In September of 2000, my sister, Gay Nickle Lauritzen, died of ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. As an artist, she was fascinated with the quirkiness of Route 66 and wanted to travel down its highways, exploring the whimsical attractions. She never got that chance.
In 2020, which is the 20th anniversary of her passing and the year I turn 66, I will bicycle ALL of Route 66 (roughly 2500 miles) from Chicago to Santa Monica, to honor her memory and to raise awareness and funds to benefit ALS research.
YOU can help in the following ways: 1) follow me on Facebook @GiveANickle or on Instagram@joymonsonjarvis for updates, 2) volunteer to ride a small section of Route 66 with me, donating a nickel or more per mile ridden, 3) provide publicity or sponsorship, 4) MAKE A DONATION, large or small, to this very important cause on this website. 100% of proceeds go directly to the ALS Association for research to find a cure.
I will start the ride in downtown Chicago on August 15, 2020, and expect it to take approximately 3 months to reach Santa Monica. If you wish to bicycle a section along Route 66 with me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow my progress on Facebook @GiveANickle.
ALS affects more than nerve cells and muscles, it affects families, friends, co-workers, and communities. With no known cause or cure, ALS challenges the human spirit and tests the courage of everyone touched by this devastating disease.
Your gift will help make a cure possible. Please click the donation button to the right and give generously. Thank you!
Now in California!
We crossed over the Colorado River yesterday into California! Only a week and a half until we ride onto the Santa Monica Pier, "The End of the Trail" for Route 66! Our arrival date is November 11th, the birthday of Route 66! Join us if you can. And help us reach our fundraising goal of $25,000!
We've met so many wonderful people who have been so generous to donate to the Give A Nickle fund, that we have exceeded our $20,000 fundraising goal. And so, with less than 3 weeks to go on our Route 66 bicycle ride, we have once again decided to shoot for the moon and try to raise $25, 000 by November 11th! Please help us achieve that goal by asking friends, relatives, your dentist, your barber, etc., to donate! Thank you!
We are in Arizona now!
Our two weeks in New Mexico was magical. It was a mix of lots of challenging climbs in the mountains, artistic expression everywhere we went, and beautiful landscapes around each curve in the road. We also were privileged to have other rider support from Kim and her crew, Rachelle and Travis, Larry, Dorothy, and fun visits with Paul and Christina, Eamon, Adrienne, Noah and Katrina. We so appreciate all the support we have received, both from people we know and kind strangers who, when they know about our cause, generously give cash donations right there on the spot.
We made it to New Mexico!
After leaving Oklahoma, we bicycled through the panhandle of Texas, a very windy place! We were joined by Richard and Mary with Richard riding and Mary driving support. There was a stark difference as we traveled west; much drier and not as green. Also, there are long expanses where there are no towns, and therefore, fewer places to refill water bottles, etc. We battled headwinds every day except the last day in Texas, and we crossed the border into New Mexico with the wind pushing us along. I love tailwinds! We hoped to cross another "border"--we wanted to reach $18,000 by the end of September. And with YOUR help, WE DID IT! Our new goal is to reach $20,000 by the time we roll onto the Santa Monica Pier on November 11th. That's NEXT MONTH! Ask your friends, family, coworkers to contribute. We can do this! We are currently taking a rest day in Tucumcari, New Mexico.
We are in Oklahoma!
We left Missouri, rode all 13 miles of Route 66 in Kansas, and we are now in Oklahoma! We are almost at the 100th Meridian and are headed to Texas next. I would like to thank everyone who has donated. I send a message of thanks to all those who donate online, because I can send it to their email address. Sometimes people donate by check or Venmo. We appreciate your donations just as much, but have no email address to send our thank you message to you. PLEASE KNOW THAT WE APPRECIATE YOUR THOUGHTFULNESS IN TRYING TO GET ALS OFF THIS PLANET! Every donation is a way to join our Journey Toward a Cure for ALS. We thank you!
We are now in Missouri!
