Ride for Veterans

Cycling and anything that keeps the wheels turning. Marine veteran remembering the time I served as well as looking to help others.

Veterans Day Giveaways and FREE Tickets!

Veterans Day Free Meals, Freebies, and Free Tickets!

Veterans Day

First I’ll start with the free tickets!

Orlando Predators Partner with USO to Give Away 3,000 Free Tickets to Active Duty Military and Veterans

U.S. military veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and The War on Terror can receive a complimentary pair of tickets to Orlando Predators’ 2015 home opener

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Orlando, Fla. – Nov. 6, 2014 The Orlando Predators and owner David Siegel have partnered with USO Central Florida to honor former and current U.S. military personnel by giving away 3,000 free tickets for the first home game of the team’s 2015 season at the Amway Center in Downtown Orlando. The first 1,500 eligible military members to complete the military appreciation form at www.orlandopredators.com starting on November 11 at 9 a.m. will receive a complimentary pair of tickets to the game on Sunday, March 29, 2015.

Below is a list of places that are offering special discounts as well as free deals.

54th Street Grill & Bar – Shiloh, Il, Glen Carbon, IL
Honor your veteran and bring them into any Five-Four for a free meal on Tuesday, November 11th, 2014. Up to $12.00, proof of service required.

Applebee’s Free Meal
On Tuesday, November 11th, from open to close, veterans and active duty military can choose from a free signature Thank You Meal menu that includes some of Applebee’s favorite items, including a 7 oz. House Sirloin, The American Standard All-In Burger, Three-Cheese Chicken Penne, Fiesta Lime Chicken, Double Crunch Shrimp, Chicken Tenders Platter or Oriental Chicken Salad. Must present valid Veteran’s form of identification or be in uniform.

Baker’s Square Free Breakfast
Veterans and active duty get a complimentary breakfast on Veterans Day. Choose between Buttermilk Pancakes, three slices of French Toast or a Belgian Waffle.

Bar Louie Free Lunch or Dinner
From open to close Monday, November 10th and Tuesday, November 11th every Bar Louie location across the country will offer veterans and military personnel a free meal up to a $12 value when they show valid military I.D. or other proof of service.

BLT Steak, Prime, Burger & More
All Veterans & Active Military Will Enjoy 50% Off For Two & 25% Off For Parties of Three or More.

Bob Evans
Veterans and active military personnel will receive free all–you-can-eat hotcakes at its restaurants. All these honored servicemen and women need do is show a valid military ID.

Bonanza Steakhouses
Monday, November 17th – All former and current military service men and women enjoy a free buffet. Contact your local Bonanza for more details.

California Pizza Kitchen
On Tuesday, November 11, all veterans or active duty military personnel will be able to select from a special Veterans Day menu including pizza, salads and pasta. Please come in uniform or bring your military ID or other proof of service.

Carrabba’s Free Appetizer
All active and retired veterans receive a free appetizer at participating locations November 8th through November 11th, 2014.

Centaarchy Restaurants
This Veterans Day, Veterans and active military service members receive a free entrée and 25% off to their accompanied family and friends.  Includes California Dreaming, New York Prime, Chophouse ’47, The Tavern at Phipps, Carolina Roadhouse, Joey D’s Oak Room, Burro Loco, Gulfstream Cafe, Chophouse New Orleans.

Champps Free Cheeseburger and Fries
Veterans and active-duty receive a free handcrafted cheeseburger on Veterans day, 11/11/14. Must provide proof of service.  Participating locations only, check to confirm.

Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse Eat Free
Veterans and active-duty military eat free (up to $20) on Veterans Day. Valid ID required or in uniform or photo in uniform.

Cheeseburger in Paradise
On Tuesday, November 11 get a complimentary All-American Burger with fries to veterans, active and retired military personnel. Dine in only and must purchase a beverage and present proof of service.

Chuck E. Cheese’s
All U.S. Armed Forces veterans and active-duty military get 20 free tokens upon a visit to Chuck E. Cheese’s from Sunday, November 9, through Saturday, November 15. Military ID or proof of service is required, but no coupon is needed.

Chili’s Free Meal
Veterans and active-duty military receive a free meal from a special Veterans Day menu. Must show proof of military service.

City Barbeque
One free half pound sandwich platter will be given to each veteran for either dine-in or carryout orders on Veterans Day.  All locations are participating.

