We Interrupt This Blog to Bring You Random Thoughts From the SAG Team (Squirrel!)

  1. Thank goodness for checklists … So far they have kept us from leaving the important items behind, including the spare bike. We also use them every morning to “launch” Michele to make sure she has all the necessary gear and information.
  2. Scoobert is not an RV size dog …. He takes up nearly a third of the RV. We’re sure he is thinking that “I like car rides …. But this is not what I had in mind!”
  3. Carrying your restroom with you is handy … Now if we could just get Scoob to use it too.
  4. Planning meets reality. Planning on a computer is good, but it lacks knowledge of the actual ground conditions. The road we thought the woman could take, turns out to be a gravel road with ghost towns along it.
  5. Daily Schedule … Get up, help Michele get ready, lunch the her on her way, clean the RV, get provisions, drive ahead slightly, replenish her, drive ahead and set up camp, recover her, feed everyone, sleep, and repeat. We have become the living version of the “Groundhog Day” movie.
  6. Driving on Highway 50 reminds me (Mr. SAG) why most of Nevada is bombing ranges for the military and landing sites for aliens.
  7. Stopped in Eureka, NV and had lunch at the only open restaurant … Was not sure what was going to happen. Ms. SAG said I was being judgmental…. And I was. But out came a wonderfully spiced, pan-fried pork chop and great salsa.
  8. The life of a SAG person is hours of waiting for a few minutes of support …. Move up the road and repeat. Fix flats as necessary. Our motto is LRRR .. Launch, Replenish, Recover, Repeat.
  9. WIND!!!! The wind and been blowing non-stop all day. It made driving difficult and I can only imagine what it has been doing to the woman.
  10. Do you ever wonder if God ever thinks …. “Really? Again?” when we screw up.
  11. WIND!!! … Got up at zero dark hundred and the wind was already blowing. The woman is going to have another tough day battling the wind.
  12. Nineteen days into this … LRRR and waiting has become a way of life.
  13. Had a nice drive into Lincoln, NE and then drove around the town for a bit with Ms. SAG. An RV is not a good tour vehicle.
  14. Riding out a severe thunder storm with straight line winds in an RV is not our idea of fun.
  15. Dog barf in an RV … Somethings should be missed.

SQUIRREL!

MAA – Day 6 – Keep Pushing On

I can do heat. I can do hills. Wind, not so much. Today was really tough! I rode into a headwind all day long and the scenery didn’t change – until mile 93. Then I had a great ride! I hadn’t been able to keep much above 12mph for most of the day so when I was able to hit 50 coming down the mountain straight into town, I was pumped! (It was a smooth road with no potholes, drainage grates or cars/trucks.) 🙂

We knew it was going to be a tough day from the get go. I was all packed up and ready to leave when I realized the SPOT tracker was not on the bike. We couldn’t find it anywhere! I posted earlier today that it was not functioning. Well that was a half truth. It wasn’t functioning because it wasn’t turned on, because we couldn’t find it! We looked everywhere and tore things apart to try and locate it – to no avail. It was going to be a long day in the saddle and I had to get started. We prayed and I launched without it. I even backtracked to the grocery store we met at when we first got into town to see if anyone had found it. A big NO. Onward. At about 35 miles into the ride, the Sag texted me that it had been found! Mr. Sag “dumpster dove” and found it in the trash. It had apparently fallen off a shelf into our garbage bag! Thank God it was found because once they caught up to me and I was again able to be stalked, there was no cell service for the rest of the day.

Route 50 might be the loneliest road in America, but it was a nice ride all in all. Route 93 was just boring and long and harsh! I kept thinking I just want to go back! So this song kept popping in my head all morning…

So there were several songs of the day. Of course I kept thinking of “They Call the Wind Mariah” and “Colors of the Wind.” Some friends tried to implant others to stick in my head all day. Kathy W, this is not a Small World After all! You can’t imagine the vastness of it all. BB, 500 Miles doesn’t count anymore. I’m way beyond.

