Current Ride Status (Pre-Ride Preparations)
Images and comments from the riders will be posted here on a daily basis. We are also
maintaining a mileage log for those of you who would like to meet up with the team and
ride along. This will give you an idea of what to expect as far as pace is concerned.
Ride Status Archive Page 03 (04/07 - 04/10)
Current Ride Status (Pre-Ride Preparations)
Today, as we gathered around the RV just before today's Ride for Kathy Nicosia, we asked for
favorable winds...in the past four days (as you may know by now) we've had a strong headwind.
Wally (who joined us for dinner at the Allbirghts) and Sgt. Joe Reynaud joined us on their bikes
for the leg to the Texas/New Mexico state line. Wally "peeled off" around 20 miles outside
of Las Cruces. Joe led us through magnificent pecan orchards on Route 28. While riding, he
would fall back, tell the cars that were backed up behind the RV to pass us. Mind you he's
on a bike going back and forth on a bike! En-route to El Paso, we passed the 1000 mile mark.
2500 miles still to go. At the state line, we said goodbye to Joe, Wally, and all the dogs
on Route 28 that chased us. And they weren t the size of poodles, either. THAT got the
heart rate up! We didn't need to be riding for 1000 miles to get it beating that fast.
Entering Texas, where they do things big, we were met by 2 black and whites and 2 motorcycle
officers. At the El Paso city limits, we were met by 2 more black and whites and 2 more
motorcycle officers. With grateful thanks to Commander Al Hernandez, Lt. Jack Waite and
his officers we made it from Las Cruces to El Paso in just over 2 hours! The freeway
into El Paso runs along the Rio Grande and on the other side of the river, we could see
Mexico. We got to see what the Border Patrol has to deal with on a daily basis. We arrived
at the El Paso Civic Center ahead of schedule. Mayor pro-tem Beto O'Rourke met us and joined
us as we "mounted' our bikes to Ft. Bliss. En-route to Ft. Bliss the "motorcade" consisted
of one fire engine, 5 motorcycles, 4 black and whites, and about 30 cyclists! As one officer
noted, "not even the President or the Pope could get or expect such an escort". Needless to
say, we got onto Ft. Bliss unimpeded. As the entourage entered Ft. Bliss, were where greeted
by over 200 men and women in uniform: the US Army. This was very humbling. The 33 crew members
were the first combatants in the war on terror but these soldiers are now our protectors of our
freedom. What better way to recognize them than to have the Ride pass through Ft. Bliss. We mingled with the troops in front of the Milam Rec Center. It was named after Major Milam who died in 9/11 attack at the Pentagon. While at Ft. Bliss, we took a break, did some repairs to the bikes, and got Rob off to see the eye doctor. Leaving Ft. Bliss, we were assisted with strong winds from the south-southwest. The leg to Van Horne, a distance of over 120 miles was made in just over 5 hours with 2 major climbs! Imagine going on a flat surface,without trying, doing 20 mph! Imagine going 40 mph down a slight grade! Needless to say it was both a "rush" and a little scary! 30 miles from Van Horn we had to go through "Border Control". Try to picture 5 guys on bikes going through the process of Border Control! We arrived in Van Horn with just enough light so that we did not need to put lights on the bikes. Kathy got us here not just safe but fast! Just as Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, Jeff, Sara and Karen got us through the first 1000 miles!
For those of you wanting constant updates: last night we were MIA. If you
were born after 1970, you most likely do not what the acronym MIA means: missing
in action. The over night was in Lordsburg, New Mexico. The hotel was not bad
for $35.00. TVs had remote controls and the beds had clean sheets. And they threw
in the railroad tracks right outside our windows at no extra charge. A train went
by about every 35-45 minutes all night long. What the heck, $35.00 a night which
included taxes and the like. Unfortunately, it didn t include Internet (either dial
up or wireless). In fact, we couldn t even FIND Internet. On the other hand we didn t
have to mess with traffic lights. The town doesn t have any of those, either. Today,
we rode for Karen Martin. She definitely looked out for us because we left without
breakfast (nothing was open at 6:25) and we were running on fumes from the night before.
But we still made it through. It was very cold (mid 40 s) in the morning with no wind.
As soon as the sun had been up for about 10 minutes, almost like someone had thrown a
"switch", the temperature came up 6-8 degrees and the wind gradually started blowing.
It then blew all day, strengthening as the day progressed. Always on the nose.
