Friday, December 28, 2012

Rest

You know you are tired when you go to work to get rest.
This morning, while I was at work, I caught myself searching the World Wide Web for yoga retreats and day dreaming of quite time. I wish to someday find a secluded yoga dojo. One that starts meditation at 6 a.m., yoga is practiced until the 10 a.m. break for breakfast, and one that serves an organic diet. I would even be willing to help with chores (ashram duties). But, it is hard to find one of those places because they do not advertise on the internet.
Mr. ICU has da boyz in Carrizo for two days and I am enjoying my alone time. There are no laser guns shooting, cartoons blaring on the surround system, and I even have the entire king size bed to just me and Roxy.
It is not a break from da boyz that I search for, but a break from the rush and busyness of the day. Yes, these are self imposed pressures and pressures from society that keeps me running in circles. I constantly promise myself that I will cleanse my soul, eat better, and get away from my iPhone, but I cannot away from the blinking light notifying me of a new message.
The place where I experienced this restful feeling was when I was on tour. The only responsibility is getting your clothes clean and getting your bike ready for the next day of riding- that is the only pressure of the day. No checking e-mail or Facebook. No watching the NEWS or Honey Boo Boo. I have had a taste of this blissful state and now I have a constant urge for this freedom and rest from the world.
Someday is a while away. For now, I will submerge myself in the book, “Eat Pray Love”, and pray about one day finding my spirituality in a remote yoga destination.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

The build up of Christmas is always an exciting time.  We had Santa visit us in his fire truck along with all his fireman helpers.
 
 
Roxy did her best to not get poked or punched. Two days in a row I found her shivering under the bathroom vanity.


We were dressed up for the Christmas children's mass, after all, Jesus is the reason for the season.

 
We sang Christmas carols and watched the Santa tracker.


JD made Santa cookies and left a personal note the read: For Santa.
 


Christmas morning the gifts were unwrapped and it all happened so fast. Christmas is not about gifts but the day we rejoice in our Saviors birth.
 
It has been a fun and festive time enjoying our time with da boyz and our families.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tucked In

 This weekend JD rode with me on the drive to Carrizo.  The whole time I thought he was listening to a video on his phone but it turns out that he was listening to me sing like nobody could hear me. 


Since JD gets to sleep with Optimus Prime, I let Rosie sleep next to me.  Santa had my new bike waiting for me in Carrizo.
 
 
Two days before Christmas and I hope you have as much joy and excitment as we do.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wedding Budget

 
Smoke started coming out of the mister’s ears when I asked what our wedding budget would be.  It appears like I have touched on a sensitive subject.  The mister must not know that the average small wedding of fifty people is about ten-thousand dollars, not including the ring or honeymoon.
He says our honeymoon will be riding our bikes on the first leg across America. This is where I try to not sound too excited and play it casual because the wedding comes first, and then the honeymoon.  I will believe it when CrossRoads gets their down payment.  Whether the ride comes to fruition, Mr. ICU sure does know how to make this girls heart flutter with talks of long distance bike rides.
Relatively speaking, a Mexico beach wedding is much cheaper than a formal wedding. That statement does not ease the mind of the most practical person in the world- that person being Mr. ICU. This past semester he studied Virology Retinoblastoma and Electrophoresis (hopefully I spelt that right and put the capital letters in the correct spot).   He aces exams and writes reports to be published; I am also positive that he is smart enough to pull out that accounting degree and do the calculations for this wedding.
I totally get it. We have had a few large expenses recently; still, it’s a wedding and weddings are expensive.  I have been given strict instructions to not discuss the wedding expenses until after Christmas.  I bring it up mostly because I enjoy pushing his buttons. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Beg and Plead

I hate Polo green label cologne. Mr. ICU wears Polo green label cologne. What do you do?
A. Discreetly, buy your favorite cologne to replace every Polo green label cologne your man owns and say that you received a discount when you purchased perfume for yourself.
 
B. Not so discretely, have your best girl say, “No one wears green label cologne any more, I cannot believe you still wear green label cologne”.
 
