2020 Kazoo Relay across the US - "Just Breathe"

 

How best to celebrate the amazing life of a founding member of the LRLR, especially in a year when the headlines are already filled with more plot twists and emotional rollercoaster rides than the worst sophomoric bodice-ripping trash novel? 

With a relay ride of course, all the way across the US. A relay ride featuring (what else??) an oversized kazoo. Just the type of adventure we believe Cris "Brooklyn" Dopher would be proud to join. This year we'll carry his memory with us as we cross the country. 

We hope you'll consider joining us for a day or two if you can, and more importantly we hope you'll consider supporting the riders as they pay their own way on the various legs of the relay while raising desperately needed charity funds. 

Starting in California on June 17th and ending at the easternmost point in the US in Lubec, Maine on July 2nd, this year's route has it all - Pacific Coast Highway, beautiful desert, mountain ranges of both the Rockies and the Appalachians, Green mountains of Vermont, and the rugged coast of Maine, with a whole lot of Nebraska and Iowa thrown in for good measure!

16 days is a long stretch, but we hope it will give people an opportunity to join us for a day or two who might otherwise not have had the chance. Each leg of the relay will be led by an experienced LRLR member. 

Day 1, June 17th - Half Moon Bay, CA to Santa Maria, CA - led by Eddie & Diana Raymond

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Day 2, June 18th - Santa Maria, CA to Fullerton, CA - led by Eddie & Diana Raymond

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Day 3, June 19th - Fullerton, CA to Phoenix, AZ - led by Bill Meyer

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The Kazoo turns east! Eddie "Buckwheat" and Diana "Frisco Girl" Raymond pass The Kazoo to Bill "Stretch" Meyer and together they head to Phoenix, AZ. Along the way, they will be joined by Joe "Papa Joe" Aldridge, chase driver, and his Chevy Conestoga. This is a slog, folks! 357 miles. There ain't nuthin' purdy about I-10 between Fullerton and Phoenix. But tomorrow .  .  . 

Day 4, June 20th - Phoenix, AZ to Gila, NM - led by Bill Meyer

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Eastbound and down, ridin' outta Phoenix! Picking up Hwy 60 near Mesa, Az, the Fabulous Four head to Globe, AZ. It gets prettier, but nothing like it will become just outside of Safford, AZ, where they will pick up a chunk of The Devil's Highway. If they can resist the Devil's temptations and go straight at Three Way, they will find their heavenly reward in the unrivaled natural pulchitude of Hwy 78 rising up over the edge of the deep red state of Arizona into the glorious blue of New Mexico. About 40 minutes later, they will find themselves in Gila, NM--population 310. Park your bikes in the hangar at the Gila Intergalactic Spaceport, then catch a ride in the Chevy Conestoga up Hooker Loop to El Rancho Pijama del Gato for an ice cold brew. 256 Miles for the day.

Day 5, June 21st - Gila, NM to Holbrook, AZ - led by Loren Schreiber

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In the little village of Gila, New Mexico, Loren "Grits" Schreiber will accept the passing of The Kazoo from Bill "Stretch" Meyer and, together with Eddie "Buckwheat" and Diana "Frisco Girl" Raymond, Joe "Papa Joe" Aldrige, and Jean Marc "Musketeer" Montmejat, will all head up to Alpine, AZ where we will join Hwy 191 (née Hwy 666) "The Devil's Highway,"  riding north until we reach Holbrook for the night. A mere 203 miles for the day. The ride will be pretty--but there's much more to come .  .  .

Day 6, June 22nd - Holbrook, AZ to Bluff, UT - led by Loren Schreiber

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From Holbrook, AZ, our motley crew will ride up through Greasewood to rejoin The Devil's Highway in the Navajo Nation, and visit Canyon de Chelly for a photo opportunity with The Kazoo, before continuing on to Monument Valley. Like I said .  .  . more to come. We'll end the day in Bluff, UT. 241 Miles for the day.

Day 7, June 23rd - Bluff, UT to Denver, CO - led by Loren Schreiber

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Time to pay the piper for all that dawdling in Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley. Out of Bluff, UT, our now hapless motley crew will be joined by Paul (Ackme) Ackerman as we slip by Arches National Park without a peek, on the way to Denver. It's a long but beautiful haul: 454 miles over the Rocky Mountains. "We coulda stayed in Moab and shorten the day by 2 hours and 100 miles! But no--he wanted to stay in Bluff!" (Maybe we will stay in Moab--Quit yer whinin') Arriving in Denver, The Kazoo will be handed off to Hobnail and Earth Girl as it continues its journey east.

