Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Kanemitsu to Bike 4,200 Miles Cross-Continent. By Ted Kanemitsu
This coming May, I will be pursuing a dream I’ve had since my love for bicycling and nature first provided me with momentary escape from the chaotic pace of our world. Outside of our relationship with The Lord, we are virtually on our own here on this earth. And there are some things, we just need to do.
My dream is to cross the Continental United States, by way of bicycle: to seek, explore, and to share; to meet new people, and experience the uniqueness of life in rural America.
We will be following the migration pattern of our forefathers as they settled this great country on a route commonly known as: “The Bi-Centennial Bicycle Route”, or “The Trans America.” We will begin in Yorktown, Virginia and terminate in Astoria, Oregon.
The path will take us cross ten states, five major mountain ranges, and four time zones.
We will put in more miles than the average person riding a bike 20 miles a week will do in 3-1/2 years. We will ascend altitudes of near 12,000 feet, as we cross the Rockies, Grand Teton, Sierra Nevada, Ozarks, and Appalachian mountain ranges. We will cross the Continental Divide 9 times as we meander our way northwest through Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.
This trek has become the ultimate goal for many cyclists world wide through recent years. An average of more than 400 cyclists do this journey every year, on this particular route alone. There are actually five pre-planned bike routes crossing North America all between three and five thousand miles long. Our route is 4,247.5 miles, longer if we get lost. We chose this particular route, going east to west because of its historical significance, and the fact that we will be inching our way closer to home as the months go by. Psychologically, this might just give us the boost we need.
In 1976, on the inaugural crossing of The Bi-Cetitennia.l Bicycle Route in celebration of the 200th anniversary of our nation’s Independence, there were more than 5,000 individuals that started. Although each had their own personal goal, many did not finish for one reason or another. However, 2,700 of them did. Every year since then, crazy people like us, have been doing this – some crazy enough to do it more than once.
For me, this has become a final “MEGA’ attempt at pursuing this once in a lifetime dream. At my age and physical status, it would be wise for me to pursue this goal now, otherwise it may remain a dream. I have done some pretty crazy things on my bike, nearly killing myself on more than a couple of occasions.
I have completed the “Ride to the Sun” or “Haleakala Hill Climb” twice. This is a 36 mile, 10,000 foot climb that takes you from sea level at Paia, to the summit of Haleakala, in a time frame of under 4 and a half hours. If I were a year older, I could have won my division. Instead, I was the oldest one in my age group. I have completed the “Oahu Century” bicycle ride, 100-mile event, three times. I got lost all three times nearing the finish.
I have ridden just about every dirt road and bike trail at the “Molokai Ranch” when I worked there as a bike guide from 1997 to 2002. Ridden up to the forest reserve from Kaunakakai, and down every dirt road leading back. Carried my bike up and down the
Kalaupapa trail a dozen or more times to ride the lava stricken dirt roads of Kalawao and the perimeter of Makanaloa. Once I got a flat at the old landing near Kalawao. Unprepared for such a mishap, I ended up carrying my bike back across the peninsula, then up the trail, finally to my home in Kualapu`u at 9:30pm.
Had my bike stolen in California, batteries die Ofl night rides, and walked home late at night. I’ve had broken chains, stems, destroyed wheels, tore tires, you name it. from the tropical rain forest of Kamakou, to the rock infested dried stream beds of La`au. Pu’u 0 Hoku Ranch to Cape Halawa, along abandoned jeep roads, and dusty cow trails. From Kualapuu to Halawa Valley, to Kalua koi, to Kualapuu in a single day. I’ve even ridden the trail up to the Halawa falls and back.
From Lahaina to Lahaina, around the West Maui mountains. From Hana to Paia, the list goes on The names of the individuals who accompanied me on these episodes have purposely been left out to protect their otherwise civilized, and good character.
Now it is time for a greater challenge, a true test of whether or not I am who I think I am. So you ask…ARE YOU CRAZY?” You bet! This cross continental adventure will take approximately 13 weeks, cover a distance of 4,247.5 miles, and a cumulative altitude gain of about 168,000 vertical feet. There will be challenges around every bend, and lessons to be learned. But the experience, will last a life time. It will bring new meaning o life, a new perspective, and a glimpse of what the human spirit is capable of.
My dear friend and partner for this journey, will be Lisa Davis, of Kaluakoi. A long time resident of the island, and my former boss at The Molokai Ranch’s Mountain Biking department. Lisa has also realized a yearning for this life changing experience. Together, we hope to accomplish the physical, mental, and emotional task that only true adventures will even consider.
This will be a self-supported journey which means we carry everything to sustain us. Every precaution has been considered, and plans have been been laid out. We have the desire, the discipline, and the ability to reach our goal. Our tentative departure will be somewhere around May the 10th, 2009. Returning on or about August the 10th J want be back home to celebrate my mom’s 92nd birthday with my family.
