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 04 (04/11 - 04/13)

Current Ride Status (Pre-Ride Preparations)

Apr 13:

Leaving Abilene with an escort from the Taylor Sheriff’s office under clear, cool, and sunny skies we were without one of our Riders: Rob Zettel. Rob had developed a serious infection and because of the antibiotics/medication he was taking he was told to not Ride for the next 7 days. Rob will be missed: he was the guy that always hung in there no matter what: heat, hills, headwinds, etc. We are hoping to have Rob rejoin the Ride in Lexington, Ky. Rob’s place was taken for the day by Will Galloway, an American pilot based in Dallas. Spending hours on the "pavement" one gets the opportunity to contemplate the affairs of the world and create Ride Observations: Texas is still BIG, it is day five and we are still in the State! We have two more days of Riding before we leave Texas! Yep, it is still not flat: today we rode for hours on rolling hills and one becomes an expert on finding the "smooth" spot on the shoulder. To quote a famous Army General: "Rest, it is crucial". Again we need to thank Hampton Inns. Picture 5 riders and two support personnel and one driver: sleeping in the RV. Think we’d get much rest? As we move further eastward the scrub has become trees, green leafy trees, a welcome site after looking at so much sand since leaving East LA. Today, we are Riding for Ken and Jennifer Lewis and they were really looking out for us! Most of the road surface was smooth, no rain or hail like yesterday, and for the most part a tailwind! Going over Ranger Hill the going was slow but on the back side: fast 40 mph! Going back and forth between the Interstate and the service roads was relatively easy because of the Sheriff escorts all along the way... if we did not have them it would have been not just ugly but we would have had to load up into the RV and go 25 miles because of construction. Outside of Ft. Worth, we were joined by several cyclists for the final leg to the hotel.

Flat Status: Paul 8, Marc 16, Rob 7, Bobby 3, Tom 6 and the RV 1.

Fall Status: Paul 0, Marc 0, Rob 0, Bobby 3, Tom 0.

Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, Jeff, Sara, Karen, Kathy and Dianne, Ken and Jennifer are watching over us. We’re glad they’re here, because as time goes on, we’ll need their support as much as they need our remembrance.

Apr 12:

More rider observations: What were we thinking when we either signed up for the Ride or were planning it? Texas is still not flat. Everything in Texas is BIG (including the rain drops). The rolling resistance of a Jamis Xenith Team Bike is virtually zero. The winds (tailwind) make all the difference in a ride. County to county the road surface changes. Flat Status: Paul 7, Marc 15, Rob 7, Bobby 1, Tom 5 and the RV 1. Fall Status: Paul 0, Marc 0, Rob 0, Bobby 3, Tom 0.

Today, as we rode for Madeline "Amy" Sweeney, we left the Hampton Inn with a "motorcade" police escort of 4 black and whites, rolled through Midland at a quick pace and joined I-20 outside of town. Riding on the loop road and the frontage road, we were continuously honked and waved at. The support is phenomenal! Obviously, Amy called out the troops. As the day progressed, the temperature rose and the winds started picking up. We were making great progress until the wind "gods" noticed our progress and wanted to make sure that we would suffer just a little today. As we move eastward, the color of the landscape changes from the brown colors of the previous days to more green: green grass, green trees, and some foliage. The Southwest is in the midst of a long drought and the only place it rains is on the Ride. As we approached Abilene, from the distance we could see one cloud that was producing some rain. It looked like it was evaporating before it hit the ground. WRONG. In a span of 3 minutes the temperature fell 18 degrees, the rain came down intermittently but in huge drops with wind gusts over 30 mph. Going downhill and peddling we got up to 12 mph and the rain was hitting us so hard and the drops so BIG that it hurt. Did I mention the pea sized hail? That hurt too. After about 10 minutes of this we pulled under an overpass and waited it out. Once on the road the humidity "cranked up" with the temperatures. Ugly! Once near Abilene, we rode into Dyess Air Force Base, met with the Wing Commander just inside the gates surrounded by both vintage aircraft and airplanes that are currently flown out of Dyess (B-1). After having ridden over 180+ yesterday and 154 today we are all pooped. The last several hours were spent on rough pavement and into strong head winds (again) but thankfully Amy got us here safely just as Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, Jeff, Sara, Karen, Kathy and Dianne had in the days before.

Apr 9:

A Kodak moment if there ever was one Hospitality, Las Cruces style Las Cruces: 2 Angels and a Cherub 2 Cherubs with Manna from heaven

Apr 8:

Sir, I’m telling you. We are NOT escapees from area 51! Because we cared enough to bring the very best driver. Life comes at you fast. Happy Birthday, Sheri. The Roar of the Greasepaint. The smell of the Crowd.

Apr 4:

It’s just not quite the same without the batwing doors and hitchin’ rails Into Arizona. 1 state down, 12 to go. Well, the natives certainly seem friendly enough.

Apr 11:

Today’s Ride observations/conclusions: contrary to popular opinion, Texas is far from flat. After leaving Van Horn there is a 25 mile climb. The state animal for Texas (from observing "road kill") is the jackrabbit (passed by over 25 on the shoulder) and it is capable of passing cyclists that are doing 25 mph. Trying to see where you are going while inadvertently straying on to the rumble strip is impossible; there is no way for your eyes to remain stationary in thier sockets when it occurs. The various county sheriffs are so enthusiastic about the ride that they are providing escort throughout the state in their pickup trucks. Lastly, west Texas is mile upon mile of nothing between towns. Gets kind of old watching the guy’s wheel in front of you for hours!

Leaving Van Horn, we passed by majestic mesas and small mountains that were so flat that they looked "table tops". The colors were every shade of the color brown. Beautiful, to say the least. After the climb it was a gradual downhill for 15 miles then another climb. Just before joining I-20, we ran into a construction project where the road was closed so we had to go around the barricades and ride on the newly constructed lanes of I-10. It was great, we had the road to ourselves, it was quiet and clean. Only problem: it was not all paved. We had to "portage" between the bridges by riding on sand and gravel. After 15 miles, we were back on I-10 and 5 miles later we joined I-20. A wonderful road with smooth surfaces. We made great time! Stopping in Toyah, we decided to service the RV toilet and water tank. Picture the worst and it happened. 'nuff said. North of Pecos we ran into another construction project and had to take the frontage road, a road that parallels the interstate but is very rough. The options were get in the RV and drive to the end of the construction or ride on the frontage road. Guess which option we took? After Pecos, we entered the oil fields of Texas. As far as the eye can see there is an oil well with a oil derrick pumping away! Makes one question if there is an oil shortage. Speaking of shortage......we need help with donations. While the Ride is fully funded by our sponsors, we are far short of reaching our goal. To date: we’ve ridden a third of the way and sadly to say have not reached a third of our goal. The help we had earlier with the tail wind has now become a crosswind with an uphill grade and the going is slow. Just like the fundraising. The approach into Odessa, with darkness approaching while on I-20, a couple stopped on the shoulder of the road to cheer us on and take pictures. They took more as they passed us in their car. And then.....Yep, another construction site but the police let us go through with an escort, now a tail wind, and we are up to 20 mph! In Odessa, at the city line with Midland we were greeted by the Midland Police (2 black and whites) and they took us all the way to the hotel in Midland. One officer said we should have come a few hours earlier and had Mrs. Laura Bush join us. Ever see her on a bike? Seen her husband but never her! Once stopped, we "mingled" and thanked Dianne Snyder for getting us this far: over 1200 miles from LA safely. Just as Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, Jeff, Sara, Karen, and Kathy had in the days prior.

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Ride Across America