Earlier in the summer, Chainlinker Jaik Smith shared his plans to ride from Seattle to Key West. The purpose of the trip - in addition to having an amazing adventure, getting quads of steel and growing out his already impressive beard - is to help raise awareness and $5,000 for cancer research. He's halfway through his trip, and took a moment to send us some photos and a quick update.
By Jaik Smith
I'm about 2200 miles into my trip. It's been amazing. The things that I've seen and the people I have met are wonderful. There have been a few times that I've become lonely, but I continue to find other cyclists that seem to be just as excited to talk with others. One of my favorite moments was waking up in the middle of the night at Missouri headwaters state park to use the restroom, walking out of my tent and then just about falling over when I saw the Milky Way in its whole. I stared in amazement and eventually the coyotes sang me to sleep.
Overall, I keep hearing that I am making excellent time, but I feel slow and like I could do more. The mountains slowed me down quite a bit, but the plains seem to be making up for it. According to my itinerary, which is more of a loose guideline now, I am about two and a half weeks from finishing. I'm almost four weeks in.
There has been a lot I have learned about myself and I feel very connected to both my bike and the road. My tent has become a home and my body knows that when I lay down, it's time to sleep. The hottest it has been was in the Washington basin, peaking at 115. The coldest it's been was in Yellowstone when the temperature dropped down to 35 at night. I had only brought shorts thinking that it would be warm the entire way. I went and purchased a long sleeve shirt and lightweight pants the next morning.
I appreciate everyone's positive comments that I've received and more so donations that have come in. I hope that everyone continues to follow me and enjoys the story as much as I love creating it.
To lean more about Jaik's trip and/or make a donation, visit these sites: