June 11: Amarillo
Dad and I are unable to ride together at the moment so we alternate riding
with the group that seems to ride at our pace. It is quite fun. Busy,
busy day. Went to the museum in McLean, TX and it was excellent. A great
display of barbed wire and other pieces of history from the area. I also
found the Kansas 66 shot glass at the Big Texan so now I have a full set -
YEA. The other night Susan and I had a very interesting ride in Richard's
pick up to purchase supplies. It was a sky blue 1968 Ford and I am really
amazed that everything fit. The Big Texan Hotel in Shamrock, TX is a FINE
example of Texan hospitality. The whole family was very accommodating and
I truly appreciated it. We tried to do laundry and failed so tomorrow
will have to be the day. Got to meet Nick and Becky G from the UMCA and
that was great. Went to the Big Texan for dinner and watched Gerry t. try
to eat the 72 oz steak dinner. We almost made it and nonethe less we love
him for trying. Dad and I split a 180z steak and a huge cup of strawberry
shortcake. It was delicious!!!
June 12: Tucumcari
Rode a partial day and have just added up my mileage to nearly 500 miles.
The group has made the half way point as we make it to the Neon City of
tucumcari, New Mexico. I have successfully crossed all borders on the
bicycle. I also did major laundry today. There is always something to do
either as a crew member or for myself. I got my box of summer outfits
today and have packed up the warmer clothes to send back to Illinois.
Today was a beautiful day, even though I had to ride on Interstate 40 for
about 20 miles. So glad I have experienced riding on the Autobahn in
Germany but it was still somewhat stressful. All in all things are going
well and tomorrow I will try to ride a little even though I need to work in
the van and prepare lunch. Tomorrow is a day of climbing and I plan to do
as little of that as possible. I have too many other things to do. Until
later, peace be the journey.
June 13: Las Vegas
Although it was a designated work day I was able to ride 44 miles
-- the last three being the toughest because it was an uphill climb.
However, prior to the climb I experienced an awesome downhill. Let me see
if I can described it. There was copper colored rock shale on either side
of me reaching to a beautiful blue sky. Gray pavement with a yellow line
down the center and me riding down holding onto my brakes - YIKES!!!
Seriously it wasn't all that bad, sometimes riding on Interstate 40 is
June 14: Albuquerque
If I thought yesterday's climb was bad today I rode in the rain
for 25 miles. The good news is that I got to wear my new Burley rain
jacket and the rain pants that I brought along, the bad news is that I got
slightly chilled on the downhills. I was glad to complete my ride for the
day and change clothes and ride in the van even though we had several
riders in there as well. Later in the evening my dad, Susan and I went to
Sam's to purchase supplies and also purchased another cooler to get us
through the desert. We went to dinner at a family restaurant and Susan
told us about her cycling career. It was a very special evening to spend
quality time with my dad and Susan. I enjoyed hearing what her life has
been like. It seemed like one roller coaster ride after another and now
PAC Tour is a similiar sceniro but with more people.
June 15: Grants
Cannot believe that we have been on the rode for two weeks. I get mail
from classmates and friends almost daily. It is wonderful to hear from
anyone and everyone. Javiar let me ride since we had a light day on
duties. I rode with my dad and Susan and aside from great company the
copper colored mountains called buttes provided a great panoromic backdrop.
I haven't been surrounded by so much of nature's beauty in many years
while riding. This day was a blessing, a short distance of about 80 miles
and a tailwind until the last 15 miles. Tomorrow is ride into Arizona and
I have really enjoyed seeing New Mexico for the very first time by
June 16: Chambers
My third century (100 mile) ride to this trip. I had a 36 mile gentle
climb up to the Continental Divide in New Mexico. It was quite cool this
morning after riding for a few hours I warmed up. I am feeling stronger
and stronger every day on the bike. It is really best to ride every other
day or just short distances (25 - 30 miles) in order to maintain stamina on
days when I do not ride all day. Because not everyone is writing I would
like to mention a few words about the group of people on this tour. First
of all the women, they are unbelieveable. Several of them have done PAC
tour before, are RAAM finishers, done Paris Brest Paris and other
incredible events. I am honored to be in their company. Two of the women,
who are over 50, will be part of a Team in RAAM later this summer. They
are using this ride for training purposes. Another woman who is from
Alaska will be leaving in a few days to do a ride from Fairbanks to
Anchorage called something like "Ride of the Midnight Sun". This ride is a
training ride for her too. Well I could go on and on about each one but
will try to continue another time.
June 19: Williams
I'm not sure where I left off however, this seems like a good place to pick
up. Climbed up to yet another divide - the Arizona Divide - 7335
elevation. Of course, headwind showed up after lunch but I felt real
strong. The terrain changed as we rode into Flagstaff with lots of
evergreen trees and it reminded me of the Nicholet Forest. Toward the end
of the ride I rode a very bumpy gravel section. The evening ended on an
upward note as all of the crew and several of the riders drove to see the
Arizona Grand Canyon. What an unbelieveable sight.
June 20: Needles
What a day - rode up and down into Oatman - over a series of switchbacks
and hairpin turns. Another scary downhill but the ride was worth all my
fear. I also successfully rode into the last state of this Historic Route
66 trip - yes I've made it into California. The Colorado Rider is the
boundry between Arizona and California -- Needles to be exact. The route
was shortened to approx 60 miles. Up very early and the ride was finished
by about 10:30 a.m. I got to ride with Lon, Sue and family -- what a
blast!!! It was the hottest day on this trip - 113 degrees. It felt like
someone had a hair dryer on "HOT" and was blowing it in my face.
June 21: Barstow
Not a day that I planned but nonetheless a good one. Ended up riding my
fourth and final century - 106 miles to be exact and one of my toughest
ones yet -- after lunch it was into the wind and what a strong one it was.
Prior to that I had a blast riding with two tandems and all the RAAM
winners. I still cannot believe that I was in such extraordinary company.
Tomorrow I see my aunt and uncle in Rialto. My dad is doing well but too
tired to assist me in writing too much.