Sunday, June 29, 2008

yes, their still rolling

So, I know it's been a few days since last post and that's pretty much my (Jason's) fault. I got a little confused about where they were in the trip and so didn't know what to put in. Soooo, when we last saw our intrepid adventurer, she had just entered the fabled Dodge City, where Gunsmoke was set. With many miles ahead, Sue got out of Dodge and made her way to Great Bend, KS where apparently you can visit the Barton County Museum and see how boring Kansas was 100 years ago. Next up came McPherson (from whence came 6 members of the first U.S. Olympic basketball team), Abilene (of which the only interesting thing I can find is that Wild Bill Hickock was once the marshall there), and then Topeka, the capital city. Sue's words following can fill you in from there.

"Oh my gosh, miss one day and I feel like it's been a month. Went up to the room today to get something and I couldn't remember the room number, too many days, too many hotel rooms and too many miles in the last coupla days--and that was without alcohol! We did 111 miles yesterday, very rolly hills, started out cloudy and cool but missed the rain(somebody on this group has serious connections somewhere) and then got warmer but actually really good. I've never seen such roller coaster hills, lots of cornfields, way greener than it has been, what a change in less than 100 miles. We got to the hotel dog tired, nice place in Topeka but a convention center with an indoor pool and we were right next to the pool, kind of a damper for sleep last night. Today only 90 miles but actually took us just as long, had a head or crosswind for 90 miles-SUCKED. We got into St Jos about 3"30, totally dragging and so happy that tomorrow is a rest day. really pathetic when you fill your day off with laundry, a quick walmart run and lay out by the pool. Actually the Pony Express museum is here, would love to go to that--if I can figure out a way to get there not on the bike. The next 2 weeks are killers--3 centuries each week, can't wait.At least the towns are a little closer together, more diversity and not just the really long stretches without anything. Everything is really green with all the rain, the Missouri River today was almost over the banks, will be interesting to see what the Mississippi looks like. Sorry about no pics, haven't had access to a laptop for a few days--just wait till I get back, tho!I'll try to update more in the next couple of days, miss everyone so much. My friend Jessica met me today (from Omaha) for a couple of hours, what a wonderful treat! I am so fortunate to have such awesome friends and family, truly couldn't do it without you guys."

Enjoy your day off friend and maybe let us know how some of the flowers smell on those upcoming centuries.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

All aboard for Dodge City!!

Once again, what a difference a day makes. Today was AWESOME, 56 miles of rolling hills, feedlots, (you can smell them miles away), in by 10:30 this morning and boy was I happy. Nothing in old downtown Dodge City, even rode thhe bike down to try to find an old salloon but nada, had to settle for Appleby's, not nearly as glamorous but it worked. Passed by a really cool marker and sign for the Sata Fe Trail, couldn't see much but I know it was there. It reminded me of flying over Raton in the plane, could actually see the ruts and stuff from the trail.It really feels good to just sit here this afternoon, am gonna find my book and go lose myself for awhile. As soon as Audrey brings her laptop I'll send some pics--not too much here but everyday is different so here ya go!85 miles tomorow, not so bad after what we've been doing, I think the trick is to start really early and ride your butt off to try to miss the hardest part of the day--works good in theory!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Welcome to Kansas if you're so inclined

Sue and her gang made it from Lamar to Garden City, KS today. Enjoy the flats for a while.

Another really long day today, passed into kansas and also crossed the time zone so it's an hour later.Very flat, lots of cattle feed lots(smelly!) fields, small rolling hills, heat and wind. seems to be the thing of the day probably from here on out. We did 106 miles, second consecutive century in a couple of weeks and no, they're not getting any easier!I had a minor meltdown at the 65 milemark but after pouring a couple of bottles of wter on my head managed to finish, cruising in around 3:30.We have a short day tomorow!Only 50 miles and I think we're all ready for it, into Dodge City, need to dig out my cowboy boots.Pat, you asked me if I thought this would be harder than Kilimanjo--that would be a definite yes, probably the hardest thing I've ever done and I'm not there yet!But we're slowly approaching the halfway point , think I'm gonna bronze this map when I get home, better even than TS's tennis shoes!Inside joke, sorry.TS is coming to Mcpherson Kansas on thursday, I can't wait!Sorry no pics tonight but will send more tomorow between looking for more hot cowboys----

