Day 30: Sanderson to Langtry

Day 30: Sanderson to Langtry

i Apr 30th No Comments by

Statistics

  • Rode from Sanderson, TX to Langtry, TX – 60 miles
  • Climbed a total of 1,710’
  • Maximum elevation – 3,051’
  • Burned a total 3,072 calories
  • Total time on the bike – 5 hours and 13 minutes
  • Total time on the road – 7 hours and 15 minutes
  • Average speed 11.6 mph

Commentary

I feel revived again, I am alive again…you lift me up.
I feel revived again, I’m energized again…you lift me up.

Toby Mac

The Road Rider is back! I felt today like I usually do at the beginning of the ride. A little tired, but excited with energy to spare. I was able to “Kick it in” any time today. What was the difference? Why did it take 4 days of riding to get right?

After much analyzing, I have come to two conclusions – one little – one big. The little one is bananas. Never again will I eat a banana! I have not eaten any fruit since December. Knowing that I needed energy I picked up a banana each morning for the first 4 days. Without going into any details, I will conclude this section by saying Eddy Murphy has nothing on me when it comes to passing gas.

The big one was I really blew it in training. I did great until last week. Then I let it all go. No riding, horrible eating, and not enough sleep. I am sure the eating was the big one of the three, but the other two played their part. Jeri was out for the week watching Michael’s kids. Ross and Cole had Lacrosse and Baseball every night so we ate McDonalds. I tend to be a all or nothing person when I comes to eating. Had McDonalds for Dinner might as well have Oreo’s before I go to bed. Had Oreo’s last night might as well have Pig-n-the Blanket for breakfast. And so on. Well, I paid both mentally and physically.

Most healthy eating books recommend binging for one meal a week. A few even say for one day. Have not found any that say binge for a week. Now I know why. For anyone who reads this, it took over 300 miles on a bicycle in 4 days to burn off 5 days worth of unhealthy eating. While I cannot say that I will never do that again, I have much more respect for my body than I have in the past. (I did eat an apple today with no problems. But NO banana!

Since 1970, the annual US death toll from cancer has increasingly outpaced US population growth.

Day 29: Alpine to Sanderson

i Apr 29th No Comments by

Statistics

  • Rode from Alpine, TX to Sanderson, TX – 83 miles
  • Climbed a total of 1,432’
  • Maximum elevation – 4,237’
  • Burned a total calories 4,627
  • Total time on the bike – 6 hours and 19 minutes
  • Total time on the road – 10 hours and 0 minutes
  • Average speed 13 mph

Commentary
We are caught up! Two more days of 60 miles each and we are done. (And do not have to come back!) First 10 miles were tough – 12 mph head wind. We were moving along at 7 or 8 mph. The road eventually curved and we rode the rest of the day with the wind at our side – a little behind us. The other huge helper was we dropped almost 3,000’. For the last 40 miles we were going at a slight decline most of the way. It was still hot and we both finished tired.

It felt good today to ride today. No song kicked me in today. (Although I must say U2 “In the Name of Love” rivals Van Halen for kicken songs.) I was moving along at something over 20mph when I saw a Road Runner. It was pretty cool. He was fast – just like me. Made me think about the cartoon. Do you think a Christian wrote The Road Runner cartoon? Coyote makes an really good devil. He is always trying to get The Road Runner, but never can. We all know he is destined to fail. No matter what trap he sets up from Acme The Road Runner always gets away in the end. Seems like a good analogy to the devils final outcome.

Well, I do not know if a Christian inspired the cartoon, but I did make one conclusion during the hot-dry ride. I alluded to it above. The Road Runner I saw was fast – like me. I therefore am kind of like a Road Runner – fast. Henceforth-in biking circles I will be know as The Road Rider. I must have someone cartoon the Road Runner riding a bicycle. This will be my new logo. When I feel down and out, I will think of the cartoon and remember that the Road Runner always succeeds. If we meet on bicycles in the future, I would appreciate being addressed as The Road Rider. (Obviously not much going on in my head today. Especially not at a blistering 7mph.)

Tomorrow we ride to Langtry, TX and get picked up – no hotels. Then on Thursday we get dropped off at the same spot and finish. Supposed to be a 10-12mph SSE wind all day. We are riding SSE.

For Americans under the age of 85, cancer is the leading cause of death.

Day 28: Van Horn to Alpine

i Apr 28th No Comments by

Statistics

  • Rode from Van Horn, TX to Alpine, TX – 79 miles
  • Climbed a total of 2,044’
  • Maximum elevation – 5,119’
  • Burned a total 4,056 calories
  • Total time on the bike – 7 hours and 2 minutes
  • Total time on the road – 9 hours and 45 minutes
  • Average speed 11.3 mph

Commentary
It was cold – 33 degrees to start. My front tire was a little low – found a thorn that was still in the tire. We had to get up at 5:45am. I have too much water to haul 50 miles (first place to stop). We are a day behind. The glass is half empty.

We were safe yesterday. There is no wind today. Got a ride to the point where we turned back yesterday. I did not pull the thorn out. My new bike is working great. There has not been any rain. We found a shortcut that cuts 20 miles off the trip. Just enough to maybe get it done. The glass is half full.

Which to choose? Usually this is a no brainier for me. I am a glass is half full person, but I have just not been into the ride on this trip. I do not have the “jump” that I usually have. I seem to be dreading the miles instead of looking forward to them. On top of this, I have a huge bicycling commitment that I am planning to make on Friday. I cannot make this commitment if the glass is half empty

As usual God stepped in. Turned on my iPod and “Carry on my Wayward Son” by Kansas was first. The lyrics go, “Carry on my wayward son. There’ll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest. Don’t you cry no more.”

