Sunday, August 14, 2011


This week at work something happened.  Nothing monumental.  This "something" happens four times a year.  Not sure why this time was so impactful but it kind of made me a little depressed.  What was it?

The office network told me my password was going to expire in 13 days.  You are probably all thinking, "that's it? his password is expiring?"  Yep, that's it.  Normally, all it means is I haven't changed my PW in 90 days and now I will have to create a new one which I hope not to forget for the next few days.

This time it is different.  This PW reset is special, unique.   It means we have been home from POP's Ride for 90 days....three months.  This made me question what have I accomplished in the last three months.  At first I would say not much.  I have no motivation.  I have no desire.  I have no drive.  I feel as though I am going through the motions - get up, go to work, maybe go hiking, go see a movie, eat and sleep.  These all seem so insignificant so without purpose.

There were two high points of the last three months - my sister got married and Shannon and I rode in the Colorado Copper Triangle.  Tracy, Joshua, Julia and Jillian - welcome to the family.  We all look forward to many fun times and good laughs in the future.

The Copper Triangle was....well....a challenge.  They may want to change the name to the Copper Triangle Challenge - 78 miles, 5,800 feet of elevation gain and 3,000 of your closest PD friends.  Good Times.  Shannon and I were honored to meet Lauren, Ally and Cindy our friends at DPF.  They have been very supportive of us throughout Our Ride and we appreciate all of their encouragement.

Back to the 90 day thing, I feel as though we should have accomplished more or should be further along in planning our next crazy idea.  I do not like waiting to learn what we will do next.  I want to know now.  Patience may be a Dad's PD is not granting us the luxury to be patient.

Shannon has started to plan what we hope will be the annual, Phoenix ride.  Me, I have made a few contacts on my idea of selling burritos to 50,000 race fans.  I also have an idea for the next cross country ride.  Maybe it will happen in 2013 if I can secure enough vacation time.

Until the next update - Pray for those with PD and their caregivers.  Pray for the amazing research that is happening - you wouldn't believe some of what they have found.  Pray for those who were a part of Our Ride - that the experience was life changing and that they don't let the change just fade.

POP's Ride will continue.........

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ride Statistics

As you can imagine, Shannon, Kyle and I have been asked a lot of questions about The Ride.  There are the basics - Was it what you expected?  Would you do it again?  Did your butt hurt?  What did you think about all that time?  Anything you would do different?  What is your best memory?  What was your worst moment?  What was most unexpected?  What most disappointed you?  The questions go on and on and all are good and some are very difficult to answer.  Keep asking us about The Ride as it makes us think and remember all of the good times and amazing things that happened.

Here are some statistics only an accountant would probably track:
  • Fuel (gas and diesel) used:  1,276 gallons
  • Packages of Oreo's, various flavors:  15
  • Bags of Ice:  85
  • Jars of Peanut Butter:  3 Large
  • Loaves of Bread:  about 20
  • Gatorade/Pho-ade:  3 1/2 Large Containers
  • Bike Accidents:  3 - Shannon rear ended Kyle on Day 1, Kyle caught a wheel on Day 8 and Shane caught a wheel on Day 42.  These are the only times Riders and Bikes hit pavement.
  • Flat Tires:  21 - Bikes 20, Flex 1
  • Total Miles Traveled:  Approximately 20,000 - Total of all miles traveled by bike, RV and Flex
  • # of Ride Days:  33
  • Estimated # of Hours on the Bike for SKS:  843 - assuming about 9 hours per day. 
  • # of Rest Days:  9, We rode about 30 miles on a scheduled rest day so it became a ride day.  This was the only time we did not complete the planned miles per our schedule.
  • # of Relay Days:  1, May 18.  The wind was incredible so we made the smart decision and each rode 20 miles....except for The Cannon who rode 40 (20 miles solo and 20 miles as rider support). 
  • # of Unscheduled, Individual Rider Rest Days:  4 - We knew this could happen but it didn't make the days off, or the decision to take the days off, any easier.  Looking back, we know we made the right decisions.
  • Unexpected Signs of Support:  2 - Lockhart, TX and El Paso, TX.  Seriously, there were signs (and people) cheering us on.  Way Cool!!!!!!
  • Road Kill Count:  We stopped counting.  Unfortunately, we couldn't stop smelling.
  • Total # of Riders who joined us (Shannon, Kyle & Shane) along the route:  22 - Yes, this includes the likes of Dad, Mom, Kerri, Kurt, Carl, Cole, Isaac, Casey, Jake, Keith, Kyle #2, Jordan, Justin, Jordan A, Theresa and a few others.
  • Pictures Taken:  A Lot
  • Jars of Assos Chamois Cream:  6.  Some of this cream disappered in the middle of two Knights.
  • # of People who helped on The Ride:  11 scheduled, 5 unscheduled but much appreciated!
  • # of People on Planning Team:  9, excluding riders
  • # of People Benefited:  Countless
Thank you for supporting Our Ride.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Ride - Back to Phoenix......and Beyond

Well, we have been back on Phoenix a week and life is getting back to "normal".  Not sure that is a good thing and definitely not something I want.  More on that later.

The Ride Back To Phoenix
After breakfast at Ricky's in San Diego - I do recommend eating there next time you are in San Diego.  It is on Hotel Circle by the Comfort Inn.  Whenever you have 20 or so people for breakfast, it should be fun.  Then we headed back to the hotel to load while Dad, Shannon, Cole and Kurt's Crew headed to Sea World for the Day.

Thanks to Jerry for driving the Mother Ship home and Melinda for driving the Flex home.  As a result, I was able to sit in the passenger seat of the Ship and doze in and out for about six hours.

I have spent the last week unloading, cleaning and reloading the Ship.  We have also been trying to clean up the garage and the inside of the house....both are a disaster.  It is almost like moving into a new house with boxes and stuff everywhere and not quite sure where to put everything. 

What's Next?
I have been asked this question a lot lately.  What I want and what the Big Guy has planned are probably two different things.  I want Kyle, Shannon and I to get invited to Letterman so we can tell our story and draw grassroots attention to PD.  I want a job dedicated to raising money for PD and spreading the word about how to live a great life with PD.  I want....something more productive than working for "the man" who shows very little appreciation for my contribution to his increased wealth or what is important to me.  I know these may be career limiting statements but they are the truth.  The Man says we are to have courage - well, there you go - COURAGE. 

Do Shannon and I have plans for the next adventure?  Not yet but we have talked and have some ideas.  Some are probably larger dreams than riding across the country but hey, I never thought that would have happened two years ago.  Shannon, Kyle and Shane (SKS) have talked about riding motorcycles coast to coast.  Anyone know someone at CAN-AM that can help make that a reality?  We would also need some help with paid vacation time but I have faith if it is meant to be, we will be riding motorcycles before 2015. 

