As an adolescent, John continued to travel whenever possible, spending spring breaks ï¬shing in Mexico and summers hiking in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1992, John joined a favorite teacher and several other students on an educational tour of Kenya and Tanzania. In the fall of 1997, John headed to Yale University. Inspired by his study of history and politics, John saw the world as his classroom and aggressively sought opportunities to travel the globe. The summer after his sophomore year, John led Habitat for Humanity's cross-country bicycle trip from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco. After his senior year, John traveled to England and Korea with the men's crew team. And in 2002, John traveled overseas for a year hiking in New Zealand, working with the United Nations and local NGOs in Mongolia and teaching environmental studies and English in Nepal. Since the trip John has returned to New York City where he continues to pursue non-profit work as the Marketing Manager at Malaria No More.
As a child Mike was enthralled by travel. Visiting a majority of the US states by age six, boucing across sheep farms in Australia and New Zealand at age 7 and enjoying the cultural diversity of Kenya by age 12. Mike continued his wander lust by combining athletics and travel as a young man, biking through Washington State's San Juan Islands and building homes for needy families outside of Tijuana, Mexico. While at the University of Pennsylvania, Mike returned to San Francisco for the summers, working in the environmental division of a law ï¬rm. He traveled Europe extensively on several trips and during his study abroad in London. Mike sharpened his Spanish speaking skills over the years while attending school in Ensenada, Mexico and on an extensive tour of Costa Rica. After graduating UPENN in 2003, Mike headed to Atlanta where he fine tunned his advocacy skills working for the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), in conjunction with the Sierra Club and the Human Rights Campaign. He now works for the National Brain Tumor Society as the Director of Community Development, supporting research and patient services through a national program that empowers individuals to make a difference in brain tumor community.
Nateon Ajello is a film maker/animator based out of Los Angeles, California. He has completed a feature film on breakdancing and hip hop in Northern California, as well as numerous music videos for MTV. Nate has long wanted to apply his cinematic skills to a cycling documentary following a 600 miles bicycle tour he and his cousin embarked upon 2002, from Santa Cruz to San Diego. Nate's wander lust had been kicked into high gear, and after hearing about the Logsdon Brothers and their journey he was galvanized to their cause with camera in hand. After a three week scramble to acquire the gear and raise funds for the film project, Nate met the brothersd in Baja California and is now riding on the long road south. He is doing the ride in memory of his own mother Fran, who, like Jean, lost a hard fought struggle to a brain tumor in 1988. Nate resided in Arizona, working for Journey Film preparing Spinning Southward's documentary. He currently lives in San Francisco.
|Family and Friends|
|To our friends and family, we can say nothing more than THANK YOU for a lifetime of love and support. This trip has been a long time in coming, and some may have started to wonder if it would ever happen, but with your encouragement, enthusiasm, financial backing and sage advice our dream is taking flight and turning into something more powerful and meaningful than even we could imagine. We are forever indebted to you for your contributions to both this ride and our lives. We hope all of you know, as we do, that you are integral parts of Spinning Southward on Jean's Journey. If we're lucky, we will make you all as proud of us, as we are of you.
Spinning Southward Publicist
|Melody Meyer joins Spinning Southward from the world of book publicity. Launching media campaigns for dozens of lifestyle and children's titles over the past four years, Melody has worked with outdoor, environmental, craft, food, photography, and art media contacts. Melody has partnered with producers and editors at key television and radio shows, magazines and newspapers to gain coverage for her authors. As a teenager and native of New England, Melody rode her bike through Maine's Acadia National Park and New Hampshire's White Mountains. She retired her bicycle for the streets of New York after earning a degree in communication from the University of Pennsylvania. Biking made her bottom sore anyway.
Melody is currently employed at Harry N. Abrams publishing where she executes publicity and promotion for dozens of titles, including an incredible, award-winning graphic novel called Mom's Cancer that tells author/illustrator Brian Fies' family story when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Also with Abrams books, Melody is contributing to the promotion of two groudbreaking environmental books -- 365 Ways to Save the Earth, around which Abrams books has recently partnered with Laurie David and stopglobalwarming.org; and, World Changing, a monumental resource guide for ecological and humanitarian living by influential environmental blogger Alex Steffan, to be published on January 1, 2007.
Over the last year, she has devoted countless hours towards engineering a brilliant targeted media campaign for Spinning Southward that draws on cycling, outdoor and travel publications. We look forward to reading the fruits of her labor when the trip gets underway.
NBTF Executive Director
|Mr. Tufel had been working at the National Brain Tumor Foundation since 1995. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1990 with masters degrees in Social Welfare and Public Health. Following his graduate work, he was the recipient of the Haas-Koshland Award which enabled him to spend one-year in Israel working with a community AIDS organization. Prior to working for NBTF Rob was the Director of the HOPE Project which served HIV infected families with children. He has traveled extensively in Mexico and Latin America and speaks conversational Spanish. Rob currently works for the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation.
NBTF Volunteer, Racing Ahead Coordinator, and West Coast Publicity
|Oscar Wilde said, "life is too important to be taken seriously", and I have to agree. On a damp day in Galway last summer, I sat on his lap and said 'cheers' and 'bravo to life', with a grin. I spent my 50th birthday (or 7th, depending which calendar you are looking at) in Ireland, and fell in love with another country, another people.
At the wee age of 14, my first Passport was presented, and an obsession was born. The gift given those who wander across borders is difficult to beat. A new form of communication is born when simple questions like, 'is the bathtub water is warm' and 'what sort of red wine is available' when neither person speaks the same language.
