MAA – Day 32 – Solo Ride?

Day 32 – a ride across Massachusetts – pretty, but HUMID! I found it as tough to climb in the humidity as it was at higher altitudes. I even dipped my toe, so to speak, in Connecticut and Rhode Island. CT was for about two minutes – literally. It was only for about a half mile. Rhode Island was a little longer – maybe an hour! But, I rode into them, so they are part of the history of this journey. 🙂 Rhode Island didn’t have a welcome sign, or any sign for that matter. When I entered, the sign was covered because of road construction. And when I left, there were no signs. I’ll improvise.

 

When we got into the campground – which is FULL for July 4th weekend – we had a great visit from Lydia Comfort Dog and her team of which I am now an honorary member!

 

This adventure is almost done. So has it been a solo ride? I may be the only one out on the road on a bike, but I certainly haven’t been riding alone!

Out there with me:

God – Soli Deo Gloria! – I’m pretty sure He intervened a few times (or at least one of His angels did)!

The SAG Team – I absolutely could not have done this without them! If I had tried, it would have been really, really, really, really hard! And it would not have been nearly as enjoyable!

SAG Base – Christy K back at home who connected us with all of the Comfort Dog Teams along the way and made sure we had shelter everywhere and kept the SAG Team sane.

LCC Comfort Dog Teams – Aaron, Cubby, Moses, Eddie, Joy, Katie, Barnabas, Gracie*, Shami*, Anna, Lydia, and soon to meet, Obadiah. You were there at the right time, every time providing comfort, shelter, food and friendship!

Tom J – The one who kick started my journey by pulling me back into good health and inspiring me with stories of his own adventures trekking through the Sierras.

Jena T – Always there with a smile, positive attitude, encouragement and interest.

My St. John’s Lutheran family who supported, encouraged and prayed every step of the way.

My KP staff, Sharon and Theresa who made me laugh and held down the fort.

Andrea, Aka. East Coast Support Crew Leader – and my sister who happens to have MS and inspired this ride to be so much more than just a bucket list check off.

Penni and Jennie – My cross training buds who motivate me to get across those state lines. It’s all about the bling – and so much more!

Felix who makes me feel like a lucky guy!

Kathy W, who tried desperately to implant songs in my head.

Everyone following along and commenting/liking posts or just sending good vibes.

All of the Good Humans I’ve met along the way.

Everyone who has donated to the cause.

Everyone following who has MS (or other). I ride because they can’t.

So thanks for coming along! It has helped me more than you know!

Song of the day:

Ride on!

* 7/6/17- Addendum – I almost forgot Shami and Gracie! How could I?  😦  Shami drove an hour to greet me at 7 am to make sure I had a great day! Thanks Shami! Love you and Toni! 🙂 And Gracie got us through the hail storm in Iowa!

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!

 

MAA – Day 5 – Those Hills!

To anyone living in the Midwest, I can unequivocally tell you that America is definitely not flat! I always thought the hills between Hammond and South Bend, IN were tough. Boy, was I naïve! Then I thought the hills around Napa Valley were tough. Well, they were. Just in a different sort of way. Today, I started out with a 2.6 mile climb of about 800 feet starting at around 6600 feet elevation (Remember, I live essentially at sea level)! Then I got to ride down a 6% grade for about 2.5 miles! What fun! I LOVE the descents! I thought it was pretty cool. Not too tough given that my legs were fresh. Oh, but not to be outdone…I ended up doing 6 more climbs with the same amount of elevation gain throughout the day (when my legs weren’t so fresh). We even topped the day off with a swirling, mostly cross, sometimes head wind at a steady 17 mph. with gusts up to 35mph. Even the big box (think sail) sag wagon was nervous waiting for me in that! Made it through, though, and survived Route 50! Ride on!

Lesson of the day: when you take off your sunglasses, don’t touch the lenses with your fingers!

Pics of the day:

Song of the day: Psalm 121

Ride on!

MAA – Day 1 – Let’s Hear it for the Sag

Think Let’s Hear it for the Boy and you won’t be able to get the song out of your head either! Day 1 turned out to be a great day to ride and a great day to learn! Cool, but not cold in the morning, turning to perfect temperature and mile breeze (not windy) in the afternoon. We headed up through Sacramento towards the Sierra foothills.

Before I left, I kept having the feeling of forgetting stuff. This would be the last day to pack things from home that I needed. Extra lights, charging cords, etc. Turns out, the first duty of The Sag (the girl) was to remind me that I hadn’t eaten breakfast! Good thing. With 100 miles staring me in the face, that would not have been good. I’m learning.

With everything packed and breakfast eaten, I pushed out. I made pretty good time all day except for the few navigational glitches again! It seems that when surface streets and bike paths run parallel, I’m not really sure which to be on (until I get the “off course” alert. I’m learning.

Day 1 had a familiarity to it. I had ridden the route a few times before up till Dixon (50 miles). The last half of the day was all new. My favorite ride so far was the American River Parkway bike path from Old Sac to Fulsom. I even met a few new friends on the path.

This is Al. We had a great chat at one of the rest stops. He was well aware of the bike path and rides it routinely to stay in shape now that he’s retired. Love it!DSC01063

This was my other new friend. I don’t just have random squirrel thoughts, they actually exist! (Scoobert’s jealous, though).DSC01073

Then I headed into the foothills. So much fun to climb for the last two hours of a century plus! I nearly bonked. I stopped at a CVS to get some much needed water and sugar boost only to realize that at my last stop to pull some snacks out of my pack, I had left it open! Somewhere along the way, my pouch with cash, credit card and id, fell out!! No replenishing now. When I met up with the hero Sag, they broke camp, and we drove back along my route to see if we could spot it (I knew a 10 mile area where it would have happened). No joy. As we gave up and headed back to camp to cancel card, etc., I checked my email. A kind soul, a fellow cyclist had found it! Charlton went to my blog – I keep business cards with that info in the pouch as well – in case new friends are interested. He connected with me through the blog and let me know he had found it. We texted back and forth and learned he was only about 10-miles away – so we retrieved it last night. My first Good Human story!IMG_4194

I’m learning! God is good! Your prayers are working!

Day 2 – hear I come! Ride on!

And We’re Off!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”      – Mark Twain

I didn’t want to wake up twenty years from now and say “I should have done that ride across America. So with that, we’re off!

Time to leave the comforts and conveniences of the Napa Valley behind.

Cyclists Prayer

Let’s do this!