Takeoff!

Welcome back to BClineinJapan, where BCline is…not in Japan…but plan to once again stock the pages of this blog with tales of my misadventures! Quick background:

After I returned from Japan in August, I had a few weeks with family and friends, then headed down to Fairhope, AL to begin Outward Bound training. Outward Bound is a non-profit outdoor education school that has bases all over the world. The Southeast region (Florida and Alabama), is their At-Risk program where we go on month-long canoeing trips with at-risk teens. So I did that until December. Positives: Loved being outdoors 24/7, instructors are awesome. Not so positive: The kids, while sometimes having good days, had many more “F U instructor” days. Definitely an interesting experience, it just wasn’t something I could see myself doing long-term (long-term for me being a year or more).

Since then, I’ve moved to Charlottesville, VA where I’ve been living with my collge roommate of 1st, 2nd, and now 7th year, Edward Brown. I’ve been working part time helping his mother at her work doing administrative tasks and part time building a bike. There’s so much more I could say about how much I love Cville, but I do need to get on my bike sometime this morning. In any case, the amazing friends, weather, and town (and the fact that my little brother is attending UVA in the fall!) have a strong pull on me returning after this trip.

Which takes me to now! In about a half hour, I plan to head out on a cross country bike trip to my hometown in Manhattan Beach, CA. Edward has decided to join on my first ride to Staunton, VA. If anyone knows people (or yourselves!) I could potentially stay with between Virginia and California, I would be incredibly grateful to sleep in a bed now and again. What follows is a letter I wrote giving you an outline for the trip and my reasons for doing it.

Family and Friends:

I have (possibly foolishly) decided to ride across the country on my bicycle this summer. From Charlottesville, VA to Manhattan Beach, CA, I will no doubt experience the most mountainous and flattest, the most humid and driest, and the friendliest and most barren parts of the US.

I am dedicating this ride to my father, Larry Cline, who has frontotemporal dementia. We began to see changes in his behavior and personality in his mid 40’s, when I was heading off to college. As the genetic disease progressed, it became increasingly difficult for him to show empathy, behave appropriately in social settings, and care for himself. Put simply, our family was slowly losing a husband and father. Today, he is in an assisted living home with a full time staff to care for him.

I write to you today with a request for fundraising support. I am riding for my Dad and to raise money for AFTD (the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration – http://www.theaftd.org). What better way to stay motivated when staring at a 5,000’ ascent in the Rockies than to ride for a cause and in honor of a loved one. It will be one of my most difficult summers, but it will be worth it at the end. (I mean, who wouldn’t want tree trunks for legs?)

There is no minimum donation and all are appreciated. If you donated a penny for every mile, that’d be about $40 (this is going to be a looong ride). To donate online, just go to AFTD’s fundraising page at http://www.theaftd.org/about/get-involved/donate/electronically and follow the directions.  In the “Name of person for tribute” section, please type Larry Cline. Or you can send a check to:

AFTD
Radnor Station Building 2, Suite 320
290 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA 19087

Please note in the check memo that it is in honor of my Dad.

I thank you in advance for your generous support!

In search of tailwinds and smooth roads,

Brandon

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nick on May 17, 2011 at 6:51 am

    I sat here for a little while trying to think of something to say that didn’t sound idiotic, but I’m afraid there’s nothing to say other than: I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad, Brandon. Neurodegenerative diseases are absolutely horrible. I’d be happy to donate some money to such a good cause – and I hope you have an amazing experience with your epic adventure.

    Stay safe

    Reply

  2. “Had many more “F U instructor” days” — we were so nice to you on Emmet 1st right. Though I think we were all “at-risk” as well. Good luck on the trip!

    Reply

  3. […] Regarding how to avoid being bitten by dogs in Kentucky on one’s cross-country bike ride, go here. […]

    Reply

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