seat of a bicycle.

tunnel_4_.jpg us82greenville01.jpgFlat_1.jpgFlat_2


I hope that we get to see lots of interesting sites, like this tunnel and this bridge, but I also know that there is the possibility of a flat or two along the way. Guess we gotta take the bitter with the sweet and we are all sure looking forward to this Pony Ride beginning soon.

Rolling along,

Posted by brendagerber07 14:57 Comments (6)

Two weeks out...

Meet Colleen!

The Pony Ride is getting closer to becoming a reality. We have one female rider in our group and she has become such a good friend! Colleen's boys and my boys are good buddies and have grown up together. Colleen is responsible for suggesting the name "Pony Ride" for our adventure. She is a registered nurse and gives the team info on recovery products and techniques. (More on that in the upcoming days.) This morning while the team is out on a 100 mile ride, I decided to get back to our blog. With the passing of my Dad, life has fallen in a different direction for me. Trying to help my Mom figure out what her new "normal" looks like, has been an adventure for me-one I didn't plan on taking. I feel very behind the eight ball as I consider the Pony Ride, so it's time I catch up and catch the spirit again. So Colleen, tell us a little about yourself and why you love to bike...
"My name is Colleen I am 52 years old. I started biking when my oldest child started college and I saw my role as Mom beginning to change. I little voice in my ear told me to get busy and work on my fitness. I'd been a back-of-the-pack runner all my life, but knee and back issues were starting to creep up and make that more difficult. So I started tooling around town on a hand-me-down mountain bike. Then I got the fever and upgraded to a nice Trek hybrid bike, and then one more upgrade to a nice road bike.
My favorite thing about cycling is the sense of freedom I get when I am out on my bike. I enjoy solo rides but more than that, the camraderie of friends who share my love of cycling, and that now includes my wonderful husband who has taken up cycling with me.
The Pony RIde is by far my biggest cycling adventure to date. I've done some week -long bike tours, ie, GOBA, My most epic ride was RAIN (Ride Across Indiana) 160 miles in one day, which I have done three times.
There is so much I am looking forward to on our upcoming Pony Ride, not the least of which is having more than a month away from work and home responsibilities. I look forward to seeing the countryside from my bicycle and taking in the sights of America the beautiful firsthand. I look forward to deepening friendships with the good folk whom with I will be traveling.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to partake in this adventure. Thank you Wynn and Brenda!

Next blog will give you Wynn's story and how this ride came together. Until then, keep rolling and rolling.

Posted by brendagerber07 05:25 Comments (2)

Meeting the Team Members

Featuring Rider Dan

On Thursday night, the three of us and our SAG met for a ‘pre-packing’ party to make sure all our gear will fit into the van that we are taking on our Pony Ride. It looks good for everything fitting in. For the cyclists, it is relatively easy as our cycling kits will be what we are wearing for the majority of our trip. It looks like a small carry-on piece of luggage, a computer bag, and a ‘crate’ in the van for bicycle equipment will be sufficient for each of us. Brenda and Karen will have an extra bag for activities to do in the car (HA) We also will have some cooking equipment along and will have first aid kits and lawn chairs!

After the packing party, Ron and Joyce met us for an organizational meeting. Ron is considering riding the first week of the ride with us. It would be great if he could. In our meeting, we reviewed maps, housing arrangements, including ‘Warm Showers’, and talked about the best ways for physical recovery because we will be riding day after day.

The days are counting down toward the great adventure...I would like to introduce Wynn's teammates for this journey. All of our riders are in their 50's and 60's so I guess we can say this is a "Bucket List" adventure for all of them. Dan is our oldest member and probably has the most experience riding. He leads many tours in our local club, Silver Wheels. Dan is very knowledgable about bikes and routes and trips. His wife Ev is presently researching bike shops along the path that we will be taking. Wynn has really enjoyed meeting him. I asked him about his love of cycling and this is his reply:


"I've cycled since the early 1980's. I became more serious when Ev and I did GOBA from 1990 to 1995. After that we took many cycling trips. We did the Four Wine Valleys of California, Bryce and Zion National parks, across most of Missouri on the Katy Trail, and the trail from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C.
I've also gone from Cleveland to Niagara Falls. But this will be my longest trip by far. I love cycling for the great exercise, along with the wonderful opportunity to meditate on the move. But, possibly best of all, I love the social aspect. I'm really looking forward to the camaraderie of our cycling and sag team, as well as meeting cyclists and others along the way."

Dan has also introduced us to the idea of using "Warm Showers" as we move across country. Now I had never heard of this group, but it is an organized group of folks who offer cyclists a bed and a warm shower. It is a great way to meet other cyclists across the whole country. Dan has used this before and they have found it to be helpful in getting the lay of the land, saving hotel costs and just having the pleasure of meeting other people that love to bike. We are currently seeking out this possibility for some of the nights coming up.

So with less than a month to go, the training rides are picking up. Dan is doing back to back centuries today and tomorrow and then all three riders plan to do a back to back century again on Saturday and Sunday. Stay tuned...we will meet Colleen next posting.
Keep riding.... Brenda (SAG Master)

Posted by brendagerber07 05:25 Comments (6)

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