C. Throw away any remaining bottles of green label cologne.
 
D. Beg and plead that he stop wearing Polo green label cologne.
 
E. All of the above
The answer is E.) All of the above.
Since all of the above has been unsuccessful, Mr. ICU says that if Chelsey Handler announces on her show how un-cool it is to wear Polo green label cologne, then he will finally believe that it is un-cool and he will stop wearing it.
Mr. ICU dares me to contact Chelsey herself and tell her the story. Little does he know that I follow Ross Matthew’s blog and Ross is a frequent guest host on “Chelsey Lately.”
If your reading this and you or someone you know still wears Polo green label; stop reading this and go throw away any remaining bottles. When you get back to your computer and start reading again, go to your preferred DVR of choice (mine is TIVO) and record “Chelsey Lately”. Watch every night at ten-thirty and wait diligently for her to say, “Polo green label is so un-cool. No one wears that $h!t anymore.”

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dear Santa

Back in July, I sat on your lap when I was riding RAGBRI and I asked you for a new bike.  Yes, I have been a very good girl this year.  If I have been naughty, it was in a very good way. Wink, wink. Does flirting with Santa help?

So back to this bike… 
Specifically, I would really like a new custom fit carbon fiber bike.  Is that too much to ask?  It would be perfect for all those long distance bike rides I plan to be doing.  But, I will settle for the cute looking cruiser with green and pink neon flowers painted on the frame.  It would be perfect for strolling through the country roads in Carrizo.
And, I would like a really good tan (in the words of Kenny Chesney); preferably while sitting on a white beach with Caribbean blue water waving at me. But, I will settle for biker short tan lines as I ride around on my new bike.
That is all, Santa.  I am not asking for that much.
Hugs,
Barbie

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Running Mate

 
The past two weeks I was off from work and rediscovered my running mate.Roxy and I have been inseparable. We run errands together and we eat together. Yes, that is correct.She eats when I eat.She sleeps next to me and snuggles with me when I lay around.
 
Our days were carefully choreographed and dog walks/runs became routine. I knew I was going too far when I caught myself saying, “I’m taking the d-o-g to the p-a-r-k.” I know she can tell when I am talking about her, so I spell it out to put shoes on without her biting my ankles in eager anticipation.
Her constant excitement about simple pleasures always brings me a smile. She sits on the middle console between the passenger and driver seat and lets the air conditioner blow in her face. Like in the above picture, I believe she is smiling.
When she does not received sufficient attention she drags her bed into the middle of the living room. And if that does not work, she pulls the laundry basket out from the bathroom. She gets mad when Mr. ICU kisses me. She stands at our feet and barks or runs between our feet until we reach down and pet her.
There is a bad case of separation anxiety going on and it may be me who is suffering the more severe case.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sleep Tight

How well did you sleep this past weekend?  Did your transformer get tucked in with his guns placed gently beside him? 
 
As for me, I did not sleep so peacefully.
 
 
  Between Joe kicking me all night and Jon punching me, it is hard to find a deep dreamily sleep. Not to mention Mr. ICU holding me with a death grip all night long, I have a permanent knot on my neck from sleeping with my head on his chest.
 
Really, I am totally not complaining.  I love being loved so much- even while I sleep.  Well, when I try to sleep.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

NASA Stop


We were astronauts for the day as we visited The NASA Space Center in Houston.  The price of admission was worth the da boyz screams and smiles in the space flight simulator.
 


 
Da Boys crawled into Apollo and hung upside down while I was content looking from the outside and snapping a quick photo.
 
Mr. ICU is a wonderful father because he is dedicated to his every other weekend visits with da boys, and he never misses a visit. I feel so lucky to have waist hungers bombarding me all weekend. Our visits have evolved from da boyz walking with Mr. ICU all weekend to sleeping, eating, and holding my hand all weekend. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Few Things

So again we go to the store and max out the two credit cards to buy a “few things”; and yet again I give Mr. ICU a heart attack. I believe we will end up killing each other before the wedding, either by heart attack or by banging my head against the wall.
 