Claim Jumper Free Meal
On Monday, November 10, all Claim Jumper locations will provide those who served a complimentary lunch or dinner from a special menu.  Menu options include  baked pot pies, Tilapia Bianca, Roasted Tri Tip Dinner, Roasted Tri Tip Shrimp, Grilled Chicken, Grilled Salmon, Black Tie Pasta and Chicken Fried Steak. Verification of service is required.

Coffee Beanery
Participating Coffee Beanery locations will offer a free tall cup of coffee all day on November 11th. Veterans and active duty military will need to provide their military identification for the offer. Call ahead to make sure that your local Coffee Beanery is participating.

Cotton Patch Cafe
Free Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken for all active duty and veterans on 11/11/14.

Country Cookin
Active, reserve, and retired military personnel receive a free meal on Veteran’s Day.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
Veterans receive a complimentary Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola® Cake dessert to veterans and an opportunity for guests to make purchases that support the United Service Organizations (USO).  Veterans Day only.

Craftworks Restaurants & BreweriesIncludes Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom and ChopHouse & Brewery restaurants nationwide
On Tuesday, Nov. 11, veterans and active military personnel can show their valid military-issued identification card  or come dressed in uniform to receive their complimentary craft beer or appetizer. To locate the nearest restaurant, veterans can visit www.craftworksrestaurants.com.

Denny’s All You Can Eat Pancakes
All active, inactive and retired military personnel,at all participating Denny’s restaurants nationwide, diners with a valid military ID will receive free build your Grand Slam on 11.11.14 from 5 am to noon.

East Coast Wings
Veterans receive a free appetizer or dessert with a $10 or more purchase on 11/11/14.

Famous Dave’s
On November 11th, former and active military are invited to come in and receive a free One Meat Salute on us. Choose from one meat, a corn muffin, and a side. Participating locations only. From 11:00 am to 4:30 pm. Proof of service required. Dine In only.

Figaro’s
Veterans and active service members get a free medium 1 topping pizza on Nov. 11, 2014.

Food City
Veterans and active military receive a free hot bar meal on November 11th.

Friendly’s Free Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Friendly’s is treating veterans and active military, with a valid military ID or honorable discharge card, to a free breakfast, lunch or dinner on Veteran’s Day, Tuesday, November 11, 2014. The breakfast choice is their Big-Two-Do’s® array of breakfast options and for lunch or dinner it’s the All American Burger with fries and a beverage (soda, iced tea or hot beverage).

Glory Days Grill
Glory Days invites all veterans on 11/11/14 to join Glory Days and receive a free appetizer or wings with proper ID.

Green Mill Restaurant and Bar
Veterans and Active Duty Military eat free on Veterans Day – Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

Golden Corral Free Meal
Monday, November 17th from 5 PM to 9 PM get a free Veterans Day buffet and beverage to any veteran who has served in the United States military or is a current active duty service member. All Golden Corral locations will be participating. No identification is required to get your free Veterans day meal.

Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt
On November 11, 2014, participating Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt shops across the country are giving away free single-scoop ice cream cones to all veterans and military personnel with a valid military ID.

Hooters Free Meal
Hooters invites all veterans and current servicemen and women to a free meal, up to $10.99 in value with any drink purchase, by presenting a military ID or proof of service at any Hooters location across the country.  Offer valid 11/11/14.

Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea House Free Meal
All day long Hoss’s isserving up their Hossome “American Value” meals absolutely free for veterans.  Valid I.D. is required

Hurricane Grill & Wings
Tuesday, November 11th Veterans and active duty military personnel receive a complimentary meal and non-alcoholic beverage from a select menu on Veterans Day. Menu items include: Grilled Chicken, Caesar Salad, 10 Wings, Fish and Chips, Chicken Sandwich (Crispy/Grilled), Burger Sliders, Pulled Pork Quesadilla. Verification through ID or Uniform.  Participating locations only.

Hy-Vee Free Breakfast
Hy-Vee is providing free breakfast for veterans during regular breakfast hours on Veterans Day.

Ikea
Many Ikea locations are offering a free meal for veterans November 9 – 11, 2014.  Search for your local Ikea store, go to the store home page and select the Special Offers tab for details.

IHOP
On Veteran’s Day, November 11, participating IHOP Restaurants around the nation will be honoring the brave men and women who have served, or are serving, in the United States Military by offering them free Red, White and Blue pancakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At some locations, the Red, White and Blue pancakes will be featured as part of a free combo plate including eggs, bacon and hashed browns.

Kangaroo Express
Any service member with a military I.D. that visits one of Kangaroo Express’ nearly 1,200 grill-ready stores between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11 is invited to purchase a grill item for just 25-cents (one per guest, while supplies last).

