Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 57 Palatka to Daytona "Finish Line"

Today will be the last day of our trip. We are leaving from Palatka and riding a short day of 47 miles into Daytona. There are a lot of emotions floating around this morning. We are all so very happy to reach the end of the ride but there is another part of us all that will miss the bus we have lived on the past 57 days. We will miss pleasure to ride our bikes everyday all day. We will miss our crew that has made this all happen up until now. I don't think that we could have made it this far without each and everyone of us. So there is a lot on our minds this morning. The ride was slow because we couldn't get there early. We were supposed to be at the track at 3 for the news. This was good. It afforded us a lot of time to talk about the day and tell each other how we were feeling. The main things that we had been talking about up until this point weren't even a factor today. There was no wind, it wasn't very hot, the roads were smooth, and we didn't need to ask the girls about the GPS. Haha inside joke. The day passed in a blink of an eye. When we saw the Welcome to Daytona sign we knew we were there. All we had to do at that point was take a lap around the track and get some pic's in Victory Lane. This would be the icing on the cake for our long and very hard trip. Jimmy's face lit up as we went through the tunnel and onto the track. Besides some reporters we were the only people there. It was amazing. without him knowing it we all let Jimmy take off on his own to cross the finish by himself because this was his day to shine. He has worked harder than anyone on this trip. He has also amazed everyone here with his drive to push through pain. For those of you that weren't there aren't words to describe what has happen these past 57 days. With the three crashes and the surgery. A normal person would have packed it up and gone home a long time ago but Jimmy stayed and pushed himself everyday. There were a lot of days that I was in a lot of pain and I had no idea how he was still peddling a bike but he was. I have said it many times on this trip but Jimmy you are inspiring and you are my hero and my best friend. We have also used this T.S. Eliot quote before but I can't think of a better way to sum up the entire trip "Only those willing to risk going to far can possibly find out how far one can go". After the first day Jimmy told me that he truly thought that he was pushing himself to the point of possible death. He had never pushed himself that far past his comfort zone. He continued to push himself everyday on this trip and we all gave him everything we had to support him. There were so many amazing things that happen along the trip that will never make this blog but the bond that all of us traveling together have made will last a lifetime. We would like to thank all of you for helping and supporting us on our quest. Please continue to pass along the information about the site. We will continue to raise money for SCI Research and we will have a24 hour event in the last summer. Please check back and go to for more info. Thank you again for all that you have all done.

JB & Cory & Crew
Eastbound and Down/DONE!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 56 2 da Go

This morning was a little questionable if Jimmy would be able to start the day but once again He rises to the occasion. It was a slow start while he struggled to get oxygen into his lungs. We rode pretty slow for the first half hour but then slowly started to speed it up from there. Jimmy was in a lot of pain but was hiding it well. We rode through Gainesville and headed southeast. Today the wind is gusting up to 30mph at times. So we have got to stay on our toes. We've only got today and tomorrow to go. So we decided to slow it down and take it easy for most of the day today. Big thanks to Jim, Red Dog, Billy, and Megan for all of the help today. At the end of the day we had ridden 67 miles and Jimmy is pretty beat up but we are ready to get to Daytona. If nothing else "Just to prove it to those guys that thought that Jimmy couldn't do it".

Day 55

Today we were excited to get on the road because Tim "Red Dog" Ferry and Billy Wood were joining us. The road was supposed to be flat and the wind wasn't supposed to be very bad either. On mile 28 though the day would take a substantial change. Jimmy slowed down to take a drink and ended up riding into my back tire and crashing pretty hard. It seemed that the ride may be done with only two and a half days until Daytona. Jimmy was in a lot of pain from hitting the ground. He had scrapes on his hands, hip, and ribs. He has also broken another helmet. His elbow seems to be ok because he was wearing a skateboard elbow pad. We think he has cracked or broken ribs though. Much to all of our surprise Jimmy wantedto get back on the bike and ride. He is determined to finish this thing. Although the rest of the day would be ridden at a much slower pace we got it done. Jimmy is in a lot of pain and needs to have some wounds cleaned. He is in good spirits and hopefull about tomorrow. We will all go to bed tonight after we say a prayer for Jimmy. Jimmy & Cory East Bound & Down Crash Video:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 53-54 Time Catching Up...

