Saturday, May 30, 2009

On the road again…


My bike arrived at the bike shop on Thursday. Turns out I wore the bracket down with all the mileage and it needed replacing, not just from the trip but the training and commuting miles did its toll. A good once over and clean-up and I was back on the rode.

I went for a 40 mile ride Saturday morning on my familiar streets. I started to yell, “GRAVEL” but then remembered that I was alone. There was no need. Took a bite of my favorite energy food, Cliff Bar Banana Nut flavor, chewed twice then spit it out. Turns out after two weeks of eating Cliff Bars, I don’t like then any more. Noticed that the back roads I ride on are now becoming more popular with cars and more houses are being built. We bikers are being pushed away, off the roads.

Hit 471 and became aware of the lack of shoulder. Where did the shoulder go? How come it took me this long to notice the middle lane chocked the shoulder down to nothing? Didn’t feel comfortable alone on a road with no shoulder, turned around, and lost 4 miles.

Since I didn’t have any food on me, I stopped in a corner store. The couple asked me if I needed ice. How nice is that? They even motioned to a table in the back of the store where I could eat. “No thanks, I like the air out side” I replied. By that time, the Texas heat had not quite kicked in but this Texas girl knows that the smart thing to do is eat quickly and get back in the saddle.

Surprisingly, my bottom was like a glove back in the saddle and my legs moved smooth. Fast in some places, slower in others, and yes still fighting the hills. I am working up the courage to start my commutes to work. It’s the ride home on Huebner Road that scares me. Yikes, crossing 3 lanes of 5 o’clock traffic is not fun. Maybe some conversations and a new route will get me back in gear.

Mom update: Today, Mom is well and even out visiting estate sales. Most days she naps a lot. Still waiting for the call. God is good.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Keep Smiling

As I walk on campus, I look around and feel a great sense of accomplishment. I have a sheepish smile on my face thinking that I know something that you don’t know. Some may never know this feeling. It seems like normal activities bore me. Nothing is as challenging any more. I do know that I can push myself to a new limit that I have never known before. I only hope that others can experience this same kind of pleasure.

The first day of my trip, I remember asking Nancy, “What would possible posses someone to ride across America more than once”? Her response was, “You will find out. Once you get the bug you won’t want to stop.” It’s true. She is right. I don’t want to stop.

During spin class my legs just pedaled. Not knowing a speed or grade, I just keep moving my legs. I looked around and noticed that I may have been the only one getting a good work out. My legs now know what it is like to climb mountains. You just keep pedaling. Breath. Pedal. Get your rhythm. Repeat.

The muscle pump class brought me back to a familiar squat exercise that I would practice while using the bathroom on the side of the road. Bend your knees and stick your bottom out. On the road, I would add, watch your shoes and make sure your shoes don’t get wet.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back to Work

All I think about is being back on my bike and being back on the road. The first two days back home were really hard to adjust to. Now at work, the rush of phones ringing was about to push me over the edge. I think I forgot how to answer the phone.

I still haven’t started to wear any makeup. It’s nice going back to the basics. Over the weekend, I slept a lot and spent some time at the beach. The beach always gives me some quite time and it was a nice way to ease the transition.

There was a scare of mom becoming sick and another hospital visit. More of the same, fever and nausea. The doctors changed her meds and hopefully it’s enough to keep her out of the hospital. As much as I want to be riding, it’s good to be home to spend some time with Mom.

Some folks want to do an organized bike ride this Saturday. A 50 miler with beer at the end. NICE! I just need to make sure my bike will be ready to roll by then. Kind of hoping for more miles, but 50 will do.

Before I left I weighed 127 pound. Today, on the official scale here at work, I weigh 128 pounds. Those day of eating 3 Payday candy bars will be a diet of the past, but it was good while it lasted.

As the excitement of riding across America as come to an end my blogs are becoming less frequent. As my life fills with topics, I will post them.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sad day

Its raining here in SA. Maybe it is God crying and telling me to go back to the road. No one could prepare me for the emptiness that I would feel when getting back home. Being on my bike was so freeing. There were no decisions to be made just riding my bike all day long. Even the simplest choices of what to eat have become difficult.

My world has become slow. I found myself driving in the slow lane on the high way. Do I still remember how to drive a car? Before the ride I was always busy. Doing what, I do not know.