I believe a great fundraising opportunity is breakfast at PIR for the next NASCAR race.  Anyone in for helping make this dream a reality?

What I Learned
I learned I have an incredibly large number of amazing friends and family.  People who are willing to make time in their lives for my crazy ideas and dreams.  People who want nothing in return but to be involved.  Not sure why I have been blessed with all of these incredible people in my life as I'm pretty sure I have not earned it.  To everyone who helped plan, volunteer, support, pray and make Our Ride a reality and Success - Thank You.  Our Ride - includes You!  A special thanks to Sarah Worley and Leesa Ames for the support they provided their husbands and Team POP's.  We would not have been successful without your support of Kyle and Carl.  Also, Thanks to Mom and Dad.  Your dedication to your children's dreams is incredible and life would have been much harder without your support.

I learned my Dad's disease has impacted me in ways I didn't realize.  I have been expecting my Dad to function as he did 30 years ago.  Be sharp as a tack.  Have quick answers to my questions.  Help me solve problems around the house quickly and without hesitation.  I expect him to remember what we talked about yesterday.  Unfortunately, these expectations are not reasonable.  Parkinson's and age are responsible for the decline in his abilities.  My expectations (or needs) have resulted in me not always treating Dad with respect.  For this, I apologize.  I will adjust my expectations to be more reasonable.

I learned there are still a lot of good people in the United States.  People who are willing to support people they do not know who are taking on crazy adventures.  From the Shell Station Clerk in San Diego who provided free coffee to the owner of a B&B in Burton, TX who didn't charge us to stay at his place, to pastor's of churches willing to lend us their suburban or cook us meals in their own homes.  Incredible experiences we will not soon forget.

I have learned my heart is not in a successful career - as defined by the world.  It is in making the world a better place.  Not sure exactly what this means as far as my future my I pray for the wisdom to recognize the opportunities and the patience to wait for them.

Yes, I have struggled some getting back into the swing of things.  My mind is still on the bike somewhere else in the U.S. wondering what else we can do to bring more attention to PD and help make those impacted with it have a better life.

In August, SKS have been invited to ride in the Colorado Copper Triangle where we will help spread the word about PD and Davis Phinney's Foundation.  Yep, we travel as a party of three riders - three friends.

Stay tuned to find out what is in store next for Team POP's.  All I know, is Our Ride isn't over.  We are just waiting to see what the next route will be.

Until then - Ride Safe, Ride Smart and Ride with Passion.

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 21 - The Final Ride Day

I cannot believe it is here already....our Final day. Today, at noon, we will be in San Diego on the beach. Incredible.

One last time, Karen and Jim made us breakfast and the whole crew was there and we had a good time. At 8 AM, the riders were all on their bikes and Dad prayed for us - just as he has done every day he was with us. He also gave every rider a hug. Except for the one week Dad was in Phoenix, we never started a day without him praying and getting a hug. Nice.

The Riders were - Kyle, Shannon, Shane, Kurt, Kerri and Jordan Ames. Jordan rode the last day as Carl was not allowed to ride, per the Dr. It was great to have Jordan along. We talked about our Dad's and their symptoms.

We started the day with a tour of Alpine and then a roll down a long hill with a lot of road construction. Kerri wasn't comfortable with the downhills so she rode in the Flex with Sarah, Rachel and Carl until we were about 10 miles from the end. We all agreed at the beginning, you don't ride on any road unless you are comfortable with the conditions. Better safe than sorry.

We continued our tour of the small towns leading us to the beach. We rode through some nice neighborhoods off the normal tourist path. We had one big hill which gave everyone a good morning workout.

At 10 miles from the end, Shannon and Mom got on the tandem, Dad got on Shannon's bike, and Kerri got back on the bike and two fellow Vons employees - Rex and Dan. The final 10 miles were a little more challenging than the first 25ish. We were now riding on busier roads and we had Mom and Dad on bikes. A lot more focus and caution was required.

I rode in the back and kept on the lookout for hazards and traffic so Dad could enjoy the ride and experience. All was going well until about 7 miles from the finish. The road had a lot of cracks in the shoulder and I was not focusing on my own path as much as I should have been.  My front wheel went into a crack and I was going down.  I grabbed at a pole to slow my descent but that didn’t stop me.  I broke the mount on my GPS, bent my shift levers in a little and bent my front wheel out of true a little.  I shook this off, checked the bike to make sure it would still roll and then headed in.

At about one mile from the finish, Carl surprised us all by riding his three wheeler in with us.  He had a couple of different horns on his bike and one of them scared a couple of female joggers pretty good.  They jumped and we all laughed.

About two blocks from the end, Cole, Isaac and Nathaniel joined the crew and rode with us onto the beach where we were greeted by about 25ish family and friends.  Good Times.  We had done it - ridden 3,100 miles without injury or accident.  Awesome.

After hugs and congratulator high fives we walked our bikes to the shore and dipped our front wheels in the Pacific.  Success.  Carl, Cole and Isaac also dipped their wheels.  In fact, Carl rode his bike into the water.

More pictures, hugs and tears. 

A group from Vons was there holding a sign to welcome us to San Diego.  Pretty humbling to have co-workers you have never met leave work to welcome you to their town and celebrate success with you and your friends and family.  Thanks to all of you for being there to welcome and offer your congratulations.  Very cool and much appreciated.

After about 30 minutes, the video crew hired by Safeway interviewed me and Dad.  Then Shannon, Kyle and I got on our bikes and they shot some footage of us riding around San Diego.  We upset a lot of drivers and the video crew didn’t seem bothered by all of the honking, comments and wild driving but those of us on the bikes were a tad nervous.  All ended well and we arrived back at the Mother Ship ok, hungry and ready for a shower.

We learned the place where we were to have our party that night did not allow anyone under 21 in and the party had been moved to the house where Keith and Doris Barr were staying.  Rachel and Mona went to the Vons store for food while we went to clean up.

The change of venue was a blessing.  The house was incredible and the food was awesome.  It was nice to be in a relaxing location, near the beach where we could talk at normal tones and not feel rushed.

We then went back to the hotel for a dip in the hot tub and a good night’s sleep.

Stay Tuned – my next blog will recap The Ride, my feelings and what the future may hold.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 20 - Rest Day

Hello All.

Today...we rested and it was awesome!  Thank you to the Church of the Willows for letting us use your facilities.  We slept in and then had a great breakfast prepared by Jim and Karen Holmquist - Kyle's in-laws. 