20-30 mph. Some observations of things that were taken for granted today: the locomotives
that run on the tracks parallel to the interstate all have at least 3 engines pulling
and one or two pushing (because of the grade); no mater which way the road turns the
wind will still be in your face (venturi effect); the continental divide is more than
a place on the map (it s a long/wide plateau 20-25 miles long) and once over it you
do not go down hill. More fun facts: the trucks on the interstate push/move enough
air to knock a bike over; and lastly going down a 8% grade into a 25 mph headwind
(as we did entering Las Cruces) you still have to peddle to do 20 mph!. Tomorrow
we will enter Texas but having gone through 3 states and now being able to compare
the services provided by the various law enforcement folks: it s a tie between California
and New Mexico! The police met us this morning and provided escort all the way to the hotel
in Las Cruces! It was so neat arriving with not just the State Trooper escorting us but the Sheriff too! Pulling into the hotel we met by Ed and Kim Allbright and their two little girls, Carli and Katie.
Also meeting us was Grandma Jackie, the mother of Captain Stephanie Hamilton.
The Allbrights had the whole crew for dinner with them and their neighbors Wally and Johnny. So, as you can gather, it s been an action packed day and again were it not for Karen, Sara, Jeff, Bobbi, Tom, John, and Chic looking out for us: we d never make this far!
We celebrated Sheri s birthday as we met at the RV bright and early (5:45). Again, someone must be watching over us making sure that we were safe. Was it Sarah Low? Was it one of the previous crewmembers that we rode for? Or is it all 33 of them? Today, was a long day .153 miles with an undulating climb to 4960, some slight down hills and then back up to 4500. A net gain of over 2500 with it all being into a headwind. What was the CNN forecaster looking at? He said a few days ago that we d have a tailwind. Since leaving Phoenix, the past two days have been into a constant headwind! The start today? Ugly. It was the RV s turn to have a flat! The Riders left the RV and the girls in the dust . someone from Cruise America came and changed the flat (we were obligated to have them change the tire). Just after the RV caught up with us about 40 miles from Tucson, the long climb began. Half way into the climb the shifters on Bobby s bike failed (he had only two gears); some lingering after-effects from the Phoenix crash. Bobby was out for the day! Parts are on the way for repairs in either El Paso or Dallas. We crossed the state line into New Mexico. We were all glad to have Arizona behind us! Except for the wind, the weather was great: blue skies, visibility unlimited and views that were priceless! Mountains, mesas, scrub brushes, cacti, and the high desert. Flatman had another flat! Marc had two and now we are thinking about creating a flat pool seeing who has the most flats at the end of the Ride. Current stats: Flatman with 5, Paul 2, Bobby 2, and Marc with 4. We still have over 2500 miles to go. Today, like before, Sarah got us through just like Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, and Jeff did.
(1) SOLD! $600 for the bikes, and I ll throw in the mangy, smelly riders for free!
(2) Ah, California. Lush vegetation, palm trees swaying in the wind...
(3) Discovered by the paparazzi.
(4) The Head Roadie and her supporting cast.
Today, in typical fashion we were blessed by Jeff Collman by keeping us safe and out
of jail! This morning we lost one of our biggest supporters: Mic Rosenblat, his wife
Donna and his Mom and Dad (Lila and Milton). They started with us in LA, with their
own support vehicle following us as Mic rode every day. They were missed today and
will be missed for the rest of the trip....they typify the support the Ride is getting.
For example, Alan Baker, a USAirways (America West) pilot based in Phoenix took Mic's
place on the leg from Phoenix to Tucson.
Not getting arrested and being saved by Jeff: things were going great, the weather
was super, and we are "ginning" along on State Road 79. Making good time with a speed
of about 20 mph. We had just finished an interview and were doing "action photos"
when Officer R.C. Luan thought we were using too much of the road for the "shoot".
First words, "where's your permit?".....showed him what we had, said we had been
all along single file with exception to the "photo" and yes, we were in the wrong.
Funny thing, he said he saw us earlier single file but now it was a problem because
we were three abreast.
Luckily, one of our guys pulls out a law enforcement related badge, starts talking shop, and we are let loose.
Guess who checked on us about 30 minutes later? Yep, it was
Officer Luan. Gotta be fair. There WAS a motorcycle rally somewhere close, and Officer Luan s last chat had been with a drunk who was doing 90 (+). But I still
think it was Jeff bailing us out. Prior to that, we had
climbed about 2000' since Phoenix, had about another 1000' to go and the views
were spectacular! Mountains all around, riding in the high desert amongst cacti
and all kinds of brush, and being able to
finish the ride on a downhill grade. Again, like in the days before, we were
watched over by Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, and Jeff......Jeff just didn't just keep us
safe and out of jail but it should be noted that Rob Zettel (aka flat man) did
not have a flat today!