Tuesday, November 17, 2009

its been awhile

but things are starting to become normal now. my aides are getting used to everything along with me so far the 1st 2 months has been going really smooth

Monday, October 5, 2009

week 1

well the 1st week is down and behind me. so far I've learned or re learned my way around the neighborhood again. I've meet up with several old friends and even made a few new ones. so so far everything is going ok in my new residence.

Monday, September 21, 2009

tried to take a short ride this weekend

as you know my right knee had been giving me trouble. yesterday (Sunday)I went for a short 4-5 mile, no hills and no real stress ride. my knee was sore, but it felt ok. once I got my seat positioned correctly. an it feels pretty good this morning. actually it feels better than its felt in a couple of weeks. when I rode just spinned with no strain and stress. I purposely stayed in a very low gear. on another note I had a very busy weekend. it started on Friday with my American legion post. we had our 2nd annual 'veterans appreciation day' which was a very huge success this year. then saturday went to my VFW's annual clam bake which was also a very huge success. now for this week I have to pack up my things for my move this Saturday. not moving very far just about 10 miles away. an I don't have a lot of things just spread all over.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm so excited

I woke up at 4 am this morning and finally decided to get out of bed at 4:30. I can't wait for the opportunity to meet some of the guys that I looked up to when I was growing up. especially Bernie Kosar, I'll make sure I post some more when I get a chance. on another note I know it may sound sick or be to early. but I've been planning something for next spring. this time I've enlisted the help of people that know how to plan something big like this. an this time it will include some other yet to be named riders. sorry to be so hush hush on it but don't want to let to much info out before hand...........lk

Monday, September 7, 2009

3 days later

well my knee the swelling finally has gone down. its still sore and stiff and once in awhile it catches. but, at least I can move it again. I'm still plagued with the thoughts of what if I had just rested a day. an then taken it easy on it how much further could I had gone? but, I guess next year right?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

something good came out of all of this

Donations to my charities are around $1000 each (so far) and it brought awareness to some very important issue, our returning veterans. also this Friday September, 11th I will be driving a golf cart. for a charity golf tournament. the person or person's that I will be driving around. will be the old Cleveland brown's. like Bernie Kosar of the Cleveland brown's 1985-1993 and several others. I was also informed that I will be expected to give a short speech and talk about my ride. along with the foundation that the golf tournament represents, they (browns) will be making a donation to the charities that I represented during my ride. so all in all it turned out ok I guess LK

Saturday, September 5, 2009

well all that I can say is that I tried to do it.

some unforeseen problems like, my right knee suddenly starting to pop and grind which caused a lot of pain. to the point my average speed was down to around 3-5 mph. an also not having a rear escort driver anymore and coming into higher traffic an trying to navigate my own way. I had to come to the reality that my ride was coming to an end. but, at least I brought some attention to our returning veterans. that was the whole purpose of this ride anyways. I also wanted to let you know that any monies remaining from my general donation fund will be donated to the listed charities this week. thank you all for your support. god bless!

Friday, September 4, 2009

today I had to make a tough decision

well for one I never realized Ohio had so many steep hills till Tuesday and Wednesday. thank goodness I had a friend following me on weds. because otherwise I would not have even made it past that day. but yesterday started out ok. that was till my right knee made a funny grinding/ popping noise. it had been starting to feel really weird yesterday (thurs.) that's when a really nice lady. went out of her way and stopped by a local bed and breakfast. in mt. Gilead, Ohio and got Sam the owner. who happened to be a marine veteran and a retired fire chief. but, anyways after being welcomed into there lovely home and given a great home cooked meal. I slept like the dead to awake this morning to a knee that felt better but, not 100%. so I left this morning after a great breakfast an hit the road. but, to no avail because about 25 miles into it my knee started feeling funny again. anyways I tried to take it easy on it but the pain just got worse and worse. till I was barely even pedaling at all. so after only 137 miles into my ride I had to make a decision. keep going and hope that my knee gets better or that I don't do more damage to it. or to stop and say I quite but, at least I tried to do something. an even though it didn't work out the way I had planned on it working out. at least I had learned a great deal. an will be better prepared for the next time I decide to undertake something like this. anyways I wanted to thank you all for your support and good wishes. an I also wanted to remind you to thank a veteran the next time you see one. heck if you can spare the time do something nice for one. whether that be visiting them in the hospital or just shaking there hand. because without them where would we be today?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1st day

well today went well lots of hills and traffic though. but i'm just getting into the swing of things. I got a good send off at the va. heck I even got a police escort for about the 1st 10 miles. well i'm tired as can be and getting ready for bed just thought I would update everyone and let them know how today went.

