Ride Across America Report from Janeen “Noodle” McCrae

10.18.2010 | 9:32 am

A Note from Fatty: You might have first gotten to know Janeen “Noodle” McCrae on this blog when I featured her 100 Miles of Nowhere video last year. Well, this year, she rode across the United States — helping Team Fatty raise thousands of dollars for LiveStrong along the way.

Noodle is, in short, an inspiration.

So when Noodle sent me a brief ride report along with photographs, I definitely wanted to pass them along. Enjoy!

Just a quick note to let you know that I finished my ride across these great United States on Wednesday (Oct. 13) at around 4.30pm. Hoping you can let peeps know of this news so that I may thank them for their support, followings, and random-showing-up-and-the-side-of-the-road antics. I actually have a lot to say about this trip, but I am currently struggling to pull my thoughts together into any kind of sensical ramble. It will come, just not today.

Here are 3 spur-of-the-head thoughts:

1. America is big. A lot of it is empty. I would like to thank all the stupid song writers in the world (mostly from the 80s) who buried their dumb lyrics deep in my head so that these songs would appear randomly in the silence and torture me for HOURS in these locations. Thanks in particular to Billy “You’ve got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation” Joel, and Randy Newman for the Three Amigos theme (which I actually didn’t mind too much. I can really hold that note for a long time.)


2. America is beautiful. Even those empty parts. I would like to thank Mother Earth for shifting plates in her china cabinet to push mountains up in frighteningly wonderful messes, and flatten out the land in other parts like linen cloth on a table. There were days when landscape changed dramatically several times. Wow is a word that actually doesn’t sound corny and hollow when you see these things for the first time. People need to get out there and feast their eyes on this stuff, if they haven’t already.


3. America is not full of axe murderers. Go figure?! I experienced moments of great kindness, which has reaffirmed my faith in humanity. For every jerk who yelled “Why don’t you just go kill yerself” out a car window, there were 20 who offered a meal or asked if I needed anything. Cheer up america. You’re not as full of suck as you are lead to believe. I’d like to thank everyone who wasn’t a jerk.


And if you would indulge me this one personal note. I would like to thank you. I could have jumped on my bike and ridden across the USA and that would’ve been that and life would have gone on and whatever whatever so long and goodnight. But Team Fatty and raising money for LIVESTRONG became a key component of this trip for me. To the point where I sucked in some friends at Breakfast NY who made Precious (my bike) a brain and donated that brain and a website to help me raise money – refusing my lame attempts to pay for any of that stuff every time I half-heartedly offered.


Although my fundraising goal wasn’t huge, we reached the initial goal and so I upped the ante. Sure, I will fall short of that ambitious $21,310 goal, but I feel that the awareness my lovely tweeting bike raised for LIVESTRONG has served its own function.

For every email or tweet that I’ve gotten about how I’ve inspired some person to get on their bike or donate to the fight, I think about how it’s really just a knock-on effect from you. Your story was the initial hot coal under my seat to get off my arse and do something.

From you, to me, to … the next in line. I wonder who will inspire us next in this fight?

Ride on, Team Fatty!

Janeen “Noodle” McCrae


  1. Comment by MaineMTB | 10.18.2010 | 9:42 am

    I enjoyed following the Noodle’s journey over the summer and fall. Thanks for posting.

    If you’ve ever felt like this blog doesn’t do anything, here’s your proof.

  2. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 10.18.2010 | 9:57 am

    Awesome! Also, I got my Fatty gear in the mail today. So excited!

  3. Comment by Jodi | 10.18.2010 | 10:13 am

    “Wow” is actually a word that doesn’t sound corny when I think of your story. Very cool Janeen.

  4. Comment by Greg @ Greg Rides Trails | 10.18.2010 | 10:21 am

    That is one long ride! Congrats on finishing!

  5. Comment by Keenedge | 10.18.2010 | 10:28 am

    I also followed the Noodle’s tweets & enjoyed her journey. Very impressive considering how it started!Congrats Janeen! Hopefully you’ll continue to blog. I also received my Fatty gear in the Mail. Twin 6 outdid themselves! Jersey is SWEET.

  6. Comment by OldManUtah | 10.18.2010 | 10:32 am

    WTG, Janeen!!! I just made a donation on your page. I know times are tough but if we can get 600 Fattys to make a $25 donation to Janeed she meets her goal. Go Team Fatty!

