Gunny Ski Memorial Ride 2005

April 12 through 14, 2005

I just wanted to ride my bike.  Really.  When I mentioned two years ago that I was contemplating riding my bike from Round Rock to Harlingen for the annual alumni reunion, I never expected anybody to join in the lunacy.  I certainly didn't expect it to turn into a fund raiser.  But Craig and I had so much fun last year, and since we managed to raise over $5,000 for the alumni scholarship fund, we decided to do it again this year.

The idea is simple enough:  ride the approximately 340 miles from Round Rock to Harlingen, Texas in three days.  The goal:  collect donations to endow the Gunny Ski Scholarship Fund--a permanent scholarship that will pay the tuition for one young man each year to attend the Marine Military Academy.  The Fund is named in honor of Gunnery Sergeant Larry Wisnoski ("Gunny Ski"), who passed away in 2003 after a career in the Marine Corps and over 20 years molding young men at MMA.

I had another goal this year.  My wife Debra had started training with me last April with the intention of joining Craig and me for the last day of the trip.  At some point my lunacy infected her, and she decided to make the full three day trip.  Since I knew that I could make the trip, my job throughout the year was making sure that she had sufficient training and experience to survive the ride.  I'll spoil the ending right now and tell you that she finished the ride with strength to spare.  As of April 19, Debra and I have raised over $3,400 for the scholarship fund.  The school has received other donations as well, and Craig hasn't reported his numbers yet.

We made one other change to the ride plan this year:  we conned another former cadet, Chris Crum from the class of 1982, to drive behind us providing ride support and traffic management.

Chris and Craig arrived from out of town on Monday.  C.J. Johnson, also from the class of 1982, and his wife Kim had us all over to their house for dinner Monday night.  Everything was packed, checked, and ready to go before we hit the rack on Monday night, ready to start our adventure in the morning.

See the pages linked below for details of each day.

Day One Round Rock, TX to Kenedy, TX
135 miles
Day Two Kenedy, TX to Kingsville, TX
105 miles
Day Three Kingsville, TX to Harlingen, TX
95 miles