Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I MADE IT TO MAINE - 64 miles

Today was incredible - I finally made it! It was so exciting to see the Atlantic Ocean and even better to swim in it! There is so much to say and not enough words to describe the experience - many thanks to every one of you for your love and support - it has meant the world! I had a smile from EAR to EAR all day today. The weather was calling for rain but our weather angel showed up right in time and the sun was bright, warm, and shining - we couldn't have asked for a better day. We had a police escort for the last 4 miles to the beach and were allowed to take the whole car lane - sweet! I have my bike boxed up and ready to come home in time for the Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge on Saturday! YAHOO! We have a group of about 25 of us going to dinner tonight at one of the best seaford places in Maine. I am sure the company will be great and we will all be drinking plenty of wine since we aren't riding tomorrow - I can't believe it's over! I can't wait to see everyone at home and I can't believe I actually biked all the way across the country - it hasn't totally sank in yet but I think its pretty darn great! YAHOO!

Day 51 – From Battleboro, Vermont to Manchester, New Hampshire – 87 miles

Today we arrived in our last official state of the tour, New Hampshire (though many of us are continuing onto Maine), and we were all excited as we could smell the Atlantic Ocean in the air… or was that the rain coming all afternoon? Rain rain go away, come back in just a few days! We got soaked! Today had the most difficult climbs, with some of them reading on a Garmin at between 18 and 22 percent grade – I didn’t even know my bike could make it over those grades and it hardly did J It was nice to have a challenge on the last full day on the tour. We were greeted by rain all afternoon and arrived in New Hampshire totally soaked, though our spirits were high. Many riders’ relatives and friends arrived, since we were having our last supper together. We enjoyed lots of conversation and lots of congratulations from everyone. Sue even received flowers from a good friend of hers – how sweet! And Gary had bottles of wine delivered from his winery in California – that was a special treat.

Our evening was long and we didn’t get in bed until almost 11pm! We had a special video presentation of our ride across that country that Gerard, our mechanic and tour leader and great photographer, put together. He is going to do a full DVD for us all and send it out later. It was fun to watch and think of the memories in the different parts of the country. We also were presented with funny gifts – I was given BUBBLES for my bubbly personality. We each had a chance to say a few words and there were many laughs, many thanks, and many tears. This would be our last night together and we all felt the excitement of almost accomplishing such a huge feat and also the sadness of the reality that all 40 of us will never be in the same room again together. What an experience this has been! Amazing!

Pictured to the right: Michelle and Andy, our head tour leaders - they were incredible!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 50 – From Latham, New York to Brattleboro, Vermont – 86 miles

I think Vermont might be my favorite state so far. It is absolutely beautiful! We had some hill climbing today as we went over the Green Mountains – the climbing wasn’t hard at all and was a welcome joy for me – I really like climbing, especially since you get to see such beauty usually when you are climbing. The mountains surrounding us were very green! All the towns we went through were cute and quaint and very touristy. It was also sooo humid out today - I was soaking wet all day from it - intense! We also passed the AT (Appalachian Trail) and that brought back some great memories.

At the first sag stop, Skip waited for me and we road together with Don to the Vermont State Border and then into the town of Old Bennington. We were greeted by what I call the “Dr. Seuss House” – super cool, huh? We went off the route and through the town of Old Bennington – it’s a cute town with a really large monument that would have been worth going up in if the day was clear. There are also many covered bridges and so we went and saw one (photo on the right is of me INSIDE the covered bridge). Old Bennington is rumored to have the most expensive college in the USA at over $68,000 per year – and that’s only undergrad! Wowzers!

Don rode quickly up the mountains and Skip stayed back with me… I love to climb but I am not that fast. We had ice cream cones in the town of Wilmington, another cute touristy town. At least I was able to find some postcards in these towns – it hasn’t been so easy along the route – I think people don’t really send postcards much anymore! So much for that idea of sending a postcard to my niece at every stop – I have searched and scouted out as many as possible… I am sure in another 40 years people might not even know what a postcard is… hahaha!