Monday, August 31, 2009

this is it 12 to go

and I'm really chomping at the bit to get on with it. finally its here one more night to go before I leave on the adventure of my lifetime. or at least during my new life that is. I rode around today with the trailer fully loaded. boy is it heavy going up hills. but, what did I expect for a totally unsupported road tour of Ohio. its not like I get the luxury of having a 'van' with me to haul all of these recumbent trike manufacture's brochures around with me. but, hopefully the weight will become unnoticeable after a few hundred miles or so well wish me luck and good riding weather.....LK

Sunday, August 30, 2009

2 days left

well this is almost it my friend came over last night and we both went over my bike and trailer. it helps that he used to own a small shop and is very familiar with my bike. we went for a short ride to check the adjustments that he made. they all were great and I will owe him the nicest steak dinner when I return. for all of the things that he (James) has done for me. it was really odd how we met. I was in the bike shop(spin's) in willoughby. getting my new tires put on for my trip. when he and his wife came in. he saw the sticker on my bike that said 'mybigride09'. an mentioned that he had heard about my trip. we sat there and talked for a good while. while his wife and my girlfriend were next store drinking coffee anyways about my ride I've got everything sitting here. ready to be put into duffel bags and then the trailer. I'm not to nervous yet. but, that will probably change. once I get to my send off at wade park VA. its raining today so my little fishing trip with boasty.org was canceled. so today I've got nothing to do except go over and over my route again and again.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

well this is it

the last weekend to do all of my bike pre-check and packing things. I've gone over my list so many times that I just about know it by heart. this week had the opportunity to ride with a couple of fellow disabled veterans. we decided that they would track me and meet up with me later for a day of riding. I defiantly got my workout on changing flats that day. from over pressuring of tires the tubes blew. no I did not do it (over pressure) someone else did it for me..... but all in all things are going ok today I've got a friend who is stopping by to go riding with me. last night was a huge success at the VFW fund raiser send off party for me. I guess they sold out. I'll write more later its time to go riding now.......LK

Monday, August 24, 2009

1 week to go now

Today I received my SPOT tracking device. aside from a few glitches with the computer at the office. everything looks good. this little unit is about a 1/2 lb and the size of about 3 decks of playing cards. what this unit does is tracks me through out my adventure and will give me, an those that care about me a little bit of security. because this thing has several features. which are pretty neat. but, this one I really like its the I'm ok button. which is basically a button that you have to press at a preset time amount that sends either emails or sms text messages to the people that you set up in the system, that you are ok. an if you don't do it within so much time, 15-20 mins I think. it will send out your location to an operator who will attempt to contact you. an if they can't then they will ask a local agency to check on you. kind of like on-star for adventures. it also has a help button that will send out a message to your point of contacts letting them know you need help and a 911 button that will send for emergency services. a pretty neat little piece of mind to have. other than that my riding is back to where it was. before my run in with the teenagers last month. I'm now riding very strong again and feel very good during and after my rides. with one week to go now its time to double check all of my bike, my cloth's, my personal gear and to really try and get some more per mile sponsorship.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

less than 2 weeks

well things are starting to come together now 2 weeks and counting. I'm starting to make all of the final reservations and route planning. yesterday I bought (thanks to a sponsor) a GPS unit to make things a little easier on me it should be here today. I also got donated to me a netbook laptop computer. that way I can keep in contact with everyone while I'm on this trip. I'm getting a little nervous because even though I've tried to plan out everything possible. its still the what if's that will get me. I'll just deal with them as they arise

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

the 1st fundraiser was a success

it was a huge success as a matter of fact. I don't think I've ever seen that place so crowded. I want to give a special thank you to Joanne. in 3 weeks she put all of this together. without her it would not have even gotten off the ground. fund raising is going well. I'm now riding for around $4.30 per mile + people have been sending in donations straight to the charities. so all and all I'm pleased not to bad for a 1st time event. but, it will get better this I know......