Krispy Kreme Free Doughnut & Coffee
Offering a free doughnut and small coffee to all those served or currently are serving on Veterans Day. A free doughnut and small coffee will be given to anyone who identifies themselves as a veteran or active duty military personnel (no ID required). Only at participating locations.

Krystal
Active and retired armed forces members this Veterans Day with a free sausage biscuit to any active or retired service member with military ID.

Lamar’s Donuts
Free donut and a 12oz coffee for all veterans and active military on Veterans Day.

Lone Star Steakhouse
A free entrée on Veterans Day to active duty and reserves.

Longhorn Steakhouse Free App
Service members receive a complimentary Texas Tonion appetizer and non-alcohol beverage on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Includes veterans and current service members.


Max & Erma’s Free Cheeseburger Combo Meal with Dessert
On Veterans Day, participating Max & Erma’s locations are celebrating veterans and active military personnel with a free three course combo.McCormick and Schmick’s Free Entree
Enjoy a complimentary entree on Sunday, November 9th, 2014 (2 days before Veterans Day). All veterans must show official verification. Veterans Day entrees must be enjoyed at the restaurant.

Menchie’s Free Frozen Yogurt
On Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 all Veterans and military personnel with a military ID or dressed in uniform will receive a free six ounce frozen yogurt any time of day.  Show a valid ID or be in uniform to receive.

Mission BBQ
Veterans eat free on Veteran’s Day.  Free sandwich and cake while supplies last.

Mod Pizza
Veterans and active duty military are invited in for a free individual pizza or had-tossed salad on Veterans Day.

O’Charley’s free meal
All veterans and all active-duty military personnel will have their choice of one of nine meals on the O’Charley’s “$9.99er” menu. Options include O’Charley’s Famous Chicken Tenders & Twisted Chips, Cowboy Sirloin, Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie and Santa Fe Tilapia, among others.

Olive Garden Free Meal
All veterans and military active duty will receive a free meal from a special menu on Veterans Day.

On The Border Free Entree
This Veterans Day, all veterans and active duty military will receive, for free OTB’s “Create Your Own Combo menu,” on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
All veterans, retired and active-duty military personnel receive a free cup of froyo, up to 11 ounces, on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. To claim the offer, customers should provide proof of military service, such as a military ID card, uniform photo, honors, badges, or come dressed in their military uniform.

Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin’ Onion® and a beverage
All active, retired military and veterans get a Free Bloomin’ Onion® and a beverage on Veterans Day. Must have valid identification. Plus, all military personnel get 15% off from November 12 thru December 31, 2014.

PDQ
Free tenders or sandwich for all veterans or active duty military with ID or in uniform.

Petro Stopping Centers
All Military Vets, come enjoy a free meal on Petro at participating full service restaurants on Nov. 11, 2014. Must show proof of service.

Pinnacle Entertainment
Free buffet on Veterans Day at Pinnacle’s properties including Ameristar, Belterra, Boomtown, L’Auberge, Retama and River City properties.

Pie Five Pizza
On Veterans Day active duty, reserve and retired military receive a free individualized pizza.  Must show valid ID.

Pizza Factory
Free lunch special or a lunch buffet for veterans on November 11, 2014.

Pizza Schmizza & Schmizza Pub & Grub
Veterans and active service members get a free slice of pizza on Nov. 11, 2014 between 1 and 4 p.m.Ponderosa Steakhouses
Monday, November 17th – All former and current military service men and women enjoy a free buffet. Contact your local Bonanza for more details.

Red Hot & Blue Restaurants
Veterans, Active Duty, Retirees and Reservists receive a free meal with the purchase of a second meal of equal or greater value. Proof of military service required. Dine-in only. Print and present the coupon before ordering. Offer valid on Monday, November 10, 2014; Tuesday, November 11, 2014 and Wednesday, November 12, 2014.

Red Lobster Free App
Monday, Nov. 10 to Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 service members past and present receive a complimentary appetizer from a special menu.  Proof of service required.

Red Robin Free Burger and Fries
All Veterans and Active Duty Military get a free Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries on Veterans Day.

Rib Crib
This Veterans Day, all veterans and active-duty military eat free at participating locations.

Rock & Brews
Veterans and active-duty members receive a free ultimate burger or pulled pork sandwich on November 11th, 2014.  Dine in only, military or veteran ID required.

Ruby Tuesday
Get a free appetizer on Veterans Day to all those who served or are serving.

Rusty Bucket & Tavern
On Veterans day get 11% off lunch or dinner with proof of service, food portion of check only, up to 4 guests. Includes Active Duty, Veterans, Retirees, Reservists, Dependents.