We entered the town of Brattleboro and went over a bridge to see the Connecticut River… and we ended up entering New Hampshire! Three states in one day… started in New York, rode through Vermont, and rode into New Hampshire. I didn’t realize New Hampshire was quite so close… I know we ride into it at some point tomorrow but I think we ride a bit north before going into our last state. I do plan to continue on an extra few miles to also hit Maine but our official stopping point is Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

That’s about it today – just amazing beauty, amazing mountains, and amazing company – Skip is always great company! This trip is so fun that I find myself slowing down and wanting to take in as much of it as I can before its over.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Day 49 – From Little Falls, NY to Lathem, New York – 79 miles

Today was so great! We followed a river all day long and even spent over 30 miles on a bike trail along the river – I couldn’t take enough photos of the beauty! It was sooo nice to be away from traffic and have the serenity of just nature surrounding me – we went by a few Locks and it was cool to see them. We also went through Amish country again - didn’t see as many Amish but a few and signs for them on the road.

Oh and good news – my butt is sooo much better – the key was Neosporin! I put on Neosporin last night and it almost healed everything overnight. I felt no discomfort today, though I am still trying to heal the sores completely. My cough is still there occasionally and sounds pretty bad when I cough but my sore throat is gone and I think the cough is actually getting better. I feel better able to breathe. All and all – I am on the mend and doing well. I have the Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge Century about 3 days after I get home so I want to be well and able to do it!

Also, everyone enjoys anything comfy on their butt after a long ride – see John’s photo of sitting on a nice thick pillow while waiting for route rap – AHH!! Couldn’t have captured the moment better – nice!

There is much talk of the last few days and a countdown going on. Though its natural to discuss our plans for the end, it still saddens me to hear about the end coming so soon. This trip has gone by so fast! I wish I could just hold onto every moment and enjoy every moment because it will be gone so quick. I am glad so many of you have enjoyed reading my blog - also, thanks for all the advice and comments you have put up - it has been so motivating for me!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 48 – From Liverpool, New York to Little Falls, New York – 79 miles

What a humid day! I think I was sweating even when I was off the bike. So, my angel today was LANACANE – it numbs you and allows you to keep riding when your raw butt isn’t too happy with it. I made it through most of the day without too much pain but the last 30 minutes, I stood up much of the way and sometimes even rode sideways on my seat. I finally got my IPOD stereo system working so I was able to have some good tunes to listen to as I cycled along. I also enjoyed a lot of time in the silence, since it nice not to always have noise. I even listened and did a meditation on the bike… very nice.

The route today was mostly flat and felt like it went pretty quick. We passed by many creeks and often ran into the Erie Canal Trail. We even passed by the smallest chapel in the world – it only has room for 2 people – I didn’t get a chance to go in cause its on a swampy pond but got a photo with it! I had lunch at Subway with Kip and Danny. I got into the hotel before 2pm and got out of my bike shorts ASAP and took a shower and put desitin on my booda! I think I am going to try Neosporin tonight – Lanacane, Desitin, and Neosporin – one of these products should work! My throat doesn’t hurt as much and I think the congestion in my chest is clearing up! Good news all around J

I enjoyed a peaceful afternoon and we all did laundry or hung out and had a beer (or two or three... depending on who you are!). I left a message for my nephew, Ricardo Luke, today since it’s his birthday – I didn’t get to talk to the birthday boy but I hear he is having a swim party – how fun! I am sad to miss out on his 2nd b-day but I am sure they are all celebrating well!