When Mr. ICU * suggested that I bring a few things to the home in Carrizo Springs to make it feel more like home,  I do no think he thought a “few things” would fill his truck AND my SUV.
 
The home is CS is painted blue on the outside and almost every room is painted a shade of blue on the inside.  Let’s call the CS house, the Blue House.  
 
CS is a small town and I especially like the idea of being able to ride my bike across the street to the meat market/grocery store.  Though the eighteen-wheeler traffic can be hectic at rush hour, they don’t seem to bother me much and I enjoy being outside.
 
If there is one thing CrossRoads prepared me for was being in a different hotel room for 50 days.  Being in CS for three days and SA three days gets me confused on where light switches are and whether the toilet has a button or leaver to flush- try that in the middle of the night, in a sleepy stupor.
 
The fun is just beginning and lots of new things are in the works. Planning a legal beach wedding, in Mexico, is at the top of the list.
*Mr. ICU = Ricky

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Merger

Ricky and I are in the merger and acquisitions stage of our relationship. It has been a cumbersome process of identify individual accounts and merging them into a joint accounts; especially since this individual has been an “individual” for way too many years to count.

Being the self proclaimed Chief Operating Officer on the Board of Directors of this partnership; I executed my buying power to purchase home furniture and maxed out two credit cards. The magnitude of the situation clicked when I realized I ran out of money for a wedding dress. Sudden panic, hives, and hyperventilation started to overcome me.

To my comfort, Ricky posted the update on Facebook so that the whole world would be privy to current acquisition. Two days later, freak out mode has been minimized and additional funds have been acquired to start planning our wedding.

I could sit here and grip about Ricky being too involved and being more of a groomzilla than I am a bridezilla; but truth be told, he is excited. Correction, WE are excited about planning OUR life together. It is an exciting time to be transiting to a “we”, an “us”, and “joint partners”.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fishing

 
We spent the weekend fishing with Da Boyz. 
Is it really called fishing when you do not use bait? 
Either way, we still had fun. 

 
If it isn't Ricky or Roxy, there is always a little man to cuddle with.
 
 
Sitting on the beach, I am happy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Accessories

 
Halos at night have become a problem. 
I broke down and now wear glasses when it is dark outside. 
My fiance gave me an eye exam.
 
 
Look into my eyes.
Do I make your hot tamale rise?
 
In case I need to be more clear,
I am showing you my ring not my eye glasses.
 
 



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Skipping

 
A stranger once told me that hip and trendy nail polish colors makes a lady look at least ten years younger. That along with the thoughts in my head make me believe that I am still in my twenties.
 
Would someone please notice my toes already?

 
Looking down at my colorful toes, I smile all day long.  The colors brighten my day especilly when I remember skipping through the parking lot with JoeJoe.
 
Let's see what path my feet lead me on this week...
 
 
 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dia de los Muertos, 2012

Saturday we ran (or should I say Ricky ran) in a 5K Dia de los muertos run.  Roxy and I dressed up as skeletons and the boys dressed as a black ninja and transformer. 
 

 
Sunday we attended a bootacular at the San Antonio Botanical gardens and learned more about gardening and compost boxes.
 
 
Da Boyz lost interest in their costumes ...
 
  I was like totally into wearing my Pink Ladies bowling shirt with "Barbie" embroidered above the pocket.
 

Happy Halloween week!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The “C” Word

We live in an f’ed world where mommy’s are gone because of cancer. Often I beg God for an answer although I know it is for reason I do not understand. Maybe this is the time where I stand on my soap box and ramble about the state of our society, air pollution, and the presidential election; all the while thinking that God is using cancer to wipe out society and give us a do-over like He did with Noah and the flood.

The beginning of the week was going smooth and I thought it was going to okay dealing with Mom’s anniversary.   Wearing her necklace was a personal reminder of her and I felt like she was close to my heart. 

And then it happened… Thursday morning I had a total breakdown.  I wish it did not happen at work but a breakdown is not something you plan.  A friend in the hall must have seen the despair in my eyes.  She scooped me out the door and hugged me while I cried.