Hearing from John and Mike Logsdon was another gift. Their desire to acknowledge the passing of their mother and celebrating all that she introduced them to, while helping others, is too rare. In the 8 years since I was diagnosed with brain cancer, meeting people with thoughts close to theirs is the treat. No longer do I worry about quarterly reports or carry a briefcase. High-heeled shoes have been tossed and so has my title. Volunteer work at the National Brain Tumor Foundation has proven to be one of the best parts of survival. Not THE best part, please understand. That would be my husband, David, and the fact he stands with me each morning I awaken to. NBTF is a small group of warm hearted people trying to reach out and touch others. Through them I have met some tough-hearted people whose lives have been bruised by brain cancer. Whenever I can help them, my heart beats faster.
Life is art, to me. It is what we make of it. Pour on the paint. Wrap yourselves in fabrics. Turn up the music and love more than you thought possible. Oscar Wilde said something else that should matter to everyone touched by brain cancer. "Harry", said Basil, looking him in the face, "every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not the sitter." I agree with Basil.
Co-founder of Jean's Journey and Fundraising Consultant
|Jon is a valued friend of Mike's from their college years at the University of Pennsylvania. The self-proclaimed "secret weapon" of the ride, Jon realized early on the untapped potential Spinning Southward offered as a fundraising event. Jon was instrumental in setting up and developing our partnership with the National Brain Tumor Foundation, a non-profit, with a cause that is near and dear to both our hearts. Using the skills he acquired as a business consultant in Washington, D.C., Jon helped us to formulate a solid plan with the NBTF based around realistic fundraising goals and a west coast media campaign to generate awareness about the vital role the NBTF plays in helping those facing brain tumors.
Currently based out of Philadelphia, while pursuing an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania, Jon continued to play a vital role in Spinning Southward's fundraising efforts until our completion of the ride.. His insights went beyond the realm of fundraising, as was evident in one of his previous emails, when he had this to say: "a 15,000-mile bike ride sounds cool, but it will be torture on your back side." We took his comments under advisement and stocked-up on first-aid cream and bag-balm.
|Coming from a family history of people based in innovation and discovery, I have found myself intrigued by those things well designed and mechanical. In the de/reconstruction of random items in my life, often at the expense of my parents' convenience, nothing has given me as much simple pleasure as the bicycle.
The bicycle is that simple machine of chain, gears, and wheels that without fail can carry you off somewhere new and spectacular. At 5 years old, it was my first taste of freedom. Ride to my friends' houses, down a dirt path, into the creek in my backyard, wherever I wanted to go, my bicycle would take me. Since then, the bicycle has been a companion of solstice, provided raw challenge, and more often than not provided me with a paycheck.
I became the "bicycle equipment consultant" (a title forged from white hot BBQ coals and cans of cold Tecate) for Spinning Southward after John and I first met at a dinner with two mutual friends. We had shared similar feeling on the freedoms, simplicity, and challenges a bicycle had to offer. Furthermore, John mentioned using said means of transportation for his and Mike's Epic through the Americas. Via the Logsdons' passion for freeform adventure and my own ties with the bicycle industry, we where able to accomplish many team goals in growing, developing, and committing sponsors with the right equipment for the job,
Currently, other than working with the Spinning Southward crew, I am a freelance photographer, avid cyclist, and a prospecting cycling industry entrepreneur.
|Tammy Parkinson is the owner of Body Firm Personal Training Studio in Los Gatos, California. She purchased the business in late 1999 and has since grown the business over 50% from its previous owner. In addition to offering Personal training, Tammy is a nutritionist and has helped hundreds with individualized dietary options. As an expert in the field of fitness and nutrition, Tammy has held seminars at Body Firm as well as within companies such as Real Estate firms, medical based companies and software firms. She is currently offering wellness series seminars to professional corporations within the Bay Area. To guide those outside of the Bay Area to a better quality of life, Tammy is additionally involved with online nutritional and fitness based programs throughout the country.
As an entrepreneur who left a corporate management and escrow career after 16 years to take the leap into health and wellness, Tammy appeared in TIME Magazine as a featured business professional. Tammy is additionally going to be on the cover of Womenâ€™s Connection Magazine, Winter 2005/2006 edition.
With a strong knowledge of business management, Tammy has additionally become a certified health professional through the American College of Sports Medicine, National Academy of Sports Medicine and is a certified nutritionist by Dr. Jayne Pentze. Tammy had also teamed up with Compass Life Designs, a web based life and business coaching company as their expert nutritionist.
As an avenue to create more education in the corporate realm, Tammy is part owner of an Outdoor Adventure business which takes teams to destination spots to teach proper nutrition and fitness possibilities.
|Ace is a student at SDSU and one third partner in Gear Nine Enterprises, a predictable by-product of the millennial boom in technological entrepreneurialism, nonetheless distinguished by it's continued claim to solvency. In fact, unlike all the companies Ace has programmed for in the past, Gear Nine has managed to stay more or less in the black since it's inception in 1999. He figures this can be attributed in large part to the other two partners' natural talents and tenacity as well as flexibility, innovation, shrewd diplomacy, low-overhead, and dumb luck.
Ace is a friend of the Logsdons from high school and is honorred to pledge his time and company resources toward helping them in their journey.
|Athletics have always been a strong part of Blake's life and he pursued baseball for 16 years eventually pitching at Auburn University. Later, landscape architecture absorbed his time and efforts as the broad study laid a strong foundation for seeing the world. Photography grabbed hold of him during a class trip studying ecology via canoe and paperback in the Canadian shield. He never returned his mother's camera and further class trips to national parks in Utah and border towns in California strengthened his attachment to photography, the outdoors, and a sense of place. Since graduating in environmental design he sought relief from academia in experience and has developed his passion for photography through the open spaces of the West. His work has won several awards and he has been published in Texas Highways, Dirt Rag, Backpacker, and others. More of his work can be seen at: www.blakegordon.com