Tonight we have social hour with free drinks at 5pm – yippee! That is always fun. I was actually talking to Sue today about how I have really mixed feelings about the trip ending. Of course, I will love to see everyone at home but I will also really miss this trip, the people, and this life of riding. I have gotten really use to this routine – I feel sad and happy thinking about the change – life will be so different when I get home.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 47 - From Canandaigua, NY to Liverpool, NY – 101 miles

Today was a beautiful day – we rode along more of the finger lakes of Lake Erie and I even got off and rode some of the bike paths directly along the river. They were beautiful! We had some rain mid-day and I was riding with Skip, so we waited out the rain where we saw other cyclists waiting out the rain near a store. The cyclists were two couples from Utah who were biking the Erie Canal trail – so we talked with them for 30 minutes and let the rain blow over and then we were off again – totally dry!

We went through some historical markers today – the town of Waterloo, which is the Birthplace of Memorial Day, and the town of Seneca Falls, which is the birthplace of Women’s Rights. I looked for a falls in Seneca Falls but despite all the signs to one, no falls was found. We also rode by the Erie Canal Trail and Skip and I rode on it for about 1/2 mile but it wasn't too well paved so we turned around and got back on the route. We rode into the town of Liverpool and Skip and I got off the main path to join up with a bike path along the lake. It was definitely the place to be – with lots of kids, lots of runners, walkers, rollerbladers, bikers, and people just enjoying a relaxing day by the lake. We ended up winning two t-shirts by spinning a wheel that a local country music station was hosting and we had a great lunch by the lake. We also met some kids riding an interesting bike that they rented there – it was like an octopus – Skip joined in on the fun and I took the photos! Very neat.

I continued on to the bike shop to buy what I needed for my water holder so that I can use the new IPOD speaker system. The people at the bike shop were really nice. On my way there, I was noticing some pain on my butt – never had a saddle sore but now I know what one is – OUCH! So, today will be my last century (most likely). I rode an extra 32 miles today (we were suppose to only do 69 miles) in order to get in a century and do some exploring around. However, I need to lay off my butt for awhile so no extra miles for me – I hope it heals it hurts to sit or walk or anything. I am using the diaper cream that my mom sent for my b-day – thanks mom – it came in handy! I hope it feels better tomorrow than it did at the end of the ride today – cause it HURT!

I am also still getting sick – the congestion in my chest is worse and its hard to breathe going up the hills. I feel almost asthmatic. I had lots of tea at dinner tonight and continue to drink lots and am talking some Tylenol for congestion and sinus pain. Despite the sickness and sores on the butt, I am having a great time and am soaking up every minute. I can’t believe this will be over in less than a week – I want to get the most out of it that I can while I am here – life is soooo good!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 46 From Hamburg, New York to Canandaigua, New York – 100 miles

Today was definitely interesting. We started out the day getting lost due to road work but finally made it back on the right route. About 10 miles into the ride, we stopped at a Bicycle Museum, which was sooo interesting! It included about an hour tour and, as with many museums, there was so much information that it was hard to absorb it all. However, it was very informative about the invention of the bicycle. Due to this detour, we ended up just missing the large rain downpours which some of our faster riders or those who didn’t go to the museum got in. I had my camera in a plastic bag for the rest of the day since the rain seemed like it would eventually pour . . . but no rain for me today (some of the riders actually got caught in a hailstorm… wowzers… all within a days ride!). The forecast was for sunny skies so this was quite a surprise to all of us.

Anyway, it’s funny that Lawrence commented about getting sick due to swimming in Lake Erie, since my throat hasn’t felt so great and I feel a little congested. I ended up getting some medicine this afternoon that should help.

Just for those of you who care, like me, this is my 6th century in 7 days – YAHOO! On another note, in order to make some extra miles today, I rode along the lake here in Canandaigua. The lake is one of many Finger Lakes of Lake Erie. I counted 12 Finger Lakes on the map. It is absolutely beautiful here – definitely a lake town. I noticed that every town we have gone through in PA and NY have ice cream shops in the towns, even when there is nothing else… umm.. Interesting! Ice cream must be big here.

