Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hotter than Hell, 2008

Over the holidays, we meet with the cycling group named “The Cyclones” for some holiday cheer when the topic of Robert's first organized bike ride came up.

The summer of 2008, Robert had only been riding for about six months when I drug him over to Wichita Falls, Texas for the Hotter than hell one hundred. I decided to let him off easy and we opted for the sixty five mile route versus the hundred miler, after all, he had only been riding for six months.

We showed up with the other ten thousand riders wearing our matching Italian jerseys. We were amazed with the fly over jets and the canon ball that started the race.

As a new rider, Robert wasn’t aware of rider etiquette and began swerving in and out of the packs, speeding up fast and then slowing down. This was after our recent European trip and he began yelling “bonjourno” to everyone. He thought people would love his diverse language. This time, there was a little fellow who though Robert cursed him out and wanted to start of fight on the side of the road.

Robert likes to taunt riders and will say to me, “Come on baby, let's go catch em”. Then he will proceed to ride as fast as he can and then bask in the glory of having a girl (that would be me) pass a bunch of guys in a pack.

It is at this time that he starts to learn a valuable lesson in conserving energy. It is difficult to save some in the fuel tank if you speed up, slow down, speed up again.

Mile fifty approaches and we have averaged 21 MPH. YES!

Mile 58, Robert starts complaining about leg cramps. We ride through the air force field. The museum planes and the hundreds of boot campers are enough to distract us for a few more miles. On or about mile 60, Robert has to get off his bike.

Cynthia, a fellow cyclone, asked me what I said and what I did next.

What could I do? What could I say? His legs would not move. I had to just sit on my bike and wait while my overall average slipped away. I did not say a word but I was pissed. My average was slipping away.

In the end, it was not that bad. We finished 65 miles with an 18.9 average. I got my miles and Robert finished his first organized bike ride.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Here at USAA, the largest employer in San Antonio, they train us to be diverse and respect others beliefs. “Happy Holiday’s” is the big phrase around here. That phrase is so generic. It seems like people dance around wishing others a Merry Christmas as to not offend.

This year I have taken a bold step and started saying to my co-workers, “Merry Christmas”. I have received surprised looks but everyone always says, “Thank you and Merry Christmas to you too.”

Last year I purchased a car magnet that reads, “Keep Christ is Christmas” and proudly display my magnet each year. After all, Jesus is the reason for the season.

To you, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, with many blessings into the New Year, for you and your families. May you have much health and happiness, for this year, and many more to come. And to my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukah.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Middle America 2010 Itinerary

Any one want to meet me for a visit or a ride during my tour? Here are the dates:

Thurs May 20
Arrive in Albuquerque, NM

Fri May 21
Santa Fe, NM 66 miles to: Historic mining town of Madrid, Santa Fe Plaza

Sat May 22
Santa Fe, NM 0 Second Rest Day, Old Town Santa Fe

Sun May 23
Las Vegas, NM 72 miles to: Highest point on tour: Glorieta Pass at 7570’ above sea level, Pecos Indian Ruins

Mon May 24
Tucumcari, NM 109 miles to: Rt. 66 Blue Swallow Motel, NM Desert

Tues May 25
Dalhart, TX 96 miles to: Texas Feed Lots

Wed May 26
Guymon, OK 72 miles to: Fourth State Line Crossing, Oklahoma Panhandle

Thurs May 27
Liberal, KS 39 miles to: Fifth State Line Crossing, Land of Oz, Yellow Brick Road

Fri May 28
Dodge City, KS 83 miles to: Dalton Gang Hideout, Boot Hill Museum, Can Can Show and Gun Fight

Sat May 29
Great Bend, KS 86 miles to: Santa Fe Trail’s historic Pawnee Rock, Offerle CafĂ© Cinnamon Rolls

Sun May 30
McPherson, KS 63 miles to: Historic Opera House

Mon May 31
Abilene, KS 62 miles to: Eisenhower Library, Museum and Boyhood Home, Greyhound Racing Hall of Fame

Tues June 1
Abilene, KS Rest Day, Old Town Abilene, Victorian Mansions

Wed June 2
Topeka, KS 106 miles to: Half Way Point: 1,698 Miles! Fourth Century, Capitol of Kansas

Thurs June 3
St. Josephs, MO 85 miles to: Sixth State Line Crossing, Pony Express Museum, Lewis and Clark Trail

Fri June 4
Chillicothe, MO 86 miles to: Special SAG Stop at Maysville Historical Society – Home of Long Distance Cycling, Dinner Picnic

Sat June 5
Kirksville, MO 76 miles to: Thousand Hills State Park, 148 “Roller Coaster” hills, Picnic Lunch

Sun June 6
Quincy, IL 74 miles to: Seventh State Line Crossing, Mississippi River, Historic Mansions, Walking Tours

Mon June 7
Springfield, IL 107 miles to: Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home

Tues June 8
Champaign, IL 87 miles to: Home of Speed Skater Bonnie Blair,

Wed June 9
Depart Champaign, IL

Monday, December 21, 2009


The check is in the mail and I have sent in my deposit for the second leg of the bike across America trip. Once the holidays are over, I will get serious about riding again. No more parties. No more celebrating. And I will probably slow down on the bud light intake. Well, let’s not go that far.

I am always serious about riding but I hope to actually sit on my bike and not just the stationary bike in the gym. If I can’t bear the cold, I will take to the trainer in my garage. How boring is that?! Yes, I realize that Texas cold is not really cold compared to Colorado cold or Michigan cold, but it is cold for this Texan used to 100 degree weather.

This time I feel more prepared for the multi-day tour. Mentally, I know what to expect. I am all geared up. I know how to pack and what I will need. I surprised myself when I didn’t pack my CHI hair straighter or my big sexy hair spray for twelve days. And make-up? Not necessary. It’s always fun to figure out the true necessities in life and all the extra stuff is either junk or a luxury.

