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The Pedalers for Progress will be featured at 6:00 tonight on KARE 11. Please watch for the feature.


Click Here For A Link To The Text Version


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Star_TribJim Foti (Road Guy) of the Star Tribune wrote a feature article that appeared in todays paper on page 9 of the front section of the newspaper. Foti talked to the Pedalers late last week and tells of some of the things the bikers discovered while in Portland. He also writes about some of the obstacles the P4P’s faced in their journey from Minneapolis to Oregon.

Go HERE for the article.

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32 days after the Pedalers for Progress set out for their journey and some 2,000 mile later, the P4P”s rolled off Highway 26 and entered the Rose City on Division Street. The final day did not go quite according to the script, but the young men from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota were happy to be in Portland, Oregon nonetheless.

Destination_Achieved

Reaching their destination, the Pedalers for Progress pose for a photo. Left to right are Tommy Schlaefer, Jake Quarstad, Michael Wethington and Nate White

On Sunday evening The Pedalers for Progress camped at Arlington, Oregon where the cyclist ran into some pretty ferocious winds as they  approached the Columbia River Canyon. The Pedalers struggled to keep their bikes on the road and decided to bed down in Arlington for the night. The Columbia River is said to be the capital of wind surfing in all of the United States. Sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph are not unusual. They figured the winds would die down during the night but instead the persistent gale force gusts kept them up much of the night, shredding one tent and nearly destroying another. With little sleep, finances that were dwindling and State of Oregon that had been much tougher to traverse than expected, the Pedalers for Progress accepted the help of Mary Jo Schlaefer.

Mary Jo is the sister-in-law to Tommy Schlaefer mother, Judy. Mary lives in Bend Oregon and offered to help. She rented a pick up truck and drove all the way to Arlington to rescue the Pedalers. She loaded up the bikes and gear and headed towards Portland and out of the howling winds of the Columbia River Valley into the dense forests of Mount Hood. Mary Jo is an avid biker herself as well as a world traveler, so she happily helped the boys and was able to share some stories. She said she was well amazed at the Pedalers accomplishments.

Mary Jo dropped the cyclist off at 3:30pm PT at a Rangers station in Zig-Zag down the West side of Mt. Hood on highway 26. The rest was up to the P4P’s.

With new inspiration and Mount Hood towering just miles to the Northeast, the young men kicked it into high gear and traveled some 50 miles in a matter of hours. By 5 p.m. pacific time, Jake Quarstad, Tommy Schlaefer, Nate White, and Michael Wethington were sending a GPS signal from Portland Oregon and the campus of Warner Pacific College. They eventually found their destination, Nate Whites uncle and aunt, Debrah and Adam who were letting the boys stay at his house for the night.

With the destination achieved, the Pedalers for Progress were more than happy — posing for some photos and breaking open a bottle of champagne to celebrate their mammoth accomplishment.  It was a moment to be remembered for a lifetime.

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Tommy Schlaefer celebrates with champaign

With the arrival of the Pedalers for Progress, this writers job is pretty much done. The young men have much work to do now as they set up and meet with state and city legislatures as well as bike advocates in the town of Portland. I would also imagine there may be some celebrating to do as well as partaking in some of the Portland biking festivities. However, this is their story and I will let them tell it.
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It’s been an honor to be part of this experience by keeping in touch with the travelers and helping you the readers stay in contact with this group of young men that I am so fiercely proud of.

Brian Quarstad

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