Crossroads made everything so easy. You either walk or ride your bike were you want to go. You go to one place to eat, you get to your room and your things are there. I did appreciate being able to use my washer and dryer at any time I choose to versus just using the wash and laying my cloths out to dry in my hotel room.

Roxy will not leave my side. Its nice to have my partner back, my shadow. A short trip to the doggie park and a bath and we are back in business. Can't wait until I get my bike back and get back on the road.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Back At Home

Made it back home to the luxury of an indoor bathroom. The trip as taken me to the simplicities of the basics in life. I started the trip with 21 pounds of luggage and went home with 24 pounds. Not too bad.

The last ride was a hard one for me, the entire day I was fighting back tears. Here, Harry was trying to get a laugh and had to be pushed into the SAG.

Gang, I hope you had a GREAT ride today. Take my flag to Boston. Know that I will be following you on your blogs.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 11

If you have noticed, I have not mentioned flat tires. That is because I have NOT had one! 852 miles, do you believe it? It really worked out to replace my tires before the trip. As a trick, some of the riders (those in this pic) decided to air out my front tire while I was checking in. No worries, the tires have to be deflated for the trip home.

It has been hard day, my last riding day. The day started with rain and we had about an hour of rain and wet roads. I was grumpy and sad. We were still riding I40 with horrible road conditions. We had to get SAG 16 miles due to construction. I am sure I will make up the miles when I get home.

All is well, happy, and in one piece. I will post more later or when I get home with picutes too. Rubber on the road.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 10

Today, we crossed the continental divide and rode mostly on route 66. It was a remarkable day. As the tour is coming to an end, I find myself riding slower so that I can take all the miles and memories in. Have I really ridden this far? I have pushed my body to a new limit where I can't imagine looking back. Yes, I will continue to ride my bike when I return home.

I noticed that I like to ride in the front of the group. Sometimes I get pushed up but I actually prefer it. (Why am I posting this for others to later use against me?) But I can see better, set the pace, and maneuver around the debris on the road. It was a good ride its always a good ride when your on the road. Caught some rain the last 5 miles in. Stopped for Dairy Queen for lunch. Dreading my last tour ride tomorrow.
As much as I love to ride, I miss being a girl. So much so that I already have a hair appointment for Saturday. If you were to notice my feet, my toes are still polished.

My bike will get mailed back to me and don't expect to get back out on the road until the shop ensures all working parts, guessing that will be 5-10 days out. Until we meet back on the road in SA...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 9


For the most part, I felt strong today. My legs were heavy and they wouldn't get me going. Rode most of the way at my own pace but then the last 20 miles rode in with a group. I call it the "Hottie" group. The leader is always Harry, but with his thick British accent it sounds like he is saying Hottie when he introduces himself.

Still riding on the highway. Its like playing dodge ball on the bike to avoid all the debris. It keeps me alert. Who knew that car tires would be so destructive to a bike tire? They have wires that really stick out and cause lots of holes. Crossed into New Mexico. Yea, another state down. Ridin' on!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 8

Today was a century ride by most standards. 96 miles and I felt strong. It has taken a week to get used to what my body needs. My secret is: eat when I don't want to eat and gulp not sip.

The first 45 miles went by in 2:15. The last miles were with headwinds. My guess is the gusts hit 30-35 MPH winds. The trip took about 6 hours. Rode with Mark, Chris and Willie. Lost my riding partner Darryl. Happy Monday to you as you return back to work.

Yesterday was a rest day. It was nice to lay around, eat, watch TV, nap and read a book. I don't even do that back at home. I had some catching up to do with those reality shows on VH1.

While eating with two other riders it hit me. We are all here to find an answer, a resolve, or even healing. Mile by mile we get what we need. With each pedal stroke we clear our minds and each of us get closer to whatever it is we search for. The miles roll by and I look into my sole. For me, it was "cool" to say, " I want to ride my bike across America". It never occurred to me the pressure I would endure or the pain I would put my body through.

Looks like I only have three days left. 626 miles down with 226 miles left and one more state line to cross. I don't want to leave. This group is amazing. We are all strong or we wouldn't be here. You can't train for this, you train while you are here. I don' want to loose the strenght that I have gained. I want to keep riding.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day 7

Today has been a week of riding. Yes, I rode my bike up the rode in this picture. It was a hard day of climbing, again. My body didn't want to move this AM, but still kept riding. Up the hills in Sedona only 49 miles, but its all up hill. Tomorrow is a rest day. All is well and becoming more fit. Got a massage and feeling better, even wore my earrings to dinner. Gained two pounds.