I kept coming back to one song all day because I really needed. I was reminded about REO Speedwagon by my friend Tom. He suggested it in an email I read just before heading out. It worked in the wind and I went back to it at the 90 mile point while climbing back to 6400 ft.

Pics of the day:

Ride on!

 

Lessons Learned While Training

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Training has been good not only for improving fitness. It has also taught me many things in preparation for my long adventure.

In no particular order…

  • Shift to a lower gear BEFORE stopping – especially on an incline (makes starting up again, much easier).
  • Turn lights on before heading out.
  • Turn lights off once you are home for the day.
  • Check your tire psi before every ride.
  • Fill your water bottles – and remember to take them with you.
  • Keep Spare cash/ATM card in your bag.
  • I don’t like being cold!
  • Layers are good things!
  • My face dries out much quicker/easier at age 54 than it did at age 25. Sunscreen and moisturizers are good things.
  • Heat, hills, and headwind are still a B–ch! (Did I say I don’t like being cold? Really?)
  • I can change a flat tire.
  • Riding 100 miles isn’t so hard.
  • Ride your own ride! Always!
  • Spinning at a high cadence is a good thing (helps for climbing, moving against the wind, and endurance).
  • Sometimes the mapping aps get it wrong!
  • Photos do not fully capture what you experience out there.
  • Chamois is a good thing.
  • If you want to use technology, charge your batteries!
  • Brifters – who knew? Didn’t have those when I rode in the ’80’s.
  • Use the built in snot rag part of the gloves, not the scratchy mesh! (Unless of course, you have an itch.)
  • Close your mouth if you don’t want to eat bugs.
  • If I never swallow another bug, it will be too soon!
  • Tailwinds are good only if you are NOT returning home on the same route.
  • Headwinds are good ONLY if you are returning home on the same route.
  • Wear sunscreen even if it’s overcast.
  • Cars do not see you – you must keep aware of them.
  • Self discipline – get out there and ride – even when it’s cold, even when it’s raining, even when it’s hot, even when it’s windy, but only if it’s fun.
  • I can still do this!

God is good! Ride on!

What’s With the Jerseys and T’s?

Most of the jerseys and t-shirts I wear are for a reason. There’s either a story behind them, or they just say something to capture the mood. Some are for safety. Some are just comfortable. And some are just fun. Here are a few you’ll probably catch me wearing across America. Continue reading “What’s With the Jerseys and T’s?”

Barns Across America

I’ve always been drawn to barns. Something about them intrigues me. It might be the history they seem to hold, or the way the sunlight seems to perk up their old worn out siding. It might be that I grew up in rural upstate New York and they tended to be landmarks on the way to places.  I remember one I was always drawn to because it was so pristine looking. You could see it off in the distance, just after Rochester, on the way home from Buffalo. It might be that I have really fond memories of visiting Kandi’s family farm while in college. We got to witness baby Joey (calf) being born one year. We always picked corn right off the stalk to have for meals. And her mom made the most delicious barbecued chicken with a white marinade that I’ve never been able to recreate. It was probably the open pit method that I just don’t have in town.

Here are some that I’ve seen on my cycling trips around the Napa area. And I’ll be sharing barns that connect with me as I move ever so slowly (relatively speaking) across america starting in less than 25 days! Oh my!!

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Napa, CA – 5-mile loop
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Napa, CA – Oak Knoll District
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Napa, CA – Bay Trail
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Dixon, CA – Not really a barn, but I like it.

What draws your attention?

Ride on!

You Sent Me a Sign

I always see signs out there when I ride, but what are they trying to say?

Get on your bike. It starts now!IMG_3993

Keep going. No stopping!IMG_3960

Oh crap! I got a flat! Two of them!IMG_3972

This is where you ride…IMG_3466

Really?IMG_3983

I’ve lost my head?IMG_3986

Looks like there could be some trouble…IMG_3978

I’m fading…IMG_3987

I’ve hit a wall.IMG_3928

Wishful thinking!!! This road has a slight incline for goodness sake!IMG_3981

Ride on! 🙂