Ryan’s
On Veterans Day (Nov. 11), active duty, reservists and retired military may enjoy a free dine-in lunch at participating Ryan’s locations, from open until 3:30 pm. Show your military ID or proof of service to enjoy the free meal.

Shoney’s Offers Free All-American Burger
Shoney’s says ‘Thank You’ to America’s heroes by offering a Shoney’s All-American Burger and fries to all Veterans and Active Duty Military members on Tuesday, November 11th, 2014.

Sizzler Free Lunch
Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, Veterans, active duty, retired members of the military get a free lunch. Guests with proof of military service will select a six-ounce six-ounce Tri Tip Steak, single Malibu Chicken or a half dozen Fried Shrimp entrée with a choice of coffee, iced tea or a fountain drink.

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill
Veterans and active duty get a free meal on Nov. 11, 2014.  Must show proof of service.

Spaghetti Warehouse Buy 1 Get 1 Free Meal
Spaghetti Warehouse is honoring veterans with a special “buy one entree, get one free” coupon offer and is encouraging its guests to “invite a veteran to lunch or dinner”. Beginning Nov. 4th, the coupon will be available online on Spaghetti Warehouse’s website.

Starbucks Free Coffee
This Veterans Day veterans, active duty military and their spouses get a free tall 12oz  brewed coffee at participating stores.

Texas Corral Free Entree
A free entrée on Veterans Day from a special menu for vets and active duty.

Texas Land & Cattle
TXLC will honor Veterans, both active and retired plus reserves with a free appetizer; Crispy Onion Strings, Spicy White Queso, Steakhouse Onion Rings, Avocado Smash or Big D Spinach Dip.

Texas Roadhouse Free Lunch
Select from a free special veterans lunch menu including a beverage and sides on Nov. 11, 2014.

TGI Fridays Free Lunch
Veterans and active duty military service members are invited to have lunch from a special menu on T.G.I Friday’s this Veterans Day.

The Green Turtle
Veterans and Active Duty military enjoy a free meal on Tuesday, November 11th.

Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop Free Doughnut
Veterans and active-duty military will receive a free doughnut. No purchase required. Valid ID required or show up in uniform.

Tijuana Flats
Veterans and active-duty military eat free on Veterans Day, 11.11.14.

Tony Roma’s
On Nov 11th,  come into Tony Roma’s and receive a complimentary draft beer (14 oz. draft beer per person). At participating locations only. With proof of Military Service or Veteran Status.

Travel Centers of America Free Meal
On Veterans Day, all CDL drivers who are Military Veterans eat free at participating full-service restaurants with proof of service. Must present valid ID.

Tucanos Brazilian Grill
Share a photo of your hero for a free salute. Get a free dessert by tagging Tucanos on Instagram with @Tucanosusa #VeteransDay and then upload your picture here.

Twin Peaks Free Meal
Service men and women eat free on 11/11/14.

Uno’s free entrée or pizza with a purchase
With a Military or Veteran ID, entrees are buy one get one free, and anyone who presents this ticket will donate 20% of your total check to Fisher House Veterans Association.

Village Inn Free Breakfast
All who have served get a complimentary breakfast on Veterans Day. Choose between Buttermilk Pancakes, three slices of French Toast or a Belgian Waffle.

Wayback Burgers
Both active and retired military personnel can get a free menu item, with no purchase necessary all day Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Woody’s Bar-B-Q
When Vets buy an entree on Veterans Day they receive a gift certificate for a free entree on their next visit.

Zoes Kitchen
Zoes is serving up a free entrée to those with a military ID and an additional 10% off for all family members on Tues. Nov. 11, 2014.

11/8-11/11 - Veterans Day Sale! EXTRA Savings on Almost Everything + 100s of items already on sale

Last Years Restaurants with Veterans Day Free Meals – Most Repeat Every Year
BJ’s Restaurant Free Lunch or Pizza

All Active Duty Military and Veterans receive a complimentary Lunch Entree, or a one topping mini Deep Dish or individual Hand-Tossed Pizza at dinner. Simply present proof of service.

Boston Market
Stop into any Boston Market on Veterans Day and show your military ID and receive a free whole chicken with the purchase of a family meal.

Buca di Beppo
Free individual pasta for veterans and active duty military on Veterans Day. Proof of service required.

Carrows Free Slice of Pie
Get a free slice of pie, no purchase necessary for veterans and active duty. Present military ID.

