Crossing For Cancer

Archive for August, 2008

Another Week on the Long Road

Posted by crossingforcancer on August 26, 2008

Hello everyone,

It’s been a few days, but I wanted to update you on my progress again.

While still in Baker, I woke up, turned off my alarm clock, and managed to leave around seven in the morning. It felt pretty cool out. I wanted to try to wake up and get started by five, but it didn’t happen. Riding out, I was faced with the endless, straight road, trying to reach Halloran Summit, which is about 5,000 feet, and I was only at about 900 feet at first. It was my last major climb until Vegas, and it wasn’t easy.

FYI: If you happen to take the route I did and reach a road that’s called Summit Rd, it doesn’t mean a thing. It’s not the summit. You still have to go do some more climbing. That point is just a tease. It took me three hours and a gallon of Gatorade to get to the top, spokes popping left and right. I was up to five broken spokes and still traveling with no back breaks, because the wheel was almost rubbing on the frame.

The only time I pulled off the road at any point was because I saw this old trailer park thing over a cattle guard. There was a sign that read “Diesel and Drinks.” I parked my bike in what little shade there was, and a guy pops out of nowhere and asks if he can help. His name was Tim.

I told him, “Yeah, I’m just trying to find the shade.”

His first question: “What the hell are you doing out here on a bicycle?”

After explaining what I was attempting, Tim invited me in to watch CSI. I needed the rest, so I sat and talked with him for about an hour. Meanwhile, he’d tell other people who showed up that there was no trespassing, running them off. I felt kind of privileged to be sitting inside, talking with him, once I noticed that. He was an interesting man.

For instance, when I noticed some medical books on the table and asked him what they were for, he said, “Oh, I’m just researching what’s killing me.” It turned out that Tim had Mac disease, which complicates his Aspergillosis, a disease that’s eating away at his lungs. I asked Tim if I could sketch his portrait, and he agreed.

I finished the portrait and then went on my way soon after. It was amazing to meet Tim and hang out with him. He lives near the summit by himself, it seems, and he’s really pleased to be up there, in his small shack.

From there, I descended into the next phase of my trip and had my brother, Lee, put in a call to Low Way about my bicycle. Low Way hooked me up with a brand new wheel, but I didn’t get it until Vegas. I was still riding on the same five broken spokes, but along the way I met these really cool guys, Vada and Roger. They were honeymooners, and they offered to help me as much as they could. Anything I needed while I was in the area, they said, I should let them know.

At one point, I took a detour through the Mojave National Reserve at a cop’s suggestion, because there was something wrong with the road I’d planned to take. Breath-taking. Throughout this trip, even just this far into it all, nature has been revealing sights to me that have been absolutely stunning. Whenever I was going through Johsua Tree I felt like I was a ship in an ocean for what seemed like hundreds of miles. It was just incredible. No words I could say could describe the feelings inspired. It’s been phenomenal. I saw the moon rise right before my eyes that evening, right outside my tent. A bunch of rats were running around but I was able to get sleep. The detour was 30 miles out of the way but I was glad that I made the decision to take it.

Two more people I want to say hello to are Om and Zen, whom I met in the middle of the desert. Really cool guys. I woke up in the morning, faced with a mass of road, and riding along I hadn’t seen a car in about two hours.

I was on my way to Primm, going over a mountain to get there, and when I finally got to the top, a friend of a friend was there waiting for me. Corazone, a Filipino woman, made me all kinds of foods, and let me take a nap there. She also had this green blended concoction and told me to drink the whole thing. I jokingly asked if she had any sugar, because it was packed with about five different vegetables I had never heard the name of, but I finished the blend and went on my way.

When I hit Vegas, I met up with Sonia and Michelle and stayed with them for three or four days. I got a chance to spend time in their pool, and they also fed me. I’m extremely grateful. Thanks, you guys, for inviting and having me as a guest on the Sonia and Michelle show!

Performance sent Carrie Jo out with a new wheel in Las Vegas (Bike King had a wheel waiting). Ron, the store owner, was also extremely helpful. They put a whole new wheel together for me and checked my bike over to make sure that it was still capable of enduring my journey.

I went out to the Blick store and did some portraits there. Everyone there was incredible. Dan, Ryan, Cassandra, Adam, Dominic, and Lisa, thank you.


Right now, I’m getting ready to leave the north side of Vegas, to go over another mountain, headed to Lake Mead and the Valley of Fire. It’s pouring rain, and I just saw lightening bolt hit the ground no more than two feet in front of me. I’m getting ready to go out into middle of nowhere, faced with a lightening storm as I cut through Lake Mead and the Valley of Fire to Zion National Park and then into Cedar City, UT. I’m going to honest with you, I’m nervous. The ligthening’s hitting every few seconds, and I’ve got to deal with this pouring rain.

