I am taking a rest day today, and thought it would be nice to feature some of the people who have shown me kindness on this trip. Thanks to all of you that have made my trip very, very special! And thanks to all that I have not yet mentioned.
Heaven-sent: Randy, Sandy & Lily!
Officer Damon Ray in Illinois
Living Waters Mission
Omaha NE- John Knicely from WOWT for his terrific coverage of the trip on March 25 and April 11.
Pine, CO- Greg and Mary Ann Branch hosted us for a fun pre-trip weekend.
Phoenix- Our son, Eric, hosted us twice on the trip.
San Diego- Jane’s brother Bob treated us to a nice spaghetti dinner.
Glamis CA- A woman who ran country store near the Imperial Dunes allowed me to camp at the store under the picnic awning.
Marty and Diane Coalson- hosted Jane after she dropped me off in San Diego.
Globe AZ RV Park- Waived the $8 camping fee (for Special Olympics).
Superior AZ- A guy bought me a gatorade.
Superstition Freeway (AZ)- A helpful female motorist who drove behind me for a couple of miles to protect me from the vehicles on a dangerous mountainous freeway.
Pueblo, CO- Bike shop owner (Great Divide Ski, Bike and Hike) took the time to look and my fairing and gave me two brackets… all at no charge.
Cassoday KS- Shari, offered me the county store shed in the back for lodging, which kept me sheltered from the overnight rain and lightning stores.
Pittsburg KS- Bike shop allowed me to use the air pump and rag to clean my chain and gears.
Larned KS- The Townsman Inn staffed who allowed me to use the hotel’s industrial dryer for me wet gear.
Golden City MO- The elderly couple that bought my dinner in support of Special Olympics Nebraska!!
Fair Grove MO- Randy and Sandy Haumann took me into their home for a much needed night and day of rest and fellowship. They also drove me across some difficult Missouri terrain.
Cairo IL- Officer Damon Ray who pulled me over, and posted some very nice things on Facebook.
Pembroke KY- Adam said a nice prayer over me.
Portland TN- Pastor Bobby Sloan and the Living Waters Mission and Food Ministry allowed me to stay in the shelter for the evening.
Sewanee TN- Woody Deutsch, owner of Woody’s Bicycles allowed me to take a shower, camp in the back yard of the store, and gave me a treasured bike store ball cap.
Murfreesboro TN- A pastry delivery guy gave me two apple turnovers.
Hammondville AL- Gas station attendant allowed me use the station shed to take cover from the storm and await my sag team (Jane).
Pooler GA- Keysha and Demetrius (Motel 6) were extremely friendly and helpful as we navigated the Savannah area.
MANY THANKS TO ALL OF OUR DONORS TO THE OMAHA TENNIS BUDDIES PROGRAM!!
AND… IF YOU ARE READING THIS BLOG, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT!
I am spending the night in Pooler GA. I am planning to complete my ride to Charleston tomorrow. Yay!
I had a delayed start this morning due to cold temperatures (40 degrees) coupled with a heavy mist/rain. Once underway, I immediately noticed the calmer winds (light NW). The cool temperatures (brrrr) and cloud cover lingered throughout the day. Overall, riding conditions were better than they had been all week. I managed 80+ miles today, landing in the town of Buhler, KS.
I rode by a farm that housed about 10 zebras, and another farm with several miniature beefalo (hybrid offspring of domestic cattle and the American buffalo).
The terrain is gaining some character with more rolling hills with trees blanketing the slopes. Oil rigs and tanks are strewn along the route.
Buhler, KS (population 1300) features beautiful schools, huge parks, ballfields, pool, etc. The town has one small five-table cafe and a 24-hour self-serve gas pump. Yet, there is no hotel in Buhler!
More storms are on the horizon for Tue and Wed, but I should be getting some good riding weather Thu-Sun. I’m eager to get through Kansas!
Statistics: 80.4 Miles, Max 24 mph, Time 6:39, Avg 12.1
I woke to clouds this morning, but not rain, so I left Ness City by 7 am. After about 10 miles, the rains came pouring down, forcing me to take shelter and change out of my heavy, wet clothes. (They weighed around 10 lbs.) I completed the additional 53 miles riding in light to heavy rain.
The roadsides have really greened up and the terrain is now more rolling and less flat. I passed by the Christ Pilot Me Hill, which gave me incentive to push on in the rain.
I arrived to Larned, KS very cold and wet. I am staying at the Townsman Inn. The staff was kind enough to allow me to use the hotel’s industrial dryer to dry out my clothes/gear.
The “Christ Pilot Me Hill,” one The 8 wonders of Ness County, is located just east of Bazine, KS. This marker is a beautiful limestone bearing the prayerful expression laid out in 1940 by 40 youth from the area. Later on lights were added to illuminate the message and then in 1991 the crosses were added to the top of the hill. It has become an area landmark for both motorists and aviators… and bicyclists!
The City of Larned drew its name from nearby Fort Larned. In the 1880’s the fort served to protect traffic along the Santa Fe Trail.
I do not have the proper gear for bike riding in the rain/cold. My cotton clothing holds water like a sponge.
Statistics: 63.5 Miles, Max 21.5 mph, Time 5 hrs, Avg 12.6 mph
I had every kind of weather imaginable today: thunderstorms, cold temps, high winds, snow… you name it!
However, this gave me an opportunity to rest and time to get my bicycle fairing (windshield) mount repaired. I had ridden without my fairing (hence today’s title) for the past couple of days, and I really missed the protection it had given me from the elements. The necessary mount parts and labor were donated by the bike shop owner (Great Divide Ski, Bike and Hike in Pueblo, Co). Yay!
The weather is supposed to clear tomorrow morning, so I’ll be setting out on my adjusted trek from Hwy 50 to Hwy 96, where I will follow the Adventure Cycle Route out of Pueblo, CO. Onward!
It was another cool morning with a starting temperature of 50 degrees.
Out of Safford, I faced a 30 mile uphill climb (elevation 2900 to 4400). This was followed by a beautiful 10 mile mountainous drop of 1000 feet into Duncan.
Another uphill climb of six miles took me to the Arizona/New Mexico border. As severe weather was approaching, the wind changed its course numerous times as I rode up and down the mountains. I rode six miles into New Mexico, just west of Lordsburg, only to face cold and thunderstorms accompanied by 45 mph winds. Evidently, this is typical for New Mexico.
Due to severe weather forecasts on my current route, I decided to “drop kick” northward, still maintaining my west-to-east coverage.
I’m in search of a bicycle repair shop that can work on securing my fairing. When considering the rough roads and debris covered shouIder, it is pretty amazing that I have not had a flat tire to date. (Knock on wood!)
Points of interest: Hwy 70 (also called Gila Pima Scenic Route) followed the Gila River which had some spectacular views.
Stats: 52.03 miles, Max 33mph, Time 5 hrs 21 min, Avg 9.7
I spent this past day at Hotel Hines (Eric’s home) in the Phoenix South Mountain area. I enjoyed a short ride (16 miles) on the Western Canal, part of the (CAP) Central Arizona Project. I received much encouragement from Jane and Eric (and Melissa by phone), as the first leg of this trip has been quite taxing.
I have been advised by many to “stop and smell the roses,” but since I was unable to find any here, I found a close Phoenician facsimile (see below).
Because of rainy weather forecasts, I will head out of Phoenix early tomorrow morning.