Sunday, December 7, 2014

My goal on the 2015 tour is to make this happen in West Bend

The folks at Cedar Community gave me the privilege of seeing this documentary, Alive Inside, at the Milwaukee Film Festival. It inspired me. My goal in the 2015 Italy tour is to raise enough money to provide iPods and music for folks that suffer Alzheimer's and dementia in West Bend and Washington County.

Sponsorship proposal to be released shortly.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

2015 Amazing Ride heads to Italy

The big announcement has been made and the 2015 Amazing Ride for Alzheimer's will tour Italy. Many thanks to Michael Albiero for the updated logo. More information coming soon.

If you would like to be part of this year's tour - contact Judy Steffes at 262-334-4526. A list of sponsorship levels will be available shortly. All money raised benefits exercise and entertainment at Cedar Community.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thanks for the support - onto new adventures

It's been a whirlwind of emotions since returning home - - elation from the accomplishment of pedaling 1,031 miles, memories of wonderful people and beautiful scenery, realization of the fatigue and soreness from the challenging hills followed by more hills, and the comfort of being home and knowing I helped raise nearly $30,000 this tour for Alzheimer's.

I ran into tour sponsor Helen Reinke upon my return. "What's next," was her immediate question.

I will keep you posted. I'm sure there's another tour in the future - the planning has only just begun.

A mighty thanks to all the sponsors, supporters and my web editor - I could not have done it without you!

Friday, July 18, 2014


FINAL weekly update interview on The Amazing Ride for Alzheimer's with WBKV 1470's Morning Show with host Bob Bonenfant.

Discussed ride through Chicago, homecoming reception, reason for the ride, Cedar Community, my dad, total mileage (can you guess?), and amount raised for Alzheimer's research!

Click HERE to listen to the podcast!

Don’t forget about the last PUSH to raise our final goal of 
an additional $3500 for Alzheimer’s research!  
Click HERE to read MORE!

Riding in Tribute to:


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Home again, Home again!

West Bend, Wis. - Pulled into home base around 1 p.m. Thursday. A couple people driving past waved and had conversations through open car windows welcoming me home.

Total miles over 20 days was........ 1,031

Big thanks to all the sponsors and everyone for their support.

Going to give my legs a break and enjoy my own bed. 

Cedar Community
Wiedmeyer Express
Thrivent Financial
Marine Corps League/Kettle Moraine Detachment
The Cottages On Golden Pond
Martin Jewellers

Almost Home! Join me tonight to CELEBRATE!

Milwaukee, Wis. - Started at 6 a.m. from Kenosha. Have 35 miles under my belt. Almost home.

Join me tonight at 6 p.m. at West Bend Tap and Tavern as we celebrate another successful tour and Amazing Ride for Alzheimer's!

Don’t forget about the final PUSH to raise our goal of $3500 for Alzheimer’s research!  


Last map to follow along with me as I make the final trek towards "Destination Wisconsin!"

View">The Amazing Race for Alheimer's

in a full screen map

Riding in Tribute to:


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Paying it forward and.....see you in West Bend!

Kenosha, Wis - 90 miles and it was a long and adventurous day on the bike. Started by getting lost in Indiana. Found my way to the bike trail and proceeded to cross into Illinois and the unknowingly cross back into Indiana.

A couple of off-duty Chicago police officers, Ed and Dana, got me back on course. 
Ed and Dana

They asked where I was from. I said, "West Bend - north of Milwaukee but not as far as Green Bay."

GB was NOT the right thing to say. They winced in unison.  I forgot I was in Bear country.

Easy path up Chicago's lakefront - took in some of the sights...

... even helped one young man from Belize fix a flat. "You are an angel," he said. I gave him my spare inner tube because he had two holes in his tube and a patch would have never held.

Drifted into Higher Gear bike shop in Highland Park, Illinois and spent some time with Austin, Peter and Anna.

Check out the 30-inch racer thighs on Peter. He's from England and was part of the 2012 short track Olympic team.
From left: Austin, Peter, me, and Anna
He had the confidence to wear a pink helmet and pink biker shoes.

We all traded touring stories and then the store refused to charge me for the tube I bought to replace the one I gave away. "Paying it forward," said store clerk Becky.