Another random thing, I am excited to use my new ipod speakers for my bike but haven't been able to figure it out yet - found out that I need something different for my water bottle cages so I got directions to a cycle shop and Syracuse for tomorrow and will pick it up when I get there and then I will have a stereo system on my bike - sweet! Thanks mom :)

Day 45 – From Erie, Pennsylvania to Hamburg, New York – 103 miles

The ride today was along Lake Erie most of the way – it was really pretty with vineyards everywhere. I really felt like I was at home. Lake Erie looks like an ocean when you look out – you can’t see land. I spoke with some locals at a marina that we stopped at and they said that the border control comes through there a lot and they aren’t allowed to allow any Canadians off at their port. They said ever since 911 the USA has gotten really strict because supposedly the 911 attackers came from over the border of Canada. The border between the USA and Canada is in the middle of Lake Erie... That’s so neat! The locals also said there were many sightings of bald eagles in the direction we were going – so I was on the lookout… but never saw one.

Anyway, I passed through another state and now am in New York – only two more states to go! I can’t believe it. I feel like soaking up all I can because it’s going to be over so soon! I am having the best time.

Today was incredible! The route sheet was only an 81 miler but I decided to do some exploring and finished at 103. I had sooo much fun – it reminded me of being at home and exploring with Annie or Claire… I enjoyed it so much. Danny joined me, which was great, because it is much more fun to explore with someone else. We took side trips through some towns, through parks, and ultimately found our way to the beach of Lake Erie and I just had to jump in! The beach was closed but I used the line “but I biked all the way from San Francisco JUST to swim in Lake Erie and you are telling me that the beach is closed to swimming?” I got a lot of “NO WAY – so cool dude…” hahaha… it was a blast. Danny and I even got our photo taken by two EMTs who were quite impressed with the accomplishment of making it to NY from CA… I guess it is pretty cool. Anyway, I did end up being able to swim in Lake Erie… it is quite warm actually… I was expected a cold rush of water but it was really nice and warm… like a lukewarm bath – it was awesome. We survived our way through the crowded streets with lots of traffic back to the hotel and we were dry by the time we got there! We tried to take side streets that were residential but they were all dead end streets… so much for that!

Anyway, our adventure day lasted until 5pm and then I had to do laundry since I am all out of biking clothes… the closest laundry mat was 4 miles away so I got a quick shower, got a taxi, and had my clothes back and dinner was near the laundromat so I walked over there afterwards. I made it just as the vans were pulling up to drop off the other riders. It was quite a whirlwind day. I got home from dinner at a Chinese Buffet – not my favorite at all – at 8pm and then went straight to bed. I was totally exhausted – in a great way! Life is sooo good J

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 44 – Rest Day in Erie, PA – Spent at Niagara Falls – On my Birthday!

Well, I am not sure how to even put my day into words – it was the best birthday ever! A group of 4 other riders (Skip, Don, Pete, and Hetty) and I all rented a car and drove to Niagara Falls for the day – I know now why it is one of the seven wonders of the world – it was spectacular! I still can’t believe a place like that exists in the world! It is an entire lake going over a cliff... wowzers!

We left Erie about 7:30am and arrived in Niagara around 9:30am. We bought the National Park pass, which allowed us to see all the attractions – we started by walking around the park and looking at the falls… we went over the American Falls and then Bridal Veil falls… then we went and got outfitted to see the Cave of the Winds… they gave us ponchos, baggies for our stuff, and rain shoes (see photo of me like a duck!) to go down near the American falls and you could feel the intense power of the falls and got soaked on Hurricane Bridge – it was awesome! We also went up on the observation tower to overlook the falls and then went to my favorite attraction, the Maid of the Mist. For this one, you get ponchos, again, but this time they are blue (my favorite color) and get in a boat which takes you right up to the Horseshoe Falls (there are three falls… American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls… with the Horseshoe Falls being the most powerful of all three of them). While being under the falls on the boat, you could feel intense majesty of them… it was absolutely incredible! All the looking over the falls was great but actually going up to them by boat was indescribable – I don’t know how any birthday will ever top this one – fantastic! I just smile thinking about it. I was in awe!