Chevys Fresh Mex
On #VeteransDay, active & retired military enjoy 20% off and everyone enjoys $3 House Margaritas. At participating Chevys.

Coco’s Free Slice of Pie
Get a free slice of pie with any purchase on Veterans Day. Includes veterans and active duty.

Einstein Bagels Free Bagel and Shmear
This Veterans Day from 5:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., all active, inactive and retired military personnel are invited to receive a Free Signature or Classic Bagel and Shmear, or any other topping, and no purchase is necessary.

El Torito
On Veterans Day, veterans, active duty & retired military enjoy 20% off plus $3 House Margaritas.

Fatz Eatz and Drinkz
On this Veteran’s Day, Veterans and Active Duty military can enjoy a free entrée up to a $15 value. No purchase required! Also, each veteran will receive a $2 coupon for use on his or her next visit.

Fox & Hound Tavern
Veterans and active duty military get a free burger on Veterans Day.

Little Caesars Free Crazy Bread
All United States armed forces veterans and active military members get a free order of Crazy Bread® with proof of military status at participating stores nationwide this Veterans Day.

Noah’s Bagels Free Bagel and Shmear
This Veterans Day, all active, inactive and retired military personnel are invited to receive a Free Signature or Classic Bagel and Shmear, or any other topping, and no purchase is necessary.

Paciugo Gelato Caffe
Paciugo will thank our nation’s veterans and troops on Veterans Day with a free 12 oz Gelatte.  Military guests will need to provide proof of military service.

Sheetz
Vets get a free 6″ turkey sub and 20oz fountain drink.

Wingstop
All active duty and retired military personnel a free 6pc. Boneless Wing Combo or 3pc. Boneless Strip Combo w/ valid Military ID.

Actions speak louder than words.

Would a handful of coins change your life?

4569457286_949974130a_m_answer_6_xlargePeople do this all the time. Someone on the streets walks up and begs for your spare change. Instead of talking with them and seeing if there are ways to help, you pacify their request with less than most people pay for a coffee.

Imagine that time in your life when you hit rock bottom or came dangerously close. Having no one to turn to and no way out, being completely on your own.21166-The-Worst-Time-Of-Your-Life Would a handful of change or several handfuls over the week rescue you? Does it even come close to bringing back what you once had?

Last month was pretty hectic, work related fun, giving me little time to get out there and pedal the roads. I did however get the opportunity to dawn a pair of spandex and circle around downtown Orlando last week. Managed to ride in the path of a shelter of some sort handing out plates of food. There was a line of people, men women and children all waiting their turn. Immediate thoughts turned to the efforts going to feed the homeless veterans for Thanksgiving and how little of a gesture it’ll be, not realizing the problem was much larger. Good starting point.

 

We’re asking for people out there to do more. Spare an hour to volunteer to help in your community. Do more than discard of a handful of change and forget about the problem. Hell you may even end up meeting someone that could change your life! The Ride for Veterans is continuing to grow and each new person yields a helping hand. Whether that’s sharing this blog with others, offering to cook some of the food or great ideas on how to get more each extra person makes this effort stronger.

Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner and we’re continuing to collect donations and help from people that choose to do so. The next project is going to be “Warmth For Christmas.” A project that’s still on the drawing board, but is carrying a lot of fire behind it. We want to get out there and provide as many of the homeless with a blanket, gloves, a hat and coat. 7845_2Shelter isn’t always and option for some of them. If possible we would like to also provide a Christmas meal to be shared with some of the shelters in the area. Research will be done to figure out which ones would be best suited for the project. To get a closer look at what life is like in one of these shelters click over to my friend Ronnie’s blog.

 

Change helps to provide a meal for someone or to buy much needed items, but it doesn’t live up to it’s name. A helping hand, a voice, a force strong enough to care is what’s needed.

 

If you’d like to join us and actually help people out of their situations let us know. It’ll only cost you time and love.

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ISIS. You childish annoying little pricks.

I asked my fellow veterans for their opinions about ISIS in Iraq. Vast majority said to kill them.

CBS 5 – KPHO Second journalist claimed to be beheaded by ISIS.
ISIS ISIL Iraq Syria War

 

 

The general consensus about ISIS is one of hate and discontent. I believe it’s more than a normal amount of hate for the “enemy,”  Even before I took my vacation over to Iraq in ’07-’08 I knew it was a lost cause. Not for a lack of caring about helping these people or going after the ones who declared themselves to be our enemies. Honestly I would estimate that only 2% of that damn country actually cares about it’s future. Of that 2% maybe a couple dozen have the balls to defend their homeland. As evident in the actions of the Iraqi military. Doesn’t matter the size or proficiency of the invading force, the military would rather just hand over their weapons and equipment to the enemy. Despite the years of training and funding the United States has WASTED trying to help.