Kyle and I then headed into Alpine to look for a laundry and we got distracted at the Firehouse Barber Shop so I got a little trim.  A little more of a trim than I was wanting.  I asked for a little off the back and more off the top and ended up with a little off the top and a lot off the back...oh well.  They say it will grow back but each year less does. 

Kyle had to run back to the Church as Nathaniel needed a new diaper so after my "trim" I started walking back.  What a cool little town, Alpine is.  I think I could live there.  In the mountains and only 35 miles from the beach.  All I need is a job and a lot of cash to buy a house. :)

Mom and Sis did the laundry.  Well, Sis did the laundry while Mom got her nails done.  This was probably some much needed relaxation for Mom as I'm pretty sure she has been worried about our safety for six weeks.  For the last week, Mom drove SAG and she mentioned it was a little stressful but she did an awesome job.  Thanks Mom for being willing to do whatever was needed to help make Our Dream a success.

Dad and Jim washed the Flex and the Mothership and they both were gleaming in the sunlight and ready to shine for the last leg into San Diego.  Thanks for always making sure the crew was looking its best.

In the afternoon Carl called a few times with random questions.  He always keeps us on our toes and we love having him involved.  They were on their way to Alpine so Jordan could ride the final leg in honor of his Dad and we were excited to have him join us.  They got into town about 6:30 and met us for dinner at Gaetano's for an incredible meal.

Jerry, Carole and Emily Hogg arrived in the afternoon also and hung out with us at the Church until it was time for dinner.  As usual, they helped us by helping drive a few people to dinner.

Whoa, wait a minute.  I think I forgot something about yesterday.  On our way into Alpine, Sarah (Kyle's Lovely Wife), her sister Melissa and the boyz (Isaac and Nathaniel) passed us and kept stopping to cheer us on into town.  I'm sure this was a great boost for Kyle to have his family near and it is always a boost for Shannon and I to hear - "Go Uncle Shane and Shannon" from Isaac.  What an honor to be called their Uncles (adopted Uncles).

Ok, back to Saturday.  We left the Church at about 5:30 to head for dinner.  We had reserved a spot for 20 people but how cool is it that we needed more seats!  Dad's cousin Loraine and her husband Henry from Denver flew in to be there as we finished.  INCREDIBLE!  They are an awesome couple and we always have fun with them.  Karen Holmquist's brother and wife also drove down to meet us for dinner and brought a few friends.  Carl and Jordan arrived and I think the final total was about 27 people.  We had a great dinner, Thanks Pastor Chuck for recommending the restaurant.  We were not disappointed with the food or service.  The staff at Gaetano's was pleasant and very accommodating to a group our size. 

After dinner we headed back to the Church and found we could not get back into the Fellowship Hall for some sleep as the Hispanic congregation was still having their service.  No problem, Pastor Chuck gave us the keys to the youth center and we slept there.

A little story about Pastor Chuck.  I had a problem unlocking the door to the nursery earlier in the day.  Of course, he unlocked the door with no problems.  That night when he handed me the key to the Youth Center, he asked if I needed some help unlocking this door.  You gotta love it when you meet a man 24 hours earlier and then he feels comfortable enough with the group to start joking with you the next day.  To me, that shows we had a great group of people on The Ride and were blessed to meet such great people.  Definitely a God Thing!

I am amazed The Ride is almost over.  We have traveled just over 3,000 miles and the culmination of 18 months of planning, training and stress is almost complete. 

Stay tuned to learn how the final 35 miles looked through my eyes.  Thanks for your continued support and prayers.


Friday, May 20, 2011

May 19 - The Hill

We left El Centro this morning at our normal time, 7AM and headed west on Evan Hewes.  The road was not particularly smooth.  It was more of an obstacle course for bikers.  The road must get a lot of farm and semi traffic.  Either that or the State of California has chosen to forget about this piece of asphalt.

The road goes through Plaster City.  As you are approaching this “city”, you will probably be reminded of The Wizard of Oz and Emerald City.  From a distance, the structures look like Emerald City and some are green.  When you get closer you realize it is a gypsum plant and they are manufacturing drywall there.  I never really saw any houses around.  Plaster City is a very large off-highway  vehicle (OHV) playground.

Kerri rode with us until we got to I-8.  She wanted to ride 30 miles but the wind picked up, the Interstate appeared and her legs said, “you over worked us yesterday!”  She still rode about 24 miles and overall has done really well keeping up with us.

We rode onto I-8 and started our ascent.  I’m not really sure how many miles it took us to reach 4,000 feet but I do know the wind was trying to push us back down the hill the whole time.  We crossed a couple of bridges and I have decided I do not like bridges that cross deep gorges when I am on the bike.   Especially when cars and trucks are passing close to me at nearly the speed of sound!

We had lunch at exit 77 which is pretty near the top of the hill.  Then crossed over onto Old HWY 80.  This is a nice road with good shoulders through some neat little towns.  It is also very near the Mexican border.  We could see the very expensive border fence we bought.  I was a little surprised we didn’t see more Border Patrol agents on this stretch but then again, I guess with that fancy fence they don’t need to patrol that section as much.

I took a break for about 10 miles at about mile 56.  My back was starting to hurt some.  At mile 66 I got back on the bike and rode up the second climb to 4,000 feet and then the crazy descent into Alpine.  Thank You CA Dept of Roads for laying such a nice, smooth shoulder.  The grates over the drains should be perpendicular to the road instead of parallel with the road though.  This sure would make it safer for us cyclists. 

Mom drove SAG and commented how tiring it was.  She explained it was tiring because you need to always be looking for the riders to make sure they are all ok, making sure they all get what they need and watching as you get on and off the highway.  She’s right; the SAG gig is a lot of mental work and can be tiring.   Thanks Mom and Dad for being our SAG crew this week.  You did great.

We finished the day at 6pm, an 11 hour day.  We finished at the Alpine Church of the Willows.  The Pastor here, Chuck, invited us to his home for some hot tub time, a shower and a great dinner.  They have a beautiful place on a hill overlooking the valley.  Thanks for your hospitality and support of Our Ride.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Podracing with Bikes May 18

This morning we left Blythe, CA and the plan was to complete the 106ish miles as a relay team.  We made this decision last night as this is our longest day this week and the forecast was for wind.  The forecast held, it was windy.

Kurt started the day and had the best 20 miles of anyone.  It was relatively calm and very flat. 

Next up was Kerri.  Shannon rode with her for safety.  When they started riding is when we got into the rolling hills.  Kerri kept going and rode her full 20 miles.

