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  August 20, 2001

Welcome home,
Wow, it sure is weird sending this email from sunny California. Usually I would write how surprised I was that I made it from one state to the next in a couple weeks. It only took about 9 hours to get from Maine to California. I thought I was going to go crazy on the plane. Being stuck in a middle seat from Boston to LA was especially trying after four months of outdoor freedom.

A classic covered bridge in New England I tried to stay in Burlington a little longer to collect even more cookies for my cookie temple but I had a meeting with the New Hampshire Breast Cancer Coalition (NHBCC). Deana from NHBCC had donated a room at her motel in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Little did I know that would include one of the best dinners I had on the road.

If you haven�t figured out yet, breakfast (usually donuts) is my favorite meal of the day. A few days before arriving I had been warned a number of times that across the street from the motel was one of the best diners in the country. They weren�t joking. Sunny Day Diner was the best breakfast I found. Maybe it was the bag of baked goods they donated that sealed the deal.

Meeting with the New Hampshire Breast Cancer Coalition What better place to have a meeting with NHBCC than a diner. Nancy Ryan, the chair, drove a couple hours to meet with me, Deanna, and two other members / breast cancer survivors that lived nearby (Nanci and Jody). Of all the groups I met with, NHBCC is the most closely tied to the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC). Nancy said the reason is because they believe that curing breast cancer is a political issue. New Hampshire became one of the first three states to expand Medicaid benefits to uninsured women who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through a federal screening program. They are also very involved with the NBCC petition to President Bush that asks him to make breast cancer a priority while in office. You can quickly sign the petition by clicking here.

I know you needed to see one last scary picture of me with another state welcome sign My first night in Maine was spent in a tee-pee at Nezinscot Farms. It was actually more like a sweat lodge due to the excessive heat. Temperatures were over 100 degrees in Maine? While on a shortcut, the following day, I passed a peaceful pond that made for a great bath. While swimming I spied a rope swing across the lake. Whoppee! After making my way around the bend, I took a few swings. A few words of wisdom about rope swings: Be very careful of any excess rope.

The next day I was forced to stop at a toy museum, buy a new CD and stay at the nicest hostel on the whole trip. OK, maybe not forced. Speaking of CD�s, you�re probably waiting for some more reviews. Well, keep on waiting. There will be at least one more update after this and I got some great new music to recommend. As for the hostel, it was so nice, they couldn�t afford to keep it open. It closes next month. R.I.P. Penobscot Bay Hostel.

Isabelle and I gettin our chill on With only two days left before Bar Harbor, I tried to take it as slow as possible. What better place to make new friends and take an hour break than a Dunkin� Donuts. From there I headed into the last good-sized town of Ellsworth. While there I ran into a family that was quizzing me on the details of the trip. After about ten or fifteen minutes, the father paused then said, �Where�s your fanclub?� As I waited to reply, around the corner they came, five or six of them screaming my name, running toward me with their arms flailing in the air. It was my friends from the Penobscot Bay Hostel. Kinda nice to have a fanclub for a few minutes, and perfect timing too. That night I treated myself to a Maine Lobster. Yum Yum.

My hostel friends turned finishing fanclub Along the way I thought that it would be a good resolution to see the sun rise at least once a month. What better time then on top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. It�s the first place in the United States you can see the sunrise. I woke up at 3:15 in the morning and rode fifteen miles to the summit. Unfortunately, the sun didn�t rise that day. In fact, it�s still dark in Maine. From the top of Cadillac to Bar Harbor is only a few miles. And it was all down hill. I had been waiting to say that for four months. Upon arrival at the final destination, I headed straight to the recommended diner. After that, I bopped around town a bit then headed to the park by the docks which signify the end of the Northern Tier bike trail. With hours, if not days, to waste, I pulled out my sleeping pad and did a little sun bathing. It was nice to have nothing to do. I took a picture of me at the finish but somehow erased it. Just my luck.

Not much of a sunrise So now I�m back in Long Beach. I�m going to continue trying to raise some more money, which is where you come in. I know most of you have already donated money but I know there are a handful of you who wanted to make sure I actually rode the 5,900 miles before sending a check. Well, I made it. There are a couple different ways to help. The quickest and easiest is to make a credit card donation to the National Breast Cancer Coalition by clicking here. You can also mail donations to

I erased the picture with the bike and I so instead you get a odometer and Bar Harbor RideforCancer
203 Argonne #B
#333
Long Beach, CA 90803

Donations can be made to NBCCF(the F is for foundation and makes it tax deductible), Breast Friends, New Hampshire Breast Cancer Coalition, or any of the other groups I met with along the way check the list here. Just make checks payable to the organization. The total raised right now is around $15,000 and I would like to raise at least $20,000 if not $25,000.

There will be a reception on Saturday, August 25, at Holly�s Hallmark in Long Beach. Come get some donuts and coffee and meet the world famous Isabelle. The shindig starts at 6 PM and will last til we run out of donuts. For more information, call the store.

What do you say to a broken hearted monkey? Holly�s Hallmark
5012 2nd Street
Long Beach
(562) 434-5291

Thanks on the last (really, the last) leg of the journey to: Nancy Ryan, Deanna (big thanks for the room and dinner), Nanci, Jody, and everyone at NHBCC, Kirsten and Mac, Woodchuck and Pepper, Middlebury bike shop, the Middlebury library, all the campgrounds that didn�t charge me full price, Sunny Day Diner, Nezinscot Farms, Adventure Cycling for supplying all the maps, Penobscot Bay Hostel, Sign Seal & Deliver for the mailbox donation, all the cool people I met on the road, the gang in Winter Harbor, Bar Harbor Bikes, my mom (always), dino, all the people that sent cookies, Isabelle and Ziggy, the nice ladies at the health food store in Damariscotta, Specialized, the usual people I forgot, all the sponsors and supporters, and you.

I wish they would let me ride this coaster Lastly, please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested. I have set aside time to do interviews, write articles, meet with people, and basically do any press I can. If anyone has press contacts, especially television, let me know. I�ve got the time.

To join the RideforCancer email list, send and email to me at matt@rideforcancer.com. If you would like to be removed from the list, have comments/suggestions about this email, or wanna just say Hi, send an email as well. Also, if you are having troubles viewing this email, you get all the pictures and info at RideforCancer.com. You can enlarge the pictures as well by clicking on them.

It�s good to be on the road back home � again,
Matt Allen
RideforCancer.com