Day 53,
Today we woke up to Jimmy not feeling well. So it took us a little longer than usual to get started. We finally got on the road around around 1pm. We had to start out slow
because Jimmy's stomach was upset which led to a lot of other issues with his body. We ended up stopping at a store in the middle on nowhere to get him some ginger ale to try and settle his stomach. After a 15 min break we got back on the road and JB slowly started to feel better. The good thing is it isn't as hot as it was the past few days. We got into Tallahassee around 5pm just in time for traffic. We are staying in the awesome Wal-Mart motor home park tonight. Let's hope Jimmy feels better tomorrow.

Day 54,
Today once again JB isn't feeling 100%. His back is pretty tight which threw his entire body into spasm. I worked on him for about an hour and he also took a warm shower to calm himself down. We finally got on the road about 1pm once again. We started out slow again today. The road out of Tallahassee is pretty hilly. Which is hurting his left hamstring. The good thing is the road is pretty smooth and it is a lot cooler today than yesterday. I saw a few snakes on the side of the road today and Jimmy didn't see any of them. Big E stopped us today to give us Jimmy's elbow pad because we grabbed the wrong one before we left. Jimmy was feeling tight and need to get started pretty quick but I had to do a nature break since the bus was there. It took about 5 minutes and JB was out of sight. Big E suggested that I draft behind the bus to catch back up. I said ok and I'm glad I did. It was a lot of fun because I was riding at 42 mph with little effort. Big E could see me on the camera as I motioned him to go faster. When we finally caught back up to Jimmy I. was peddling at 53.3 mph. That's pretty fast on a flat road. We were almost half way done around this time. We stopped for a quick break and got back on the road. After lunch Jimmy was finally feeling a bit better. So we picked up the pace on our way to Perry. We are excited to stay in a KOA tonight. We will have hook ups and maybe be able to do laundry. We ended up doing 60 miles today. Which is about 10 miles past the RV Park. Billy Wood and Red Dog are already there waiting on us to show up. They will be riding the last few days with us.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 52

It rained pretty hard last night which worked out in our favor because it helped cool the temperature and humidity significantly. The road was straight and not very hilly. We only climbed about 500 feet which is a lot for Florida but not a lot compared to the last two months. The majority of the ride today was done on HWY 20 which except for one incident with a truck had much nicer drivers. We ended up doing 72 miles in just under 4 hours.

JB & Cory
East Bound & Down

Day 51 "Bad Drivers"

Today started out with a grudge match between Big E and Cory at Emerald Coast Dirt & Vert BMX track, where the RV has been parked for the last 3 days. Big E won!!!! After the friendly competition Jimmy had an interview with the NWF Daily News. We set off on to HWY 98 where we found nothing but hostile drivers that were obviously in a big hurry. We got swerved at, honked at, cut off, flipped off and cursed at more today than we have in the last 50 days. Although we had bad experiences with the drivers today we did encounter one of the prettiest beaches when we rode through Destin, FL. So far the 2 worst things about Florida are the drivers and the humidity, hopefully they both will be better tomorrow.

JB & Cory
East Bound & Down

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 49

Robertsville, AL to Oriole, FL

We had an early start today even though we were up until 1:00 am trying to figure out why the LP gas detector alarm kept going off. We had a large group riding with us again today. The Charlotte group and Greg came back for another day and we also had Andre and Jody join us. The humidity played a big factor the day today. It was hard for Jimmy to regulate his temperature, we had to keep pouring water over his head to cool him down. The Florida state line sign was so small some of the group rode right past it, we had to back track to take our photo. Reaching this sign was so significant to the two of us, now we can say we rode bikes from California to Florida!!! We still have a week left but the end is in site!! We stopped for lunch at the bay park right before the three mile bridge in Pensacola. The shade and the breeze coming off the water was a welcomed change. After lunch we rode over the 3 mile bridge where there was an accident on the other side. This worked out to our advantage because the traffic was stopped on both sides which made it easy for us get across safely. As we came through Pensacola the drivers weren't as nice as we have experienced, we got a few fingers and a lot of horns. We reached the 54.5 mile mark to end the day. We are taking a much needed rest day tomorrow after riding 11 straight days. We are heading to Barber Motorsports Park to watch Jimmy's client, friend and fellow M4M rider race his Indy car. Go JR!