After the Maid of the Mist, we went to see a video about Niagara Falls and its history. It was done by IMAX and was also amazing. Did you know that there was a 63 year old woman who went over the falls in a barrel and lived? And there was a 7 year old boy who went over the falls and lived! Amazing… the video went through the myths and legends of the falls… it was interesting to watch. We toped the day off with some drinks and dinner along the Bay of Lake Erie. It was relaxing and very nice.

I arrived at the hotel and received an unexpected birthday card from Sister Mary Audrey and Sister Denise – beautiful – THANK YOU!!! J It made me smile. I also received a package from my mom and dad – an IPOD water bottle speaker for cycling – SWEET! I was sooo excited and could hardly get to bed last while I was trying to set it up for the ride today – YAHOO! THANK YOU!!! I was also expected a forwarded package from Chillicothe, Missouri from Sarah and they said they sent it but I didn’t receive it – so I’ll have to forward it from Erie to the end… .Bummer… cause I hear there are great CDs in there! I’ll keep tracking it Sarah – thanks for your birthday song yesterday. And thank you to everyone for the cards, well wishes, text messages, phone messages, etc… it was great to hear from so many of you!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 43 - From Youngstown, Ohio to Erie, Pennsylvania - 104 miles

Today was quite an eventful day! I started with
an hour in the morning waking up at Starbucks across the street from our hotel. This was very exciting to me because this is one of the few Starbucks that have been in walking distance from our hotel on this trip and often there isn’t even a Starbucks in the town we are staying in or any towns nearby. I got two Starbucks cards to use on my trip – thanks Annie and Mom – and have hardl
y used them – so I enjoyed a nice warm cup of tea this morning as I read my book before everyone else woke up and had breakfast at 6:30am. I also read the weather which predicted thunderstorms throughout the day – lovely!

Well we didn’t have thunderstorms but we did have some major rain downpour for many many miles. In the middle of the rain, my front wheel broke a spoke and the rim cracked – that is two awful wheels I had on my bike – so I was in the pouring rain and couldn’t go anywhere. I called the sag wagon and luckily they were only a few miles away and drove me to the first sag stop to exchange my wheel for another loaner – I was really upset and sobbing about it, but my tour leaders made it not so bad and had me out on my bike right away. I rode back to where I got sagged so that I could make up those miles and to make it an even 100 miler day since it was only an extra 3 miles I had to go back and the day needed exactly 3 more miles to make it 100 miles – so it was perfect! However, I got lost and ended up adding an extra 4 miles to the 100 – so that was a longer day than I expected but I felt great the whole day and could have kept riding! I even considered, just briefly, of doing the 15 mile loop around Lake Erie – just a fleeting thought.

We passed through another state and the sun came out the rest of the day – we are now in Pennsylva
nia and will be having a rest day here, on my birthday! I didn’t get a photo of me and the state sign but Richard did and will be emailing it to me so that I can post it :) My camera was having trouble due to the rain but it started to work again this evening so I got some great photos of my lovely birthday cake that was at dinner tonight. No one knew who sent me the birthday cake and it was even in my favorite color – blue! :) We were all so eager to eat it that I forgot to take a photo of it before I cut it. It tasted great and later I found out my mom arranged to have it delivered – thanks MOM! It was perfect that we had it a day early because tomorrow we will be gone all day at Niagara Falls – yahoo! I have so much energy that I even think I’ll run tomorrow morning… life is so good :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Day 42 – From Wooster, Ohio to Youngstown, Ohio – 102.5 miles