By the end of Kerri’s ride the wind was starting to pick up so since I was staged at the RV, I left a little early.  SAG stayed with Kerri until she was finished and then caught up with me about four miles later.  I finished the rolling hills and then the terrain flattened out quite a bit.  I was rolling pretty good at about 12mph and then got behind tailings from an open pit mine and the wind disappeared for a mile or so.  As a result, I was able to ride at about 20-25mph with minimal effort.

Then, the pile of mine tailings ended and I turned a corner and my speed plummeted…..along with my morale.  I had just completed 13.4 miles in about 50 minutes with an average speed of 15mph.  For the next 6.6 miles I probably averaged about 8ish mph and it took me about an hour.  By the end of my 20 miles my average speed had dropped to about 12.5 mph. 

As I was finishing, I saw Kyle pull away.  He by far had the worst 20 mile leg of the day as he had to ride for several miles in the blowing sand of the Imperial Sand Dunes in Glamis, CA.  V-8 powered through the challenge.  You’ll have to read his blog to learn more about the experience.  I was in the RV waiting at the end of his 20 mile leg and my description of his experience wouldn’t do it justice.

Shannon then took over and completed the last 20ish miles of the day.  The Cannon rode like a Greyhound dog chasing the rabbit around the race track.  The winds grew stronger and he stood firm like an oak. 
We saw fields of onions and a lot of hay fields.  We saw farmers baling hay using pickups to pull the balers instead of tractors.  They were flying around the fields at a pretty good clip.  It was pretty cool to watch.  The looked at us as though we were crazy.  We also stopped for a few minutes to watch them harvest onions.  One tractor was cutting the tops off the plant and another was pulling a machine to extract the onion from the ground and load them into a semi- trailer.  Across the road were onions which were harvested and placed in bags throughout the field.  We are not sure what the difference is between the two onions but obviously there was a difference between the two types of onions.

We all agreed Kyle’s idea to ride a relay today was the correct decision.  Tomorrow we ride 88 miles to Alpine, CA.  We will have hills.  Then we will have a rest day.

Although today was only 20 miles, it was a psychological challenge for me.  I hope we are over that hurdle and tomorrow will be much better.  The winds are forecasted to be only 10-20 mph so that is reasonable. 

Again, we have limited internet tonight so I will try to upload pictures to FB tomorrow.

POP’s Ride has only three days left.  I am excited for the end but also sad that we are almost done.  I am anxious about what the future holds.  I know what I would like to happen but it is up to the Big Guy as to what he has planned.  I will be patiently waiting for the next adventure.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17 - Shannon wears a skirt and the wind lifts it

Today, we left Aguila and headed west to Blythe.  Blythe is just across the Colorado River into California.  Funny thing, we rode about two miles into CA only to cross over I-10 and then ride about 1.5 miles back to the RV park which is right on the Colorado River.
I learned tonight at dinner, my brother Kurt is dedicating each day he is riding to a different person or group.  Monday he rode for Carl Ames.  Tuesday he rode for Pam Eberly.  Wednesday he will ride for those who have already passed away, including Eldon Miller, who had Parkinson’s.  Thursday he will ride for all of the Caregivers.  Saturday he will ride for and with Our Dad.  Cool.

The ride this morning was pretty nice.  Temperatures were good and just a slight breeze.  Mom woke up not feeling real well but she drove SAG all morning.  At about 11am we stopped for lunch.  A little earlier than normal but it worked out well.  After lunch, Kerri started driving the SAG and Mom stayed in the RV and Jim took her to the Dr.  Turns out she has a sinus infection.  They gave her some drugs and she already looked better tonight by the time we got off the bikes at the RV Park.

We crossed the real Colorado River, took a few pictures and then a few more at the Welcome to California sign.

While we were waiting on the bridge, Keith’s wife Doris stopped and gave us each one of the brownies she made for us.  Yummmmm.  Today, Keith completed his ride across the State of Arizona.  Another accomplishment for him.  It has been great having Keith along for the past week.  His encouragement of us and support of Our Ride is greatly appreciated.

Guess what?!  Today was windy.  I sent a note to KPHO CBS 5 Weatherman Paul Horton and asked him to forecast a calm day for us tomorrow.  We’ll see how he responds.

Shannon fulfilled his obligation today and wore a skirt all day.  It was really nice.  Read his and Kyle’s blog to see the best pictures.
I’ll try and upload pictures to the POPs Ride Facebook page tonight.  Our internet connection is a little iffy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16 - NEWSFLASH 5

Well, today starts our sixth and final week of POP's Ride.  It is hard to believe how the time has flown least for me as a rider.  This morning we welcomed our new bus driver and chef - Jim and Karen Holmquist - they are Kyle's in-laws from Montana.  Also, my Mom has joined the support crew as SAG driver.  She starts her duties tomorrow.  Today, Sarah, Kyle's lovely wife, drove SAG and did a fantabulous job.

Keith Barr continues riding with us and plans to ride to the AZ/CA state line.  By tomorrow night he will have ridden across the entire state of Arizona.  We are honored to have him with us.  His wife Doris is supposed to pick him up tomorrow night but she has threatened to not be there so he has to ride with us all the way to San Diego.   I wonder who will win this challenge. :) 

Galen Yoder, a family friend, also rode with us today.  Today he set a personal distance record on a road bike - 66 miles.  Pretty good considering he was also riding either into a head wind or a strong side wind.

The morning started at my place at about 5 AM when we all loaded up and headed to the Bicycle Vibe.  We needed to be there by 6AM for an interview with KPHO Channel 5's Paul Horton.  We made it there on time and got our bikes all setup and ready to go.  Amber from the Vibe showed up and started making coffee.  Which went really well with the homemade cinnamon rolls Carl Ames dropped off last night.  yuuuummmmmy!  The interview happened at about 6:50, went very well from all those reporting and we rode out at 7am...right on time.

Here is the interview.

Carl also surprised us by riding into the Vibe on his bike just after we pulled in.  He was using his ninja skills and hid in a parking lot about a mile away.  He then rode with us back to his truck and wished us well. 

As I was putting on my cycling shoes this morning, the buckle on my right shoe broke.  Good thing we were at the Bicycle Vibe and Amber was there so I went inside and bought a new pair of shoes.  I got some really comfortable Bontrager shoes.  My new bike worked well today and I am getting used to not having cables going everywhere on my handlebars.  A new bike always provides for a different ride feel.

The Ride to Aguila was nice and uneventful.  We had one flat tire but that was about it.  Our older brother Kurt and our sister Kerri joined us for the last leg of The Ride into San Diego.  Both did really well today.  We'll see how they roll tomorrow when we have 80+ miles to ride and a forecasted 25 mph headwind.