We crossed the Mississippi River yesterday on the mile-long Chain of Rocks bridge, which used to be the Old Route 66 bridge. Halfway across, we left Illinois and are now in Missouri!
St. Louis is a beautiful city, and we cycled along the river until we were directly under the famous St. Louis Arch, the Gateway to the West. It is so grand and monumental, yet simplistic in its design. Today we are taking a "rest day" after our grueling, hot and hilly bike ride of 58 miles yesterday. By rest, I mean sightsee, clean the bikes, and catch up on paperwork.
Fun Day in Illinois
Today was had the privilege and absolute pleasure of riding with ultra distance marathon cyclist, Lon Haldeman. Lon, who has won the RAAM race 8 times, started PAC Tours, a bicycle touring company, with tours all over the world, including tours along Route 66. He very graciously guided us to the famous Route 66 roadside attractions today, from Pontiac to Bloomington, about 38 miles. Lon's brother Ken and Ken's girlfriend Asia also joined our ride. We all had a wonderful time, with good weather and a slight tail wind to push us along.
Sadly, Lon and his wife Susan tragically lost their young daughter to ALS 28 years ago.
And they're off!
We had a send off ceremony at the Buckingham Fountain on the waterfront of downtown Chicago yesterday. It was so great to have everyone's support as we started pedaling on the first day of our Route 66 Journey Toward a Cure! We rode a total of 57 miles, ending our day in Joliet. We inadvertently missed a turn and ended up in Indiana, but fortunately we realized our mistake and got back in track after only a mile or two.
Send-Off Ceremony LIVE on FB @ Give A Nickle
We are still planning to start on August 15th from downtown Chicago. If you are participating in person, either by biking or supporting, please wear a mask! BYOM-Bring Your Own Mask.
We will have a short Send-Off Ceremony to christen our journey which will be LIVE on Facebook@Give A Nickle! Please join in! It will start August 15th at 7:40 AM (CENTRAL TIME). It will last 10-15 minutes, and you will be able to send us messages of encouragement and luck while watching!
Follow our Journey Toward a CURE on Facebook @ Give A Nickle. Please LIKE AND SHARE!
And please, consider making a donation on this site.
The world has been overcome by a pandemic. But we remain hopeful that we can continue with our plan to bicycle all 2500 miles of Route 66 to benefit ALS research.
Our start date has always been planned for August 15, and hopefully the pandemic curve will flatten enough by then that we can go as planned. We will continue to monitor news reports to gather as much information as possible before we make a final decision whether to postpone to a later date.
Go to Facebook@GiveANickle to read more, see photos, or to leave a message about your experience while staying at home because of the corona virus. Follow facebook@GiveANickle for future updates.
Wow, my ride starts on August 15, 2020, which is still 10 months away, and people are already donating! I'm so grateful for the generosity of folks who want ALS to leave this planet! The only way this can happen is for more research.
I've also been in touch with quite a few people who want to ride with me along Route 66. Some are people I know, and some are people who have read about the ride on Facebook and left me a message that they want to ride. The wheels ARE TURNING! (Bicycle pun intended!)
It took a LONG time, but I was able to figure out a (tentative) calendar and schedule for this upcoming event! This will be useful for those who want to ride along Route 66, if you want to cheer us on, or if you want to help drive a support vehicle. If you or someone you know wants the calendar sent by email, please let me know!
Even though Nickle lost the use of her hands, she never lost her creativity and indomitable spirit. She continued to create art by use of the computer. Her husband, Kent, would help her to sit at her desk and would place her hand on the computer mouse. Slowly, and with great effort, she would roll her shoulder which in turn, would move the mouse. Inch by tedious inch, she would create a line. Each line took about an hour to draw. Many lines later, and after filling in spaces with color, she created a computer generated "painting". She made many art pieces in this way and was featured at a downtown Salt Lake City art gallery, which held an art show for her. To view some of her computer art, go to Instagram @joymonsonjarvis. Scroll through some posts until you see her picture. You can also see a post about Nickle and her art on Instagram @storiesofpals.
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