4 Paws Beats 2 Wheels

With all the dogs Bob encountered on our cross-country ride, this one I’m sure he’d want to take home with him. I know I would. I can’t believe those little legs did so much. What heart!

Update on the blog: More photos and videos have been added to the blog (and still working on adding more details to the posts). If you want to see what’s been added, you can re-visit the posts or just click on the links in the menu (or here) for PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Day 24: Houston, We Have A Problem

Bob called me tonight to let me know he was packing it in. He didn’t quit — his bike did.


It had rained again today and when it had quit, Bob was moving his bike when he noticed something was wrong with his rear wheel. He looked close and found it was way out-of-round. One spoke was broken and the wheel needed to be trued. There was a hostel nearby just for bike campers called Perry’s.

Bob called and a woman answered, who turned out to be Perry. She asked where Bob was. He told her and she said she could pick him and the bike up in 15 minutes. He was surprised, but asked if she could pick him up in 30 minutes because he had just started to pack! She was there in 30 minutes.

Perry took him to a bike shop and the guy there said it would cost $250 to get his bike back in shape to ride. Bob knew then the ride was over; he had only paid $200 for the entire bike back in Florida. The guy at the bike shop said he would buy the frame for $150. Bob thought about it for a micro-second and said, “Sold!”

Bob told me he had put up with as much rain as he could and to get back almost what he paid for his bike, “It was a no brainer.”

He also said he was SO impressed with the people at Perry’s and the way they treated him. They are really great people and he appreciated all their hospitality and help.

Bob called his son in Houston and he will drive over tonight, stay the night with him and they’ll drive back to Houston today.

Bob has no regrets. He said he got in 800 miles and knows he could have finished the ride and will probably try it again. He will hang out in Houston with his son and just enjoy.

Bob is a class guy I would be proud to ride with anywhere, anytime.

Thanks, Bob!

I’m going to work this next week on filling-in some details of our ride together, complete with the photos and videos I brought back with me. I hope you’ll enjoy the visuals. Thanks for ‘riding along’ with us — and with Bob — and all of your encouragement and support. It meant a lot to both of us.

Until my next update,

Day 23: Stop the Rain Dancing!

St. Francisville, LA
R&R (for RAIN & Relaxation!)

Bob is still in St. Francisville, Louisiana, holing up in a motel.

Rosedown Plantation

He did do some sight-seeing today. He said he visited the Rosedown Plantation, and was very impressed with the way it was being restored. There are 170+ year-old oaks that were just beautiful.

LOTS of trees

It does seem the rains follow Bob around. It was raining again today and that kind of hampered his sight-seeing. He asked me to stop my rain dancing; he has had enough of the rains! 🙂 I told him that was the only dance I knew but would stop just for him.

Below you can see a video that shows what I mean about the rains we experienced. This was on Dauphin Island:

Bob did run into another bicyclist we had run into a few times before going in the same general direction we were going. His name is Randy. We kept crossing paths. He even camped with us at Pensacola NAS.

Randy and Bob are sharing a motel room in St. Francisville. Randy isn’t feeling well and told Bob he is going to a clinic in the morning and then wrap it up and take a Greyhound bus back home. At least Bob had some company for a while. Sometimes it does get a little lonely out there.

With 80% chance of rain for today maybe Bob will have to sit it out another day, but Bob never complains.

Day 22: Trucks, Hills, and More Animals

Easleyville to St. Francisville, LA
48 miles

Tonight, after 48 miles on the road, Bob is in St. Francisville, La.

He said there were a lot of rolling hills today, but this time most of them had a down side. I guess the rolling hills he had yesterday only went up. 

A Friendly Face

Anyway, he saw a Fox and felt that was a good sign. He also said that last night after I had talked to him, a pygmy goat visited him and just kept hanging around like he just wanted to have some company. Bob likes animals and I think animals pick up on that and just feel safe being near him. Pretty neat, I think.

He said there were a lot of logging trucks on the road hauling pines, but lucky for him they were going west to east and not the other way.

Not Bob, thankfully!

Bob had a nice lunch in Norwood of Meat Pie and Jambalaya. He’s obviously in Cajun Country!

Bob plans on sight-seeing tomorrow and might stay in a motel. He had his tent pitched under an awning and had some big ducks (he said big enough to ride) keeping him company tonight.

I told him I had ridden with the group this morning and everyone wished him well and to keep safe.