  7. Comment by Eric L | 10.18.2010 | 10:35 am

    What a fabulous journey. I really enjoyed the posts and tweets and look forward to reading more. I hope Specialized took note of iamprecious.com – you can’t buy advertising like that. Every time I saw Precious’ wheels turning and the pedals cranking, I knew Janeen was flying along and A-OK. That was absolutely brilliant.

    I still cannot believe you only had three flats.

    Well done. Well done.

  8. Comment by ChefJT | 10.18.2010 | 10:51 am

    If these were just “spur of the head” ramblings, I can’t wait until the book comes out. On my way to “Noodle”s” page to drop $25 bucks for her effort. Only 598 more Fatties to go!

  9. Comment by roan | 10.18.2010 | 11:14 am

    Janeen, the big WOW is you & Precious. I’m one of those roadside antics ~40 miles from Astoria. The hotel room funds I offered went to the real “cause” as soon as I got home. Heiferbison said to give Precious a big hug when you take him out of the box in Austin.

  10. Comment by Pedalpink | 10.18.2010 | 11:15 am

    Congrats, Noodle. I bought you a beer at the start of your ride (a small donation), but now that you’ve finished I’ve just added $25 to your LiveStrong page. Only 597 more Fatties to go. I hope you meet your goal but it’s just a number … you have already won. Thank you!

  11. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.18.2010 | 11:18 am

    We’ve loved your adventures, we much preferred Take 2 of course. Top vote goes to the Pie Day (so much for all that scenery!) and the Precious site was pure genius. Hope you hit your target…

  12. Comment by Paul | 10.18.2010 | 11:27 am

    Noodle, very happy to see you finished, loved yesiamprecious (possibly the coolest website ever), and have really been enjoying your blog. Looking forward to reading the rest of the entries and watching your videos.

  13. Comment by FatMass | 10.18.2010 | 12:39 pm

    Very inspiring. Only 596 more Fatties to go.

  14. Comment by Jenni | 10.18.2010 | 12:40 pm

    Can’t wait to see you in Austin!! Awesome, inspiring, amazing job!!!!

  15. Comment by Roses | 10.18.2010 | 12:46 pm

    What the heck, what’s 595 more to go??

  16. Comment by Paul Guyot | 10.18.2010 | 1:21 pm

    I’m not crying… I have something in my eye.

    If I had a nickel for every time I’ve gotten choked up, inspired and humbled while reading this blog… I could donate a lot more to Livestrong.

    Well done, Nood.

  17. Comment by Erin | 10.18.2010 | 1:26 pm

    Elden, I think you do Noodle a slight disservice by not mentioning that she cracked her noggin but good – good enough that anyone of sound mind would have understood a choice to abort the mission – and still came back to kick ass.

    WTG, Janeen!

  18. Comment by Arizona Guy | 10.18.2010 | 1:49 pm

    Wow – I’ve heard of people calling their bikes boat anchors before – but you must be really strong to ride cross country with an actual Giant Battleship Anchor in your Bob trailer !!

    Congratulations on a great accomplishment and great adventure.

  19. Comment by BK | 10.18.2010 | 2:37 pm

    You’re not as full of suck as you are lead to believe>>

    Actually I have never believed that about myself or my country. Glad to see that you’ve had that confirmed via your ride.

  20. Comment by Jill2 | 10.18.2010 | 3:30 pm

    Yay Noodle! 4,410 miles in 73 days with only 3 flats. What’s with the roadkill though, America?! Adding on to my previous donation, so only 594 Gordinflónes to go.

  21. Comment by Team Coffee Nook | 10.18.2010 | 4:34 pm

    Wow, you hauled along a fire extinguisher. That is uber responsible. What scenarios went through your head leading to that decision?

  22. Comment by roan | 10.18.2010 | 4:42 pm

    OMG Janeen, you better not let Precious known that Mr. Zimmerman was carrying A Battleship Anchor ! Though he may have suspected such. That is a great picture luv it !

  23. Comment by Noodle | 10.18.2010 | 4:49 pm

    Thanks for the support fatties. Two things 1) It’s not a fire extinguisher, it’s the gas bottle for the stove. 2) The knock to the noggin probably helped with the crazy idea to keep going, rather than hindered the adventure. :)

    See you in Austin. If Precious makes it….

  24. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.18.2010 | 5:32 pm

    Precious better make it! Great job, Noodle – See you there!