We would like to invite you, the people of Molokai, to take part in this incredible journey, by way of a fund raising drive for your organization. With our permission, you will be allowed to collect pledges from the community, friends, relatives, anyone. The possibilities are endless, since the pledges will not only be limited to those around us, but from those abroad as well.
Even at a penny a mile, this fundraiser could bring in over $40.00 per person. One hundred percent of which will go to your cause. We ask for nothing in return, just the support of our loved ones, and your prayers to accompany us. This opportunity will be offered to any organization with a worthy cause. Churches, schools, humanitarian needs, what ever is impressed upon your heart. Let The Lord Guide you, as He Will the two of us.
Originally you would have been able to track or efforts via Google earth through a POD (Personal Locating Device). However the SPOT Satellite Messenger unit which utilizes two-way signal processing could not guarantee reliable service in Hawaii. There for we decided to go with the old fashion way, via e-mail updates where ever there is a signal. This method saves us about $275.00. We will send an e-mail update a couple of times a week as to our progress, as we venture through the American heartland.
There is absolutely no guarantee that things will go as planned. Therefore, the particulars of how you set up your fundraiser will be left totally up to you. We cannot be held accountable for situations out of our control.
Thank you so much for your time. May this bring us closer as friends, and closer to The Lord as human beings.
Aloha kaua, Ted.
The estimated cost for this journey will be approximately $8,000.00. So obviously, we are going to need some help. I have devised some clever means to offset the cost by somewhere around 25%. These expenses include:
Airfare: One way from Molokai to Yorktown, Virginia, $750.00 per person.
One way from Astoria, Oregon to Molokai, $550.00 per person.
Bike: We decided on our mountain bikes for this trip. This will cut down on our out of pocket expenses. Retrofitting these bikes will cost approximately $300.00 to $400.00 per bike instead of the $1500.00 for a specific touring bike and set up, the later would have put us over our budget.
Trailer: A towable bike trailer and a lockable, waterproof storage allow for tti e ability to carry the extra necessities to sustain such a long and vigorous endeavor. $400.00 ea.
Fedex: Shipment of bikes, trailers, etc, $400.00 each way$800.00 per person.
Lodging: There will be a total of 17 to 20 nights in some sort of hostel. These include a two-day set-up and staging stay in Yorktown, Virginia One night a week on the road (13 nights) for a good nights rest, hot shower, sit down meals, laundry, and restocking of supplies, etc. In addition, there will be two days in Astoria, Oregon for packing and shipping of equipment back home. $1000.00 per person,
Food: This kind of work out requires plenty of calories. We will be burning 6000 to 7000 calories a day, fueling four times a day plus energy snacks and liquids. $2000 ea.
Car rental or Taxi: We have no choice. On a couple of occasions or more, we will require some sort of transportation to get to our equipment, and again once we ship our equipment back. $200.00.
Gear: Special gear will need to be obtained to make this a safe and enjoyable trip. Some of these include Lightweight technical clothing, we will encounter temperatures of below freezing in the high country, to near 100 degrees m the low lying flat land. There will be thunder storms, tornados, and I understand hail storms arc common in the summer months in the mid-west.
Specialized compact, lightweight camping equipment. Such as tents, sleeping bag, cooking utensils, etc. Personal defense apparatus for protection against dogs, bears and other unwanted threats. Well stocked first aid kit, maps, GPS, Personal locating device, travel insurance, lap top computer, etc. $2000.00 ea.
Misc. Expenses: These include toll fees, camping, park entry, and all other applicable fees. $200.00 to $300.00.
And that is how we came about the $8000.00 total cost. As you can see, there is no allowance for personal effects. These costs are based only on the necessities to complete this trip in a reasonable and safe manor, Although not a planned expenditure, emergencies are a possibility, cost will vary. Obviously, a lot of home woi k went into planning this.
Of course, there are a number of ways that one can defer the cost of individual expenses. Here are a few we are looking in to. These include, but are not limited to:
1. Aluminum can collecting at 5 cents each, I estimate a possible income of at
2. Yard sale: I have as much stuff lying around not being used as the rest of
you. A possible income here of at least $200.00 to $300.00.
3. Family: If I beg hard enough, I bet I could get at least $100.00 from each of
um. A possible $400.00 depending on how hard I beg.
4. Services rendered: as a craftsman, there are miscellaneous projects I can do
quite well. A possible $1000.00.
5. Donations: I will not come right out and ask, but I can throw a hint or two,
and some of you will be willing to chip in. A possible $200.00
6. Riding my bike to work: At over $5.00 a gallon of regular, this could be the
biggest deference of them all. A possible $25.00 a week.
There are other ways of generating income. I already have $6000.00 set aside as of the writing of this letter. If I can defer the cost beyond what we need, w: would be more than willing to pledge miles ourselves.
Thank you for considering to help in any way you can.
Aloha kaua, Ted and Lisa
For fundraising information, or to donate to Ted and Lisa’s trip, contact Ted at 567-9209.