Home stretch on Thursday. Kenosha to West Bend. 

Meet at WB Tap and Tavern at 6 p.m.  I should roll in by then. 


I'm on the home stretch and...


As I cross over the border to Wisconsin, I'd love to rev up the RPM's.........BUT ----


I'm setting a goal to RAISE $3500 IN 24 HOURS
as I make the 


100% of all donations go directly to Alzheimer's Awareness
for programming at the 
the nation's first facility dedicated to Alzheimer's disease
and related dementia care.

PLEDGE a donation by sending me an email with your name, address and pledge amount to:

As I pedal on to make a difference for Alzheimer's................

I'll keep you updated on the progress of this final push!


Sharing the Road in Pics

Some random photos from the road......

Nice day biking in Indiana. Wide paved shoulder on the road helps. This was as I made my way to Goshen to get my bike fixed.

This is Matthew holding my old chain on the left. It's the same number or links as the new chain, but you can see with all the riding I stretched it.

The problem is that the shifting doesn't react and my pedals slip when I change gears. All in all, it was worn out and needed to be replaced.

While Matthew worked on the bike, I ran next door and got him a raspberry shake and some food for myself. This is the second business I've hit on the tour called Chief. #whocarespoliticallycorrect

Sampled of some of the back country roads in Indiana. This was as the skies grew dark and I pedaled right into an oncoming storm. I ducked into somebody's garage and then....

....two big dogs came running out. So what would you do?

Riding in Tribute to:


I Can Smell Wisconsin From Here

East Chicago, Indiana - tough day at the office. Headed out of Mishawaka,
Indiana early with the goal of crossing the state line into Illinois. 

On Highway 2 when I stopped to ask for directions for the safest route - that's when I learned I had to go north to go west.

I regrouped and pedaled into Michigan City, Indiana. Managed 41 miles before noon; even with two rain delays I was making good time.

Pedaled west down the shoreline and through Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore which made national news last year after a boy got swallowed in a sinkhole while climbing to the top of the dune.

He was buried for 11 hours, rescue crews managed to dig him out. The kid was apparently the GrandMarshal at the local parade this year.

There was a big orange sign saying the dunes are now closed.

Biking through the park was a nice break from the busy traffic. It reminded me of the road up to Long Lake with the trees forming a nice canopy.

Drifted into East Chicago, Indiana, with 83 miles on the day. Plan on taking the bike paths through Chicago today. I can smell Wisconsin from here. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rolling out the red carpet - in Mishawaka

Sitting outside the Kroger grocery in Mishawaka, Indiana at 5 p.m. on Monday. So off my charted course and below my target miles. Long day on the road with a flat tire and stretched chain that needed to be replaced and now it was pouring.

But I was dry and under shelter and finally getting food and a man walks up and says, "Got everything you need?"

It was John Reisdorf - Mishawaka 3rd district city councilman John Reisdorf, and he ended up being a good guy and a savior.

"The last elected official that helped me with this tour was the mayor in Salisbury, New Brunswick," I said. "He let me spend the night in the council chambers and the fire department rolled out a cot for me to sleep on."

"Well, we can't be outdone by New Brunswick," said John, reaching for his keys.

"Take this, it's to an apartment I own and there will be nobody there and you
can safely spend the night," he said.

Just so kind. I notified my team back home, laid out the circumstances and then said, "Let's run a background check."

Everybody worries about my safety and so do I, but John came through with flying colors: Republican, 49 years old, City resident for the last 20 years, sports announcer for high school games for 10+ years. Well-known in the community and well-liked and his daughter was valedictorian in her 2013 high school graduating class.

I found the apartment easily enough and it all seemed to good to be true....and then it got better. John and his daughter Maggie stopped to visit; we even stepped out for a bit to tour the town.

By the way, we took Maggie's car.

Their kindness put the cherry on top of the day and it reiterates the message about how many good people are out there.

Riding in Tribute to:


NOTE: Want to pay tribute to your loved one? 
I'll ride a day in their honor (includes mention on blog). Click HERE to learn more.

A swig of orange Nehi and a tire repair

Ligonier, Indiana - Here's my day: Saw some Amish in Ligonier. Asked a guy for nearest bike shop. He said "Goshen, five miles."