The second song was “Dive” by Steven Curtis Chapman. The lyrics go, “So here I go. I’m diving in. I’m going deep. In over my head I wanna be. Caught in the rush. Tossed in the flow. In over my head I wanna go. The river’s deep. The river’s wide. The river’s water is alive. So sink or swim, I’m diving in.”

Well Shit! What do I do with that? I was really in the mood to feel sorry for myself. I was all set to be a glass is half empty person. Obviously God had other plans for me. The two phrases the really caught my attention was, “Don’t you cry no more” and “So sink or swim, I’m diving in.” Guess it was time to get my head out of my butt, and get going. I still did not have the “kick” from the past. (Maybe tomorrow) But mentally I did much better today. I better continue to be a glass is half full person. Tomorrow we need to go 84 miles to completely catch up – Fantastic! (Well, I am trying.)

PS Another thought on risk. I don’t know where the line is unless I cross it. If everything is comfortable, I never know where the line is. On the other hand, when things start to get uncomfortable I know I am getting close. The trick is to set myself up to cross the line a little at a time.

3 out of 4 families will help care for a family member with cancer.

By the way, the bicycling commitment I will now be making on Friday is part of the price all the people receiving this journal will pay. They should have wished “Lemon Tree” by the Kingston Trio had come on this morning. The lyrics go “Lemon Tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is a thing one cannot eat.” This would have saved them and me big.

Day 27: Van Horn to Van Horn

i Apr 27th No Comments by

Statistics

  • Rode from Van Horn, TX to Van Horn, TX – 31 miles
  • Climbed a total of 1,214’
  • Maximum elevation – 4,105’
  • Burned a total calories 1,674
  • Total time on the bike – 2 hours and 36 minutes
  • Total time on the road – 4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Average speed mph 11.9

Commentary

“Some days are diamonds. Some days are stone.” John Denver

This was the first song that came on my iPod this morning. I should have paid more attention to it. While not a bad day (no one got hurt and no problems with the bikes), you may have noticed that we did not get very far. In fact I am sitting in exactly the same chair typing this journal as I was yesterday.

Too much wind! 36 mph coming out of the northeast. Although we rode the first 15 miles heading South, our road curved toward the east over 20 miles and we needed to ride the last 20 miles heading northeast. After 10 minutes of weighing our options, we decided to find someone to give us a ride. The lady at the Holiday Inn Express in Van Horn, TX came through. She called a towing company and Rocky came out and picked us up.

Now that we are safe and warm (temperature fell significantly last night) the decision to come back seems a little over kill. On the other hand, knowing that we had 50 miles to go into the wind with no place to stop and no water of food but what we were carrying seemed daunting. For me it was no place to get in from the weather. For Dad it was riding into the wind for 30 miles. We both may have been right (or wrong). What I do know for sure is we are safe and Jeri and Mom will be happy about that.

Risk is a funny thing. I am willing to risk riding for 80 miles with no water stops, but not when wind is added. I am willing to bicycle up a mountain at 6 mph but not down at anything over 35 mph. I am willing to take risks in my career, but it is much more difficult when other lives are involved. I want my kids to grow and I know this involves risk, but I fear for their safety and potential failure. How does our tolerance for risk evolve? Does it stay fixed or change over time?

This is what happens when you are sitting in a hotel on a Sunday afternoon when you should be starting the final climb of the day.

More than 1,500 people will die from cancer today.

Day 26: McNary to VanHorn

i Apr 26th No Comments by

Statistics

  • Rode from McNary, TX to VanHorn, TX – 67miles
  • Climbed a total of 1,965’
  • Maximum elevation – 4,669’
  • Burned a total 3,947 calories
  • Total time on the bike – 5 hours and 18 minutes
  • Total time on the road – 6 hours and 45 minutes
  • Average speed mph 12.6

Commentary
I know that most of the people who read this journal think I am crazy. When just about anyone asks me about what I do for fun, they walk away shaking their head when I tell them. As humans we generally think riding 70 miles a day is a stupid thing to do. (Tomorrow when I hit 70 miles I will still have 20 to go, I will be right in there with the rest of the human species.) Well we are not alone. There is another species that thinks this kind of fun is crazy. Cows.

As we road out of McNary, TX this morning, we went through 15 miles of farm lands that included cows. As we road by those cows would look up (Larry always yells “Hay Cows!”) and the look on their faces was nothing short of “These guys are idiots.” At one point Larry scarred 3 little ones that had wandered away from their Moms. They ran to their Mom and peeked out from behind the Mom’s legs to watch us go buy. The look from them was, “Scary but stupid.”

That was the excitement of my day. Oh, one other observation. I never knew that cows were built like a fat dragster. Their hind legs are 3-4” longer than their front legs. That was definitely it for today. The ride was good. We started out in the West Texas Desert; we had lunch in the West Texas Desert; we finished in the West Texas Desert. It was cool in the morning, nice before noon, and hot at the end. With the exception of the number of miles per day, the next 5 days should be the same.

It was great to be out on the road again. I am, however, nervous about tomorrow. I was whipped today after 70 miles and 2,000’. Tomorrow we need to go 93 miles and climb around 3,000’ – the last 50 of which has no place to get any food or water. I am a freak about water, so I am sure I will haul 5-8lbs of extra water up and over the top of the climb. I know we will make it, but it does not stop me from being nervous.

Approximately 10.5 million Americans are living with cancer. One of every two men and one of every three women will have cancer during their lifetimes.