Thursday, August 13, 2009

less than 3 weeks

things are starting to come together bit by bit. my biggest concern right now is once I get beyond the Cleveland area. my aide will not be able to go on from there. so now its up to me and the VA to come up with a solution. but, I guess mainly me. om a different note talked to a couple of friends today and they encouraged me to do this 100%. if not for me for all of the other veterans out there. well my 1st going away party is this saturday and it should be a blast.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm making my list and checking it twice

well its down to 3 weeks and counting now. it seems like yesterday when I got this wild hair brain idea to ride to Texas. but at least some sensible people talked me out of it and into a more manageable ride. But, there is always next year. It depends on how this one goes but I'm already thinking of doing another ride next year. I'm even thinking about maybe trying to do some sort of benefit ride every year. I don't know maybe calling it a "soldiers benefit ride". I have not really put to much thought into it yet. it was just mentioned to me this past weekend by a friend. But, on another note things are finally coming to a head. I'm making a list of the things I think I'll need and then trying to find a way to pack it. thank goodness I've got a trailer because without it I would really be screwed. an also thank goodness I've been training with at least 75 lbs in it. because right now, aside from any literature that my sponsors have sent me. I'm up to 25 lbs. of just my own personal things. well next weekend they are having a fundraiser send off party for me. at the wee-bit bar in mentor on the lake. and then the following weekend they are having a steak dinner party for me at my VFW post

Friday, August 7, 2009


everything went ok at the meeting I guess I had gotten myself really worked up about nothing. because most everyone in there I've known for years and am very comfortable with anyways. so it was no different being in a large room. I spoke briefly then Chris did and so did alli. then we were out of there so 5-10 minutes tops. but, the point was gotten across hopefully. on another note went to WRHD today for 4 hours and boy did they have a surprise for me. they loaded me up with all kinds of t-shirts and some other needed items for my trip. plus we also discussed about me bringing my bike up there on the 18th of August for bike night and to try to raise some more donations

Thursday, August 6, 2009

very important meeting today

today I've got a meeting scheaduled with the local VA director and other heads of departments. I wasn't nervous about it till this morning when I started 2nd guessing myself about everything. I know he's just a man and it really makes no difference on weather my ride is a go or not. its just he or they can make my life a whole lot easier. so we shall see if they allow me to have what I'm asking for.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

did my 1st long ride tonight

it went ok still soar but feeling better now that the Dr. has given me the ok yo get back to training. also on other news it looks as if the willoughby police dept. will be dropping the investigation because of not enough evidence. so I guess its up to karma to catch these punks.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

well its been a week now

its been a week now since my unfortunate incident with some teen age punks. most of my scrapes and bruises are returning back to there original colors. my ribs are still soar but, I guess that will also take time. all I know is as soon as I can physically ride again I will because I personally think it will help me heal faster.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

4 days post incident

ok I'm sore as all heck now and my right hip is turning all kinds of pretty blues, purples and greens. but, other than that everything else seems to be going ok. the bike is at the shop and about the worst damage to it was the front tire was all bent up. other than that nothing to major I guess. a friend of mine that is a cop in a nearby town took the bike over to the shop yesterday. he also said accident report was very well given (by me)an he doesn't think these kids are from willoughby either. the heat will hopefully be turned up on them with the release of a news article in the news hearald today. about the incident and my ride. all I know is I'm sore in places that I never knew existed.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

now that I've calmed down a bit

to the little weasel s.o.b's that harassed me yesterday and then brake checked me in the middle of Daniels park rd. in Willoughby yesterday at noon. I hope you are happy and proud of yourselves. you give a whole new meaning to pure punks (that's being nice)I hope you guys are caught soon because you know what I've got the word out about you punks and when they do catch you I'll be there still smiling so have a nice rest of the summer boys

Friday, July 17, 2009

well its time to go nucking futs again.

with me trying to re-plan my route. for those that don't know what I'm talking about. I was recently approched by members of the wade park VA staff. with a pretty sweet deal but, I have to stay regional. which really will not be to much of a problem I can't tell you everything yet but I will tell you that it is what I wanted to happen months ago. at least this time I know where to start and how to do it. anyways I've got my basic route down. now I just have to fine tune it all and fast because in less than 45 days I leave. so far all of my sponsors are on board with the idea as a matter of fact I've picked up a couple of new recumbent trike manufactures as sponsors.

Friday, June 26, 2009

well I'm back in business again. It seems that the computer problem that I had was due mainly to me. anyways about my ride. now that the VA wants to get involved. they are asking me to re plan my route more regionally. by that they are saying Ohio, southern Michigan, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky. it was asked of me to consider doing this to help promote our state. so I in return asked them for a few things if I did this. like pay for hotels, sag vehicle and my aid. which I did not think was to out of the question. now I'm finishing up contacting recumbent bike manufactures. asking them if they would be interested in getting involved and if so what do they need from me to assist them in making all of this happen?

