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Unfortunately not the update I wanted too give, my teammates father had a heart attack this morning at 2:00 a.m…Just asking for some prayers for them at this time.
Due to this we will be delaying the debut of the National Stroke Association page as I am now looking into a duel ride for both National Stroke Association and National Heart Association.
I’ve seen that this topic has been viewed nearly 350 times in around a week of being up, thank you all I’m assuming a lot of the views are people vaguely interested and that alone means something.
Our gofundme page has the route we will be taking, again I’m attaching the link,
Alternatively if you don’t want to use the gofundmepage feel free to add me on FB name there is Tom NineLives, from CT….
please check it out we love having people interested in riding. We would love for you and anyone else to join! There are so many developments happening. I should point out, right now we are really trying to simply spread the word, sharing the page is a huge help, this adventure is expected to cost more than double what we are trying to raise through pages, we do have affiliation with National Stroke Association and I wish we had that page up as further proof but as we they are setting the page up for us it requires coordinating everything and Betsy the director is out until early next week working on a current event and upon returning our page will be up!
This is an adventure that so far to my knowledge and that of numerous others I have spoken with has never been done before.
We have attracted a total of 5 partial sponsors, 2 full sponsors, and are in discussions with numerous others and are discussing details.
Here is the link, check it out, if you like it share and spread the word, send me a message with a way of getting in contact and as we go we will keep anyone and everyone updated!
Just a quick update, we have picked up several more partial sponsors and full sponsors, the official fundraising page for National Stroke Association will be up by Wednesday (that is the date I was told it would be completed)
Things are coming a long nicely especially considering how early on this adventure is!
We are looking for far more than donations of financial value…If you really enjoy riding and are anywhere along the route and may be interested in meeting up, helping out, whatever please let me know here or on facebook Tom Ninelives
We will be close enough that a side trip would be easily able to be planned in! There are places to ride around the area that we have looked at…The reason we didn’t include much in terms of planning for the state of WI is because the schedule as it sits is setup so that we can add to it as needed depending on timeframe originally we planned the trip as being 3 months shorter than it now is, due to the amount of support we have been receiving and interest generated (mind you this trip has been planned for under two weeks, as I said infant stages still) We extended the plan and gave ourselves an extra three months!
No such thing as a stupid question…Yes we will be riding the entire time! I’m not so much asking anyone here for donations (they would be a great help though or if you want to share the page) this is currently one page for the funding…It may sound like we are asking for a lot in terms of financial support but really this is only about half of what we are planning for this trip, the other half we are covering ourselves as well as Michael giving up his apartment and job, all of my last savings are going towards this, we have several partial sponsors, I am a O/R CORE member, we are in discussions with a total of 16 possible sponsors, several hospitals have expressed interest, two fundraising organizations Stroke Association and Cancer Association and are still working out the legalities regarding the fundraising and as this is an above average length trip the normal donation setup has to be changed as well, As I have said this is 100% happening regardless of finances raised, we are looking for support in a variety of ways, if you or anyone would like to join for a ride or just too hangout anyone is more then welcome! We will be riding to visit patients, hospitals, youth groups, anyone who is interested and we are willing to extend the trip accordingly!
Again this link is for a page and honestly we’d love donations but understand fully how hard money is to come by so just check it out, share, comment, and if you have any input about trails along the way or anything please let us know!
UPDATE- Just heard back from the Stroke Association, they will be assisting in creating a page for pledges and it should be up and running hopefully within the week! Still are working on being able to do a dual fundraiser so Cancer may be included but for now it is 100% confirmed we will be doing this for Stroke Association/Stroke Challenge.
Also it may seem we have a lot to get in order prior to this happening but that isn’t completely the case…We are in discussion with several sponsors (sadly none yet for bikes) we have a couple who are committed and details are being figured out, as for if this is happening, regardless it is happening 100% myself and Michael are doing this. We welcome anyone and everyone to join for any length of time, because of my injuries my riding will be rusty but I expect I’ll adjust quickly (hopefully otherwise pictures from the hospital and some decent crashes will be shown:) If anyone knows anybody who would be interested in meeting up (organizations, hospitals, injured/ill family etc…) we are willing to extend our trip and go off route to meet up! Regardless we welcome any and all to follow along, this is months away but there is quite a bit happening, we are also always looking for help of any kind!
Also the overall plan for what we are doing
WanderSpire: The act of wandering with the intent of inspiring others while finding inspiration for oneself.
First things first Hello!
Next I am going to apologize for the length of this as it is quite a bit of information and has been complicated enough planning so I would imagine this may be a bit much…
My name is Arthur Thomas Lillquist (Tom NineLives on facebook) apparently I’m the team leader for this project of ours…
In an attempt at keeping this shortish I’ll skip the life story and get to the important parts…
When I was 20 I suffered a severe neck injury, literally overnight my life changed. When I woke up my life as I knew it was over. I had essentially suffered a stroke in my spinal column C4-C7. As some may know; this area when damaged, often results in paralysis. When I awoke my ability too walk had been diminished, my arms and hands more or less useless, I developed a (thankfully temporary) seizure disorder, chronic (ongoing) pain throughout my neck and spine, muscle atrophy, spasticity, and wasting. I then was prescribed large doses (up to 300 mgs of oxycodone and 40mgs of valium daily for nearly 3 years) of medications that lead to a legal addiction…Subsequently depression followed.
