Veterans Deb Lewis, Doug Adams, and their dog Daisy embark on an ambitious (some say crazy!) year-long cycling tour of the United States to educate and inspire Americans to pay attention to what REALLY helps our veterans, military & families. Along the way, they engage local communities, collecting and sharing stories about the people, organizations, and communities making a difference.
Episode 1: Thank you, Fort Drum & Watertown & Tupper Lake!
In this week’s podcast, we bring you up to speed on the three-and-a-half week period between the Wisconsin Ironman, held Sep 12th, and the first day of the Duty, Honor, America Tour on Thursday, October 7, 2010. Listen to the story of great support we received as we make the final preparations for the start of the 18,067-mile journey and the day the tour commences, leaving Watertown/Fort Drum, New York and cycling toward Tupper Lake.
Episode 2: How Veterans Service Organizations Help!
As we reviewed this week’s activities during Days 2 through 8 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour, we realized how much the rest of our year-long journey was formed by the conversations with and opportunities to meet true American heroes in the veterans service organizations along our route in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Between October 8 and October 14, 2010, Doug cycled 397.8 miles and climbed 18,101 feet from Piercefield in mid-upstate New York all the way to Portland, Maine on the Atlantic coast. And Debra managed to surprise him twice during the week!
Episode 3: Getting Back to Basics!
Day 9 through Day 16 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour had us wondering if the pace would slow down at all! As you will hear, Doug may have had the easy job: cycling for 4-6 hours every day! Debra had all the other jobs that were tough to fit into a 24-hour period: RV driving and maintenance, taking care of Daisy (including seeing a veterinarian), handling social media, planning where we would stay each evening, picking Doug up wherever he finished that day and taking him back there the next morning to start up again, having meals with family, friends, and new friends nearly every evening, and recording audio and video conversations with them the next morning. Whew! Doug's cycling stats: between October 15 and October 22, 2010, he cycled 423.2 miles and climbed 19,249 feet from Portland, Maine through Boston, Providence, and New Britain (a Hartford suburb) to Trophy Point at West Point, New York. It begins to become clear—each day has its own storyline.
Episode 4: Connecting to our Lifeline
Days 17-24 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour were off the bike (mostly). After 16 days starting the tour by cycling through New England, Deb and Doug traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting and have Keith Vu of Savage Wraps repair the RV's wrap job and finish the towcar. The second half of the week was back at West Point where Deb and Doug attended their 30th year college reunion. Both AUSA and West Point became touchstones for much of what happened during the remainder of the tour. Doug's cycling stats were meager this week--he cycled only 23.9 miles in the Hudson River Valley as part of the 30th year West Point reunion weekend. The distance wasn't important--the connection with classmates was (Doug ended up riding later in the year with a couple of classmates on this day's ride).
Episode 5: Hit Restart!
Day 25 through Day 31 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour was the restart of our tour. After a week of meetings, parties and dancing, we were ready to get back on the road! Of course, we started by separating! I headed down to Ground Zero in New York City and Debra smartly took the RV, car and Daisy to stay with Marene and Hank Allison in eastern Pennsylvania. I then cycled through New Jersey and into and through eastern Pennsylvania as we prepared to make our way down the Eastern Seaboard through the month of November. This podcast also includes our first guest interview--Doug's daughter Theresa, who was an instrumental part of Day 25 in New York City.
Episode 6: Veteran Days
Days 32 to 38 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour took us through Veterans Day, the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon, and Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC. We continued to make contact family, friends and classmates as we made our way through the mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania, Delaware (our tenth state), Maryland, and Virginia. I cycled every day of this week, except the day after Veterans Day, where we stayed at Debra’s folks place in McLean, Virginia. One day was a trip through Eastern Pennsylvania on the Sunday before Veterans Day where I stopped to see a parade celebrating service. Another was a roundtrip from Fort Meade to the US Naval Academy and back and another, on Veterans Day, was a trip into Washington, DC, by the Capitol, to the Pentagon Memorial.