Before I go, I want to thank my brother, Blick, Bike King, Low Way, and Carrie Jo for everything you’ve done. Wish me luck. I’ll check in again soon.

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From here to Baker, CA

Posted by crossingforcancer on August 19, 2008

August 15, 2008

Hi, what’s up everyone…

 

I left from Long Beach a few days ago and touched the seawater to my lips as the pelicans soared across.  I love those birds.  Coming up the River Trail I was approached by this old timer on a recumbent bike.  He was great and recommended a bunch of stuff for the trip – one of which was to get one of those orange triangular reflector things for the back of my bike.

 

I want to make sure to be open to suggestions this whole ride and not blow them off.  I believe there’s a reason anyone who talks to me has advice – follow through.

 

I arrived in Whittier, CA at Marilyn and Jim’s place, my first portrait, 30 miles or so from Long Beach.  Marilyn was incredible – she’s being treated for pancreatic cancer now.  I got two portraits of her and gave her the one of her choice.  I really feel like we connected on a level of artist to subject.  I signed her chemo blanket and talked to her husband who has done a ride like this before.  His name is Jim, he’s actually the one who changed my route.  They gave me dinner and showed me some pictures from an album of their family.

 From her place I rode to my studio where I packed, unpacked and re-packed to get rid of some weight on the bike.  Checked the screws and of course got the orange triangle.  The bike really needed to be lightened up – it’s estimated to be about 75 pounds, now that I took my guitar and some other stuff off the back, like the poncho I always travel with (it’s the one with the cool lion cut out).

 

August 15, 2008

I got up this morning and headed for Blick in Pasadena, where I was officially launching the Crossing.  I was so amazed with all of the people, the balloons and the support that was lent to me before this trip.  I’m so grateful to know I have a community of friends and loved ones like this behind me.  Jared, the Blick store manager, gave me some markers so I could have everyone sign my pannier bags.  I think it will be an inspiration as I ride.

 

Leaving my studio earlier, I felt a strong wind at my back.  I know it’s my mom – she’s here with me and will be here the whole time.

 

My friend Harold rode about 8 miles with me from Blick.  After we parted ways I stopped for lunch, sitting in a Starbucks waiting out the heat.

 

Already in this short part of the journey I have talked to many people.  Everyone is so interested in learning about the bike and the Crossing… The key to unlock people’s anger with nothing but a smile.  Eric and Gabbie, who I met at the Azusa Starbucks were really nice. 

 

Lunch is over and I’m back on the road.  I plan on popping into Fontana, CA or somewhere so I can camp.  I get there, am looking around and thinking where am I going to camp?  I look as far as I can and see ONE bush.

 

So, I take my bike off the road and put my tent next to this bush.  I pick the ONLY bush in the entire desert that these two birds were chirping in all night, they must have been mating or something.  There were kangaroo rats running all around the tent, it was so hot – I barely slept at all.  

 

August 16, 2008

My alarm clock, which is actually just a cooking timer, went off at 6am so I could get an early start.  I shut it down and feel asleep for an hour or so.  Around 7, I got up, sucked down a Clif Bar shot and rolled out.  Still heading over the Cajon Pass.  As I get back on my bike, I look down at my feet and they look like little furballs – I have cockleburs ALL over my feet.  It takes almost a 1/2 hour to get them all off.  So much for an early start.

 

But, you know, sitting there, picking all of those cockleburs off of my socks, I realized that I saw some amazing photo opps that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

 

I start back up over the Cajon Pass  – brutal.  This is the day my electrolytes are so low.  I made it all the way to Barstow, pushing 100 degrees the whole time.

 

I’m rounding down Route 66 and of course, the road ends.  These two guys are sitting there, at the end of the road, and tell me you haven’t been able to pass this way for a while.  One of the guys offers me a ride – I wish I could.

 

I did stop at a Starbucks on Roy Rogers Road in Victorville.  I talked to a guy named Jeremy who was great – he donated to the Crossing right there on the spot.  If you’re reading this, thanks Jeremy.

August 17, 2008

My mind and heart are feeling more open every day, being on the road alone and exploring why art is art.  It’s this ability to let an object pass into your eye and go out through your hand, or your camera.  But the challenge is allowing it to first go through your heart.

 I realize 50 miles in today that I sat on an anthill a while back.  These ants have been in my pants the whole time – they’re so displaced now!

 

The extra weight is killing me on these inclines.  I can only maintain the lowest gear on my 27 speed bike, but the semi-trucks weren’t doing much better.  For me, it’s probably because I really didn’t “train” for this trip. 