Check out my facebook account for more pictures.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 6

Slept in until 7AM. Rode 43 miles today most up a mountain up to 7000 feet elevation. 20 miles down hill. Ate a burger on my way into town and my tummy doesn't like it. Don't feel good. Have route rap in 15 minutes then dinner. Really have to recover tonight. Tomorrow is another day of climbing. I am really tired of climbing. Looking forward to Sunday, our off day. I may even have a beer on Saturday night. My body is still vibrating from the road. All I hear is the tick of tire wheels in my head.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Love My Bike and I Love to Ride

My bike is holding strong and steady! New tires did me right. Back home, with my new cassette, I had too many gears. Here, I am using them ALL and even wishing I had more gears! Thanks Ride Away!

Food And Recovery

It's all in a days worth of energy. This is what I ate yesterday. Eggs, pancakes, bacon, hash browns, two bananas, cliff bar, payday, nuts, corn nuts, chocolate milk, spaghetti and meat balls, salad, bread, and a protein shake. Drank three Camel backs of Gatorade plus countless bottles of water.

Today I ate eggs, three pieces of bacon, three pieces of bread, hash browns, banana, jelly beans, energy squares, Chinese meal dinner, ham sandwich and will eat again after route rap.

Discovered that the hot tub is great for sore muscles. Minimum of 10 minutes every night after second dinner. This picture is atop the moutain we climbed. Notice the switch back?

Tomorrow is a late start of 9AM, 11 o'clock SA time. Only 49 miles, another mountain pass. 37 miles for the week. Miss 2 o'clock coffee breaks with the gang, but don't miss it enough to go home. I try to send messages, but in the middle of the dessert and mountains, I don't get reception. Hope you ECT guys have a good route for Saturday. Nothing less than at least 70 miles!

Day 4 and Day 5: Living The Dream

Day 4: Finished the day covered with snot, bug guts, and sweat in my eyes. I counted 20 bugs that hit me. I felt GREAT and even lead the guys up a 7 mile climb. Finished the day strong. Crossed into Arizona. Climbed 3900 feet. Rode 115 miles.

But all things come to an end. After two days of riding back to back centuries, my body was hurting. My dirty socks were stinking up my room so I had to do laundry and lost some valuable recovery time. No time to blog. By bed time I was doubting myself and visited with a fellow rider. This is pretty common since we are really putting a toll on our bodies. Got through the night.

Day 5: Breakfast motivates me. When I question myself, I look at the others riding with me. A total of 25 people including the three of us girls. They can ride through the pains and so can I! Every morning I ask God to give me what I need to make it through the day. He always does.

Climbed up to 6100 feet elevation. Only 59 miles but through a mountain pass. There is lots of "bootie talk". Turns out that after all the miles, the saddle really starts to hurt. All the guys are really complaining. The ladies don't have those kinds of pains.

Thank you for reading my blog and following me. All of your messages keep me pedaling. One pedal stroke at a time. Don't worry we stay together and have lots of support.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day 3

Forgot to mention the 1.6 mile stretch from yesterday when we were on the highway. We also had to cross a section where 18 wheelers were crossing us to weigh in. I looked down and we were riding at 28 MPH. When we exited, we all had to stop and take a moment. That was crazy. Maurice, you would have loved the excitment. 10 times more exciting than crossing Huebner on the way home.

Today, it was hot. The desert for 100 miles. How does that quote go? There is a fine line between hobbie and insanity. Today, we crossed the line. The day started with a 11 mile climb. Hogue knows that I don't stand on the hills back home but today I was standing. It was more of a "bootie break". Rode with Bob and Tom up the climb (I am a follower of their blog). To pass the time, we were seeing how many honks we could get from the 18 wheelers. Seems silly, but it worked.

Not shy anymore. When you gotta go, you gatta go. The guys have been polite about turning the other way (ya know there are mirrors on their helments). But in the desert there is not many places to go behind. The car door worked once, but the onlookers probably got a peak. Today, I let the guys pass and went on the side of the road behind the rail.

260 miles of riding and my body is really starting to hurt. Any part of my body that is not covered, has a tan. The top part of my fingers, the area from my socks to the bottom of my leg warmers, and the 1 inch area of my glove area to the bottom of my arm warmers.

