Mike Perry is back on a bike to continue his trek across the states and raise funds for Grand Valley youth and science education! This year, Mike will be biking along the Great Lakes from Michigan to Niagara Falls! Mike's daughters, Allyson Willoughby and Adrienne Hartly, will be joining him for the ride this year!
On June 13th, Mike and Co. will begin their 526 mile journey to raise scholarship funds for youth enrolling in EUREKA! STEAM camps, including in our Environmental Institute field science programs and Gear Up! mountain biking and science camps!
About 20 miles completed the 526 mile journey today! What an incredible effort and journey from this team! Now, some sightseeing and dinner with friends and family before the long drive back!
Buffalo in the distance!
The weather was favorable again with cooler temps and the wind at our backs. The group left Erie, motivated to do more miles today to finish with a short final day to have more time to enjoy Niagara Falls and see more sights. The 80+ miles was great with rolling hills, beautiful scenery, vineyards, and nice smooth shoulders to ride on.
Mike enjoying a rest day :)
A rest day on Day 7, the Perry crew visited the Presque Isle State Park to see the Perry Monument, of course! Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the 1812 war with the British is credited in saving a major battle.
Another new state!
Ending in Erie - big enough for an International Airport!
Day 6 started in Geneva, PA and finished in Erie, a large city of 280,000. Hard to believe it, but the day started with long sleeves and windbreakers! Morning temps were in the low 50's with moderate headwinds off the lake, but the ride was beautiful along the lakeshore. Garage sales were a BIG deal and one town had a line of cars 3/4 mile long with police directing traffic! The day closed with smiles as a quiet, restful Father's Day awaits tomorrow.
A chilly morning, for once!
A container ship ready to load cargo.
Cleveland to Geneva, OH put the group over the halfway mark and then some! Flat roads, cooler temps, and breeze to their backs. For all but one, it was the perfect day. Adrienne's bike malfunctioned with a broken gear cable, which put her in the car with Sandy. As luck would have it though, her husband Mitch phoned around and found a traveling bike mechanic who came right to the hotel and fixed the problem! This mechanic found a niche business during Covid as more people were biking and thru bikers on the road increased. Lucky for us! 170 miles to Niagara Falls with one rest day coming up for a breather.
Allyson Willoughby, our oldest daughter, and her husband Mike also looking for long-lost family relatives!
Grandkids Syrus and Lucy enjoying a day's end feast.
Still looking for relatives in OH!
It was a beautiful ride along Lake Erie to Cleveland on Day 4. The weather cooperated and gave some cooler temps for the crew to put in more miles and reach over halfway! Once at the hotel, there were many directions of sightseeing in Cleveland and along the coastal villages. Tomorrow will include stops at a few places early ancestors lived before moving westward.
One of many lakeside attractions
In Cleveland, the setting of the class Christmas movie, A Christmas Story!
Some lakeside stops along the way!
A stop at Perrysburg!
Roadside wildlife! Hopefully this little guy will fare better than the 30+ flattened cousins we dodged along the way.
Heat and humidity came together for a muggy Midwest summer day. The crew started peddling at 6 am, and were spent by 11 am and ready to call it a day at 50 miles. A good day, but we didn't reach our goal of Toledo. Aside from the unusual heat, the ride through the country sides of southern Michigan, northern Indiana, and now Ohio has been beautiful. Expansive farms, greenery everywhere, and kindness from folks all along the way. After a restful afternoon and a drive to the coastal community of Oak Harbor for award winning pizza at the Lagoon Saloon, it's an early night for a 5 am start tomorrow!
Adding another state to the growing list!
Given the traffic and poor road conditions they experienced on day 1, the team scouted a new route on a secondary road through the countryside that was great - and no flat tires! A severe storm last night caused havoc throughout the region that left trees, house siding, and debris scattered everywhere. Fortunately, it was sunny and clear with only puddles to navigate during the day. Total day 2 distance: 68 miles to Morenci, MI.
On the dusty road!
The big storm from last night
Roadside picnic to refuel!
At the starting line!
First night family dinner.
Mike, Allyson, and Adrienne started from the shore of Lake Michigan at New Buffalo! The goal for the day was to reach Sturgis, MI, 72 miles eastward. All good beginnings have a few bumps in the road - Mike had two flat tires within the first 50 miles, and shoulders ran out almost from the start as the "road less traveled" was renamed the most traveled! But the kindness of a stranger saved them all from rush hour traffic by inviting the crew to stay in his driveway while they fixed another flat to avoid a possible collision. But meeting kind people, a picnic in the park, and a great dinner topped it all off for a great first day.
Fixing Mike's second flat tire!
Mike and Sandy Perry have loaded up bikes and are off to Michigan! Mike will begin biking on Monday, June 13th. Their grandson, Syrus, will be traveling with them, and they'll meet up with Allyson, Adrienne, and their families in Michigan. The whole family will be represented on this adventure!
Mike saw some familiar faces on his 35.3 mile training ride yesterday. With a full tune-up completed on the bike for the journey on 2 wheels, the SAG wagon vehicle is up next to get ready for the 526 mile support drive!
Mike, Adrienne, and Allyson have been putting down the miles in preparation for their long ride along the Great Lakes! Mike averages 100-120 miles per week with a Rocketman-inspired playlist that includes a love song or two for downhill sections!
Left - Adrienne
The EUREKA! team joined Mike on a 28 mile training ride on the first non-windy day we've seen in a while! His wife, Sandy, brought breakfast for the crew post-ride and will be SAG wagon once again for the whole team this year.