Today was another great day – Ohio is truly very beautiful… I have been surprised with how pretty it is and I am really enjoying it. We had many hills that I really enjoyed – there were also periods without any hills so it balanced out. The ride today was only 95 miles but I decided to add a few miles to make it a century… one more century to go and then I’ll have done 4 in a row… it’s fun. It gives me something to focus on as the days pass by and I am enjoying that. I rode today with Danny most of the day and a few others here and there. I had a good time. When we got into town, we went to Walmart and then to an ice cream shop for our extra miles (and went over 100 miles… oh well…). Anyway, I met a local couple there who said that this town is basically in existence because of General Motors and some other company that I forget the name of… anyway, I always find it interesting what people do in certain towns. It is kinda crappy town, in my opinion, or at least the roads are the worst I’ve seen yet! Horrible… why don’t they maintain their roads I wonder? They are really bad and often there was no shoulder and we couldn’t ride far enough to the right because there were potholes all over the place… kinda dangerous actually. But we all made it here alive.

We had great weather again today – I guess I can say for sure that our weather angel has been with us – it was a little hotter today but not too hot – super nice.

I have been enjoying the end of the ride and it’s exciting that we are getting close to the end. Oh and I met a couple with a new puppy who was sooo cute – it made my day to get to hold the puppy and eat ice cream – life doesn’t get better than that!

Another great thing is that Charlie, who rode with us from San Francisco to Salt Lake City, Utah is joining us for dinner tonight with his wife, Joyce. They live only 30 miles from here! It is great to see him… Charlie is such a fun guy :)

Thanks to everyone who has been commenting… it is so good to here from you all!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Day 41 – Marysville, Ohio to Wooster, Ohio – 104 miles

Today was another fantastic day – the weather was perfect… not too hot, not too humid – ideal! I rode all day by myself and had a great time! Ohio is an interesting state – there is a lot of agriculture, such as soy beans, corn, and wheat and yet it is absolutely beautiful… instead of being flat, like Kansas, it is rolling with lots of trees and wooded areas surrounding the farms. There are also lots of creeks and small ponds by the homes. There are homes everywhere – they are all well maintained and beautifully landscaped. There are lots of large lawns that all are nicely mowed – they keep them up great – thus I counted about 10 people mowing there lawns today as I rode by. People seem to take pride in having a beautiful home, garden, and surrounding area. Today there were many signs for different outdoor camps off the road – Ohio seems like a great place for outdoorsy adventure type camps.

We ended up having some major hills today, which I really enjoyed. I love the variety and change in scenery as we go through different states and areas. Its so fun.

I do have to borrow a wheel for the rest of my trip because my crappy wheel isn’t gonna work anymore and the bike shop wont replace it until they see it to make sure that I didn’t do anything myself to crack it… oh that would have been a brilliant idea… annoying… anyway, at least our tour leaders have extra wheels for me to borrow until the end of the trip and then I can deal with the bike shop when I get back.

Bob, who got injured awhile back, lives in Wooster, Ohio and joined us for the afternoon and dinner this evening with his wife. It was great to see him! He seems to be doing well but isn’t able to cycle yet – he is still healing up! It was obviously hard for him to not be with us on the trip but I am just happy that he is healing and safe – that is the most important thing!

So, we have now done 2 centuries in a row and the next two days are close to centuries so I am going to ride the extra 5-8 miles in order to have 4 centuries in a row. I also had the BRILLIANT idea of maybe doing an entire week of centuries on our last week of riding but that didn’t go over as well with other riders – especially since we are going through the mountains in Vermont and New York… well, it was just an idea… maybe the mountains won’t be soo bad??? We’ll see!! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day 40 – From Richmond, Indiana to Marysville, Ohio – 106 miles

First of all - I am off on my days - today is day 40 but I am off by a day somehow... I'll figure out how at some point .. but for now...Today was a fantastic day – I hardly even noticed that we did over 100 miles. We crossed into yet another state… we are passing states left and right.. yahoo! We are now in Ohio. I tried to do a headstand at the Ohio sign with Skip but it turned out really bad… so, I decided to put show you my decent photo!