 

I feel my bike wobbling for a while and think it’s the ridges in the road.  Turns out, my tire is flat.  Had to change it, in this insane heat.  Still hovering around 100 degrees.  I stopped at a McDonald’s earlier in Barstow to pick up some salt packets – someone told me water wouldn’t be enough to keep my electrolytes up – I’m glad I did.  

 

I finally make it to Barstow.

 

August 18, 2008

Now I’m sitting in a Motel 6.  I took the Sunday off from riding to try to recuperate.  But finally I’m feeling better and head out to Baker.  Leaving Barstow, it’s 103 degrees.

 

I can only imagine the hardest part of the trip is starting tomorrow.  Look at the Google map everyone – pure desert.  Through all this hell, sometimes there is a 20-mile wind directly at my back.  When it gets to feel like that, it’s that cool air – just for a second – that keeps me going.

 

I pedal one stroke at a time these days.  Mom, if you’re with me I can tell.  Same with the rest of the people I’m riding for – pancreatic cancer survivors, fighters, my friends and family.  I look down at the pannier bag everyone signed at Blick to see all of the encouraging words.

 

While I’m on my way to Death Valley, no more than 20 miles into it, the rim of my bike starts rubbing against the brake pad.  I’ve got a broken spoke.  I don’t have the right tool with me to fix it, so I’m going to have to ride the next 160 miles without any back brakes.

 

I’m riding on a McGyver, loose-spoke, bent-rim, no back brake at this point with 160 miles to go.

 

It’s 2:30 and I find a spot where it’s only 106 degrees in the shade.  I’m trying to make it to Baker today.  Where the high is 108…  I finally make it to Baker, crossing all of these crazy ditches along the way.  I’m so glad I made it to the hotel tonight.  I’ve slept in ditches before, but never in “Sheep Ditch.”  That would have been a first.

 

 

So now I’m shooting for Primm, Nevada where I’ll do a portrait and then Vegas.  This portrait isn’t of a pancreatic cancer survivor, I’m doing a portrait of a friend to trade it in for a night’s stay at their place.

 

This is no man’s land.  I have to say that the trip so far has been a hard test to my physical and mental being.  I even had a conversation with my bike after the spoke broke – I cursed it out.

 

August 19, 2008

My spirits are better today.  I’ve endured the cockleburs, the ants in the pants, the close encounter with Sheep Ditch and, how can I forget, this heat.  But I’m still going. 

 

Thank you to everyone.  I’ll write more soon,

Scott

 

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We’re Almost on Our Way!

Posted by crossingforcancer on August 14, 2008

As of Friday, August 15th, Scott Glazier’s Crossing for Cancer ride will finally begin in earnest! Scott sketches the first portrait for the trip today, and then he will set out for Barstow tomorrow morning, after the official launch party at Blick Art Materials in Pasadena, CA.

However, before he embarks on his journey, he would like to make sure that everyone knows about a way to easily help the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network raise money and take care of regular grocery shopping simultaneously. Simply upgrade your Ralphs Club Card or register as a New Ralphs Rewards Program Participant to benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network!

Every time you shop at Ralphs and use your Club Card, we receive a donation. Recently, Ralphs launched a new program called, “Ralphs rewards.” This is an upgrade to your current Club Card. In order for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to continue to receive donations, you will need to complete a new application and get a new card. If you don’t currently have a Ralph’s Club Card and want to participate in the program, just follow the steps below to register. Thank you for participating!

1. Apply for the new Ralphs Rewards card next time you shop at Ralphs or go online at www.ralphs.com and click Rewards Card to apply.
2. After you complete the Ralphs Rewards card application, you will need to register for the Community Contribution program at www.ralphs.com by clicking on Community Contribution. YOU MUST ENTER OUR NPO #82509 AT THE TOP OF THIS REGISTRATION PAGE TO HAVE FUNDS DONATED TO THE PANCREATIC CANCER ACTION NETWORK. The Ralphs Community Contribution Program was designed to make fundraising really easy by simply using your Ralphs rewards Card.
3. You are required to register at www.ralphs.com to activate your card and be re-enrolled in the program by August 31, 2008 for the term of the program. Your Rewards Card and Community Contribution participation is effective September 1, 2008 once you’ve registered.
4. Your current Ralphs Club Card will expire September 1, 2008.
5. Call Ralphs Community Program hotline at 1-800-443-4438 if you have any questions re this program or the application process.

Thank you again. We appreciate your support.

– Crossing for Cancer and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

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On Your Marks…

Posted by crossingforcancer on August 12, 2008

This is the website for Scott Glazier and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Crossing for Cancer! Please stay tuned for more information!

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