 

run away

Typical Iraqi service member.

 

ISIS is scared and those meant to stop them are chicken shit.

I came across this video of  U.S. Soldier ripping the Iraqis a new ass. I agree with him completely. They have made it the obligation of other countries military to come in and clean up there mess, time and time again. Most of the American public, not all, but most are apathetic to the situations in the middle east. Myself and other veterans have tried to let the past be the past when it comes to Iraq. Watching the same area we spent a year(s) in being given to some punk group of extremists is disheartening. I use the work “punk” because I feel that is all ISIS deserves. They’re not a military. They’re not even a well organized militia with the same goals in mind. They claim to want to take over Iraq and surrounding areas in the name of Allah. Contradicting the religion they claim to be promoting. I have no way of knowing for sure, but my opinion of those pulling the strings of ISIS aren’t doing so to create a peaceful nation state. Continuously they point out how wrong the western culture is with all of our infidels, despite the fact that many in the middle east disagree with their ideological extremes.

 

Trust me ISIS the people of the U.S. Military don’t want to be in your homeland. Hell because of your inhuman tactics the majority of those you’re trying to rule don’t even want to be there. ISIS brags about beheading innocent civilians and taking over areas using the weapons of fear and anarchy. Yet they have the balls to make videos of their atrocities in order to point the propaganda gun at western civilization as if we were the cause of the violence. There isn’t a spec of pride left in Iraq for the residents to defend.

 

To many ISIS is just a joke found on the internet.

Archer ISIS Bitchslap

I’m not sure if there are others who would agree with me, but the problem isn’t with ISIS, the Taliban or any other group claiming rights to middle east nations. It’s those are supposed to be defending them! The U.S. dumps BILLIONS  of dollars each year into trying to “fix” countries like Iraq. To what end? I would suggest building up and training the military, but as I’ve said that doesn’t mean shit unless they have the courage to actually fight back. I suggest a mass operation to give all of them a set of balls. Possibly an Addadicktome procedure? ISIS isn’t the first group of assholes that take over using fear and they won’t be the last. I hate to say it this way because many veterans have sacrificed so much of themselves up to this point, but is Iraq doomed to be a lost cause?

Final thought about Iraq.

ISIS Marines ISIL Islam

I would suggest either the defenders of Iraq actually grow up and stop handing over their land and resources to anyone willing to point a gun in their direction, or the invading assholes to come out from hiding. ISIS would rather use the media as a weapon and convince the citizens of Iraq that they’re stronger than a super power. You want a fair fight? Here’s a tip, grow a pair and send an email to Obama letting our military know when and where you’ll be and we can compare dick sizes on the battle field. Then again that could be asking too much of our “commander in chief.”

Running red lights without wearing a helmet.

Settling into a new home.

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Sorry that my posts have been few and far between lately. I recently moved to a new location within Orlando and have been working on getting everything situated. Can’t wait to get out on the bike once everything settles and explore past my previous boundaries.

Not divulging my location, but I get the pleasure now of seeing all kinds of skilled drivers around Conroy and Kirkman road. The erratic driving of tourists and pissed off Floridians is outstanding. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the the thought process of those who speed up to 50mph just to pass a car and then slam on their brakes to sit in backed up traffic. Was that one extra spot worth putting yourselves and others at risk? frabz-STUPID-DRIVERS--STUPID-DRIVERS-EVERY-WHERE-154d1f

My riding skills will definitely be put to the test while maneuvering through this part of Orlando. Even walking a couple of miles crossing the roads in this area is like playing Frogger. My first stroll out and I witnessed three separate car accidents within a half hour. Even with all the visible hazards I still watch people putting their lives at risk, especially those on bicycles.

Stupid cyclist.

Not sure the reason, but many of the people that ride bikes throughout downtown Orlando decide not to wear helmets. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I witnessed one such person on the way home from work one morning. This guy on a bike pulled out into traffic without checking his surroundings. Weaving all over the road and running a red light at a busy intersection. It’s pretty sad when someone like myself who loves cycling has to silently curse about a fellow rider.