The weather today was very pleasant – in the 70s and not very humid at all. I rode along at a comfortable pace by myself for awhile and then caught up with a large group at the Ohio stateline. I decided to ride back a bit since the large riding groups aren’t my favorite – around 3-4 other people is good… beyond that I feel like its too chaotic to ride in. I ended up meeting up at a bathroom break with Tom, Sue, and Dan and rode with them until I heard a funny sound on my bike… not sure what it was.. I thought I had a flat… but in fact, my back tire wouldn’t move or go anywhere. Sarge was riding by and helped me out but we just learned that I had broken a spoke. So much for that! I called the Sag Wagon and the mechanic, Gerard, came and brought me a spare wheel to ride on until we fix my wheel tonight at mechanics hour. I arrived at the first sag stop significantly behind everyone but Dan was still there talking to his grandfather, who was sagging today. Dan and I rode the rest of the way together… which was very nice. It was Dan’s first century… he joined the trip with his grandfather in St. Joseph, Missouri and this was the first time I had really spoken with him. He is going to be a senior in high school so we talked about his college choices, etc… it was nice to get to know him a bit. He did excellent on his first century – no complaints – like a pro!

We did met up with the other riders at a bakery/lunch stop in St. Helena, Ohio – it was nice to have lunch and catch up with the other riders. We also met the mayor of this town (pictured we me on the right) – his wife owns the shop and he says they do well there. The town is mainly a bedroom community where the residents live but work farther away in the main cities of Ohio. We passed by a lot of homes today and some small towns… we continue to have many cornfields and I even saw some wheat for the first time today. I rode with the other few riders until the second sag stop and spent too long there so Dan and I rode the rest of the way in … Marysville is a nice town so far.

I found out at mechanics hour that my relatively new Specialized tire got a crack in the rim… no more riding that tire for me! Major Bummer! Gerard, our mechanic, is going to let me borrow a wheel while I finish out my ride and then I can return the wheel to Spokeman in Santa Cruz and hopefully it will be covered by my warranty – so that all worked out.
I met a local guy who did the ride with Michelle, our tour leader, and he took George and I to a bike shop about 15 miles down the road… I looked for shorts but they didn’t have what I wanted. He also drove us to dinner and I enjoy a nice dinner talking with him… he has lived here for quite a long time, almost since boyhood, and had a lot of good riding stories too. You never know what a day will hold… so great!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day 39 - From Indianapolis, Indiana to Richmond, Indiana - 85 miles

Today was fantastic, incredible, amazing... and, uh, exciting! We enjoyed leaving Indianapolis with Skip as our guide since he grew up there until he went to college... he gave us a tour of the houses he grew up in and got us off the main traffic infested route 40. We enjoyed a relatively flat ride with a tailwind - spectacular! I rode part of the day alone and part of the day with Skip. It was exciting because we got to ride through so many towns... the towns are all close together... so thats really nice. We decided to take a detour route through Richmond and enjoyed seeing their beautiful park that had a golf course, a rose garden, and just a windy, beautiful road through.
We met some great local people along the way and were welcomed by the people of Indiana - including Amy, who was at our sag stop at the post office in Dunreith - hello Amy!

Once we arrived at the Holiday Inn in Richmond, Skip and I still had plenty of energy so we went to explore the town of Richmond and to visit the rose garden (oh not so great.. the rose beds need to be adopted!) We talked with some locals and visited the local natural spring with we filled up our water bottles and many people from the town came to get water. We enjoyed seeing the fireman spraying the local kids with the fire hose - I told them they belonged in California where their efforts are needed! We had a great time. We get free access to a local gym so Skip and I are going to take a yoga class there tonight. My favorite thing is to go and explore a new town and so today was sooo much fun! We took funny photos and had a good ole time and rode about an extra 12 miles... nice nice :)