Sunday, June 22, 2008

No more mountains for a while

Couple of new posts in the last couple days. I didn't get around to posting. Sue covered the southern part of the state, got a day off, and headed east. They passed through the area of Ordway, which is where my wife is from, so I know that part of the state rather well. It's surely not the part of the state anyone thinks of when they think of Colorado, but if you want a perfect picture of small town America, look no further. Good work Sue, a couple of consecutive centuries and you're making the rest of us look like wimps. Rock On.

Salida to Pueblo
"Started out great wuth a fantastic downhill through the canyon along the Arkansas river, beautiful morning. We were going to do the Royal Gorgr option but Linda's bike stopped shifting(bummer) so we just kept going, Boy were we gld later cause the weather changed and we got another bad headwind for the rest of the day, barely making it into Pueble before a storm. Thank God for only 96 miles!!!!My good friend Kim surprised me last night, showing up to eat dinner with us and an early birthday present--it was awesome to see her. Beemn thinking the lst few days how really blessed I am with health, family and friends, feel wealthy beyond imagination. Today was an off day, only second one in 21 days and boy has it been wonderful. Linda and Bill are taking me to dinner then she leaves for home, i sure am going to miss her, it's made the Colorado part of the trip even more special. One more day in CO then on to Kansas for 5 days, halway point is the 26th. Yahoo!!! W ill send pics today--be safe and have a great week!"

Pueblo to Lamar
"After a much needed day off we did 124 miles today, so much for resting! We actually did it in 9 hours, 7 1/2 hours riding time, definitely getting faster.The other motivating factor was the heat, 105 today. I was a limp noodle by the time I got here! Tomorrow is 110 miles, whew.Very flat and a gradual downhill today, not much here, mostly agricultural and a lot of big cattle feed lots, not what you would expect for Colorado . I thought so much about how truly blessed I am with the greatest friends and family in the world--yesterday was an amazing birthday, starting with meeting Simon on hiway 50 and Kim surprising me for dinner then a great day off, polished my toenails, ahaved my legs, took a long bath! Then to top it off Joelle, Lexi, Ken and Bill and Linda surprised me with balloons and took me to dinner--one of the top 10 birthdays I've ever had. Thanks to all of you, I am overwhelmed by the people in my life, the opportunity to do this and it's really brought home to me how fortunate I am. One of our riders today passed out and fell, was taken to Pueblo to the hospital and is done for the ride--scary how fast your life can change."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Montrose to Gunnison

Well, today was my first official "bonk" day, not sure why cept probably didn't eat enough last night or this morning, not my usual eggs, bacon and biscuits cause they didn;t have them. Started really early, up at 5"15(you guys know how I miss sleeping in!) and then immediately into another strong headwind into a 12 mile climb uo to Cerro Summit, somewhere around 7500 feet. After a great downhill we climbed another 8 or 10 miles up to Blue mesa, incredibly beautiful canyon, I remember it from a BTC ride a few years ago. We shared the road with about 2500 other riders from Ride the Rockie, actually kind of fun. We then had a great downhill into A huge lake and the spectacular rock formations near Gunnison--somewhere along the way, tho, about 6 or 7 miles from town I ran out of water, cytomax and steam and barely made it to the hotel. One of my fellow riders gave me a "mojo" drink, no telling what was in it but I feel a thousand percent better already and just might be able to m ake Monarch Pass tomorrow, q 12,000 foot summit, highest point of the trip. You'd think these Colorado legs would know they were home! We're past the one third point, it's been so fast--have actually really questioned the last 3 days exactly why I'm doing this, can't ome up with a good answer yet--maybe I will when I reach the halfway pint in Abilene kansas, the point of no return! My friend Linda pulled a muscle yesterday and had to sit out today, I felt so bad for her.So--I'm heading to Marios foe dinner, am gonna eat a whole pizza(kidding!) and get a good night's sleep, more tomorow, sent some pics today. Especially one for my brother Mike, read the sign on top of Blue Mesa Summit--something about elk!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

sweet colorado . . . but hot

Got this in from Sue today. I can relate to the Western Colorado June heat. Having grown up in Grand Junction, I know about 100 degree days in June. Actually, when I moved to Denver, it seemed a little weird to me not to have it that hot in June. You won't find very much shade over there either. I hope it does get cooler as they head into the mountains across the South of the state. Soak it in for the next few days because you won't get the scenic vistas for a while.