What I can’t seem to get my mind around is the fact that I will be gone for twenty one days. TWENTY-ONE DAYS! How will my world survive without me?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Monterrey, Mexico: Trip 2

Robert and I took a trip over the weekend to Monterrey. Trip number two, went better than trip number one. While on trip number one, Monterrey received the name, “F*$king Monterrey” because there were five adults squeezed in a pickup truck with an extended cab. The problem was I rode bitch for the six hours up and the eight hours back. Not exactly the most comfortable ride.

For the most part, I enjoy going to the place Robert loves. Robert spent his summers growing up Mexico. It is where he learned how to kiss. You have to respect that.

This particular weekend we went to visit his family and celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe day.

My big hang- up is the food. The meals consist of mostly meat, tortillas, hot sauce and avocado. The meat is usually always full of grease and sometimes fried. Not that I am the healthiest person in the world, but I need some greens every once in a while.

Since February of this year, I started eating meat again after fourteen years. I knew with my increased biking miles I would need the protein and had to recover my muscles. The powder protein was just not enough. Eating meat is still a little strange for me but I have learned how to listen to my body and give it what it needs.

Sunday morning, after two days of Mexican food, we drive up to grandmother’s house for a breakfast of barbacoa (meat from the head of a goat), menudo (the stomach of a cow), and lengua (cows tounge). Not exactly the menu a used to be vegetarian was expecting. Could I just get some oatmeal and fruit, please?

I politely gathered pears, oranges, cantaloupe, grapefruit, and a banana. I cut them up on a plate and sat at the table making usual broken spinach/English conversation. When I was about three-fourth done with my fruit plate, I found a worm wiggling on the table. I could bet that I felt a worm wiggling in my mouth and forced a swallow.

I am not sure why I was so upset but I felt like I wanted to cry. No food. A new country where I can’t speak the language and a worm in my food. All I could do was walk out and leave the plate where it was. Robert got the worm and I never saw where he put it.

It took me a while to calm down and Robert took me to McDonalds for my traditional egg and cheese biscuit. Upon returning, I have vowed to not eat another tortilla until the New Year and never eat fruit from Mexico again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mom Update

Today, my mom is cancer free. It is worth repeating- Mom is cancer free! If you look at her, it would appear at first glance, that she is not sick. I know she is feeling back to her old self because my parents are back to bickering with each other. Her phone calls every other day have increased to four times a day. Her prosthesis has come in and she is proud to walk around town without the fear of socks falling out of her shirt.

Mom still lives with severe liver disease. This will never go away until she gets a transplant. Her liver issues leave her tired and worn out. It’s her body’s way of healing itself. She is getting better with planning her days out and she gives herself enough rest to get all her shopping in.

At the end of last week, my family received some exciting and unexpected news. My mother is back to “active” on the transplant list. Originally, we were told that she has to be free from cancer for five years before being placed back on the list. We are not sure how she is back on the list but she is and we are going to take it.

It is the hope that my family needs. Mom does not have a number, not like last time. She was number seventeen, then down to number eleven, and then to “inactive”. Now we know that when she gets sick again the doctors will be able to actually do something instead of telling us there is nothing they can do.

The doctors tell us that a liver transplant patient will get really, really sick before they receive their transplant and to expect two to three hospital stays before she is moved up on the transplant list. Mom has already had one hospital visit this year in March. Right now she is watching her diet. As long as she takes care of herself the longer she will stay out of the hospital.

This time last year we thought it would be the last Christmas we would have with Mom. Here we are, one year later and she is back to her old self. This is so awesome and the best Christmas gift my family could receive.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Governor Mark Sanford had an on going affair for some time. He did not tell his wife he was leaving town. If he told his staff, he told them he was out on political business, or at least that is what the staff told his wife when she called looking for him.

According to, they state, “the events surrounding Sanford's extramarital affair involving an Argentine woman did not rise to a high enough level to warrant his removal from office prior to the end of his second and final term in January 2011.”

Let me get this straight. The former president can stick a cigar in Monica’s ho ha and not have sexual relations with “that women”, yet the former President has to go through an impeachment trial and does not get impeached.

Our society is so used to these public figures having affairs that it is accepted and the norm to permit these behaviors.

Now there is Tiger. He does not have an office seat to defend but he definitely has to rebuild his character and honor.

Where has our society gone? What happened to being loyal and loving to your spouse? It seems the norm for people, not just people in the popular eye, but my friends and those close to me, to have affairs. This subject hits too close to home. My Christmas wish is to honor the love we have for each other especially our loved ones.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

White Elephant

This past weekend, Del had her annual white elephant gift exchange. As with all gift exchanges you bring a gift and leave with a gift but you never know what you are going to take home. Her parties are always a time of fun but mostly a time to see friends that you don’t see often.

The year after my divorce I connected with three ladies also going through a divorce. All I can say is that when three single ladies hit the town it can get a little crazy. If you have ever been through a divorce you know that the last thing you want to do is go home to an empty house. The next best thing is going out and drinking a lot. It helps to drink the pain away.

That year is when we got closer then before. The roots of our friendship grew deep because we had a commonality that brought us together. Del, Dee Dee, Kristine, and I have the “Big D” behind us. And I don’t mean Dallas. These are the girls that I go to the bathroom.

Six years later, the winds have brought many changes in our lives. Del still has the picture of us on her refrigerator. I keep the picture close as a reminder of the friends that helped me deal with my divorce.

Robert and I walked away with a folding patio umbrella that everyone seemed to want. The most precious gift was visiting with my BFF. My friends forgive me of my shortcomings and love me just the way I am.