Late in the planning for this trip, we decided to seek sponsorship. This was in response to encouragement we received from several people, and because there was a need--a gap in the budget--that we hoped to fill with help from sponsors.

Because of our late start, we often heard a response something like this: "Your expedition sounds great, something we would love to be involved with. Unfortunately, our entire 1999 budget has been spent..."

In the end we received help from these sponsors which really helped make our trip possible. We are forever indebted and thankful. We hope that the exposure or satisfaction that they received outweighs their contribution a hundred fold.

Preferred Chiropractic Doctor is a nationwide membership organization that offers card holders a discount (among other benefits) at participating chiropractors. Their focus is on high quality chiropractic care as part of a thorough health-improvement program. Our chiropractor, Dr. Bill Schenck, introduced us to PCD in 1998.

When we approached him about our trip, Dr. Steve Below at Preferred Chiropractic Doctor, more than anyone else, immediately realized the potential for reaching and inspiring people to lead healthier lives through example. We took a strong liking to each other, and we benefited enormously from his friendship, care, and inspiration. The entire Below family visited us in Kentucky, Steve spent a few days with us in Colorado, and we saw him in Seattle as well.

PCD contributed so much to the success of the tour that it's hard to know where to start. They provided health insurance for our family, paid our long-distance telephone bill, and, with Dr. John Apsley, provided the nutritional supplements that kept our energy high and our immune systems strong. They also had T-shirts and hats made to give to contributors and to sell. Steve and his family became our friends.

Their biggest contribution was coordinating the many chiropractic visits that kept us healthy along the way. These PCD chiropractors (and some who were not associated with PCD) donated their services, often extended their hospitality to feed and house us, and were all enthusiastic and fun to be around. We can't imagine doing a trip like this without the frequent chiropractic care that we received from these fine folks.


Bill McReady at Santana Cycles in LaVerne, California, was, to us, the touring cyclist's dream. A custom-built bike like this, with it's special parts and overloaded as it was, was bound to present special challenges when repairs were needed. As the owner of Santana, Bill gave us a direct phone number to his office for us to call when we needed support. The few times we had trouble, the required parts were ones that no bike shop would ever know about, much less stock. Santana had the parts to us overnight, with phone calls to make sure that they arrived on time. Although he offered us wholesale pricing, more often than not there was no charge. We thank Santana and Bill McReady for their support. We also thank them for making the magic machine that carried us fro here to there with comfort and style.

The finest waterproof outdoor equipment in the world comes from the German company Ortlieb. Renowned for their quality and rugged reliability, Ortlieb panniers and bags were our choice long before Jeff Skully at Ortlieb USA in Auburn Washington agreed to sponsor our trip by providing the equipment for us. I can't say enough about the professional and courteous way we were treated, before and during the trip, and during our visit to their offices when we were in Washington. I wish I could say that they gave us great service while on the road, but the fact is that there were no part failures and no problems. Every piece we used (and there were fourteen in all) performed beyond our expectations and without visible wear, despite six months of hard use.

I suppose every long expedition with lots of members has a huge, detailed equipment list that needs filling. Ours seemed particularly long and complicated, with even small items having great importance. Without the support of the SkiRack in Burlington, Vermont, that list would have overwhelmed us. Zandy Wheeler, Steve Clayton, and the whole staff, especially Roger Costales, found every obscure item, sometimes special-ordering several sizes just to be sure we received the right thing. They extended employee pricing to us, saving us hundreds of dollars.

Their bon-voyage party sent us off in high spirits, and their support helped us feel that the community approved of our venture. As chief mechanic for the tour, I gained considerable comfort in having the SkiRack's phone number with me, knowing that one call would have the proper part speeding my way with no mistakes. Thanks to everyone there for being part of our success!

We have long been fans of the Specialized products. Their helmets, shoes, and tires have been our favorites for years, and Ellie rides a Specialized mountain bike. So we were especially happy when they sponsored us with matching Sub-Zero helmets and Ground Control Comp shoes. Not only did they perform well and feel comfortable, they looked good and held up. We were proud to be associated with the company.

Their Nimbus tires that they provided for us performed beyond belief! Not only were they overloaded (our rig weighed 750 pounds!) we kept them inflated to 125 psi, and rolled through every conceivable obstacle, through debris, and even took trails and unpaved roads. I expected to get 1000 miles of wear from each set of tires. We got 1800. They handled well, looked good, and inspired confidence on fast descents.

Several companies who were unable to offer us full support helped us in a big way by offering us what is called "pro pricing". That meant we could buy their products direct from them, at a price that was usually below wholesale, and usually included free shipping. We saved hundreds of dollars this way, and we are eternally grateful to those companies that helped us.

We kept warm with Cool-Weather Tights, and dry with Storm Cycle Jackets and Pants from Patagonia. Their Pursuit Shorts and Velocity Shell served us well, too. North Face Flight 3D and Climber 3D sleeping bags were light and small and warm. Our Whisperlite Internationale camp stove from Mountain Safety Research lived up to its reputation, and their Titanium Cookware, cups and forks saved us precious grams. Themarest sleeping pads from Cascade Designs, the lightest made, were our friends. Burley Design Co-operative in Eugene, Oregon provided a new Burley D'Lite Trailer, which performed beautifully under constant abuse. Mountain Hardware supplied their Sky View 3 tent, which we loved.