Thursday, April 30, 2009

Box It Up

Yesterday evening, I boxed up my bike and mailed it off to Mariposa. My hope is that my bike will be waiting for me when I arrive there next Friday. I am already going through separation anxiety as I watched “my baby” get packed.

Before even walking my bike into the shop, I walked in with chocolate chip cookies to entice the mechanics into some one-on-one time with my bike. After 7 years of bike riding, I still can’t believe that I have never changed a flat tire! Until last night, I didn’t even know how to take the back tire off of my bike. I am so embarrassed to admit this, but it’s the truth.

After some practice time I informed the mechanics that I have to be able to change a flat in two minutes. That is when the challenge among the mechanics began. Ryan, the winner of the challenge (the mechanic that boxed up my bike) completed the task in 1:20. Aaron had two times 1:40 and 1:39, the second with a manual pump. One day I will also be the fast at changing a flat tire.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You're Doing What?!?

The day was Christmas Eve of 2008 and my mother was diagnosis with severer liver disease. It was shocking news! At that point, my family and I didn’t know how long we had with my mom. It made me realize how precious life is. You never really know how much time you have. If I am not living my life, accomplishing my goals, my time will run out. I have to start acting and living my life.

My mom has always been a positive inspiration for me and has encouraged me to be a success at whatever I put my mind to. To see my mom, a cancer survivor, and now fighting cirrhosis of the liver, riding my bike across America will be a piece of cake.

When I say I am going to ride my bike across America, I usually get the wide eye stare and the question, you’re doing what?! Since college, it’s always been a dream of mine. I think it would be a great opportunity to see America from a bike, have the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. You’ve gotta love God’s country! Biking makes me feel like a kid again. (Please remind me of this when I am cursing those mountain passes!)

Believe me I already tried to get 50 days off of work, but my manager just wouldn’t have it. My plan is to complete the tour over three years. 2 weeks this year, 2 weeks in 2010, and the last leg will be 2 weeks in 2011. I fly out of San Antonio to LAX on May 8 and start riding on May 10, 2009 Mother’s Day.

With Clenched Teeth

As the departure date draws closer I am so anxious and stressed! My teeth are grinding and clenched. My stomach is in knots. Did I train enough? Did I get enough miles in? Did I do enough hill work? What about my new tires? Did I get enough test miles on them? Is it really possible to fit all my gear into just 2, 30 pound bags each? What about my big sexy hair spray and my CHI hair straighter? (Totally kidding! Sorta.)

I am so excited, it seems like forever away. Really, its 12 days until I start pedaling but I will be with out my bikes for about 10 days. This week I will pack up my bike and mail it to Los Angeles to wait my arrival. 12 days feels like a life time when I am so used to riding if not every day, every other day.

What is there left to do? Eat! It’s crazy how much I eat and can’t believe I have lost 10 pounds since the beginning of my training. I guess all I can do know is rest and fuel up. Who knows, I may even indulge with a night out drinkin’ and dancin’ in celebration of the days to come.

Not So Patiently Waiting

At the beginning of April, my mother was officially placed on the nation liver transplant list. Though she is not on the top 25 at this time, we know that when the time comes, she is on the list. Every day is a waiting game. We have to sit back and wait for her name to come up.

The first weeks of March, Mom spent 2.5 weeks in the hospital. Those weeks were so hard juggling work, training rides, hospital visits and a hyper active Jack Russell Terrier. Seeing my mom so sick and thinking that she may not make it out was difficult to digest. Today is see her and can’t believe she is at home almost like nothing is ailing her. She even suggested that maybe she has gotten better. We know that this is impossible. She will only be healed with a new liver.

Unfortunately, the doctors say that she will get worse before she gets better. The doctors informed us that we should expect 2 or 3 more hospital visits just like this past one before her transplant will occur. Everyday is a fight. A fight to stay positive, healthy, and with a desire to get better.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's My First!

I am doing something that I never thought I would do. Yup, I am blogging! Since this is my first, I will keep it short and sweet. More to come as I prepare for my bike ride across America.