Tomorrow is 115 miles. Yikes! Off to rest, recover, and hydrate.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 2


Let's go back to yesterday for a bit... There were a group of 6 of us and we had a green light heading straight. The car stopped but then proceeded to take a right. Jack swerved then I got the side mirror in my knuckles. Since I stayed on my bike, I kept riding. No crying on the bike just keep riding!

Today was the most adventurous ride I have ever been on! We started with a 3 mile climb. Straight up. Then a 5 mile climb. Straight up. No hill in SA would prepare me for this. All I did was pace myself up then catch the others at the rest stop.

After the climb, we hit a windmill factory. 11 miles of favorable winds on our back. Didn't even have to pedal and we hit 33 MPH. The last 10 miles to the hotel where wearing on me. I was getting hot. There wasn't much shade. I noticed a mobile home park with their sprinkler running. There were 3 palm trees with just enough shade for me so I sat on the side of the road for about 5 minutes to cool off. By that time, 2 rides noticed I had slowed and came back for me. Thanks Chris and Mark. My God send for the day. The cool off was just what I needed to get home.

The strong rides are noticeable. They lead us out and offer a wheel when we fall off. There are about 6 to 12 rides that stick together which makes the miles go by. I have stopped looking at my miles. I just have to ride and keep the pace.

Tomorrow is the desert. 100 miles. We just had route rap and I am worried. Keep you posted on that tomorrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 1


Today was a 78 mile day and finished at 1:45PM. We started strong riding out of town at 22 MPH. What was I thinking? Needless to say at mile 50 I slowed down a bit.

Today was the first time I have had a run in with a car. Luckily, I stayed on my bike and I only have a bruised and bleeding knuckle and a few bruises on my knees from hugging the bike frame.

For all you Mom's and especially my Mom, Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Finally Here

It was a sad goodbye with a few tears. My parents drove me to the airport where it was early Happy Mothers day for my Mom and lots of hugs. My Father, for the first time ever, had a greeting card for me. It was from him, in his hand writing. It's such a comfort to know that he is there taking good care of my mom.

The thought of seeing my bike again brought me much joy! Yea, I am going to see my bike again. Minus the loss of a screw, my bike is back together and fully loaded with gear along with an orange flag. My luggage of two bags together total 21 pounds. I must say, I am very proud of myself for packing under the 30 pound weight limit.

Off to eat and hydrate...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Untitled

Thanks for the prayer Goose! It was too nice to not post and also I can view it while I am out on the road versus printing it and adding weight to my ride.

now i lay me
down to sleep
i pray for Barbie
from my heart very deep

she rides across
simply because she can
may she inspire others
and return better than she began

she takes this challenge
because it is there
please protect her
i ask with this prayer

may the flats be few
the roads be smooth and dry
the winds be mostly at her back
and her spirits remain high

let her see only opportunity
in each and every climb
she accomplishes so much
one pedal at a time

as she floats the descents
let her feel You there
as the wind
blows through her hair

may there be more tough times than not
for it is they
which will make her ever stronger
come what may

as she rides
please keep her safe
as she follows her bliss
please, please keep her safe

amen

Freak Out Control

Can someone please give me some freak out control? All this technology has made me more anxious. I know my bike is at the hotel waiting for me. It was signed by Luis and arrived at 10:15 yesterday morning. I have my boarding passed printed out and will line up in section “A”. Now all I have to do it start riding my bike. Enough already! I am ready to start riding and stop blogging about it!

And right when I was going to type that I have a scene of relief thinking that my mom’s health is holding steady I have been reminded of the fact that she is still waiting a transplant. She is retaining water and has gained a few extra pounds over night. My dad is taking her to the doctor today. My hope is that this is nothing to be alarmed about and nothing to serious will transpire while I am away.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

So Proud


My oldest and only nephew, Michael, is graduating from high school next month. He is graduating with honors as a Cum Laude graduate. I can’t be more proud of him! Where did the baby go whose diapers I changed? Mike has become a well mannered handsome young man and I only wish him the best of what life has to offer.