I'll upload pictures to Facebook tomorrow.  We are working off of Kyle's Droid hot spot today so broadband is limited.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rest Days? May 14 and 15

Yesterday and today are scheduled rest days.  Yesterday we cleaned and repacked the Mother Ship for the final leg of our journey.  Not much real rest as a result.  My older brother Kurt commented how he didn't realize what all went into getting ready to leave.  Kurt lives in San Marin, CA with his wife Deanne and two daughters - Sienna and Sidney.  He has been a great help in planning our daily travels and creating booklets with turn by turn directions. 

Mom made her amazing fried chicken and some meatloaf for dinner.  The whole family was at my place for dinner.  We took the kids on a ride on the tandem and then watched Josh take the kids for a ride on his long board (a long skateboard.)

Today, I went to church, blogged, balanced the books, finished packing and chilled.

Tomorrow we will be at the Vibe by 6am to meet the news crew from Channel 5.  We will roll at 7am for a 66 mile trip to Aguila, AZ.  A short day for Shannon, Kyle and I but a good day for Kurt and Kerri to get their legs loose.  Keith Barr is going to continue riding with us as until we reach the California State Line.  Good Times.  I can't believe almost two years of planning, training and stressing is almost done.  I keep wondering, what is next.  I can't wait to see!

May 13 - The Longest day on Record

Today, we started at riding at 5 am and this is how we looked.

Pretty pimp huh?!

Justin Haines (a friend of Shannon, Kyle and I) and his Dad drove to Miami from Phoenix this morning so Justin could ride back into town with us.  They started the drive at about 3ish.  Is that incredible or what?  Think about it for a minute.  Justin drove 100 miles so he could ride his bike back into town and finish in the heat of the day.  This blows me away.  Guys, thanks for going the extra mile to meet us.  Your support of POP's Ride is greatly appreciated!

We rode up a couple of hills to what the locals call, The Top of the World.  We put mustard on these hills ahead of schedule and started our decent into Phoenix.  Along the way we picked up another rider, Jordan - a friend of Casey and Jake's.  Here is where the day took an amazing turn.  Jordan, Casey and Jake told us they were going to take the lead and pull us into Phoenix.  For those non-cyclists, to "pull" someone means they will ride in front of you.  All of the riders between the "puller" exert less effort to go the same distance.  What this means is Shannon, Kyle, myself and everyone behind those three would exert about 20% or more less energy to cover the same distance.  These guys pulled us all morning and we were going 20+mph.  This takes an incredible amount of endurance.  THANK YOU.  Because of them, we made every time cutoff we had set.  We rode 78ish miles before lunch and arrived at the lunch spot about an hour earlier than the cutoff time.  THIS WAS HUGE!!!!!!

Right before lunch, I had the honor of meeting my friend Angel Rea - a Mesa Police Officer - as he was on shift.  Here are Angel and I posing for the camera.  Good Times

Our Team riding through Tempe

At one point, Teresa Filleman and some of her friends from Southwest Bicycles joined us for a few miles.  We had 13 riders making a statement down Shea Boulevard showing Phoenix Parkinson's Will Not Win.  We stopped in a park to take this picture

One of the days top 5 moments.  Kyle's son Isaac running to him across the QT parking lot.  What a sweet moment.  I didn't take a picture as I was to caught up in the moment.  Here is Kyle's family cheering on their Dad and Team POP's. 

At this stop, Dad and Shannon jumped on the Tandem and Carl got on his bike and we headed up Cave Creek Road to Carefree Highway.  Normally, this uphill is tiring - especially in the afternoon heat.  This time, it seemed like flat land to me.  Then again, I got passed by Bolt, aka "Carl", at one point like I was standing still. 

We had such a good day of riding, we had to wait at 7th St and Carefree HWY for about 45 minutes so we wouldn't get to the Bicycle Vibe early.  We completed 117 miles, in less than 10 hours and stopped for lunch, six flats and who knows how many stop lights and stop signs.  This is good time for us amateurs!  Here we are getting ready to roll the final mile into the Vibe.

We arrived at the Vibe to a crowd of friends and family.  Many more than I expected.  Some drove up from Mesa just to welcome us back (Thanks Kathy).  I am still a little shocked at how many people were there.  Incredible.  All we did was ride bike.  Dad, Mom, Carl, Lisa (Carl's wife and I probably spelled her name wrong, sorry) all live with PD every day.  They are the one's who need crowd's cheering them on.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the support it is awesome.  But, don't forget the reason for The Ride.  It is not about Shannon, Kyle and I - it is about Parkinson's. 

Thanks to everyone who has helped and supported us so far.  It has been an incredible experience and I am in awe of what you all have done to help make POP's Ride, our little bike ride, a success.  Words can not describe how I feel.

Time for dinner with the family and a couple of good friends.  Ciao'

May 12 - This Team Rocks!

Today was a relatively short day for us.  The ride from Safford to Miami was about 85 miles.  It did include a couple of hills but they have become old hat.

We stopped about three miles into today's route at the Safeway in Thatcher.  Safeway donated 60 gallons of water to help keep us all hydrated.  The Store Manger, Robin, had coffee and donuts waiting for us and about 15 employees were present to learn more about POP's Ride and our goals.  Thank you Safeway for your donation and keeping us hydrated!

Susan McEntyre, a co-worker of mine from Safeway, met us in Safford last night.  Susan loaded up her truck with water and snacks and Mona joined her to become our second SAG vehicle.  Those two are a hoot together and provided great support for the riders.

After lunch, we rode on some newly resurface road.  The oily tar collected on our tires which also brought gravel sticking to our tires.  We had to ride on this new road surface for about 20ish miles.  Once we got off the new road, we cleaned our tires and rode into Miami.  Once we arrived in Miami, some of the guys cleaned all of the tires and bikes while others helped get setup for the night.  Mona and Susan made homemade meatballs to go with bow tie pasta for dinner.  This was Mona's final meal for us and it was incredible.  No one went away hungry.

Mona, thanks for supporting Team POP's with your awesome cooking for the last three weeks.  We appreciate all of your hard work in creating meals we would all enjoy. 

After dinner we had a quick Team meeting to discuss how Shannon, Kyle and I have planned to attack Friday.  Friday is a 118 mile day and we must be at the Bicycle Vibe a little after 4pm.  Shannon and Kyle explained the plan.  Everyone was on board with the plan (as we had no Plan B) and agreed it was acceptable.  Carl and Dad both shared their appreciation for what all of the Riders have done and the effort they exerted to make POP's Ride a success. 