Cyclists-23084

My new location is much closer to work so my primary rides won’t be just commuting back and forth to work anymore. I’ll have the chance to ride as a hobby and take pleasure in exploring my area. I’m very paranoid about getting hit by a vehicle in this area, but I believe with time I’ll get used to it and figure out ways to get to safer roads. Cannot wait for those 40-50+ mile rides in my future. Which I need to be doing more of, because unless I get back on the hamster wheel or curb my high intake of calories I’m going to balloon up and become a couch commander.

Excited about the road ahead.

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My life always takes twists and turns as I’ve said in my ‘about me’ section. I have a path I’m on and like many trips it’s a little foggy. I know of destinations I’ll come across and goals that come to fruition. Each day bringing me closer to what I desire in life. Just like any new ride the road will be lined with speed bumps, road blocks and unexpected pot holes. As long as I stay focused and determined I believe I can accomplish whatever I actually set my mind to. Tomorrow will be my first real ride in my new neighborhood. Hopefully I’ll make a few new cyclist friends or have some new stories to share. Stay safe out there and keep pedaling!

 

What could happen on a dark night in Florida.

Riding 100 miles on a bike isn’t exactly an easy task.

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Even for individuals that commute and ride all the time. Therefore when I choose to do a century I bring with me stuff to think about. Often times I end up coming up with thoughts I didn’t know were there or wasn’t acknowledging.

Beginning the ride was nice and smooth.

I left around 2:00am and headed for the West Orange trails. This way I could ride the majority of it out of the friendly Florida sun. The way to the trail was pretty well lit up, but not when I entered it! Aside from the light on the front of my bike I rode in complete darkness. Seeing small patches of light from nearby houses through the trees. I’ve ridden down the trail several times, but remembering every curve is something I haven’t mastered yet. That being said the ride became exciting quickly! I loved every bit of it, speeding up with my tunes cranking I was free from everything. No one knew where I was nor where I was going. Other than pulling over and taking my phone out of airplane mode to submit a picture no one had the ability to contact me. If you haven’t just unplugged from the world in a while I highly recommend it. People sometimes forget to think about themselves when the world is stuck between their thumbs. Not saying to be selfish, but if you don’t take the time to listen to yourself every once in a while you’ll end up becoming the world’s pet. I put myself in danger out on this ride and at the same time had the greatest sense of freedom.
Further down the trail I went by a few houses. Passing a group of guys that looked like they could be the dudes Will Smith described that were up to no good. I decided I wouldn’t make any trouble in their neighborhood and kept on pedaling. The trail seemed to lose some more light as I entered the next town. The danger of it started to consume me as I stood up to go faster while the fear that I could lose control increased.
The next area I came across had a well lit pedestrian bridge so I took advantage of it and snapped a picture, well a selfie. Not really sure why I needed that picture, but I hadn’t taken one yet so it seemed appropriate.  20140701-082237-30157753.jpgWhen I reached the other side of the road I passed underneath the bridged and came across a homeless man in a wheelchair. He had bags tied to the side that looked like clothes and the rest of his possessions. The night was all about unexpected adventures so I stopped to talk with him. He was semi hiding behind one of the columns and appeared shocked that I pulled over by him. He asked about my bike ride and then offered to buy me a coffee at the Dunkin Donuts across the road. I declined and thanked him for the offer. I didn’t realize it until he pointed it out but I kept looking behind me. There wasn’t a reason really, but he left me with some wise words. “No point in looking behind you, the past looks the same as the first time you went by it.” I never asked that man for his name. Didn’t ask him to explain why he was under a bridge. Appreciate the talk.
After the bridge encounter I began looking inward at my own thoughts. The trail once again went black with my light leading the path. Right into a damn cobweb. Yeah a face full of it and it crossed my lips and I flailed my arms like a little girl. Immediately thought there was a spider somewhere on my body and it’s only goal in life now was to find my skin and attack it. Thankfully this didn’t happen.

I was lost.

Literally as well as in my own mind. I found my way to an unmarked dead end road, then laughed at myself when I reached it. Something I was used to doing in my life. Not realizing I was on a path to a dead end yet still heading straight for it ignoring anything that would hint at it. No use in being pissed over it so I turned around and retraced my route. Time to find a new road. 

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I came upon a sign depicting a bike route with an arrow. I choose to ignore the suggestion, took a picture of it and continued in my own direction. I’ve spent enough of my life traveling by the direction of others, I was done. I’ll be the one at the end of this trip of life, I get to decide how to end up there.
One of the benefits of riding at night, like I always do, is it’s safer. Sounds ridiculous right? During the day people are filled with distractions in their cars either texting or talking with other passengers while having full view of everything around them. At night people are more cautious and are more likely to see my blinking lights in front of them on a dark road. What isn’t safe are rouge raccoons that think it’s hilarious to dart out in front of me then stare into my bike light. This little F——r was in my direct path and looked as if it was ready to attack my soul. At the last second he bounced back into the woods leaving me wide eyed. Later on I would realize a raccoon was the least of my worries.