Friday, June 19, 2009

back to training again

well thanks to some friends and sponsors. I'm back on the road again now. after all of my riding this past Sunday in Burton, Ohio. I discovered 2 things 1st) that my pedals needed to be extended out a little bit. so that my right knee would not keep hitting my GPS. thanks to my friend Roger in Greenville SC. that problem is taken care of now. he was kind enough to mail me a set of pedal extenders that he had extra. 2nd) that I needed something to prevent my chain from jumping off of my smallest front gear and getting jammed between my bike frame and my front gears. well thanks to a company called jump stop that should not happen again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

well with the weekend over now I can

get back to my bike training and preparing for my ride coming this September. this memorial day I had the honor of giving a speech to about 100 people. that came out to attend the whitehaven memorial tribute that we do every year. an I was really humbled by the speaker before me. here was this young woman, Mrs. Pamela Montgomery who just last year on the 31st of May lost her husband in Iraq. she got up there and spoke very proudly of her husband and all military. I was very humbled by the fact that I had to get up there after her and try to read my speech. I also did something else that I had not done in a while. I was asked at the last minute if I would march in with a boy scout when he brought in the POW/MIA flag? I accepted the task with great honor.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

well I think I have it done

one of my duties (non-big ride related)with the DAV42 LAKE COUNTY OH. is as 2nd vice to organize the memorial day tribute at Whitehaven memorial park. an seeing as how the woman in charge of Whitehaven couldn't get a 3rd speaker. I went ahead and volunteered to do it. well with some work and assistance from friends I've come up with a short and hopefully powerful speech. that will be a tribute to all veterans both living and dead. especielly to my friend who died in Iraq.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I'm going nucking futs....................

Did I mention that I hate to speak in front of crowds? so what do I do? volunteer myself to be a guest speaker for the Whitehaven memorial gardens, memorial day activities that our DAV and Whitehaven puts on every year to show respect to those that are no longer with us. but, I'm doing it thats why I started writing my speech now I figure with 2 weeks to go I ought to be able to come up with something. along the same lines of I hate to speak in front of crowds. I'm also the newly elected 2nd vice of my DAV chapter #42 and the post chaplain of my American legion post so needless to say if this doesn't cure me then nothing will. on other news I've picked up several new sponsors. both personal and business wise and my mileage is up to about 250 per week. I've also acquired a few additional riders from various web site forums that I belong to. that will ride with me several days or just a day. but I'm sure the company will be welcome. so things are looking pretty good right now

Friday, May 1, 2009


well April came and went now for may. as if things were not hectic enough I've now got the honor of being one of the guest speakers at my DAV whithaven memorial gardens ceremony. which I take as an honor that I was asked to do it. but, I had to send a little humor by way of email when I was asked by the funeral home director if I would do it. I told her I would but, that I hated speaking in front of large crowds so I had to imagine everybody in the audience was naked. she called me right back laughing her head off almost crying so I guess that went well. on biking news I've ridden about 200 miles this week. but I would expect that mileage to pick up once the weather gets a little better. my aide has been busy jogging and riding on her own until we can start riding together

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I'm not sure if he is doubting me or trying to motivate me. but, my dad gave me some advice today, which was why the heck am I doing this? an you will never make it down there. I hate to tell him but the effect its having on me is making me more motivated to prove him wrong. end of rant my aid got her bike today and she is taking it to a LBS to get everything adjusted on it

Monday, April 20, 2009

training rides went well this week and weekend. right now I'm trying to nail down my routes to Texas. So far I've got everything down to to just north of New Orleans. Basic of course, some changes here and there are needed. But, I've got to wait on the maps that I requested. I ended up adding about 300+ miles to my trip by choosing the more safer biking route. But, I think it will pay off in the long run. I just got off of the phone with Mr. Douglas who works for the Texas state DOT. He provided me with a wealth of information on how to get through Texas to Dallas. I guess I will owe him a beer when I get down there for all of the info. he gave to me. Well in other news my aide is buying a very nice bike from one of her friends. The cool thing is that its all set up for the road trip already.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

well this week was a great one for riding till today. I woke up this morning expecting to get out and ride at least 50 miles. but, no I woke up to SNOW. so oh well I guess my training will have to wait till after it melts. so I will post some more after my birthday