It was through all of this that one day I decided enough was enough and I told my doctors “I’m coming back from this better than before or I’ll die trying.”
What followed was brutal, I quit the oxycodone cold turkey. I then made the mistake of quitting the valium in the same manner…thankfully several days in I had a physical, upon taking my vitals it was realized I was on the verge of a heart attack, I spent three days in ICU and then two weeks inpatient recovering. But I did it.
I then began focusing on my recovery. I recovered to a point where I took on the Appalachian Trail a mere four years after these injuries, then a sporadic sailing adventure that ended in hurricane Eduardo off the coast of New Jersey, upon returning I set my sights on college and began courses with the end goal being a double major/double minor Mechanical Engineering/Computer Science and minors in Psychology and Outdoor Education…
Now though I and my teammate Michael (whose biography will be added as soon as he has time off from work to complete it) are preparing for the greatest challenge either of us has ever faced to date. The goal (and what we need much help and support with in accomplishing) is a truly massive mountain bike ride. I used to love riding. I used to ride downhill and free ride Mountain biking… Loved it. I haven’t ridden in over 5 years but now I believe I am ready. Our goal is a 7,500+ mile cross country mountain bike expedition…
I’ll let that sink in…7,500+ miles, mountain biked, I haven’t rode in 5+ years, still fairly injured, so many tangibles and obstacles. . .
This isn’t just a ride for me or my teammates.
We will be riding for the Stroke Challenge and raising money for them.
We want to meet people along the way, have people join us for any amount of time…
We want this trip to be as amazing and inspirational for others as it is for us.
We will be filming and producing this adventure into a movie, and documenting the journey with updates online!
There is so much we have to get done.
My last savings are going into this trip and it isn’t nearly enough…I haven’t been legally or physically able to work since my injuries.
My teammate is working 60+ hours a week and will be required to quit his job for this trip.
At this time we need a huge amount of equipment. Any help would be incredible and we will be giving recognition to all who help.
Depending on donation size we will be sending either individual photo’s, photo albums with stories of the picture attached, video+photo albums, and possibly much more! Everyone who takes part in helping with preparation with this trip will receive recognition at every opportunity, and if possible we will do what we can to do right by all involved! This trip is meant to inspire and help others; just as much as it is for ourselves and we wouldn’t be asking if we genuinely didn’t need the help…At some point I’ll probably post a picture of my bank account and the remaining .80 cents in it…
A list of currently needed equipment
2x Bikes…These are the most expensive items and we need to get training immediately. We also don’t want equipment that is going to break as we’ll be in mountains, deserts, and on occasion the middle of nowhere.
SPOT Trackers…these are critical because they map every mile, speed, location within a few feet etc…This way you will be able to see exactly where we are and know that your support helped get us there!
Food, we will need lots of it, from past experience of a hiker appetite the food quantity is unreal!
I hope you decide to join us on this journey. We believe a lot will come from this. We are continually adding to this plan. What we are adding is not for us, it is for those in hospitals, recovering from any injuries or illness; we are looking to find hospitals, scout groups, youth groups etc…that would welcome a visit or presentation on the trip so far, we will extend our trip as needed to accommodate any interested groups! If anyone would like to ride with us for any length we would love to have you!
“When all this is done, I hope it inspires those in hard places or dark times, I want everyone to know that even when everything is against you it isn’t over until you decide, that if there is a challenge no matter how daunting, anything is possible, after all, if I can do it so can you!”
Sorry for the delay, this is the route…pages are being setup after a few legalities concerning fundraising plans are straightened out, everything has to be 100% above board…
Start on Kingdom Trails somewhere around Burke Mountain/East Burke
Ride Stowe Mountain VT
Ride Killington Mountain
Ride Snow Mount
Manchester CT, Ride Case Mountain
Middletown CT Ride Trails at Middlesex Community College
Guilford CT Ride West Woods
Washington DC Ride Alleghany Trail and visit Johns Hopkins Hospital Patients for presentation, possibly setting up a ride of sorts.
Mckeesport PA Ride Alleghany Trail,
Wooster, OH Ride Vultures Knob
Loudonville OH Ride Mohican Trail
Nashville IN Ride Brown County Park and Valley Branch Retreat
Indianapolis IN Ride Fort Harrison State Park and Southwest Loop
Willow Springs IL Ride Bullfrog Lake
Duluth MN Ride Piedmont and Mission Park
Ironton MN Ride Cuyana Lakes
Medora ND Ride Maah Dahh Hey
Watford ND Ride Longs X Loop
Roosville BC/MT Start Great Divide Trail (Will be riding the required 90% according to the organization of all three major trails for the bikepack triple crown)
South Pass City WY Continue Great Divide Trail
Denver CO Start Colorado Trail
Durango CO Finish Colorado Trail
Moab UT Ride The Whole Enchilada and Porcupine Rim
New Mexico…Visiting friends.
Fredonia AZ Start The Arizona Trail
Tucson AZ Finish The Arizona Trail
Los Angeles CA Ride here because we have never been
Santa Cruz CA Forest of Nisene Marks and
Tahoe City CA Finish this Adventure on The Tahoe Rim Trail
Total Mileage Not Counting Side Trails: 7,543 Miles
With Trails Estimated: 8,800 Miles
Timeframe: March till November