The local grocery store had helium and I was able to get a helium balloon.  I did not want to be stingy and get a dozen knowing that I would release them and there is a helium shortage.  I watched the pink balloon float away in the clouds hoping it would make its way up to Mom.  I placed a dozen pink roses arranged in a bouquet next to the flowers my father gave Mom and wondered if I should have bought red instead.  I balled my eyes out while standing in front of her grave.  I could have stayed there all day to be with her but I knew that I was emotionally torturing myself and I needed to go.

Have you noticed, it was a hard week.  I wanted to get the hurt out so we could enjoy a cool weekend with da boyz.  My next post will be more up beat- I promise.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Two Years Later

No, my name is not Mary but I am going to wear her necklace to honor her and remember Mom. I wanted to do something special and different. The plan was to get a bouquet of helium balloons and release them on Friday, while in the cemetary. Did you know there is a shortage of helium all across the nation? How did this happen and who do I need to call to get some helium ballons for my mom? How long have children gone without birthday helium balloons and why wasn't I notified sooner? Sorry Mom, you will have to get a traditional bouquest of flowers this year.
 
Two years later I reflect back on the passing of my mother. My family has been blessed with so much good that I can only believe that it is Mom guiding us. Dad is married, my sister is engaged. Doesn't my family know that it is time for my glory day. It is hard to share the spot light when my family has so much going on.  
 
Either way, I know my mom is smiling down on us and I know that she would love Ricky. He is super smart and researches stuff on DNA while I practice Fergie's dance moves. Ricky does really important eye doctor things and I try to figure out when I can get yoga, running, bike riding, Bible study and piano practice in my scheudle. Oh, and somehow I have managed to read seventy-three books since Christmas of last year. I am happy that Ricky is as active as I am and enjoys riding a bike; but it stinks that he is faster. Our personalities compliment each other and we get along great as long as we do what the other says to do.
 
Life is happening and it is good.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Couch Potato

It was one of those nights where all I wanted to do was sit in front of the television and "borrow" the pain medicine that Roxy refused to take. The recent cooler weather left me driving myself to work and not riding my bike. No miles make me sluggish.
 
 
First, I put on some long johns and snuggled up in some blankets. Then I proceeded to watch a weeks worth of "Chelsey Lately" and five episodes of "Honey Boo Boo Child". After that I started to watch the most recent episode of "Saturday Night Live". Let's just say, I love TIVO and the hours of commercial free television I can watch. A few hours later, I decided that "60 Minutes" would have to wait for another night.
 
 
I really need to spend more time in the cold weather and less time in front of the television. It seems like over kill when I wear an under armor shirt, ear warmers, leg warmers and booty covers to protect me from the cold wind. Or better thinking, I could setup my bike in front of the television and stay inside.
 
 
In punishment for being a couch potato all night, I sent myself to bed without dinner.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Collar

 
There was a slight mishap with either the new dogie door or the seat belt when Roxy jumped into my car to greet me.  We ended up in the emergency vet clinic to remove her outer most nail on her right back paw.
 
 
The collar lasted for the duration of the pain medicine and soon after she wiggled her way out. The day after she was running around as if nothing had happened.
 
 
Aside from that, Roxy seems to like the new house especially since there is more yard to run in and more squires to chase up trees. 
Baby Girl is back to her ol' self.
 
We hired a dog runner to help get her run  on. Yes, a dog runner not dog walker.  I turned into a nervouse first time mom and typed an extensive list of insturctions, dietary information, and overall exercise regime; all the while reminding myself that
Baby Girl is
... a
... dog. 
 
Did I just say that out load?  What can I say?  I love my dog.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Conquer the Coast, 2012

We rode into the sunrise together.