JB & Cory
East Bound

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 48

Grandbay, AL to Roberstville, AL

Today I was excited because we had a few new people join us on the ride. Actually they were some of my good friends from Charlotte, NC, Jared, Betsy, Billy, and Paul (Cory writing). Greg was also on the ride with us again today as well. The ride started about four miles past the Alabama state line at a gas station, which was the first debate of the day because Kristi said it was a Chevron Station and I thought it was a Shell Station. JB pulled into a Chevron Station that was the wrong one and Greg and I both said we weren't at the right spot. It was good for a laugh before we even got started. The first half of the day was easy going, the roads were pretty good and the wind wasn't a factor. It was a good time talking to the guys about home. We stopped at a park in downtown Mobile where Betsy was waiting for us. We enjoyed lunch across from the Marti Gras Museum. After lunch we had to pack up the bikes and drive through the tunnel. On the other side we got to ride across a causeway which had water on both sides of us. This specific causeway usually has lots of alligators in it but with the water being rough unfortunately we didn't see any. After the causeway the 90 headed inland and to our surprise there were a significant amount of steep hills. This ended up being pretty hard on some of the group. Aside from the heat and hill, the group did awesome! Thanks to all the guys for coming out to ride with us!!

JB & Cory
East Bound & Down

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 47 - "Sweet Home Alabama"

As we were getting ready to leave this morning we realized that Jimmy's carbon fiber handle bars were cracked. We had to change out his bars and re tape them before we could start the day. Today we had a rider join us, Greg Looney from Mobile, AL came out to support! We headed back toward the beach, as we got closer to the beach we realized the wind was once again going to be a problem. The wind was about 20-25 mph in our face. We stopped by Suzuki City in Biloxi, MS to say hi to Michael. Shortly after we left, the 90 headed inland and the wind wasn't as bad except for when we were exposed to it on the bridges. Although there was no climbing to speak of, the day was hard on Cory because of all of the wind. He even bonked and had to drink a coke to continue on. We had a very nice welcoming committee at the Alabama state line. Greg and Elaine Looney's family were waiting for us with a welcome sign and an American flag! We finished up about 5 miles past the state line with a total of 56 miles in 4 hours.

Big thanks to Greg & Elaine Looney, they have been so hospitable!! Plus they gave us Moon Pies, which the Chase Chicks especially liked!!

JB & Cory
East Bound & Down

Day 46 New Orleans to Long Beach, MS

After we got out of the Big Easy we got to ride through the Upper Black Bayou today. The trees shaded the wind today which was nice. There were a lot of pretty cool old bridges as we came into Mississippi. We saw a huge dead Bore on the side of the road that JB and KB thought was a bear. :<)We saw some more gators today as well. The views were amazing as we rode into the beautiful beaches of Mississippi. We would have never known that it was so beautiful here had we not done this ride. The bus driver was stoked today because our campsite had a dock that was on a little pond.
JB and Cory
East Bound and Down

Day 45 Amelia to New Orleans "The Big Easy"

Things are quite a bit drier today. I didn't think our stuff was going to dry in time to leave this morning but it did. We got to ride through a swamp today and we saw our first gator on the side of the road. The hills are all behind us now and we are hoping the roads stay as nice as the ones we saw today. The ride into New Orleans was pretty nice and we were all excited to be able to shower and sleep off the bus tonight. We had another awesome host family here in New Orleans that hooked us up with hotel rooms and took us to dinner. Thank you Justin, Bob, Melena, and Donna Hatcher, we really enjoyed meeting you guys. We also need to get you and the Newman's together. After dinner we all went to Cafe Du Monde with our friend Andy Harrington for some tasty treats. Stay safe brother. Then our bus driver took a late night trip to Wally World for some cart racing. The video may be on youtube.
JB and Cory
East Bound and Down