Bought an orange Nehi before going five miles to Goshen.

On my way to Goshen via the old Lincoln Highway I found this piece of metal in the road and decided to remove it with my tire.

Matthew (right) at Lincoln Avenue Cycling, which was actually 15 miles to Goshen, helped fix me up with a new chain and rear cassette.

Making my way to South Bend and running into this. 


Another weekly update interview on The Amazing Ride for Alzheimer's with WBKV 1470's Morning Show with host Bob Bonenfant.

Discussed total mileage so far, daily average, Father Doug, flat tires, gas prices, and rattlesnakes - oh my!

Click HERE to listen to the podcast!



NOTE: Want to pay tribute to your loved one? 
I'll ride a day in their honor (includes mention on blog). Click HERE to learn more.

75 miles on Sunday - Smelling Wisconsin

Kendallville, Indiana - Long day on the road Sunday. Thought I'd be able to log 100 miles but Mother Nature made it a challenge.

Late start waiting for rain to quit and then got detoured finding my way out of Napoleon, no bicycles allowed on Route 6 bypass

Finally got my groove on - sunny skies, 83% humidity and 15-mile-an-hour headwinds.

Nice flat roads for the most part, decent shoulder along the side of the road and just crossed from Ohio into Indiana.

The Catholic Churches have been great about allowing me to stay the night - throw my sleeping bag down in their church hall and leave in the morning.

Many times it seems like they're leaving the porch light on, just waiting for me to roll in.

Logged 75 miles on Sunday and landed in Kendallville. Hoping to cross into Illinois on Wednesday.

I can almost smell Wisconsin from here. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dave and Dave

Napoleon, Ohio - morning started off with rain and an accidental activation of the security alarm at St. Augustine Catholic Church... But things are looking up thanks to Dave and Dave.

Met them at Frisch's Big Boy during breakfast.

Dave (on the right) is the assistant women's basketball coach at Defiance College. "Been there 26 years now," he said.
Dave and Dave

I mentioned UW-Green Bay's team and Marquette. We swapped familiar names on the game.

As the fellas were leaving Dave laid a $20 on my table. "My mom suffered dementia before she died," he said.

The Amazing Ride for Alzheimer's is entering its final week. Details on how to support the cause are listed on the Cedar Community website HERE.

Thanks for all the generous support - it helps keep me going each day.

I'm in my element now with 71 miles on Friday, 64 miles on Saturday and looking to break 100 miles today.

Better get going!

Caregiver Copes With Alzheimer's: Screaming on a Tractor

Update on "The Sisters"

Decided to expand the story on my "Ohio Sisters" due to popular demand.  
Sister Connie and Sister Pat
Click HERE and scroll down to read more about this delightful duo and some snippets of their "out of convent" escapades!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Where's Judy?

Another map update.  Follow along!  (Gap across NY and PA was necessary "auto assist."

View">The Amazing Race for Alheimer's

in a full screen map

The Maples Motel - Honoring Generations

Huron, Ohio - West of Huron, Ohio on busy Route 6 is a flashback to the 1960s.

The Maples Motel is a fourth-generation operation run by Joan Faber and her

"I haven't taken a paycheck in 35 years," said Joan as we stood in the square back room of her house that does double duty as the motel office

The brown paneled walls are covered with old black-and-white photos and framed  magazine articles written about the homey facility.

"The cabins are $49 to $61 a night," Joan said. "I run it in memory of the woman who started the place - and I don't raise the rates."

Joan holds a photo of the motel from its earlier years when the Maple trees were small, there was no pool and there were mats in front of the screen doors for people to wipe their feet.

"There's a 1957 Ford parked in the lot in this photo," said Joan. "Back then we were open year round, we had TV but not in color."

"Met my husband Ken at the University of Detroit. We had four kids when his mom died and he asked me if I'd like to go to Ohio and we'd run the motel.

"With four little ones," said Joan, her voice rising in pitch. "I was a natural," she said confidentially "And I loved it."

Nothin' could be finer....than Whiteys Diner

Fremont, OH - You can always tell the popular hometown restaurant by the number of cars parked outside. In Fremont, Ohio, Whiteys Diner was the place.