 Completed 70 miles around Corpus Christ Bay area.  We celebrated at the end and proudly wore our medals.
My sister suprised us on the road and snaped a quick picture and celebrated with us at end finish line.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reasons


There are many reasons why I love having Da Boyz with us. One of them is they remind me that we are each individuals.  You can see it in our feet.  
I said, “Joe, put your feet down” three times.  The third time I might have even yelled in a mad step-mother way.   Don’t judge me.  You would have done the same if you wanted your family picture to come out perfect, on the second take after a swollen eye incident.   As you can see, he did not listen.  I appreciate that he wants to be different and do something that no one else is doing.   
All this made me want to start a list of reasons why I love Da Boyz.
   There is always someone to cuddle with.
There is always someone to ride my bike with.
There is always someone to dance with.
I always have an audience to watch my next trick, whether it be throwing skittles in the air and catching them in my mouth or water skiing and wiping out. They really like the wiping out part.
They are happy with microwave pizza and I never have to cook.  Don’t judge me-again.  The closest we get to vegetables are croutons from salad. I gave up on forcing food that they don’t like.
The list goes on but I will save them for another post.  Things are pretty good here on my end.  When the roof crumbles in front of me because Da Boyz are jumping upstairs, I am reminded how blessed I am to have a new house and a family to fill it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Narcistic

Maybe I am a bit narcistic. Facebook and this blog feed my thoughts that everyone wants to know what BarbieandherBike are doing, because my life is so darn interesting [insert sarcastic laugh].

BarbieandherBike are going places. Barbieandherbike@gmail.com facebook paged moved to BarbieandRicky, of course my name is first. Barbie and her Bike blog remain the same because I continue to take my bike along on life adventures.

Deactivating my facebook page has been freeing and my time has returned. I still write one liners in my head, which sum up my day; but then I realize how ridiculous it sounds that people would actually care about how Ricky and I spend every minute of our days, and then I decide not to post.

So, I will retreat to my blog. It is my outlet and my journey, for what I want to record in my life. It can be as private or public as I choose. It is my comfort zone, the place where I am the super star of my own life.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Possum

The first time Ricky courted me at my house, Roxy growled and barked ferociously at the book shelf. I tried to coax her out of the office but she persisted.  Not sure how to explain the commotion, Ricky offered to help find a roll away ball or stray bone.

Mr. Cool calmly says: Barbie, there is a possum under the bookshelf.
Barbie says: You’re kidding? What the French toast?!?

We spent that night locating a rodent pest control that was available on a Sunday evening. 
So, it seemed only fitting that the first night in our new home, Roxy growled and barked ferociously- at a possum.  This time is was not in the house but sitting outside on the fence.
We are so happy.  We have been dancing in the halls and admiring how the house is coming along.  Da boyz will love their new room and we look forward to the chaos of da boyz  stomping up and down the stairs .
To top it off, my father gave me the piano that I practiced on when I was in the fifth grade. It is the perfect piece to complete the house.  I never said I played well but I am going to start pounding ebony and ivory with heart.  Music will make the house our home.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hotter than Hell, 2012

Communication and compromise is the key to any relationship.  Ricky started pedaling at 25 MPH.  I called out 21 MPH.  Ricky rode 23 MPH.  I suggested 19 MPH.  We went back and forth. He got mad because I was riding too slow and I got mad because he was riding too fast. At least we were on the road and we were able to ride off our frustrations.

The goal was a century ride, Ricky’s first. At mile 60 I was dizzy and had a headache.  I bonked after playing chase for sixty miles.  By mile 72, I knew that I was slowing us down too much, so I made the only acceptable deal.  I would SAG into the end and Ricky would finish riding.  I knew the wind would continue to beat me up and the best decision would be to get off the road. Seventy-two miles is still respectable and I am satisfied with the miles and the decision.
The end was filled with anticipation as I waited for Ricky to cross the finish line.  Of course, Mr. Cool finished the ride with no issue and welcomed the wind versus the heat.