"Too tired last night to write--really long, VERY hot day, 100 miles across the desert of Western Colorado and nothing out there, not even a truck stop!We kept running out of water, one guy's bike thermometer measured 106 degrees--glad I didn't know that till we got to the hotel Rode all day on I70, really glad to get to Grand JUnction. By the way, the pink couch was in a really cool coffee shop in some little town, couldn't pass that one up! Today we did 75 miles into Montrose, supposed to be a "rest" day but didn't feel like it cause again it was in the high 90's. Can't wait to get up higher tomorrow where it's cooler, altho that means more climbing!Things are still good so far, the heat has really bothered me but I guess I'd better get used to it, coming up on Kansas! Really miss everyone, can't wait for our second day off in Pueblo,only 4 more days!"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

provo to price to green river

No email last night after a REALLY hard day, I think the hrdest so far. We started out good leaving Provo but then turned uphill into a canyon with probably 30 mile an hour headwinds, went on for about 6 miles then downhill into a wonderful sagstop--icecold creek that I stuck my feet in--wow! After that was another huge uphill with more headwinds and lots of road construction, no shoulder and pretty darned scary. There was an OLD cafe up top, Butch Cassidy actually went thru there years ago and there was lots of old stuff--kept looking for Paul Newman and Robert Redford but no such look. We then had about 15 miles of muchlooked forward downhill but still a massive headwind, took all the fun out of it. We only did 65 miles but I was so done by the time we got there I almost skipped dinner but actually managed to polish off a plate of pasta, asleep before dark. really great social life on this trip!! Today was mostly downhill and short--68 miles -- into Green River, Got here before lunch and there's NOT anything here but it actually feels good.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mormon country

I was wondering when these guys would get a day off. Salt Lake would be a great place to spend a break day. I've driven from Salt Lake to Provo before, and it is a nice drive. I've never spent any time in Provo but I hear it's a pretty cool town. Gotta give it to those Mormons, they make some stuff. Sue sent this in tonight. Sorry for not having an update last night; things just got a little crazy. Keep plugging Sue, you only have to cross the rest of America.

"Wow, after a very much needed day off in salt lake city I feel almost human again. We went downtown to Mormon Square, really interesting place and very beautiful Gorgeous day, warm, went back to the hotel for some time by the pool, laundry and just doing nothing. Covered the bike up! Today we did 70 miles to Provo, BEAUTIFUL ride and the town is spectcular. Wound thru the BYU campus, really pretty. stopped in a bike store to get new brake pads, wore them out on the descents we've been doing and need to get ready for Co--yeehaw. I'm really homesick, can't wait to get there."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

rollin, rollin, rollin

wow, just had one of the most amazing days I've eve had on a bike, 109 miles in 5 hours and 45 minutes RIDING TIME, we had a 20 mile tailwind the entire time, all I saw was smiles and yeehas.I've never done a century so fast, hope it holds up for the 120 miles tomorow~! Still tired , tho, got a shower and did one of my favorite things of the day, checking my emails.Some of you aren't gettint the pics, not sure why. Did anybody on the Team get those I sent yesterday??Mike said he didn't, wouldn't want to miss me and the drunken cowboys!!The scenery has changed a lot today, absolutely breathtaking with surrounding mountain ranges but still in a big valley. Lots of sagebrush, few desert flowers. This time actually reminds me a lot of Albuquerque, high desert. The wind was blowing so bad coming in theat I almost got blown over, one girl did wreck and got stitches, guess nurse Sue will take them out at some point. Other than that things are good, legs are definite; y getting stronger, butt too.Nobody but a cyclist would appreciate that, sorry guys! Tonight is buffet in the casino, so far I've stayed away from the slot machines, miss the old one arm bandits with coins falling over the place, takes all the fun out of it. Can't WAIT for Salt Lake and a day off the bike, will probably manage to do absolutely nothing for a few hours

Monday, June 9, 2008

Across the Silver State

Sue sent this one in yesterday. She sounds a little tired, but it still looks like she's loving every minute of it. New photos in too.