Day 21: Hot Dog Cyclist

Franklinton to Easleyville, LA
34 miles

Bob is in Easleyville, LA tonight. He said he only did 34 miles. Campground availability is the reason for this short ride, the next campground would have been too far for a one-day ride.

There were no big hills today, but plenty of rolling ones. The roads were very desolate, though. When Bob thought he wouldn’t find anything, a casino out in the middle of nowhere showed up.


He went in and only wanted something to eat and got a hot dog. As he was eating it the lights went out — Bob said someone had probably won a jackpot. He didn’t stay long.

Bob added that on yesterday’s ride another little puppy tried to adopt him. Bob just seems to draw puppies to him; this is the second pup that has tried to follow him. I told him he may have a new dog by the time he gets back to Florida!

Bob also told me that he was lucky the night before because as he was putting up his tent the campground owner showed up and said he could stay in one of his cabins. Bob got a $50 cabin for $15; not a bad deal.

The owner, a guy named Chris, was a welder but also trained horses and he told Bob how one of his horses almost killed him. Seems he was behind the horse and for some reason the horse kicked him, injured his spleen and he almost died.

I passed on messages to him and will wait for tomorrow night’s report. Keep him in your thoughts and continue sending him your encouragements.

Day 20: Getting Drunk in a Dry County & Outrunning Dogs

Poplarville's Main Street

I received a phone message from Bob this morning. He said he was leaving Poplarville, MS and that he had to stay another day because of storms.

Bob said he will give me another call tonight and let me know where he is and any news.

Looks like the rain is following him. Hope Bob doesn’t get wet again today. Will post more when I get more info.


After 50 miles of riding today, Bob is in Frankinton, LA. He said he had a good time last night in Poplarville, MS drinking with the locals and that it was funny getting drunk in a dry county. It was raining, so the guy that owned the RV park let him stay in a $50 cabin for free.

Bob met another cyclist today, coming from San Francisco, through San Diego, on to St. Augustine, and then up to Maine. The guy is 62 years old and averages 85 miles a day!

Bob said 2 – 4 pm is the hardest riding time because of the heat.

Today he had several animal sightings. First he saw a possum in the middle of the day, which he thought was odd. He also had two encounters with dogs. He was lucky he was going downhill and out ran the first dogs. The second encounter was with a small yapping dog and a Great Dane. Bob said he got off his bike and had his pepper spray ready but he didn’t have to use it.


Bob still has about 400 miles to Houston, about 8-10 days.

Tonight Bob is at an RV Park with about 90 sites and only 1 RV parked in it. He hopes the owner will show up soon and let him stay in the back room of the cabin, where there are 4 bunk beds set up. That would save him from setting up his tent tonight.

Tomorrow could be a short ride because of available campsites ahead. Today’s ride was a lot of little rolling hills. Not a bad day.

I passed on all the emails and comments the blog has been receiving for him and he enjoyed hearing from everyone. I also passed on info from Iris Hollis who said that the Dragon Boat team Bob is on won First Place in the B Division. The whole team really worked hard and I’m glad they got their just reward.

I told Bob to ride safe and I’ll be waiting for tomorrow’s update on his progress.

If anyone has anything they want to pass onto Bob, please leave a comment on the blog and I’ll make sure he gets it.


MS to LA!

Day 18: Bob’s in Mississippi

Grand Bay, Alabama to Perkinston, Mississippi
? miles

Got a call from Bob tonight. He is in Perkinston, MS.

He said this morning when he took off, he saw an eagle. I told him that was a good luck sign. Bob said somehow he got off the route and lost about 15 miles. It was a very unpopulated area, no small towns, or gas stations, no anything. He almost ran out of water. He carries 4 bottles. He does like the Thermos bottles I finally convinced him to get. On a hot day, cold water is so much better than drinking warm water, but these bottles do hold a little less than a regular bike water bottle.

He also ran into another cyclist that we met earlier in our ride who is going the same way. Randy and Bob spent some time riding together, then separated.

Bob got caught in another sudden storm. Just when he thought he couldn’t ride much further, he came across an RV park not on the map. He rolled in and it had hot showers, laundry, and a place under an awning where he put up his tent. He is dry and well fed.

Bob riding after a storm

He also said there was a gaggle of geese there. He started the day with eagles and ended with geese. Gotta be a good sign. He’s in good spirits and will be back on the road again tomorrow.