We visited with CrossRoads friends to include: Larry Potter, Jim Hall, Rick Wardell, Wayne (CR 2000), and Tracy.  Rick Wardell hosted us at his home and we started the ride from his pharmacy, four blocks from the start line of the ride.  The high was 98 degrees with gust of wind up to 30 MPH.  Overall, the weekend was worth the 330 mile drive. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stupid Bee


The gas gauge in my car reads “E” when I realized it had been a month since the last time I fueled up my car. Not using much gas and helping out the environment is a plus to commuting, but the truth is that I love to ride my bike.  It feels like I am going outside to play.
Most days that is. 
Until last week, a stupid bee stung me on my left eye brow.  I was on my way home from work and two miles from the stopping point. Man, that stupid thing hurt!  How can something so small hurt so much?! I flicked the bugger from my forehead and scrapped the stinger out of my face with my nail.  Benadryl and ice held down the swelling for a day but by the weekend, my eye was swollen shut.
It was a scary feeling being able to see out of only one eye and driving myself to the emergency clinic. The most difficult for me was when I realized how vain I really am.  I could not bear the sight of seeing my face getting puffy and was afraid of what people would think when they saw me.  Da Boyz were understanding and said they would beat up any one who pointed and made fun of me. Their words of heroism made me feel foolish for being self conscious when all they saw was me. Just Barbie- as if my face was not distorted.
After the steroid shot and only after I had the appropriate amount of pouting time in, slowly the swelling went down and I started feeling back to normal. The moral of the story is, the next time you see me wearing big sunglasses inside, make sure I am not hiding my eyes.  My eyes will give me away every time.
PS: No way, no how, will I ever post a picture of what I looked like after the bee sting. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Adversity

Watching the Olympics reminds me how amazing the athletes are and what they give up in order to compete at such an elite level. You can get a glimpse of their character when they fall or when they stand on the podium.

While out riding in Iowa the largest adversity I faced was lack of sleep. As I was pushed to the breaking point each day with the 70, 80, 90 mile back-to-back days and the 5 hours a sleep a night; I am ashamed to say that my character is quite lacking. It became even more evident in the FU fight I had. Are you asking what an FU fight is, well, its goes something like, “F#$K you!”, “No, F@&K you!”, “No, F!%K YOU!”.

If you know me well, you know that it takes a lot to get me to the FU point. Lack of sleep makes me grumpy and fussy (to put it lightly). I would be totally embarrassed if that FU fight was replayed on television clips, or worse yet, if my friends did not forgive me.

Each day I am reminded on how much growing I have yet to do. Life shows us much adversity and I hope that one day my character will reflect the will power it takes to be the better person.

These past couple of days I seem to be missing Mom more. I see her in the little things, like an old bottle of Sprite that she had written her name on; and I see her in the big things like Ricky and I buying a house. I hate that she is not here to share all these moments with me and I do not think it is fair that she is not here anymore. I want her back. Not the sick weak body that she was at the end but the strong spirited women that would drag me around shopping, and I hate shopping. That is how much I miss her. I would want her back to do something that I despised doing, just to be with her again.

Sometimes I think I already have too much character and I do not need any more adversity to grow my character. Each day brings me more. More work, more training, more family, and more of life. But it is my character that I have to sleep with each night and I hope to give myself a peaceful night’s rest- eight straight hours.



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Favorites from RAGBRAI

Due to the limited Internet accessibly during the ride, I decided to go back and post a few of my favorite pictures.  These pictures highlight experiences of the ride.


Me, Tim, and Keith enjoying Iowa corn.
Mr. Sunshine starting the day.
Aari, Victor, Rama, Me, Champ, Keith, and Tim before the start of college spirit jersey day.
Iowa bathroom.
Sitting on Santa's lap, asking for a new bike for Christmas. 
Elvis lives!

Eagle pose. If your breathing your doing yoga.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

RAGBRAI

Registrar’s annual great bike ride across Iowa was a real treat.  After seven days of riding I ended up with 460 miles on the bike.  On a trip like this, it is not the miles on the bike, but the emotional endurance that you must fight through.  This trip the fight turned into sleep deprivation.  The more I tried to get to bed early the later the nights would become.  Ear plugs helped on some nights but the echo in the trailer vibrated until close to most ever other night.  Early morning wake up calls at followed by long mile days was difficult. 