Friday, April 3, 2009

it's raining today and I've got a head cold. So I opted to stay in and nurse my cold and get better for my vacation next week. Well my rides went pretty good this week. It was the first time I was able to get out and ride with out being all bundled up. Yesterday (thursday) my aide went with me for her 1st ride. we will slowly work up to doing 70+ miles but, she did pretty good for not riding a bike for a while. when we got home we worked on our route. an we've got it down to Ohio, Ky, Tenn. thats good enough for right now I'm getting allot of assistance from the Adventure Cycling Association. for my route down to Dallas

Sunday, March 29, 2009

right now I'm sitting on cloud nine. because, yesterday when I opened my email. I had one from a possible sponsor that not only wants to sponsor me. but, he also wants to set me up with a different trike that would be more suited to the trip. thats all I know right now but, I'll be sure to let you know as soon as I hear more from him. on another note taking the day off today because of illness but, I'll be back on the bike tomorrow for sure I hope.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

well after much back and forth with several people. including a lady that the VA is put me in contact with to assist me with all of the details. I think my route is going to change. I'll still end up in the same place and doing the same miles plus a few hundred more. but, it will be a lot more bicycle friendly. I will be traveling along the old historic underground rail road. through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and then take the trans continental route across Arkansas into Oklahoma and then drop down to Texas and go on to Dallas. I know that it seems like a lot more but, in the long run I think it will pay off.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I'm just trying to keep in shape right now till the weather gets more tolerable. Then once that happens I will kick it up a notch or two. my goal is to be able to do at least 75-100 miles comfortably. That way in case something happens during the ride I will still have plenty of energy to complete the days miles.
3/16-40 miles 3/17- 25 miles 3/18- 25 miles 3/19- 52 miles 3/20- off day 3/21- 25 miles

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


friday 3/6/09 I rode about 35 miles in the morning and then stopped because of rain and time constraints saturday 3/7/09 got in a 40 mile ride between morning and afternoon but, it felt good getting out into the nicer weather. sunday 3/8/09 off day monday 3/9/09 raining and cold so instead of risking getting sick opted to stay indoors tuesday 3/10/09 40 miles kept up a good pace and cadence wed. 3/12/09 had to get ready to go up to the VA for the day so no riding today

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A little about me...

I am a 39 year old father of 2 kids, and a 1991 Desert Storm veteran. In September of 2004, I was in a really bad motor vehicle accident that almost ended my life. I was taken from the accident scene by life-flight helicopter, and spent the next 6-8 months in a coma, a vegetative state, trach dependent (breathing machine), quadriplegic for several months after that. Over the next 5 years I had gained a lot of weight from being inactive. Then, about a year ago, my girlfriend turned me onto riding a recumbent-trike. Well, let me tell you what that bike has done for me. I now ride every chance that I can, rain, shine, or even snow. My power wheelchair only comes outside when I go down to the VA hospital, and my manual chair is now my office chair. My weight is now back down to my before accident weight, along with my pants size. I now ride everywhere I can. About 2 months ago, after coming home from the VA hospital, I was sitting here listening to the radio, when a question kept coming into my head. If I could give back to the men and women that give so much for us, how would I do it? Well, actually the answer came easy, I could take a long bike ride for donations to a charity. Then came the hard part, the planning. Do I take a short ride, using the rails for trails? No, that isn't long enough and anyone can do that. Do I just ride from Cleveland to Cincinnati? No, once again that is not long enough, and there really are no VA centers to goodwill visit between here and there. Alright, at least now I had some sort of idea of what I wanted it to be. It needs to be long, have the most VA centers between the two points, and to be something that I can be proud of, and say I did that. So, that is how MY BIG RIDE 09 came about. With the help of my friends, family and you, it will hopefully be a huge success and raise lots of awareness and donations towards the plight of our returning veterans. I would like to thank a few people before I even leave on my big ride. To Rhonda, thank you for helping me find myself when I was lost, and to my family thank you for not giving up on me when the doctors wanted to. To all of my friends both new and old, thanks for accepting me as I am. And, to my friend Ken, thanks for helping me put all of this together, may it be a huge success. Also, thanks to you, my supporters, because without you none of this would be possible. Best Regards, Lee Kelly My Big Ride 09 PS I belong to the following organizations: American Legion Disabled American Veterans Veterans of Foreign Wars Adventure Cycling Association I also enjoy volunteering at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.


About Me

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I'm a 39 yr old veteran from Desert shield/ storm. I was in a really bad MVA in 2004 that almost killed me. after spending a yr + in one hospital or another. I finally got released to live my life on my own again. now I'm doing just that everyday