May 31, 2013
Cake Auction, Tyler, & the EPIC Ride!

This update is very much overdue, and for that, we apologize. There's a lot to cover in this update, so if you have any questions about anything we mention here or that we don't mention, feel free to shoot us an email.

The first thing is Tyler. Tyler Thornton joined EPIC last summer in August and has been a great part of the team over these past 10 months. We're sorry to say, then, that Tyler will not be coming on the EPIC Ride. Last year, before Tyler joined EPIC, he'd injured his knees (specifically his hamstring tendons). He thought that by taking the year off and going through physio would help him recover enough to do the trip, but at 5 weeks before the Ride, he was only able to do 10-20 km a day. He made the difficult, but wise, decision to step down from the EPIC team and stay home to continue working and healing.

We want to recognize all that Tyler has done with and for us, and thank him for his contributions and support, especially his continued support of us as we move ahead in our epic adventure.

To keep moving on here, we'd just like to give you a brief description of the overnight trip we took on May 19-20. It was a good learning experience and good ride training. Luke's heel tendon was not at full strength, so he did not ride for the trip. Evan had some tire issues partway through on the first day, so he rode in the van for the rest of the day and was on the road again the second day. Between the two days, the Riders covered over 200 km, and made great time on the second day. We learned to be more prepared for bike and tire maintenance, to have the camp and food ready for the Riders when they arrive at the end of the day, and to bring lots of grapes!

This past Saturday, May 25, we had our Live Cake Auction & Silent Auction fundraiser for Ratanak! Over 100 people showed up to Forward Church in Cambridge, and between 23 cakes and 28 silent auction items, we raised over $5200 for Ratanak! We also received over $400 in cash gifts for EPIC's expenses! Most of that $400 was due to someone suggesting that Ben shave his moustache and keep it off for the entire trip, which then became an idea that he should shave all the hair on his head and keep it off for the whole trip! So on Sunday, June 23, when we leave from Forward, Ben will have his hair shaved, and will keep it that way for the next 9 weeks!

June 23rd, of course, is the day that EPIC will be leaving from Cambridge to drive out West to Vancouver. We'd love to see everyone come on out and support us that day as we leave for 9 weeks! We'll be accepting donations, encouragement letters, and any other support you can give us! We'll also get you signed up for our EPIC blog email list so that you can stay connected with us while we're riding! Our posters, brochures, and t-shirts will also be available, so come on out!
We'll be at Forward from 9:30 am until 2 pm, and during the worship service (10:30 am-12:00 pm), we will likely be called up to the front for a quick prayer of support. If you can't attend, you can watch online through Church At Home.

A couple last things for this update...
Equipment. We've been talking for a long time about what equipment we'll need for the trip, and while we don't have a complete list of what we need, we've updated the Equipment page with some stuff we know we don't totally have yet, so see if you can help us out there.
Donations. We're at about $8000 of our $25000 goal, so we're asking you to help us out by donating to Ratanak. Click here to donate.
Sleeping arrangments. We'd like to find people who will host us for a night along the trip. With the exceptions of the beginning and end of the trip, as well as Hope, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Ottawa, we don't really have any other nights booked yet. If you can help us out, let us know.
Finally, sponsorships. We have two sponsorship spots to sell; the right and left sides of our Support Van. We're selling either one for $1200, or we'll sell both to one sponsor for $2000. Let us know if you're interested or have a possible contact for this.

Thank you so much to everyone for all the support and encouragment we have received so far, and are going to be receiving; it means a lot to us.

Keep it EPIC for Jesus and help the Exploited People In Cambodia!
-The EPIC Riders