RAGBRI is about the party.  You ride stop and drink. Repeat. For me, I rode to the trailer early to get out of the sun and wind with plenty of time to eat, nap, and recover.  Not much drinking for me. My routine was messed up with late nights. Over all I had a great week of riding, memories, and stories to share.
The first three night of camping, we ended up parking next to the same motor home.  The three riders hired year olds to drive the motor home and trailer around. In the trailer were two mopeds.  You have to realize that once you are in camp, you are in camp; and limited to where you can go by foot or bike.  If I learned anything from Mr. WWW, it is to procure a mode of transportation.  So when I was invited to hop on the moped for ride to the corner store, you better believe I jumped on without hesitation.  A mile down the rode I noticed I did not have a helmet on. Really, what was I doing? I have all these safety rules and there I go breaking all of them. I do have a spontaneous side that comes out every once in a while.

At the end of the week, I had no takers on the leg massage. To my best knowledge, everyone wants to stay married. It is for the best as I would not know how to respond if someone really said yes. I am all talk anyway.

A crazy idea entered my head.  Since I have already rode across America, why don’t I ride my bike across each state in the United States?  I just started with Iowa. Who knows which state will be next.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 7: 69.4 miles to Clinton

It is a travel day so the day was cut short and only rode 37 miles to the meet up town.  We still have to make our way to the shuttle and an hour drive to the airport.  I will arrive in San Antonio at this evening.  I will not be disappointed if the welcoming committee shows up with a marching band and cheerleaders.  Cowbells and horns are invited to bring me home.  It is the usual welcome for RAGBRI in every town and I have become accustomed to it.


The ride was short and sweet, with a few hills.  The usual crowd was on the road.  I did experience an Iowa bathroom (a walk in the corn stocks) but did not get to the slip and slide.  Yesterday I did enjoy a few beers on the route, to take in the spirit of RAGBRI. Anyone can ride a bike sober. 


As time allows, with a better internet connection, I will post more along with some additional thoughts and comments.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 6: 42.2 miles to Anamosa

Got to sit on Santa’s lap and asked for a bike for Christmas.  Took a picture with Elvis.  Got a tattoo.  Danced and marched on stage.  Wore a UT jersery for college spirit day.  Rode with Champ on a hilly route with a tail wind. All is good.

Enjoying RAGBRI.  



Bad connection. More laters…

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 5: 84.8 miles to Cedar Rapids

Emotionally and physically I am spent.  Grit is what is getting me through.  I wanted to walk away, and I did. Two hours and four beers later, the team talked me into staying. We came as a team and we will leave as a team.  It is not the miles but my spirit. 

Then we weathered the storm.  60 mile an hour winds picked up and we were evacuated into a barn. We had to walk away from the trailer and the bike.  Talk about scary.  Talk about another night going by without any sleep.

There are still no takers on leg massages or rubbing butt butter on me.  I think I have made about half a dozen grown men blush. I am not really sure what I would do if someone took me up on it.  But I guess you will never know if you don’t ask.

Champ and Ronnie meet me at the trailer and offered a shower in their room.  Air conditioning, a free shower, and a nice room to lounge in, it is quite wonderful. Plus a car to ride around in.  And, seeing a cross roads friend is the added bonus.

Grit got me through the day and the completion of 370 miles in 5 days.  My spirits are up and living the dream.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 4: 77.1 miles to Marshalltown

Tensions are high in the trailer and if someone does not take a chill pill, I am going to start throwing the “F” Bomb.  I am totally exhausted, my legs hurt, and I do not have enough sleep. 


There were some issues with the trailer and we moved location at 6:30 PM last night.  It moved us away from bathrooms, showers, and food.  We went from everything being walking distance to riding our bikes to get what we needed. Barbie was not a happy camper.


Yesterday evening, I suffered from a stomach bug and depleted my fuel tank; if you know what I mean.  Between that and exhaustion, I am totally pooped.  The wind was there, but not so bad.  The last 20 miles were ribbon hills. Do not ask me how many hills.  I spent more time cursing the hills and not counting them.


