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What Really Helps: Bike+RV+Dog=50 States

Author: Deb Lewis

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Veterans Deb Lewis, Doug Adams, and their dog Daisy embark on an ambitious (some say crazy!) year-long cycling tour of the United States to educate and inspire Americans to pay attention to what REALLY helps our veterans, military & families. Along the way, they engage local communities, collecting and sharing stories about the people, organizations, and communities making a difference.
13 Episodes
Episode 0 provides the overview of the Podcast Series What Really Helps: Bike+RV+Dog=50 States, a recording by Deb Lewis about the focus of the Duty, Honor, America Tour, and stories highlighting the preparations Deb and her husband Doug Adams completed in the year prior to the launch of the Tour on October 7, 2010.
In this week’s podcast, we bring you up to speed on the three-and-a-half week period between the Wisconsin Ironman, held Sep 12th, and the first day of the Duty, Honor, America Tour on Thursday, October 7, 2010. Listen to the story of great support we received as we make the final preparations for the start of the 18,067-mile journey and the day the tour commences, leaving Watertown/Fort Drum, New York and cycling toward Tupper Lake.
As we reviewed this week’s activities during Days 2 through 8 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour, we realized how much the rest of our year-long journey was formed by the conversations with and opportunities to meet true American heroes in the veterans service organizations along our route in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Between October 8 and October 14, 2010, Doug cycled 397.8 miles and climbed 18,101 feet from Piercefield in mid-upstate New York all the way to Portland, Maine o...
Day 9 through Day 16 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour had us wondering if the pace would slow down at all! As you will hear, Doug may have had the easy job: cycling for 4-6 hours every day! Debra had all the other jobs that were tough to fit into a 24-hour period: RV driving and maintenance, taking care of Daisy (including seeing a veterinarian), handling social media, planning where we would stay each evening, picking Doug up wherever he finished that day and taking him back there the next m...
Days 17-24 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour were off the bike (mostly). After 16 days starting the tour by cycling through New England, Deb and Doug traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting and have Keith Vu of Savage Wraps repair the RV's wrap job and finish the towcar. The second half of the week was back at West Point where Deb and Doug attended their 30th year college reunion. Both AUSA and West Point became touchstones for muc...
Episode 5: Hit Restart!

Episode 5: Hit Restart!


Day 25 through Day 31 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour was the restart of our tour. After a week of meetings, parties and dancing, we were ready to get back on the road! Of course, we started by separating! I headed down to Ground Zero in New York City and Debra smartly took the RV, car and Daisy to stay with Marene and Hank Allison in eastern Pennsylvania. I then cycled through New Jersey and into and through eastern Pennsylvania as we prepared to make our way down the Eastern Seaboard throu...
Episode 6: Veteran Days

Episode 6: Veteran Days


Days 32 to 38 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour took us through Veterans Day, the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon, and Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC. We continued to make contact family, friends and classmates as we made our way through the mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania, Delaware (our tenth state), Maryland, and Virginia. I cycled every day of this week, except the day after Veterans Day, where we stayed at Debra’s folks place in McLean, Virginia. One day was a trip through ...
This week we left Washington DC and Northern Virginia and made our way to the military bases at the mouth of the James River, then to Fort Bragg and ultimately into South Carolina. We stayed with family friends at the beginning of the week and visited with the Scott family in Raleigh. So far on the tour, we had been with friends most days, but this week we began to have some days to ourselves. The cadence of the tour is beginning to be established.
Welcome to Episode 8 (“Thanksgiving at Home” of the Podcast Series “What Really Helps: Bike+RV+Dog=50 States. For this podcast, it was Day 46 through Day 52 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour (Nov 21 to 27, 2010). This week was the South Carolina and eastern Georgia part of the Duty, Honor, America Tour. The route took Deb and Doug through Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, where they caught up with Deb’s classmate and her husband and Doug's general and his wife, as well as through severa...
Episode 9: Disaster Averted

Episode 9: Disaster Averted


Welcome to Episode 9 (“Disaster Averted” of the Podcast Series “What Really Helps: Bike+RV+Dog=50 States. For this podcast, it was Day 53 through Day 59 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour (Nov 28 to Dec 4, 2010). This week we leave the Atlantic Ocean on our left hand side and our route makes the turn at Orlando, heading back north for the first time during the tour. It took us from the East to the West of Florida part of the tour. Doug cycled from Georgia through Eastern Florida where we c...
Welcome to Episode 10 (“Juggling Schedules & Planes” of the Podcast Series “What Really Helps: Bike+RV+Dog=50 States. For this podcast, it was Day 60 through Day 66 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour (Dec 5 - 11, 2010). This week we leave Florida, head North towards Atlanta, Georgia and visit Fort Benning, along the route. Sounds simple enough on the surface, but then you have to factor in airplanes, weather conditions, illness, family visits, and distances to see what we had to juggle...
Welcome to Episode 11 (“Freezing Temps & Home Cooked Meals” of the Podcast Series “What Really Helps: Bike+RV+Dog=50 States. For this podcast, it was Day 67 through Day 73 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour (Dec 12 - 18, 2010). This week the weather was freezing cold as we head to Atlanta to enjoy a few nights and a nice break and some great meals with West Point classmate Sean Feeney’s family. Plus Debra’s daughter Emily flew to join us and celebrate the holidays early. We met a few s...
Welcome to Episode 12 (“Dreaming of a Hard Rock Christmas” of the Podcast Series “What Really Helps: Bike+RV+Dog=50 States. For this podcast, it was Day 74 through Day 80 of the Duty, Honor, America Tour (Dec 19 - 25, 2010). This week we found warmer weather and beautiful views as we headed South Southeast in Alabama into the Panhandle of Florida to visit both Eglin AFB and Pensacola NAS, then headed West along the Gulf Coast, briefly back into Alabama again, then off to Biloxi MS to enj...