Day 8, June 24th - Denver, CO to Denison, IA - led by Mark & Ali Heiser

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Hobnail and Earth Girl (Mark & Ali Heiser) along with Paul (Ackme) Ackerman will be stretching the relay out through Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota, closing the western leg and riding right up to the banks of the Mississippi in Winona, MN. Necessity requires Day One to be an early start at dawn, up I-76 to Cozad, Nebraska, site of a Pony Express Station. There's no time to change steel horses, but we do hope to meet up with Snoopy (Jon Kirchhofer) and make our way along the Lincoln Highway to Denison, IA for the night. Day's ride: 607 miles. 

Day 9, June 25th - Denison, IA to Winona, MN - led by Mark & Ali Heiser

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Day two out of Denver is a leisurely 301 miles through Iowa, up Hwy 65 (Jefferson Highway) to Austin, MN and a visit to the SPAM Museum (fingers crossed it's still open). Meetup with Rev (Paul Sannarud) where he'll guide us into Winona, MN.

Day 10, June 26th - Winona, MN to Lafayette, IN - led by Paul Sannerud

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Day 11, June 27th - Lafayette, IN to Louisville, KY - morning - led by Paul Sannerud

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Day 11, June 27th - Louisville, KY to Clarksburg, WV - afternoon - led by Greg Williams & Alice Neff

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For the afternoon segment of Day 11, June 27th, Greg Williams and Alice Neff will be joined by Jon “Bourbon” Pullen and Christine “Denver Red” Adams as well as the veteran chase team of Bill and Jocelyn Ellis as they make their way from Louisville KY to Clarksburg WV. This segment will be 370 miles of interstate riding along some fairly scenic and picturesque sections of 4 lane slab, proving that not all interstates have to be boring. We’re expecting to roll into Clarksburg around 6 pm with plenty of time to relax in the evening before Day 12’s much more relaxed pace.

Day 12, June 28th - Clarksburg, WV to Baltimore, MD - led by Greg Williams & Alice Neff

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Day 12 will provide a more leisurely counterpoint to the previous day's slab-pounding afternoon ride. Joining us in Clarksburg will be Dennis "Cap'n Diesel" Booth and his daughter Cat "Bio Diesel" Booth. US Hwy 50 is a 2-lane treat of slower pace of life and reduced speed limits to match. Gentle curves run beside rivers and creeks for many of the day's miles, with names like the Three Fork Creek and the Cheat River. Along the way local sections of the road have different names like the George Washington Highway and the ambitiously named Northwestern Turnpike. The group will take Hwy 50 to Winchester VA in the morning, where they'll enjoy a leisurely lunch after the morning curves. From Winchester, the group will take Hwy 7 to Berryville then Hwy 340 up through Harper's Ferry. If the group is agreeable, we'll take time to tour Harper's Ferry for an hour or two before continuing up to Frederick on 340 and then jumping on I-70 to finish the day near Baltimore. 247 miles for the day. 

Day 13, June 29th - Baltimore, MD to Dingman's Ferry, PA - led by Moe & Kacey Conn

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Day 14, June 30th - Dingman's Ferry, PA to Stratford, CT - led by Moe & Kacey Conn

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Day 15, July 1st - Stratford, CT to St. Johnsbury, VT - led by Jim Niesel

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This leg of the ride takes the baton, uhhh kazoo, north to the Green Mountains of Vermont.  An all day ride will see the riders north through the scenic Naugatuck River Valley of Connecticut, then through the Berkshires of western Massachusetts and north on historic VT100 winding our way through  the land of Ben and Jerry and the Green Mountain Boys along the Mad River  to picturesque St. Johnsbury, just below the Canadian border. 

Day 16, July 2nd - St. Johnsbury, VT to West Quoddy Head Lighthouse - led by Bill Sapsis

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The final leg of the 2020 Relay Ride will begin on July 2.  Starting from Bill 'Uncle Bill' Sapsis's house,  he and fellow riders  Jim 'Con Man' Niesel, Jim 'Spad' Dougherty, Scott 'Hop Along' Henkels, Dennis 'Cap'n Diesel' Booth, Phil 'Pip' Genera, Wayne 'Razz' Rasmussen along with  Bill 'Coach' and Jocelyn 'Jersey Girl' Ellis, will take US Route 2 east into New Hampshire and over to Bangor, Maine.  It's about a 5 hour ride.  Along the way the group will pass the Presidential Range in the White Mountains including the perennial LRLR favorite, Mt Washington.  From Bangor we head to Lubec, ME, the easternmost town in the contiguous United States and home to Quoddy Head State Park.  This will mark the official endpoint of the ride.  Once the appropriate pictures have been snapped, we'll head to Ruth & Whimpy's for dinner and then over to Bangor for the night.  The next morning, July 3, will see some of the group head off for parts unknown and the rest will ride back to St. Johnsbury for an overnight at the Sapsis home.