Just about to cross the state line into GEORGIA (state #9 out of 16). So grateful to be on this bicycle journey & have the chance to raise $ for Bell which runs the family homeless shelter in my hometown of York, PA. Thanks everyone for your encouraging words & for making donations directly to Bell via this GoFundMe campaign. Below is a BRAND NEW UPDATE on this solo # COASTtoCOASTbicycleride . 🌊 🚴🏼‍♂️ 🌊

SUMMARY:

* $11,855 raised for Bell Socialization so far towards the $15,000 goal thanks to the generosity of so many of you.

* Donations (which go electronically directly from GoFundMe to Bell) have been from 124 donors.

* # of states traveled in so far: 8

* # of additional states I’ll be traveling through from here to Los Angeles, CA: 8

* miles traveled so far: 1,004

* Distance from where I am now to Atlantic Ocean if I were to head due East by the shortest route: 440 miles

* Accomodations, food & bicycle: 🚴🏼‍♂️🏕🏞🌅 I mostly stay in a tent in campgrounds. State parks are my favorite as they are typically the least expensive (often $15), they’re much more rustic and remote and they have great facilities (hot showers). I eat mostly freeze dried food and it’s delicious. My bicycle is NOT an e-bike. This is a leg-powered journey. I am riding a Trek commuter bike (Verve II) with 2 panniers in front and 2 in the rear.

There’s SOME FUN DETAIL on this journey below at blue dot 🔵. First, some very brief info on Bell Socialization: Bell is a wonderful organization that has been helping those in need in our community for long time. There is unfortunately a huge demand for space at their homeless shelter which serves all of York County. 50 – 100 families per MONTH are turned away from the shelter during the winter months due to lack of space. 700 families per YEAR are turned away. Bell Shelter is the current family homeless shelter in York County and it consists of two side-by-side row homes. I’m hopeful that Bell will someday soon be able to establish a new family homeless shelter facility that can position Bell to better meet the needs of people in our county. That certainly isn’t going to happen from this small fundraiser, but, by raising awareness about this issue, we as a community can perhaps begin the process of making that dream a reality. Bell Shelter is near and dear to my heart because I was a caseworker there in my early twenties.

🔵 8 more states to go after I roll out of South Carolina in the coming days. I am currently heading southwest and am about to cross into Georgia. I’ll then be heading west towards Dallas and then on to Los Angeles.

Riding in North and South Carolina has been wonderful because it’s pretty flat! The whole trip has been quite an adventure and I’m so grateful to have the chance to be on this journey and experience the beauty of all these states while attempting to raise funds for Bell.

Virginia was by far the most beautiful state so far (especially the Shenandoah Valley) and Virginia also had the most challenging cycling terrain. Several people who have made the journey across America by bicycle have reported that the mountains of Virginia are, in some ways, more difficult than some of the easier routes through the Rockies. I don’t know if that’s true (and I guess it depends upon the route). But, if it is true, that’s good news.

Most of the donors to this # COASTtoCOASTbicycleride campaign to raise $ for Bell are from my hometown of York, PA, but there are some from around the country and one from the other side of the globe. I am grateful to all of you. Those donations you’ve made are already in the hands of Bell Socialization and are being put to good use helping families in need. Donations go straight from GoFundMe.com to Bell electronically. This makes it nice because Bell gets the $ immediately and I don’t have to handle any donations at my end.

I’m definitely seeing a difference as I travel further west. I’m noticing on live FaceTime calls that it’s still light where I am when it’s dark in York, PA. Not too long from now, I’ll be crossing over into a different time zone.

Traveling over a thousand miles on a very winding route through 8 states so far has been fascinating. It’s really fun seeing the landscape, terrain, trees, plants, and wildlife change. It’s also been fun to hear people’s accents change. Most of all, it’s great to be immersed in nature. The stars have become a familiar blanket. Waking up to ducks or chickens at my tent door and the pecking of woodpeckers at nearby trees has been so cool.

For those who are not familiar with this journey, here’s some overall background, a link to a TV news story about the trip and some key links for social media & website. Those of you who are familiar with this coast to coast fundraiser ride have already seen this info below so you can obviously skip it. Cheers!

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I’m bicycling across America (from Stone Harbor, NJ to Los Angeles, CA) in an attempt to raise $15,000 for Bell Socialization which runs York County’s family homeless shelter. 🌊 🚴🏼‍♂️ 🌊 I mostly stay in a tent and eat freeze dried food. My bicycle is NOT an e-bike. This is a leg-powered journey.

❇️ Here’s a local Fox 43 news video clip that gives a good overview of this coast to coast bicycle ride fundraiser: 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

❇️ If anyone wishes to donate, they can just click on the following link. (Your donation is tax deductible and goes straight from GoFundMe to Bell — This works great from my end too because I never have to handle any money. It goes straight to the charity electronically): https://www.gofundme.com/f/william039s-fund-for-bell-socialization-services-inc?sharetype=teams&member=5339702&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&rcid=3fd9fd2fe3d148c0a51bfe2b247e1bfd

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 (zero politics) just like the other social media links below. 😊🚴🏼‍♂️🌎 https://www.facebook.com/coasttocoastbicycleride/

Instagram: @billswartz3

Twitter: @clearblueskynow

Bill Swartz

billswartz@mac.com

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