Bike update- My bike is now in California at the hotel! Yippie!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tracking My Bike

Where is my bike? Will it arrive in El Segundo before me? Will my bike be sent back because of the CO2 cartridges that I left in the seat bag? Two of my friends had me so concerned about where my bike was. One even suggested that the CO2 was going to blowup the airplane! Thankfully, it’s being shipped on the ground so nothing is going to blowup. Luckily for the tracking option on the FedEx website, I now know that my bike is at the Fort Worth FedEx site and is expected delivery by Wednesday. YEA!!!! My bike is on its way and will be waiting for me on Friday!

Shout out! My life savor of the month has been Ben, at Ride Away Bikes. He has been so great with making sure my bike is ready to go and in tip top shape and has been so patient with me and all my visits. Jason was so wonderful about fitting me on my bike when I complained of knee pain. Ryan is awesome with on the spot bike repairs. If I didn’t already say thank you, I say it now, thank you! You guys are the best! Ride Away has become my home away from home.

Roxy




When I arrived home yesterday, I had a realization that I am REALLY going to miss my dog Roxy. I sat down on my living room floor and shed a few tears. Is it possible to miss her even before I am even gone?

Roxy is a two year old long hair Jack Russell terrier. I named her Roxy because she is so foxy. She is my baby girl. If she were a kid, she would be my toddler. Roxy don’t do that. Roxy get over here. Roxy get that out of your mouth. Roxy get down from there. If it’s not the short commands that I holler at her, then it’s my house with her toys spread everywhere that reminds me she is around.

We do everything together. We sleep next to each other, eat at the same time, and watch TV together. When I am at the computer she is sitting on my lap. When I go to the restroom, she waits for me. She is my shadow.

I am sure gonna miss the way she greats me everyday like she hasn’t seen me for a month worth of Sundays! I am gonna miss not being able to sleep in on the weekends because she is standing over me with her squeaky ball. I am gonna miss her nibbles on my nose and our evening walks. Even though I get annoyed when she barks at the door when she is ready for her walk or when she pulls the covers off of me when she is ready for me to get up, I will miss my girl! (Big gulp as I swallow the tears.)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Itinerary

May 10 Riverside, CA
78 miles
Pacific Ocean Wheel Dip at Manhattan Beach Pier! First day of riding

May 11 Indio, CA
85 miles
San Andreas Fault, Palm Springs, Windmill “farms”, Lowest point on tour: Indio, CA - 14’ below sea level

May 12 Blythe, CA
100 miles
First Desert Crossing: The Mojave! First Century!

May 13 Wickenburg, AZ
115 miles
First State Line Crossing! Second Century, Old Town Wickenburg, Dude Ranch capital of the world

May 14 Prescott, AZ
59 miles
First mountain pass: Yarnell! Historic Gurley St. in downtown Prescott

May 15 Cottonwood, AZ
43 miles
Mingus Mountain at 7023’, Historic mining town of Jerome, Yavapai Indian Ruins

May 16 Flagstaff, AZ
46 miles
Red Rocks of Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon

May 17 Flagstaff, AZ
0 miles
First Rest Day, Old Town Flagstaff, Nearby Grand Canyon

May 18 Holbrook, AZ
96 miles
Rt. 66 Wigwam Motel & Jack Rabbit Trading Post, Eagle’s “Standin’ on the corner of Winslow, AZ…”

May 19 Gallup, NM
86 miles
Second State Line Crossing, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Mountain Time Zone

May 20 Grants, NM
68 miles
Continental Divide at 7275’ above sea level, Historic Route 66 Caf├ęs

May 21 Albuquerque, NM
75 miles
The Rio Grande, Old Town Albuquerque

Saturday, May 2, 2009

First Friday

Yesterday was First Friday. For those of you who are not from around these parts, it is a street party in downtown San Antonio that happens on the first Friday of EVERY month. There are street vendors, art, music, and drinking. A pub run is an event on the first Friday of every month where runners meet at a bar, stop at about 5 bars along the way and run a total of about 4 miles. In January I did the pub run and it was a blast! I never thought I would say this but, it will be the only running I will ever do again.

Aside from riding, another favorite hobby of mine is dancing. Azuka is a restaurant featured during first Friday and we frequent there to get some good salsa dancing in. I thought it appropriate to celebrate my trip and indulge a little since after all I go to bed early most Friday nights to prepare for training rides early on Saturday mornings.

Less than a week away from my departure and my excitement is growing. My office has bike equipment piled in open spaces and I am slowly checking off my packing list while reminding me to keep it light and use travel size everything.