"Things are beginning to blur, can't remember what day it is much less what I did 2 days ago--yesterdy was short, only 60 miles and relatively flat, think the only thing living out here is snakes and lizards, thank god I haven't run over any yet. Battle Mt is a real hole in the wall place with nothing but lot machines and laundromats, actually did some of that cause I was getting pretty desperate. even hung out by the pool and read for about an hour, first day we've had somewhat pf a break. Mexican food and a tecate for dinner and it was lights out at almost 9:00, don't kow what I'm gonna do when I get home and have to go back to normal. Today was incredible, felt really good, had one big 12 mile climb but reasonable grade, warmer than anything so far, finally got out of my jacket and long sleeves. We had an incredible 20 mile an hour tailwind into Elko, got here at 2:00 after doing 75 miles.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ahhhh Nevada

Been a couple of days, didn't have good email service last night in this little town in Nevada, never lack for slot machines though! We did 93 miles yesterday, mostly flat, some rolling across the desert, pretty desolate. Rode an amazing 80 miles on Interstate 80, not a lot of fun but not as bad as I thought it would be.The weather is still cool, sixties, which saved us, but after 6 something hours on the bike I was toast, drank a beer with some of the guys and immediately went to sleep or became unconscious, not sure which!Today was 74 miles, flat but ALL into a headwind. I was saved by about 15 other guys in a double paceline no less, first time for me but it saved my life. We just got to Winnemucca, not sure of it's claim to fame, but boy, I'm glad to be here. Not a lot of pics in the last couiple of days, will try sending some tomorrow--miss everyone tons, thanks for all the support, it keeps me going.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

News and Pics and a new state

Sue sent in some new info for today. Today took them from Truckee, CA to Sparks, NV. Also, we've got our first pictures.

"We left early this morning from Truckee, up in the Sierra, temp was 30 degrees!I finally felt my toes and fingers about an hour later--rode arounf Lake Tahoe for about 20 miles, spectacular and there was no wind, blue skies then up a 10 mile climb to Mt Rose, not as bad as yesterday, think the grade was only 8 %--love those Colorado roads like this! I ws really feeling my legs today tho, after 5 days of riding, and few other places on me(ha!)We then had an 18 mile downhill that was amazing, little steep at first and I was prying that my brakes didn't wear out but made it down into Sparks, Nevada(second state, yeeha!) and about 80 degrees, stripping clothes all afternoon. We have a 90 mile day tomorow to Lovelock, probably gonna be flat, praying for a tailwind."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

West Coast News

Sue just sent in this little note about the last couple of days. It sounds like today worked them pretty hard over Donner Pass. It sounds like she and her intrepid companions were able to traverse the pass without having to resort to some of the same survival means of those for whom the pass is named. Still, if it came down to it, I'd put my money on Sue as a survivor.

Thanks for the update Sue. Sounds awesome.

"Wow, just finished doing Donner Pass, 75 miles, 8000 feet of elevation gain and about 55 miles of climbing today, some at 12%, yikes. I am SO tired and I hurt EVERYWHERE!Only 47 more days of thisThe scenery has been spectacular, yesterday was a bike trail for 35 miles wound up in Auburn with time to spare. Weather has been great, making many new interesting friends. Tomorrow we do more climbing(yeeha!) and go partially around Lake Tahoe, really looking forward to that. Then I think the next day we actually start going downhill some, would be fantastic.I'm gonna try really hard to stay awake till dark tonight but no promises--thanks so much for all the emails and calls.Sounds like it's been pretty calm on the home front, I'd say I hope it stays that way but I know you guys better, you adrenaline junkies!I'm going to try to start sending some pictures, need to borrow someone's laptop to do that. Take care, be safe--"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sacramento to Auburn

Today should have taken them from Sacramento, CA to Auburn, the self-proclaimed "Endurance Capital of the World." According to, "Auburn, California, Established in 1848 . Located just 30 miles northeast of Sacramento on Interstate 80, Auburn is filled with the historical reminders of California's gold rush days. As best said by local writer Tom Homer - 'Arriving in Auburn, California is like traveling back in time - a time when life moved just a little slower, when people appreciated a well-designed community building, and took time to say hello to their neighbors'.

