Another great family day … lots of running around today.  Getting my son’s bike fixed so we can ride together tomorrow … cleaning up the family van, boxing up all the move stuff, getting my bike “tweaked”, lower bracket bearing was trashed and I ended up “redoing” the bottom bracket … tomorrow I will have the Toyota van serviced, oil change, etc.  They are almost finished packing, lots of time with “the little ones” … a great day to be alive!

Well, the BAH bike tour to Washington DC … is over, it is finished! Yet, the “ripple effects” of this trip will continue for many months, maybe even years, depending on how much “follow up and follow through” is accomplished over the next few weeks.  As I said in a previous post … added to a picture/link … “AMAZING KIDS, DOING AMAZING THINGS!” (With the help of all the key adult leaders and supporting staff it was accomplished and everyone deserves a rich note of gratitude for their input!)  I personally learned a lot on this trip … and … I’m very grateful for the newly found knowledge and wisdom that I’ve picked up along the way.  (Especially a small tip from someone I highly respect … “1st, Recognize your differences … 2nd, then learn to Respect those differences!”)

I am now enjoying a well deserved rest time with my family and helping them move to a new job at a new location!  And I must admit, I’m really starting to enjoy this “Grandpa Thang!”  (The little ones have a unique way of loving their Grandpa, unconditionally!  What a joy it is to receive that kind of love!)

I’ve still got a long way to go to get home … with lots of stops on the way.  Yet, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to “serve” others, in the best way I know how!  (Giving Blood and Thanking Blood Donors and potential donors!)

Talk to you again … in the near future.

Wow! and Double Wow!

The kiddo’s (a term of endearment at my house) did it! Congratulations, to Joseph (JJ), Cody, Maya, and Brytanny! Four of the most amazing young men and young women, in our society today. They started a project which they were unfamiliar with, didn’t know the challenges along the way, and followed it through to the successful completion today, which ended in the Surgeon General’s office in the HHS (Health and Human Services) building, downtown Washington DC.

They were exposed today to their (15 seconds of fame), news reporters, news conferences, lots of pictures with the celebrities of the PHS dept (Public Health Safety) and then finished it off, with a box lunch at which they were treated as celebrities, the final exclamation point to the day was an ARC blood drive at the HHS building, at which time Joseph (JJ) gave a unit of blood, surrounded by Mz Brenda, Mz Terri, Mr. Scott, Mr. Ed, Cody, Maya and Brytanny, to give him support.  At which time he became a “bridge” to the future and a spokesman for his generation.

Congratulations to each one of you, who participated in this amazing, incredible, interesting, and challenging goal of cycling from LakePark, FL., to Washington D.C.

You made it, you did it, and noone can ever take that memory away from you … it will serve as a foundation for the rest of your lives … including the good, the bad and the ugly … yet, it will help you paint a beautiful life painting, which you will be able to reflect back on, and share with your friends, your children, and your grandchildren.  A memory of yourself, which reads … “I did something, I made a difference, I contributed “good” to our society.”   Thank you for allowing us, the supporting team, to share in your success and accomplishment.  It was an honor and a privilege!

To Scott and the VanDuzer Foundation (especially the SPONORS) who made this all possible, THANK YOU!

To the Be A Hero team of riders and support group members,  Scott, Brenda, Terri, Ed, Jeff, Dan and Wendy, JJ, Cody, Maya, and Brytanny … you were awesome and a great example to your family, friends, schoolmates, Boys and Girls Club members!  You raised the bar, a lot!

To Mz Brenda and Mz Terri … thank you for giving it “your all”, your heart and soul, to the kids, to the successful completion of this trip, we couldn’t have done it without your input and your loving support of your BGC team … may you continue to be blessed with love and affection throughout the rest of your lives!

To Ed (Scott’s best friend) you are a blessed man, a man of integrity, and a peacemaker, thank you for sharing the last month with us.

To Dan and Wendy, amazing … Dan, you never ceased to give us excitement, and to keep us grounded to the other side of our brain, no matter what we were discussing, you definitely were able to able to articulate both sides of the fence, by recognizing the difference in people, and then respecting that difference, thank you!  Wendy, thank you for taking care of Dan which he was down, but not out, and thank you for taking care of “all the stuff” that Scott gives to you to finish … you are awesome, kid!

To Jeff, what can I say … “Mr Fix-it” man, you not only spoke quietly about what you believed in, you actually lived it … you fixed so many things on the motorhome along the way, you gave of yourself to the kids, as you trained them in the beginning, and did many things for them and the rest of the team behind the scenes, in a quiet, unassuming way, that it was a great example to the rest of us, thank you for your “service” and “contribution to this BAH project.  May God continue to bless you and your family!