Full chair rail at the counter also was a good sign. "Sit anywhere you want, Hun," waitress Cheryl said.

"Cheryl, I'd be mad at you if somebody pulled me off my chair and onto the floor," said Charlie, one of the regulars.

"Correction," yelled Cheryl. "Sit anywhere but Charlie's seat."

I got a stool at the counter in front of the humming glass refrigerator that was full of plates of raw red meatballs, a mountain of strips of bacon and bricks of yellow butter.

"A customer gave us that," said Billy, the cook, handing me a box of Obama Waffles.

Billy and "Obama Waffles"
Billy worked the grill that spit hot butter and grease in spots not covered with eggs over easy or hash browns. His father, Mark, owned the business for the past 33 years.

"I've been coming here since I was 4 years old," said Charlie. "I remember when this place used to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I really liked that."

"You better be careful Charlie," said Cheryl, racing by with three waters and a coffee pot.

"I'd be eating dinner here if they were open," said Charlie. "It's not the cookin’ I mind so much, it's the cleaning up."

Burnin’ Billy, as someone called him, is cooking up a storm on the grill as Charlie talks about his service during WWII.
Burnin' Billy
"I was 19 years, okay, and thought I volunteered - until three guys came and hauled me away."

Charlie was a gunner in the Army. Stationed in Germany, he said he was captured and spent eight months in a German prison camp

"Lost 100 pounds," he said. "We were supposed to get a weekly package from the Red Cross with meat. We were lucky if we got one a month."

Charlie said the Germans were cold and hungry, too. Eventually rescued by the Russians, Charlie went with the rest of his unit to Camp Lucky Strike and eventually returned home before his 20th birthday.

More customers come into the diner. Everybody is greeted by name. The place is warm with body heat.

Conversation is about LeBron James returning to the Cavaliers. The consensus at the diner is… it'll be good for the team and the city

As I scoot out to give someone else a chance at breakfast, I glance at the sign above the grill..... 'Nothin’ could be finer than to be at Whiteys Diner in the morning.'

Friday, July 11, 2014

Riding in Tribute to.....


NOTE: Want to pay tribute to your loved one? 
I'll ride a day in their honor (includes mention on blog). Click HERE to learn more.

Got my Ohio plate....

Got my Ohio plate from Norcross Automotive in Sandusky, Ohio. There was a dude there, let's call him Tyrell.  He was waiting for his car.

"Where you bike from," he said. I told him Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"Where's that," he asked. "Canada," I said politely.

Tyrell had what looked like a black pantyhose tight on the top of his head. He had black sweatpants and was sweating through his white t-shirt. He was nice enough... But inquisitive.

"How old are you?" I said I was 50 and he let's go with "Girl, I'm 54 and I don't even take my bike round the corner. You crazy," he said, smiling.

Then he reached out his hand to wish me good luck and he did this three-grip
shake with an explosion at the end. I obviously got it wrong. He said, "That's alright," and just laughed.

I reached in my back pocket to give him a card to follow along. The cards are in a plastic Baggie and all of a sudden he step back and says, "I don't want no weed."

I'm going to move along now. 

Vermillion, OH and Big Ed's

Already making good mileage today. Stopped in Vermillion, OH to mail some post cards and saw Big Ed's Soda Fountain on Main Street. It's in a building that used to be the old dry goods store and dates to 1872.

Has the old soda fountain and old booths lining the wall with Collectibles on the shelf above including a pair of saddle shoes, the cymbal playing wind up circus monkey and a Dixie Belle ice cream freezer.

On the window there's advertising for phosphates, egg cremes, and tin roofs.

That's as much as I can see through the window. The store is closed and doesn't open for two more hours and I have to move along.

Vermillion seems like a nice little Norman Rockwell town. 

Video Testimony: Advice for Alzheimer's Caregivers

Weekly Radio Update; Listen to AUDIO

Did weekly update interview on The Amazing Ride for Alzheimer's with WBKV 1470's Morning Show with host Bob Bonenfant.

Discussed Cleveland news, LeBron James, Rock 'n Roll Museum, Elvis, Johnny Cash, minor bike breakdown and laughing with the nuns!

Click HERE to listen to the podcast!