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I’m bicycling across America (COAST to COAST from Stone Harbor, NJ to Los Angeles, CA). 🌊🚴🏼‍♂️🌊 This solo journey down the east coast and across the country will total about 3,600 miles.

I’m riding in an attempt to raise as much money as possible for Bell Socialization (which runs the family homeless shelter in my hometown of York, Pennsylvania). Please click on the following link if you wish to donate. **(All donations are tax deductible and go straight from GoFundMe to Bell). https://gofund.me/5b660142 . I have a special place in my heart for Bell Socialization because I worked at their family homeless shelter in my 20’s and was so impressed with the incredible work they do in our community.

Unfortunately, the community’s need exceeds Bell’s current capacity. Bell’s family homeless shelter is forced to turn away 50 – 100 families PER MONTH in the winter time (700 families per year) due to lack of space. Some of these families with children end up sleeping in their car.

Bell offers housing and basic living support through mental health, intellectual disability and shelter service departments towards its vision of a community where people are valued and respected and live with dignity.

Here’s a short local Fox 43 TV news video clip that gives a good overview of this coast to coast bicycle ride fundraiser and the charity for which I’m riding: https://www.fox43.com/mobile/article/news/local/york-county-man-biking-across-the-country-to-raise-money-for-bell-socialization/521-0da649dc-48bb-4053-a4c2-7dde9b59e747?fbclid=IwAR2XGpbTP1JN_RCTKU3wJLQ2VorxOqTvSRc3x8EIwn98XCMLIuTqHD9Q6CQ

Website for this COASTtoCOASTbicycleride: http://www.thisclearbluesky.com

Like this page on facebook to follow along on the journey. It’s 100% devoted to this bicycle ride just like the other social media links below. ‍ https://www.facebook.com/coasttocoastbicycleride/

Instagram: @billswartz3

Twitter: @clearblueskynow

#COASTtoCOASTbicycleride

Bill Swartz

billswartz@mac.com

Note 1:

I am taking this journey as inexpensively as possible (mostly staying in a tent in state parks and campgrounds). I’m mostly eating freeze-dried camp food (which is actually pretty delicious and nutritious these days).

Note 2:

I was originally going to head due west starting in Roanoke, Virginia, but I decided to head further south to Atlanta area first so that my nights in my tent as I head west will be warmer.

Note 3:

No records being set here. 🙂 No heavy mileage with all this weight in my panniers. Biggest day so far around 60 miles and I take lots of rest breaks (during the day and between riding days). I’m 51 so I take plenty of time and listen to my body when it wants to recover.

I know this is probably the only time I’ll take a trip of this scope in my life and I’m very grateful for the opportunity at age 51 to do this. So I’m enjoying immersing myself in nature and am drinking in the journey. I’m exploring the mountains, lakes, rivers and towns in a socially distanced manner. Taking time to write. Taking lots of pictures. Participating virtually in community efforts in York County to advocate for countywide human relations commission and countywide health department etc. as possible. And spending lots of time dealing with the daily basics of life on the road (navigating and planning routes, cooking food, finding a place to pitch my tent for the night).

Note 4:

I’m riding a regular bicycle, not an “e” bike.

All the best to everyone. Thanks for following along on this adventure!

SAFE & SOUND

Woke up due to thunder & heavy rains here in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 2 1/2 inches of rain predicted overnight. I’m glad I am keeping closing eye on weather at all times via multiple sources. It was a good decision earlier in the afternoon to make tonight a cheap hotel night (micro room in a solid building) instead of staying in campground. Tomorrow afternoon the storms will have passed, the sun will peak out and it will be good riding. Erring on the side of caution and planning ahead for inexpensive hotel rooms whenever storms are predicted. This also allows me to ride next day without having to dry everything out. 🙂

♦️ Always playing it safe and not taking any chances when it comes to taking shelter indoors in solid structures whenever there’s a chance of bad weather. If there’s any question, I just take shelter. Safety first.

Storms will have passed by late Saturday morning & the afternoon looks good for riding with the sun peaking back out 🌅.

And Sunday & Monday looking good.

I’m pleased to report that, after completing 1,300 miles of this 3,600 mile journey 🚴🏼‍♂️ and arriving in Birmingham, Alabama, the goal of raising $15,000 for Bell Socialization has been surpassed. This is thanks to the generosity of so many.

◾️ As I now ride west from Birmingham, Alabama to Los Angeles, CA, I hope that we can far exceed that $15,000 goal. https://gofund.me/5b660142 . All donations go directly from GoFundMe to Bell Socialization & are tax deductible.

Thanks so much to all of you who already donated. Bell runs the family homeless shelter in my hometown of York, Pennsylvania. I have a special place in my heart for Bell Socialization because I worked at their family homeless shelter in my 20’s and was so impressed with the incredible work they do in our community.

Unfortunately the needs of the community far surpass the funding. In the winter time each year, Bell is forced to turn away 50 – 100 families PER MONTH due to lack of space. 700 families per year are turned away. Some families with children end up sleeping in their cars.

◾️ Bell offers housing and basic living support through mental health, intellectual disability and shelter service departments towards its vision of a community where people are valued and respected and live with dignity.

Here’s a short local Fox 43 TV news video clip that gives a good overview of this coast to coast bicycle ride fundraiser and the charity for which I’m riding: https://www.fox43.com/mobile/article/news/local/york-county-man-biking-across-the-country-to-raise-money-for-bell-socialization/521-0da649dc-48bb-4053-a4c2-7dde9b59e747?fbclid=IwAR2XGpbTP1JN_RCTKU3wJLQ2VorxOqTvSRc3x8EIwn98XCMLIuTqHD9Q6CQ

Website for this COASTtoCOASTbicycleride: http://www.thisclearbluesky.com

Like this page on facebook to follow along on the journey. It’s 100% devoted to this bicycle ride just like the other social media links below. ‍ https://www.facebook.com/coasttocoastbicycleride/

Instagram: @billswartz3

Twitter: @clearblueskynow

#COASTtoCOASTbicycleride

Bill Swartz

billswartz@mac.com

Martin Luther King Jr.’s actual jail cell bars in Birmingham, Alabama. This is the cell in which he wrote his famous “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”. Such an amazing experience to see this cell and tour the civil rights museum. (That’s my friend Montez Parker II’s hand in the photo. He traveled south for the weekend to tour Birmingham with me). Here’s a link to the “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”: https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html