Day 17: A Change In Plans

Yesterday I had to make a very difficult decision: Continue with Bob on our cross-country ride or return home because our little girl, Shadow, wasn’t doing very well. There was no doubt I was returning home, but I felt really bad about leaving Bob to continue on himself.

Bob is one of the best guys I have met. He understood, and that means an awful lot to me. He will keep in contact with me as he continues riding. His plan now is to make it to Houston, where his son lives, and make a decision to go on or wait for another time.

This trip has meant a lot to me. Bob and I were just getting in the groove. We had fought the hills and almost constant headwinds in Florida and had finally gotten some tailwinds and easy pedaling out of Pensacola into Alabama. We did get a good soaking going to the Ferry to Dauphin Island and holed up in a motel on the island, which got about 7 inches of rain. No way would we have put up our tents in that kind of rain!

Chuck and Bob - Good Times

The next day we had another tailwind which made it an easy 40+ mile ride to Grand Bay, AL.

When Cheryl called me, she said she didn’t want to tell me Shadow might not make it, but knew I had to know the situation. Cheryl wanted me to continue the ride because she thought that it meant so much to me and that I was doing a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Cheryl is my whole life. There is nothing more important than Cheryl and Shadow to me. Shadow has been with us since she was 8 weeks old. She is now 16 years and 8 months old. I could not live with myself knowing she might pass away with me not being at her side.

I’m back at home right now with Cheryl and Shadow and don’t regret what I had to do, what I needed to do — and that is be with the two I love with all my heart.

I'm here, Shadow.

One of the best ways I know right now to support Bob is to keep maintaining this blog with reports on where Bob is on the ride and how he is doing. He has promised to keep in touch and fill me in on all of his adventures. This way you can keep following him too, and cheering him on.

I tried to get him to take my SPOT GPS located with him, but being Bob, he said, “I don’t want to get addicted to gadgets like you are!” Obviously, Bob knows me too well. So we’ll just have to “track” him via his phone calls.

While I was on the road, Cheryl forwarded the comments and emails everyone has been sending to us via the blog and we enjoyed hearing from everyone. I will keep doing that for Bob. So if you want to let him know you’re thinking of him, comment or hit the contact button. We’ll pass it all along.

Now that I’m home, I’ll update the blog with some more posts on mine and Bob’s experiences, complete with all the pictures and videos I took. So check back on some old entries, as I’ll be adding stuff.

Shadow is comfortable right now, but still not well. We don’t know what the future holds, but being with her at this time is what’s important. If you have, or ever had, a dog, you know what I mean. If you don’t, then there is nothing else I can say.

Thanks everyone. Check back later for more on where Bob is today.


Day 15: Sweet Home Alabama

Pensacola Naval Air Station, FL to Dauphin Island, AL
52 miles

Another Post by Chuck!

Today's route - including ferry ride

Last night just before we turned in for the night, fellow camper, Al Wise, came over and told us that a thunderstorm with high winds was supposed to hit the area about 01:00.
He said we could use his truck to get out of the weather if we wanted. He then went over to his  campsite and drove it and parked it next to our tents. We were really impressed that a guy we never meet before would do which a thing for strangers. We can’t thank him enough for the offer.

The weather didn’t hit but the threat was there. We got up early and it was nice to have a dry tent to pack-up and get on the road.

Alabama here we come.

The ride was the best we have had on our whole trip so far, we had a tailwind all the way to the Ferry. It was the kind of ride you dream of. All we had to do was lift our legs and let them drop and just guide our bike.

Oil Rig off FL / AL coast

Oil Rig off FL / AL coast as we wait for the Ferry to Dauphin Island

Just before we got to the Ferry, about 5 miles out, we got a sudden rain shower and no place to get out of the rain, so we got soaked. Not complaining; it still was the best ride yet and we were finally out of Florida, Yeah!

Nasty weather again

Bike Rain Gear

Trying to keep the bike bags dry

The Ferry Ride to Dauphin Island was great. Only $5! Now that’s a good deal.

Bob on Ferry

Bob watching the waves

Chuck on Ferry

Chuck watching the bikes

Bob and I are staying in this nice warm motel tonight:

Where we're staying but with rain, lightning, and flooded parking lot...

Nice pic, right? But THIS is what it looks like outside our door right now:

Ride long or short but ride safe,
Sent from my iPod