Auburn is one of California’s earliest mining towns, situated in the heart of the Gold Country. During the Gold Rush in May of 1848, a miner by the name of Claude Chana was taking a short cut to meet his friend James Marshall and discovered gold in the Auburn Ravine. Auburn then became a shipping and supply center of hundreds of gold camps. In 1853, Auburn became the seat of Placer County, an honor befitting its stature as an important trading center and supply depot for the mines."

I think it sounds like kind of a cool town, but then again, I'm a sucker for cities that retain the visual marks of their heritage.

Website lists it as 51 miles so it shouldn't have been too bad.


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Monday, June 2, 2008

10:45 this just in

Just checked my email and got this info.

"Wow, what an amazing 2 days this has been!We left the hotel yesterday and did a butt kicking first day at 86 miles, through San Fran (the hills suck!) to the Pacific ocean, dipped our wheels in the water and then on to the Golden Gate and rode across. AMAZING experience and the first day of sunshine. Rode into Sausalito, they told us not to dally around cause we had a long day; wanted so bad to just sit on the beach and sip coffee but, no that wasn't gonna happen. After that rode miles of hills into the inland, had one flat (hope that gets THAT outa the way for a few days) and then on into Fairfield, dragging my butt . The group is really interesting, UK, Australia, Germany, Trinidad, New Zealand all represented and many really interesting others--mainly close to my age but the only other single woman is Audrey, my roommate who is 26 years old. I think I have the distinction of being the oldest woman but have been afraid to ask! Today was great, 57 FLAT miles, never seen anything like it. Hung out at the UC at Davis campus for coffee then on into Sacramento and went to Old Town Sacramento, great old place. Just got back from dinner and a couple of beers and I'm toast. Tomorrow is another short day, only 60 miles so they're kind of breaking us in gradually except for yesterday."

Fairfield, CA to Sacramento, CA

It's 8:00 pm here in the Mile High City and I haven't heard any news from Sue about how the ride to Fairfield went. Today should have taken them from Fairfield to Sacramento. So, in light of the absence of information, thought I'd put you all to a little Sacramento pop quiz. It'll go like this: there will be a question followed by four possible answers. Each possible answer is a website link. If you're correct you'll be sent to this Sacramento History Game. If you're wrong you'll be sent to vote on cute kittens. All right, here we go.

1. The Miwok Indians', indigenous to Sacramento, diet was dominated by what food.
2. The guy who named the Sacramento valley was part of what religion?
3. Lots of people came looking for this after a guy found some at a certain Mill near Sacramento in 1848.
4. The city of Sacramento, after being raised to avoid floods by filling in it's basements, became a home for what illegal product.
Good luck and enjoy your Sacramento trivia

Oh, and Sue, stay out of the tunnels in the buried basements; that stuff's no good for cycling.

Furthermore, we'd like to know the best place to eat in Sacramento.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Saturday night news from San Fran

Sue sent this in on Saturday night. Today she'll do leg one of the trip.
"Wow, today has been a little overwhelming, met 40 other people doing this ride, huge range of backgrounds ,abilities and locations, nine from out of country, all united in this one crazy dream of ours. The ride tomorrow sounds confusing, with lots of turns and directions, over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito then winding our way to Fairfax, 82 miles away. The weather is cloudy and very cool, should warm up as we get away from the coast.Spent the last couple of days exploring San Fran with my sister Mary, was awesome to have her here--we hit all the highlights and finally managed to figure out the BART, a lesson in itself! I'm excited, a little nervous, can't believe this is finally here and anxious to get started. I miss everyone already, know the Team has probably just had the mission of the year and I missed it! Take care, my thoughts are with all you guys on my very special "biketrip list. I'll write more tomorrow after one full day on the bike, only 51 to go!"