After we donated blood in DC … and Scott and his family, with Ed and Tina, departed on a well-deserved family time vacation, then Mz Brenda, Mz Terri and the youngsters left on a quick tour of DC historical sites, that left Dan, Wendy, Jeff, and I with some time to unwind … guess what, Sassa, (Dan’s son) who lives in the area and is a cyclist, said … “why don’t I gave you a bike tour of DC?”

What do you think we all said?  Absolutely! So we unloaded our bikes, and, set out following Sassa, on a bike tour of some of the historical sites (check out the pix).   After 31 days of cycling, it was a wonderful way to “unwind” … a slow easy “spin” ride (because we had just given blood) and for me,(who hates walking because it hurts so much) I felt like I had died and gone to heaven!  What a great idea … thank you Jeff and Sassa, you put the “indeed” exclamation point on a wonderful and successful “Be A Hero” ride to D.C.  (Trust me we had many of those kind of moments along the way to our goal and destination)

Thank you, Sassa, for being you, and showing us a newer, and better way to travel in the big city of Washington D.C. … you are awesome!

Well, that about wraps it up for me … it was an amazing experience to be an “participant and observer” at the same time … Thank you to everyone, who followed us, supported us, gave us encouragement, took us into your homes, fed us, hugged us, took pictures with us, FaceBook’d us, and helped us in every way … we couldn’t have done it without you!

I know that my life has been enriched by the new friendships that I made along the way to the top of the hill … and … I’m even giving “thanks” for the trials and challenges along the way!

“See you when I see you”  and always remember … “Giving Blood is the one Gift that TRULY comes from your heart!

Larry F.  ( )

Today we cycled 29 miles before we were rained out. It was a pretty hilly ride today, yet, it was a fun day because we really had to work hard to climb the hills and then had some amazing downhills!

We stopped for lunch at the Subway, and, had a lot of fun taking pix.

Another day of amazing escorts … and … the kids gave another incredible presentation at the BGC in Fredericksburg, VA.

This evening we all went for dinner at the “Red Robin” restaurant … it was a great meal.

So tonight is our last night of the BAH bike tour trip.  Tomorrow morning we will all meet at the parking lot in Mt Vernon and then ride to the Surgeon General’s office for our photo-op and lunch time with the Surgeon General, then after that we’ll all donate blood.

Tonight we went with the kids to the Mall and I decided to get a haircut, which seemed OK.

Talk to you tomorrow,

First thing in the morning, we were up early saying good-bye to Ed F and Laura, what a wonderful couple, who shared their homes with the BAH team … and showed us what amazing and gracious hospitality is, and how it’s supposed to be shared. A special thank you to them for being such wonderful giving people!

Today was a beautiful day to ride … it wasn’t too hot and it was kind of cloudy, which cooled things off quite a bit.  We cycled almost 40 miles, and had some really great police escorts which was a pleasant surprise in this area.  Corporals Pecca and Kennedy were outstanding as well as, the other agencies, Aux. Deputy Pate.

After riding all morning, we had some more “fun” at Chic-Fil-A restaurant (see the pix) … besides that, their chicken sandwiches are pretty darn tasty!

After lunch, Mz Brenda arranged another blood presentation for the BAH youth team at the Metro Richmond, West End unit of the Boys and Girl’s Club, Richmond, VA.  As usual, they did an outstanding job in representing their local BGC. (see pix)

Looks like there will be a “reunion” of sorts tonight, because Dan and Terri went to pick up Wendy (Dan’s wife) at the airport.

Well, that’s about it for now … only 2 days to go … amazing how quickly time flies, when you’re having fun and doing great service projects …


Another cycling day accomplished … even Dan and Terri were able to ride today … so now everyone has had a chance to ride.

It was a great day and we also had the opportunity to ride the ferry across the James River, into Jamestown, VA, very historic.

I saw a Surrey town sign that said it was chartered in 1797 … Wow!  That is a lot of American history in this area.

A special “thank you” to Sheriff Marshall, Sgt Storm  , Deputy Delgado, Deputy Borst who escorted us through their county.  (Also the James County deputy)

Thank you to Laura and Ed Fiscella for their amazing hospitality to the BAH bike team … what a group of amazing people we have met on this trip.

Once again, only 3 days left … so close, yet so far away!

Talk to you soon.