  25. Comment by bykjunkie | 10.18.2010 | 6:42 pm

    YES!! Fatty gear in the mail today! I am truly a FATTY, seems I have put on a few and my new beautiful hoodie is too small.

    Noodle, I’m jealous of your adventure. Maybe some day after retirement. Keep inspiring.

  26. Comment by Triflefat | 10.18.2010 | 6:46 pm

    Noodle, Noodle, Noodle

    Oi, Oi, Oi

  27. Comment by Jeff | 10.18.2010 | 8:15 pm


    Great work, and congrats on such a HUGE accomplishment!

  28. Comment by Nurse Betsy | 10.18.2010 | 8:16 pm

    Noodle, love following your blog, tweets and all the pictures. I checked everyday to see what you were up to. You are amazing! I find myself going through withdrawals. Have fun in Austin!!!!

  29. Comment by Chris | 10.18.2010 | 9:09 pm

    your blog at: http://nodirectionknown.com/blog/

    it shows the ‘access forbidden’ for all of the current pages/blog-updates …

    this makes for the sad panda, can you make the panda happy pls?

  30. Comment by Ian | 10.18.2010 | 11:26 pm

    You have nice thighs

  31. Comment by Dan O | 10.18.2010 | 11:32 pm

    Nice. A ride like that is the stuff of dreams. Awesome.

  32. Comment by Ian | 10.18.2010 | 11:42 pm

    You have a fire extinguisher. Nice touch. Not sure why.

    Seriously, though, you are awesome.

  33. Comment by Jodi | 10.19.2010 | 4:28 am

    “Cheer up America. You’re not as full of suck as you are lead to believe.”

    YES! That’s my new Facebook status.

  34. Comment by Rob L | 10.19.2010 | 5:58 am

    Congrat Janeen! What an inspiring tale, and told with a great amount of humor. :)

    The scary part is when you start having those random 80’s songs now pop in your head for a few hours of your “enjoyment”. :) Cheers! Rob

  35. Comment by Eva | 10.19.2010 | 6:38 am

    Only 593 more to go!

    Huge congratulations, Jaleen… Phenomenal achievement!

  36. Comment by janey | 10.19.2010 | 7:54 am

    How did you do this in less than 3 months??? What heart, what soul. To repeat Jodi in the comments above,”wow”, no… “WOOOOWW”.

  37. Comment by Daniel | 10.19.2010 | 8:04 am

    add another one. 593 to go.

  38. Comment by Daniel | 10.19.2010 | 8:04 am

    oops i meant 592. but one more won’t hurt. c’mon people, please

  39. Comment by VA Biker | 10.19.2010 | 9:44 am

    Hey, even I gave $25! (From one of the cheapest dudes to walk, run, or ride on the planet Earth).

    Janeen’s journey is a great one that was it first agonizing (Take 1), then a bit tenuous (start of Take 2), and finally outright triumphant (end of Take 2).

    Hey, don’t forget to buy her book if/when it comes out. (She’s gotta’ write a book, right?)

  40. Comment by Robert | 10.19.2010 | 11:00 am

    Enjoyed this post. Riding across America is fast becoming a dream of mine. I think I will try it in 3 to 5 years from now.

    My brother-in-law just finished a cross country trip and blogged about it here: http://bikedave.wordpress.com

    He had an incredible experience and took a lot of photos. Check it out.

  41. Comment by thomas bagby | 10.19.2010 | 1:34 pm

    Very amazing feat to accomplish. My hat off to you for doing such a long ride. What did you find to be the hardest part of the ride? Way to go on raising funds for a terrific organization. Ride hard and LiveStrong!!!

  42. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 10.19.2010 | 1:37 pm

    Aussie Aussie Aussie!

  43. Comment by Flyin' Ute | 10.19.2010 | 3:39 pm

    Right on Noodle!!! Good work.

  44. Comment by michelle | 10.21.2010 | 5:26 pm

    Janeen, you ROCK!!!!

  45. Comment by Lesley | 10.24.2010 | 11:50 am

    Hey Janeen, You inspired me to to the 100 miles of nowhere this year… I’ve always (and I mean since i was 16 and had a green Schwinn Varsity just aching to go on the Bicentennial ride in 76) wanted to ride my bike accross the country. Another friend rode XC East to West this summer and I can say that I’m inspired again…I need to make a plan and get to it!
    Thanks for your amazing blog, for YesIAmPrecious’ website, and for being an incredible fundraiser for Team Fatty!


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