Now, it was time for Shane to crash as we were going to start riding at 5AM......again, no one complained when the start time was announced!  I want to ride with this group everywhere!

Finally, but only because the picture was taken at the end.  This morning, Carl presented all of the Riders with new Jersey's.  The Jersey's had the Knight Transportation and POP's Ride logo on the backs.  Very Cool.  The seven of us rode all day as an organized crew.

Here we are showing off our new jersey's at the end of the day.

May 11 - Welcome to Arizona!

Sorry these are late, the end of last week was a little hectic with limited Internet access and short nights!

This morning, we left Silver City, NM with our sights on Safford, AZ....about 113 miles away.  Yes, that is a long day.  However, we had a little dose of extra energy as we knew Carl Ames and his posse would be waiting for us at the AZ State line.

Leaving Silver City we had some mild hills and a little wind. It was chilly. In the picture below I am wearing my rain jacket to keep warm.

We had a pretty good climb today and then the breeze picked up.  Yes, I am calling it a breeze.  Kind of like those of us who live in Arizona don't say it is Hot out until the temps hit 100.  I no longer call it a wind until it is above 25 mph, sustained.  Its a physiological thing I guess.  Mind over matter - if you don't mind, it doesn't matter.  Something my high school science teacher, Mr Robert Furlong, always used to say.

We did have something odd happen in the morning.  At one stop, Kyle noticed he had a thumb tack in his front tire.  I looked and had one also.  I spun the tire again and found I had TWO thumb tacks in my front tire and the tire was still inflated.  Crazy!

By lunch, I was about done.  We had already ridden about 60 miles and I knew we had almost that many left to go.  We ate a quick meal and then headed out again.  What did we eat?  The normal - either turkey or ham, potato chips and a Coke.  Why mess with what is working!

We rode about three miles and then saw Carl and his Posse waiting for us.  What a needed boost they were.  Carl Ames, Casey Knight, Jake Knight, Kyle ????? and Keith Barr.  Not to mention some of Carl's family.  They had made a HUGE sign (sorry I didn't get a picture) and were all pumped about riding. 

We left the State Line, headed up a couple of small hills and then enjoyed an incredible 20ish mile descent the locals call the Devil's Backbone.  It curves around and drops into a town called Three Mile.  At that point, what else is there but a several mile climb.  Of course!  About a mile into the climb, Carl and I stopped at the SAG and filled up with water and I reminded him we have a long road ahead and he should let us know when he needs a break.  We left the SAG and about 50 yards up the road Carl stops, looks at me and says, "I've already done this hill, I'm going to take a break."  I was cracking up.  A great Carl comment.

Once we cleared this hill and another one we were then riding on flat ground.  The wind really picked up and about 10 miles from Safford we turned directly into the wind.  Someone asked, "How do you guys ride in this?"  We told them, "Go into your drops, put your head down, turn your iPod up on some good music and just pedal." 

At the end of the day, Shannon, Kyle and I had ridden about 113 miles and Carl's Posse completed 63 miles and we were all tired but excited to be riding together.  Shannon, Kyle and I have written a lot about the wind and hills but until you experience it; I'm not sure you can appreciate the work needed to keep moving.  I'm not saying this to say we are oober athletes cuz nothing could be farther from the truth.  Carl's Posse had read our blogs and, being cyclists, had an idea of what we were accomplishing.  But until they rode those 63 miles today and experienced it themselves, I think they would agree they didn't have a true understanding of how awesome our adventure has been.  The really cool thing about all of the riders, no one complained.  We had a job today and we did it as a team.  Someone always stuck with Carl.  Some would pull so others could recover.  And, no one complained. 

In Safford, Carl's Family was there waiting to welcome us all to AZ.  We took some pictures, showered and had a great Mexican dinner.  Thank you to Luke and Tiona Hoope for opening your home to all of us!  We all appreciated your hospitality.

A couple more pictures from the day.

Bolt, aka "Carl", you are an amazing man.  It was a blast having you along.

Home is two days ride away!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Ride - May 10....and on the 6th day they rested

Well, today is a rest day.  We had a Mona breakfast at 9am which included bacon, eggs, sausage and pancakes.  yumm!  Then we headed to downtown to look around.  We spent a couple of hours there looking at the antique and bookstores, had lunch at Nancy's Silver Cafe.  A small but nice cafe.  We are lucky we got there when we did as a group of Wildland Firefighters showed up just after us and filled up the cafe.  One member of our party was all giddy after that.  You guess who.

Then I headed back to the RV for a quasi-nap until I started working on the blog and plans for the Friday Party.

Here are a few pictures from the RV camp we are at now and one of the Black Range Lodge we stayed at in Kingston, NM.

Tomorrow, we meet our Friends at the NM/AZ state line.  We have been looking forward to this day for quite awhile and are excited about this next step in the adventure.

May 9 - Uphill an dinto the wind...Serious Hill and Serious Wind!

This morning we left The Black Range Lodge and headed up the mountain.  You know it’s going to be an interesting day when the first sign you see is the one below.

We had a nine mile climb to the 8,828 feet and an amazing view of the valley.  We had total ascent of 4.395 feet (gross) and all of it was into the wind.
The top was a place called Emory Pass and the temperature dropped about 15 degrees.  It was an incredible view.  We took a few pictures and then headed down to finish our 50 mile ride.  We were up and down all day but finished by about noon.  The wind was strong all day and would gust and try to blow us off the road.  I did a few push-ups at the top just to keep the blood flowing.

So if you look closely at the picture below, in the middle you will see a road.  That is where we started the morning.  It is 9 miles and 4,000 vertical feet away.  In the distance there is a lake.  We rode by that lake the day before and is about 20ish miles from where I took the picture.  Crazy stuff!

There was one point on the initial descent where I came around a corner and there was a cow on the left side of the road.  This cow looked at me and then started across the road in front of me.  It hesitated, I hesitated and then it decided to stay put and I rode by.
We also rode by a large open pit mine and I found this one tree growing in the mine tailings all alone.  The thought that came to my mind was, “I created the mountain, you created this ugly pile of leftovers and I will once again create something beautiful here.  – God “

Below is the mine.