I somehow made it into Mount Dora.

 

I already had traveled to the left of it. This time I made a right. No idea where I was heading and I refused to pull out my phone to look at a map. A sign up ahead gave me two options. Never been to Sanford before. 22 miles wasn’t that bad considering I was about half way into the ride. 22 miles on a quiet road, in the dark, with signs warning of bear crossings is a long road to travel. Suddenly the raccoon wasn’t looking so bad huh?20140701-082144-30104089.jpg
I could tell I was almost to Sanford by the gas stations I was coming up to. Had to take a break and fix a flat tire. Sort of essential to the whole riding a bike thing. Took advantage of the stop by stretching out and loading up on peppered beef jerky. Much needed protein for my legs later on and spicy to keep me sipping water. Flat tires can teach you a lot about yourself. How you handle unexpected situations. I call them a pause button. Obviously I was meant to stop for something, up to me to find out why. This time it was just for beef jerky. :)20140701-082125-30085235.jpg

Around mile 70 or so I read a sign for Winter Springs and Oveido.

I know from looking at maps before that those are two names I didn’t want to be anywhere near while being in the 70 mile range. I was too far out. This time I did pull out my phone to figure out which direction to pedal in at least. Headed towards Maitland.
Along the way the tire I popped started losing air pressure. The side pump I had with me wasn’t living up to it’s hype and I had no other option than to stop every 5-10 miles to pump more into it. Then my back tire decided to be cute and pickup a nail. The sun was up now and I wasn’t grateful for this flat. Once again I pulled over, changed the tube out and filled it with as much air as I could get into it. To give you an idea of what I mean my tires are supposed to have 120 PSI. After checking later I figured out I rode on two of them at about 60-70 PSI. Making it difficult to pedal, but hey I was looking for a challenge right?
I knew of a couple bike shops in the approaching area that could possibly have an external air hookup outside their stores I could utilize. Damn memory lied to me. It was still hours before these shops would open up so I pedaled on. I looked for other options as the temperature went up. I anticipated seeing another cyclist especially in the Winter Park area. Someone had to have a more efficient pump with them. Nope. My only option was to continue in the direction I was heading.20140701-082109-30069682.jpg

At mile 95 I looked down at my garmin and realized I had a very clear shot at making one of my goals for this ride.

100 miles In under 6 hours! But first let’s go ahead and stick a piece of glass through my back tire. Yeah, third flat on this trip and it happened at mile 95. In the sun, with my legs begging me to just call it a day and accept defeat from the unforgiving road pricks. 20140701-081941-29981010.jpgI popped off the back tire, looked at it and started laughing at the situation. What other option did I have? Throw a tantrum about it? I changed the tire and knew that the road ahead of me was mostly uphill. Of course it was. I was running out of time and energy, had to force myself back on the bike.
I overestimated how much time I had left to complete my goal and I realized this more and more as it came closer to 6 hours. Riding on two under inflated tires, exhausted, I had to focus. Kept repeating the mantra, “shut up legs” over and over under my breath.

Mile 97 just three more to go.

Shooting pains were slicing into the sides of my legs and I don’t want to begin to describe what sitting on a rock hard seat will do to your butt after hours of hard pedaling. Mile 98, the tenths of a mile seemed to be taking forever to change on the garmin display now. 6 hours was my goal and I wasn’t going to hold myself back from achieving it! I was done setting limitations on myself, I was going to complete this strong and carry that attitude with me off the bike. Mile 99, just one more to go and under 5 minutes to get there! I finally started seeing other cyclists as I passed the West Orange trail. I refused to stop. I didn’t need them anymore. I traveled this far, dealt with a hard second half and I wasn’t going to give up. My tires were losing air about the same pace as my legs were losing strength. Mile 95.5 I stopped listening to the pain and decided it was time to break my record. I rode into Winter Garden with sweat dripping off my lips. One destination on my mind, 100 miles. 5:58:48 was my time.20140701-081914-29954406.jpg
I slammed on my breaks took out my phone and proudly took a picture of what I had done. A mile back in the other direction was a bike shop and I needed to get some real air into my tires. One small issue with my finish line is that it was still 7 miles from where I live. My body had just informed me it was time to stop. I coasted and basked in the day for the last few miles. One hell of a trip.