Today was another 33 mile ride through the beautiful countryside, and, because we started fairly early it didn’t get as hot as it could have, later in the afternoon.

We ate lunch at Chick-fil-A, and took some great pix there.

Also a special thank you to Capt Parker and Sheriff Webb for their help in escorting us today.

We’ve been so lucky with great escorts, almost every day.

 We made a stop at the BGC of Southeast Virginia today, and, JJ, Cody, Maya, and Brytanny did a wonderful job in the blood awareness presentation.

The local newspaper reporter RES was there, from the Suffolk News Herald, and did a great interview with Mz Brenda and Mr. Scott …  all in all, it was a great day and the presentation helped all of us remember why we were doing what we’re doing!

After that we went to Mr. Dan’s cousin, Ed Fiscella’s house … and, that is where we’re staying tonight and tomorrow night.

They took the kids and us to the pool, and where we could get a bite to it.  They live in a very beautiful area, very peaceful, with a waterfront view.  Lots of curbside appeal, if you know what I mean?

I would like to thank Ed and Laura for their incredible hospitality and willingness to take some complete strangers into their home.  Again, the friends of the Be A Hero bike tour team leaders have been awesome to us.  A great big thank you to all of them!

That’s about all for now … a beautiful and safe cycling day completed!


The day started out with a front tire “flat”, luckily it happened over night and not on the road, the tube nozzle had a big tear in it … with Jeff’s help, and a new tube … I was on the road within a few minutes.

A beautiful 34 mile ride today. We started early enough that is wasn’t too hot, yet plenty warm.  We cycled through some beautiful farmland, with crops of corn, etc.

Thank you to our escorts from Bertie County SO (pronounced Ber-TEE)  Sgt Harmon ,Corporal Perry,  who did a marvelous job of handing us off to Deputy Cofield of Hertford County SO (see pix).

Everyone seemed to have a good time, especially since we know we only have 5 cycling days left, before we cycle into Washington D.C. from Mt. Vernon on Wednesday, the 11th!

It was the first time we’ve eaten lunch at “Bojangles” restaurant … no complaints and I think most of us survived.

Well, that’s about it for now …

Another amazing day of cycling, we awakened early and started cleaning up, and everyone had breakfast at the Penner’s, which Scott was kind enough to prepare, then we packed up and prepared to leave. I was able to say “good-bye” to Norm and Jan (grandparents) who were on their way back to Florida … then, a nice good-bye with Scott P., I hope to see him again in the future and that his dream of owning his own restaurant will come true, after he retires from the Marine Corps.

We cycled about 36.5 miles, and then when we arrived at the Windsor Hotel, it was not up to our expectations, so we left and it took a while to find a nice Holiday Inn Express in Williamston, N.C., which had a small swimming pool.

We are supposed to go to dinner with everyone at 7 p.m.

Talk to you later.

Today is a “day of gratitude” on the Independence of our country, gratefulness for each and every one of our armed forces, military, civilians, and those who have done everything they can to help us achieve the freedoms and liberties that we now enjoy! Thank you to the “active duty” military, the retired military who are still at it … protecting us and our children’s freedoms against “all enemies, domestic or foreign …”  I am personally grateful to each one of you and want to say “thank you for your service.”

We are still in New Bern, NC, staying with the Penner family … who have been so gracious with their NC hospitality … this afternoon will be an incredible NC barbeque with “Baby-back ribs and Country ribs” with all the fixin’s and trimmins … which leads into thanking the Penner family, Norm, Jan and Scott and all the kids for taking care of the “Be A Hero Bike Tour 2012″ team for two days.  THANK YOU!

Later this evening we will attend the 4th of July fireworks celebration in downtown New Bern, over the river area.

Thanks to Scott P for letting an old Marine, relive the days of packing with full “battle gear” … and … the pix to prove it!

This afternoon, Norm, Scott P., Cody, Ed and Scott V. went golfing and had a great time.

Talk to you later.

Well, the baby-back ribs prepared and cooked by Scott P, were some of the best ribs I’ve ever had … they were wonderful, along with the corn on the cob, and the baked beans, yummy!

Then we drove to downtown historic New Bern for a drive through tour, so I could take some pix of the old historic homes.  Then we parked over by the river and watched the fireworks display and I was able to get quite a few pix of the fireworks … so it was quite a day, long and hot … yet, delightfully traditional with the Penner family and the BAH team family.  Soon it will be over and we’ll all be back to our normal lives … it’s been one heck of an experience so far and much more to come.

Tomorrow we’ll be off to Washington …