Other than the cow, not much happened.  Kyle and I headed to the laundry in town and finished two loads in their massive 50 lb machines in about an hour.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing and recovering.  Tomorrow is a rest day and then we head for the AZ state line on Wednesday.  I can’t believe we are almost back to Phoenix already.  What happens when The Ride is over?  I have been wondering that a lot lately.  Honestly, it will be hard to transition back into sitting in my cube in front of a PC.  How could it not be?  I have been living outside seeing the country every day for the last four weeks.  Then I live in an RV at night.  A new place every day.  How exciting is that!  Change is great.  I wonder if Safeway will allow me to work remotely from around the country…..better yet around the world!  I can crunch numbers from anywhere right?  We can teleconference when necessary.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Ride - May 8

This morning we left La Mesa, NM and headed to Kingston, NM.  The first 50 miles to Hatch were flat and filled with Pecan Orchids and wineries.  It was a nice cool (temperature) ride.
We had lunch in Hatch and then headed to Kingston.  Pastor David told me the night before we would be climbing about 2000 feet and he wasn’t underestimating the elevation gain.  Once we left Hatch the wind picked up and it was gusting to boot.  At one point we were passed by a John Deere Chopper and it created a great draft.  Below is Shannon taking advantage of the draft.  This thing blocked the wind.  I rode beside it for awhile and then thought I should fall back so he could get over and let the traffic pass.

We made a left turn about 20 miles into the afternoon – straight into the wind.  Add on a gentle elevation gain and you have the ingredients for a long afternoon.  My average speed for the day went from 15mph at lunch to 13 by the end of the day.  I was working to go 7-8mph on the flats.  Actually, at times I was working to go that fast downhill!  By the time we were about 15 miles from the end of the day, my legs had nothing left in them to go.  I now fully understand how Kyle felt last week and do not know how he was able to ride for three days with dead legs….what an animal. 

About 1 ½ miles from the end, I got a flat.  This gave my legs a little break which was good.  It wasn’t until I came outside after dinner I realized we were once again in the trees.  I had been so focused on just making it to the end and watching the white line on the road, I didn’t realize the change in scenery.  I will have time to appreciate it tomorrow morning as we have a nine mile ascent which I will go up slowly and be able to appreciate the scenery.

Odd things noted today – signs that say “watch for water on road”…..I didn’t even see a cloud!  They must be antiques from when it rained.  Lol.   The Rio Grande River…..wasn’t very Grande.  I was pretty disappointed in fact.  The Pecos River was much neater.
You'll have to check the FB album for the pictures as I can't upload the photo's to the blog tonight.
Towards the end of the ride, I had plenty of time to ponder; I wondered if this is what Carl’s legs feel like every morning.  Pretty much just dead weight.  I had to focus on riding and keeping them moving.  I hope this is the closest to knowing what PD feels like.  The thought of every morning having to consciously will my legs to move would be discouraging sometimes.  Yet, I have not yet heard Carl complain about it.  So who am I to complain about my temporary pain?  It will be gone in a couple of weeks.  PD patients live with it for the rest of their lives. 

Another reason why Our Ride is important.  The more we as riders understand the difficulties faced by PD patients, the better we can share with all of you and encourage those with PD.  We – Shannon, Kyle and I, deliberately chose to ride East to West, uphill and into the wind.  We knew we would be challenged – just as PD patients are on a daily basis.

On a lighter note, Mona just told me she read my blog about “Game, Set, Match” last night and responded with “Its On”.  We’ll see.

Today was Paul’s first full day with us driving the bus.  It has been a learning experience. J  Good thing he is up for the challenge.  Thanks for being her Paul.  Today was also Ed’s first full day of driving the SAG.  Ya dun well friend.  We had plenty of water and you were there when we needed ya. 


Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 7, Day 28 of the Ride

Well, this morning we left Fort Hancock, TX and headed west on Highway 20. There were fields of cotton just sprouting. We saw part of the fence protecting our border. Not sure exactly how this works as I'm pretty sure the Mexican Nationals are intelligent enough to walk to the end of the fence and go around. I'm just saying..... Here is a picture of the fence. It might be a little hard to see but if you can zoom in you can see the rusty protection.

I have been seeing these green cones in fields throughout Texas and today I finally stopped to learn what they are.  They are traps for Pink Bullworms and you are not to disturb them.  So I took a picture an left.

We stopped at a town called Tornillo.  Across the street from where the Bus was parked was a Historical Marker.  The town derives its name from the screw-bean bush, a hardy firewood once prevalent in the area.  I just let love the name of the bush.  I also saw a young boy waiting for the bus with his mother and grandmother and gave him a couple of the BMX magazines.  He seemed pretty happy.

I saw these on the side of the road and knew Dad would want to see them.

A little further down the road I saw this house.  Now I've seen people build roofs over their trailer houses before but this is a little over the top.  Why not just build a home?

I wonder what happens on this street?

Really, shouldn't this be obvious?  We have seen some strange signs in Texas like "Obey Warning Signs."  Things may be bigger in Texas but not sure they are always smarter.....

Today was Bill's last day with POP's Ride.  He is the last of the original crew that started in St Augustine on April 10.  Bill - we had a blast having you along.  You made us laugh and I think we made you laugh a few times also.  I'm not sure what the      we are going to do without you.

Dad's cousin Les will fly home to Jan tomorrow (Sunday).  We have known Les for a long time and he is always good for some laughs and wild remarks.  Les has driven the bus for the last two-ish weeks and has add some life to the party on more than one occasion.  Jan - we look forward to having you back in Phoenix for Mom's fried chicken and who knows what else.  Thanks Les for driving the Bus!

Now here comes the surprise part of the day.  We were riding through El Paso when all of a sudden WHAM! there are people holding signs on the sidewalk saying "Go POPs GO".  Liz Plass and her family were there!  Liz works at SWY in Phoenix in the same department I do.  She was there for Mother's Day and took time to surprise us.  How cool is that?  This now the third cool thing that happened in Texas.

Finally, today we left Texas.  Dear Texas, your winds never stop, your roads are rough and your state lines have a lot of hills in between.  Until next time, ciao'!

We are now in New Mexico for four days - three riding and one resting.  Then, shhhhh, we are in Arizona and we pick up three or four riders to help us make more stories and memories.  way cool. 

Phoenix, see ya in 6 days!

BONUS - If you made this far, here is a special Mona story.  She was riding in the SAG with Ed and had her window down.  We were in El Paso and it was hot.  I thought I would help cool her down so at the stop light I rolled up with my Ice Cold Water bottle and gave her a little shot of love.  Game, Set, Match. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Ride - May 6

Today we rode on I-10 all day......well the whole time we were riding anyway.  Since we rode to Van Horn yesterday we had less to ride today.  Today we were suppose to stop at Esperanza, TX but stay in Fort Hancock which was about 15 miles we rode into Fort Hancock knocking miles off our ride tomorrow.  That is good as it is windy here this afternoon and the temps have ticked up some.  Also, Bill is heading home tomorrow and Dad and Paul are flying in.  Les leaves on Sunday morning.  Thanks to Bill and Les for their time and support of POP's Ride.  Your help has been much appreciated.  Say Hi to your wives and let them know we appreciate their support of you going on this crazy adventure.