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 44 Riding Dirty

New Iberia, LA to Amelia, LA

We awoke to the sound of the howling wind and once again knew weather would play a big factor in our day. We made the decision last night to take the 138 to shield us from the wind. This ended up being a good decision because the roads were someone pothole free. For most of the day the wind was coming from the right front with an occasional dead wind. By taking the 138 we got to enjoy the beautiful plantation homes and other nice scenery. Jimmy's arm and back were feeling better today due to the fact that the road conditions were better. About half way through the day we started to get a slight mist which was welcoming because it cooled us down but the slight mist quickly turned into a complete downpour. We rode in the rain for approximately 2 hours until we finally got to the town of Amelia, LA. We rode a total of 61 miles and it felt great to get in a full days mileage again. Hopefully Jimmy's body will continue to and improve and we can continue to stay on track with our daily goals.

JB & Cory
East Bound & Down

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 42 & 43

Day 42 Lake Charles, LA to Crowley, LA

Yesterday we started the morning with a TV interview with KPLC, the local NBC Affiliate in Lake Charles, LA. Then we got on the road with Chad Canter and headed out on the 90. The first few miles of the day started out a little rough but quickly turned into smooth flat roads. The weather was a hot and humid 85 degrees. Hello Louisiana!! We had a great time riding with Chad, it's always good to ride with a local. Jimmy's elbow felt a little better today but his back and hip were starting to bother him because of the way he has to compensate for his left arm on the bike. We ended the day in Crowley, LA at 50 miles. We are hoping to put in some longer days as Jimmy's arm continues to get better.

Day 43 Crowley, LA to New Iberia, LA

It didn't take long for us to realize that there was no escaping the heat as we got hit in the face with it the moment we stepped out of the RV. The wind once again would not be our friend. The roads were nothing like the roads we were on yesterday. Jimmy couldn't find a comfortable spot on the bike because of the rough roads. Every bump and hole in the road felt like he was getting stabbed in the elbow. We were stopping every hour for a short break and to ice the arm. He was also having trouble stabilizing his bike in the crosswinds because he needed to be able to put more weight on his hurt arm. This all played a factor in us only being able to ride 44 miles in 3. 5 hours. Once again we are hoping tomorrow is better than today.

JB & Cory
East Bound & Down

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 40 & 41 - Back on the Road

Liberty, TX to Beaumont, TX

Yesterday was the first day back on the road since the surgery. Emotions were very high for the whole crew. As Jimmy was getting ready to clip in, he said he was more scared at that moment than he was on the first day of ride. Jimmy was uneasy because he wasn't sure how the vibration of the road would be and the strength of his arm. He had only been on a stationary bike since the surgery, this moment became a true test if this ride would go on. He clipped in and headed to the road, Jimmy's pain level was high and his arm felt very weak. Before the ride we had decided not to set a specific mileage or time for the day, we would just see how far Jimmy could tolerate the pain. We took a small break at the 1 hour point and iced Jimmy's left arm, we had gone about 17 miles at this point. We re-wrapped the arm and put his Proctec elbow pad back on and set back out to see how much further we could push it. As we headed toward Beaumont the roads were smooth and the wind wasn't bad. Jimmy's pain level was still very high but he was able to ride one more hour. We ended the day at 43 miles in Beaumont Texas. This day was very hard on Jimmy both physically and emotionally.

Beaumont, TX to Lake Charles, LA

We had a really late start this morning, every part of Jimmy's body felt sore plus we had to say goodbye to what had become our second home and family. The whole crew was sad to be leaving the Newmann house hold but they were excited to finally be leaving the state of Texas! We felt like VIP as we started our ride through the city of Beaumont, Joe and Roxanne Newmann had set us up with a full police escort. This was very helpful as the police blocked every intersection which meant that Jimmy didn't have to clip out at every red light. After we made our way through town we headed back to the 90. We stopped in Orange for lunch and also to ice Jimmy's arm. Jimmy was feeling better than yesterday but still wasn't feeling good. Today was one of the hottest days of the trip so the large trees and shade came as a relief after our lunch break. After we crossed into Louisiana the roads got a little rougher than they had been and the pain in Jimmy's arm intensified and his right hip started to bother him as well. We ended our day in Lake Charles, LA at the L'Auberge Casino. Big thanks to Chad Cantor for arranging our RV site and dinner.

JB & Cory
Eastbound & Down Once Again