Would someone please call ahead to Cedar Rapids and flatten out all the roads, I would be eternally grateful.  Not that I am complaining or anything, but could I borrow a fresh set of legs? Or if someone could massage my legs, I would really like that.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 3: 81.2 miles to Webster City

The day started with a somber note with a bike rider being hit by a car. I did not witness the accident and do not know the specifics, but it is always a reminder to me to be alert and stay on my A-game.


Day three is the official RAGBRI jersey day. I am not sure why they would make a black jersey for one of the longest rides of the week. It is customary for first time riders to write “virgin” on their calf and I did not want to disappoint.


There is an optional 20 mile loop to make the ride a century day but after the wind picked up, I opted for just the 80 miles. The first 50 miles were easy and I averaged 18 MPH. Then the wind hit my face and slowed me down. The last 30 miles were a brutal fight with the wind. Any day on the bike is better than being at work.


Tonight we are staying on a fair ground. After wondering around, I found a water hose used to rinse the animals after show. I have been reduced to showering with the dogs. Sometime this evening, I will pay $6 for a real shower.

It is always fun to take inventory of my food consumption, from yesterday:

·    2 packets of oatmeal

·    banana

·    2 payday

·    peanut butter and jelly

·    6 beef jerky sticks

·    a bowl of chips and salsa

·    3 pickles

·    pasta buffet for lunch

·    pasta buffet for dinner

·    1/3 of a ½ gallon of chocolate milk

Somewhere along the route I rode with Alec (XC09) and we are planning a mini reunion on Thursday with Champ. I love being in the few that have ridden their bikes across America.

The welcome home was the best I have ever experienced. The entire town sat on the main street and said welcome as we rode in. It made the ride amazing.
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I left something off on my prayer. Dear Baby Jesus, would you talk to The Big Guy and ask him to turn the fan so the wind is on my back. If it is not too much trouble, would you ensure that we have sun and not rain. An overcast sky would be nice.


Excuse me let me take this call. My driver is calling me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 2: 62 miles to Lake View

There is something about a road leading into the distance and watching the sunrise that brings me to my heaven.  After I lathered up with butt butter and SPF 85, I put on a new pair of sock and jersey shorts, and knew it was going to be a good day.

The RAGBRI spirit is to ride to the first stop, drink.  Ride to the next stop, drink.  The day progresses with constant drink stops- and I don’t mean water or Gatorade stops.  I don’t ride fast but I powered through the day.  Yesterday’s ride made me very nervous sharing the road with inexperienced and drunk bike riders, so today I started riding at 6AM to get past all the weaving bike riders.  The plan worked and was pleased that I was not on constant alert.


The trailer situation is not so bad, after I found a pair of ear plugs.  Last night I was able to go to sleep at a respectable hour and plenty of rest. The two chaps spend their day and night chasing whiskey and women. The rest of us enjoy sitting in the AC trailer reading and sipping wine.  We started asking Tim to explain things in 10 words or less.  It is quite entertaining because his usual is 30 minutes on any given topic.


I experienced my first navy shower (a shower from a water hose) because I hate having to pay $6 for a shower stall and waiting until they open.


If you’re the praying kind… Dear Baby Jesus, please keep Barbie safe from all the drunken bike riders.  And if she plans to drink, keep Barbie safe from herself.   Please continue to place the all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinners in close proximity to her camp sight and no lines at the shower.  I pray that Barbie keeps the rubber on the road. Amen.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 1: 54 miles to Cherokee, Iowa

The MIFI connection isn’t quite what I was hoping for and the internet connection is spotty.  Yes, I know that there is like 5 posts from the previous day and will fix when I get a better connection.

Today’s ride was a different experience for me. There are thousands of riders in front and another thousand behind, that you must be alert at all times.  This is more of a party atmosphere than a bike ride but enjoying the ride most of all.


Along the way I saw my friends Kara Bunce and Dan Scott.  Also rode with Ray on the recumbent (from XC11).  I wore my ECT jersey and received many welcoming military gestures and compliments.


Going with the RAGBRI theme: You can’t say you drank all day unless you start in the morning.