Up until today, I had no flat tires.  Today, I had two within about 10 miles.  Both flats were caused by little wires from your car tires.  They do not react well with our tires and tubes.  Such is life.

We are spending the afternoon at our hotel.  The hotel that Rachel found us.  Rachel spent a lot of time finding the Team places to stay each night...not an easy task considering we are staying in some small towns and she was trying to minimize expenses.  Rachel did really well.  We only had one hotel that was questionable and we moved to another property owned by the same couple.  Her efforts helped the Team get a hot shower and good nights sleep each day. 

This afternoon, I realized that about 50% of our hotels had something in common.  They were all close to.....

Yep, train tracks.  In fact, one is passing right now and just blew its whistle.  Nothing better to lull me to sleep than the rumble of a choo choo.  :)

We have less than 60 miles left of Texas and we are all ready for the change.  As of today, I have two great memories of our tour through Texas: 1) dinner at the Spier's on April 23 and 2) Karen's sign welcoming us to Lockhart.  Karen's sign and dinner at Chisholm's is the best as we were able to share dinner with her and her parents.  Her mother has PD and we had a good time eating and laughing.  These are the experiences we will remember in 10 years.  Not the bad wind days or the rough roads, but the awesome experiences we had meeting people.

Thanks again to everyone who has supported POP's in some way.  Below is a shot from this morning.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Ride - May 5

Hello All.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Mona just made us an incredible meal - Spanish Rice and burritos with either chicken or beef.  yummy.  And, Shannon is buying DQ in about 15 minutes.  We score twice tonight.  To bad Bill is off desserts for the year. 

Today we were scheduled to ride from Fort Davis, TX to Kent, TX.  Kent isn't really a town but more of what used to be a gas station.  The distance is about 50 miles but included about 2000 feet of climbing.  Given we have been riding in a lot of wind, this sounded like a full day.  Well, we got through the climbing and about 10 miles from Kent by 11:30.

While riding out of Fort Davis, we saw some more fire damage and the McDonald Observatory.

Kyle spotted this rugged, rocky mountain jutting up from the hills.  It seems a little out of place.

We had lunch in the RV and agreed we would ride 18 miles towards Van Horn and see how we felt. Well, once we turned west on I-10 (yes we were riding on the shoulder of I-10 for 36 miles today) we had a beautiful tailwind.  We were cruising along at about 25mph and barely pedaling.  It was AWESOME.

Here is Kent, TX

We met the RV at the 18 mile point and all agreed we would ride into Van Horn, another 18 miles.  We got to the hotel by 3:30 and had covered a total of 90 miles.  This means we only have to ride about 60ish miles tomorrow.  SWEEEEET!

Kyle rode strong today.  His extra day off appears to have been exactly what his body needed.   Thanks to everyone who is praying for our safety and strength.  We will be in AZ in less than a week.  that is hard to believe!  As we were riding on I-10, I realized about a month ago, Jerry Hogg and I were in the Mother Ship heading east when I saw the sign for Kent.  Crazy how fast, yet sometimes slow, we are moving across the U.S.A.

If you live in AZ, don't forget we will be riding into the Bicycle Vibe on Friday, May 13.  I received an email last night and it sounds like one of the local stations will be there as we ride in.

Bonus Picture.  This truck driver waved us through the stop sign at Kent.  He had a cool load so I took a picture.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Ride - May 4

Today was a rest day.  HOORAY for Rest Days!

Mona cooked breakfast at about 9am and most of us slept in.  I got caught up on my Blogs.  Most were written I just didn't have a good connection in order to upload them. 

We are staying at the Prude Ranch just outside of Fort Davis, TX.  Prude Ranch has been operated by the Prude family for over 100 years.

We have seen deer and wild turkey run free through the ranch today.

Bill drove about 400 miles round trip to El Paso today to pick up Ed.  Ed will take over as SAG driver when Bill heads home in a couple of days.  Thanks Bill for gettin up "early" and driving to get Ed.  Also, thanks for the three weeks you have spent providing us SAG - filling our water bottles, making our PB sandwiches, offering encouragement and direction.  We could not have gotten this far without your help.  I'm sure you were bored at times waiting on us but thanks for not falling asleep and forgetting about us. :)

Once Bill and Ed got back to town we had pizza at Murphy's  They had a tree growing throw the dining room roof.

After lunch we came back and just vegged all day.  Niiiice.  Here is some of the Team vegging

Tomorrow we head to Kent, TX.  We are only scheduled to ride about 50 miles as there are about 20ish miles of challenging terrain.  We hope to be strong and be able to ride an additional 20ish miles or if we are feeling really well, ride an extra 36 miles into  VanHorn where we will spend the night.

Take care all.  We will be in Arizona in less than 7 days! 

The Ride - May 3

wahooo, once this blog is done I will be current!  Four blogs in one day is a bit much for this tired brain.

Today, Team POP's was down a man.  Kyle's body needed a day of rest and so he spent the day in the RV with Les and Mona.  We missed him being out there with us but I totally understand the body not cooperating with the mind.

This morning, Bill shared over breakfast we should have a wind from the East.  Since we are heading W/NW this is a good thing.  Bill also shared we will have a 2000 foot climb about 25 miles from the end of the day.  Good News - the weather forecast was correct!  Shannon and I were pushed up a slight hill at 18+ mph.  Other times we were going along at 20+ mph - boy did that make the miles go by fast!!!!!!

Today was Mona's birthday so we headed into Fort Davis for dinner.  We found a place called The Drugstore and Hotel which also had a restaurant.  The place wasn't busy and our waiters name was Darryl (of if you are Mona, his name was Derek).  He was great.  He is playing for a minor league baseball team here in town.  We told him it was Mona's birthday and he asked if she wanted a shot of tequila but then said they didn't sell alcohol.  So, since they had a soda fountain also someone suggested they do shots of vanilla syrup.  A few minutes later, Darryl came over with two shots of vanilla syrup and he and Mona did the shots.  Then he brought over shots of Coke as a chaser.  It was funny to watch their reactions.  I guess it was pretty gross.  Then he had some local kids come over and sing happy birthday to her.  She was embarrassed but such is life.

We are staying at the Prude Ranch which is a campground and RV park with cabins and bunkhouses.  It is pretty neat but everything is really dry here.

Here are a couple of pictures from today.