Saturday, October 16, 2010

A visit to the scene of the accident

On Thursday, Oct. 14th, Roger's six sons, Kol, Jon, Josh, Mark, Ben and Steve and his son-in-law, Jason went to the scene of the accident to put up a cross in Roger's honor. Here are the photos from this visit.
The long, straight portion of Highway 20 where the accident occurred

The guys standing at the accident spot

The cross that the guys put up in honor of Roger

The cross was built by Roger's sons and engraved with his initials. 

Ben, Josh and Kol standing next to the cross
Again, we thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers. So many of you have had such kind words to say and remember Roger for the remarkable man that he was. The family plans to complete the ride within one year. More details will be posted here as those plans develop. We welcome anyone to join us to complete the journey. You can email if you are also interested in participating.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Silent Ride in Roger's Honor

Thanks again for the outpouring of love, support and words of encouragement from everyone.

There is a silent ride along Pensacola Beach that was organized by the West Florida Wheelmen Bicycle Club to honor Roger. This was the article published today in the Pensacola News Journal.

17 October, 1030, Roger Grooters Memorial Ride of Silence.
What: Slow (10-12 mph), processional type bicycle ride beginning
at Quietwater Beach Boardwalk parking lot, proceeding east to first
parking area past Portofino, then returning to Quietwater Beach
parking lot. Approx total trip is approx. 10 miles.
When: 10:30 am on Sunday, October 17, 2010.
Why: Remembering and honoring fellow cyclist Roger Grooters
while raising awareness of cyclists sharing the road with motor vehicles.
What else? Attend Worship at the Water service (by Gulf Breeze United
Methodist Church) that Sunday at 9:00 am located on the beach at
Flounders Restaurant. Cycling attire welcomed.
Helmets required to ride with the group.
Everyone welcome to join us! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Celebration of Roger's Life

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers for our family during this difficult time.  We will celebrate Roger's life on Monday in Gulf Breeze, FL.

Monday, October 11, 2010
10:00 AM -10:45AM Visitation
11:00 AM Funeral Services

Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church
75 Fairpoint Drive
Gulf Breeze, FL  32561

In lieu of flowers, please support Roger's mission for his Ride Across America by making a donation to assist victims of the Gulf Coast Oil Spill online.

1. Visit Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church at,
2. Click one the red "Give Now" link
3. In the other category fill out the comment form with, "Oil Spill Response"

Again, thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Roger Wayne Grooters April 11, 1944 - October 6, 2010

Gulf Breeze News

Panhandle Parade

More information about the funeral arrangements will be posted here in the next few days, please check back soon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back In The Saddle Again

After two days rest, I was back on my bike in west Pensacola by 8:45 AM, heading for Destin on Hwy 98.  The temps was 56 degrees with clear sunny sky's.  The road conditions were excellent with a the exception of moderately heavy traffic in Destin.  Because of it's close proximity to the edge of the continental shelf - where deep-sea fishing for billfish is the best, Destin is know as "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village"

It is no longer a village, but a busy resort destination, with beautiful emerald waters and pure white sand.
There was a strong cross wind out of the north (25 mph) and later in the day the wind switched and came from the northwest providing a little bit of help.  In the middle portion of the ride on I turned north onto Hwy 331 named The Beach Highway and for 10 miles headed straight into the north wind.

The remainder of today's ride I was on Hwy 20 headed straight east, crossing over the Choctawhatchee River.

Ending the day in Ebro with 100.7 miles.

Day 21 of Riding:
Total Daily Miles: 100.7
Total Ride Miles: 2179.4
Daily Elevation Climb: 265'
Daily Ride Time: 7 hrs.
Daily Average Speed: 16.4 mph

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two Days of Rest

With the long day of cycling on Sat. we made it to the western side of Pensacola, 17 miles from our home in Gulf Breeze, FL.  
To time our arrival in Jacksonville, FL for next Saturday (we will have some family joining us to celebrate) we took two days of rest at our home.  The rest and time away from traveling has been enjoyable and we are ready to push to the finish, leaving tomorrow AM.
Pensacola, (America's first settlement) has flown the flags of five countries - Spain, France, England, the Confederate States and the United States.
 Don Tristan de Luna, from Spain landed in 1559, but the permanent settlement in Pensacola was not established until 1698.

View of Pensacola Bay and the Three Mile Bridge to Gulf Breeze

                                                                               Our home Church

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Over 2000 Miles and Into Florida

We left Ocean Springs, MS at 8:45 AM on another beautiful day.  Last night I was not feeling good and was not sure how far I could bike today, but after a slow begining I started feeling strong again, ending the day with 104.8 miles for a total of 2078.7 miles!
Our route took us through Pascagoula and the ship building industry into Alabama and pass Bayou LaBatre.

We meet the Bagley's, a couple biking from east to west.  You can follow them on their blog -

At Alabama Port we took the six mile causeway out to Dauphin Island on the southern tip of Mobile Bay.  We passed Ft. Gaines, a Confederate fort, guarding Mobile Bay during the Civil War.  In the Battle of Mobile Bay, Union Admiral Farragut declared "Damn the Torpedoes - Full Speed Ahead"

We had to wait 1 1/2 hours to catch a ferry for the 45 min ride accross Mobile Bay.  The bay was dotted with oil rigs and lots of ocean going vessels.

The ferry docked at Ft. Morgan on the east side of Mobile Bay.  Fort Morgan completed in 1834 was a Confederate stronghold surrendering to the Union following the Battle of Mobile Bay
Hwy 180 took us along the Alabama coast with it's white sand beaches and emerald colored waters.

Beautiful clean beaches - but sad sign about the oil spill
Finally we entered our eight and home state of Florida.  Near the end of the days ride I met Scott, a young Marine who was cycling back to his home near Pensacola Naval Station.  Scott and I rode together for about 5 miles with him in the lead and me in a confortable draft.  Thanks Scott, it felt good to go over 20 mph!

Day 20 of Riding:
Total Daily Miles:104.8
Total Ride Miles: 2078.7
Daily Elevation Climb: 213'
Daily Ride Time: 9 hrs.
Daily Average Speed: 16.3 mph

Mississippi And Moving Fast

We experienced the same great weather that we have enjoyed for a number of days.  Hwy 190, for about the first forty miles, did not have a shoulder, so Vicki followed behind with flashers on.  Sufficient road shoulders are essential for my riding safety.  On many of the roads, one county or parish will have a great shoulder and the next will have nothing.  When Vicki is following with flashers on, most drivers have been very courteous and pass nice and wide.

The swing bridge at Madisonville was opened for boat traffic.
Following Hwy 190 to Hwy 90 the land became swampy and I rode over the West Pearl River bridge.

Then into Mississippi, the sixth of our eight state trip.

Arriving at Bay St. Louis, MS, we reached the sandy shores of the Gulf Coast.

Reminders of the oil spill are still evident with workers combing the sand for tar balls and shrimp boats in the harbour with oil booms piled on the shoreline.
Hwy 90 follows the coast with beautiful Victoria homes on the north side, although many were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Many dead oak trees along the coast line road have been carved into sea life figures.

 We passed the casino/resort towns of Gulfport and Biloxi, ending the day at Ocean Springs, MS with another 100 miles.

Day 19 of Riding:
Total Daily Miles: 101
Total Ride Miles: 1973.9
Total Elevation Climb: 316'
Total Daily Ride Time: 71/2hrs
Average Daily Speed: 15.7 mph