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 05 (04/14 - 04/17)

Current Ride Status (Pre-Ride Preparations)

Apr 17:

Today, we are riding for Amy Jarret and like the rest of the previous crewmembers; she came through for us. Great roads, a light tailwind and a cool overcast morning. Less than 3 miles into the Ride the "flat game" started with Bobby getting a flat. Then as the day progressed we got more; see the flat stats at the end of the days Ride. Ride Observations: going Eastbound, you get tanned or sun burned on only one side of your body, Arkansas is much flatter than Texas but still has hills. The dogs chase you just like in Texas, and just like in Texas, saying "bad dog" does not work….they keep chasing you! Since leaving Texas, we are now required to ride on non-interstate roads. Today, we were on US 67, the old way to travel between Texarkana and Little Rock. Going through Hope, the birth place of Bill Clinton, we were surprised that there was no signage that "Hope is the birth place of President Clinton". Wonder why? You’d think he was liked here, being a "home boy". Going the rest of the way up on 67, we passed through Arkadelphia and Benton; all cities that were mentioned in the papers during the "Whitewater" mess. In Benton, we had to "load up" in the RV and go 4 miles up the road because we were not allowed on the interstate and there was no alternative other than "hop in" the RV. Once on the bikes and on Rt. 5, we continued on to the hotel; upon reaching the Little Rock city limits we were picked up by the police and escorted to the Hampton Inn. The weather, once the low clouds got burned off, was hot and humid. Record heat and temperatures! In mid-April temps over 95! You’d think it was summer. During the course of the day, we drank 4 cases of water mixed with nutrients. Coming into Little Rock, we were met by the Little Rock police and they brought us to the hotel. At the hotel, George Cobb met us with bike parts and transportation to get us both supplies and parts. This again is a demonstration of the "grass roots" support the Ride is getting. Were it not for folks like George it would not be the success that it is. Flat Status: Paul 11, Marc 19, Rob 7, Bobby 4, Tom 8 and the RV 1. Fall Status: Paul 0, Marc 0, Rob 0, Bobby 3, Tom 0. We are now adding a new category to the Ride and that is "Crash" status; it’s not like fall status because a "crash is a crash" and the consequence is "road rash". Leading in the crash stats is the "rookie" Mike Rossetti who joined us in Dallas. Crash Stats: Paul 0, Marc 0, Rob 0, Bobby (still) 3, Tom 0, and Mike 2. Again, a crewmember got to where we needed to be safely. Thanks to Amy Jarret who just like Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, Jeff, Sara, Karen, Kathy, Dianne, Amy, and Ken and Jennifer, and Robert had in the days before!

Apr 16:

There are not enough words to describe last night and this morning with respect to the gracious hospitality of Jerry and Kitty Voss. After a "night cap" under the stars and awakening to an Easter sun rise coming over the lake (Jerry calls it a pond), we had a "mini" service (some of us overslept), breakfast, and then Jerry sent us on our way with a dedication to today’s’ ride for Robert Fangman. After yesterdays’ finish and the "0" flats, we were hoping our good fortune would continue with a strong morning wind from the southwest. Robert was looking out for us. He must have heard Jerry! We covered a distance of 98 miles in a little over 6 hours and the wind was always on our back! Given our previous luck with the winds, we were out of Texas and in Texarkana by 14:15. If you can recall our entry into Texas: a wonderful welcome, great roads, and a heck of a tailwind; our exit was just the same with great roads and a heck of a tailwind! Ride Observations: Texas is a BIG state ( took almost a week to ride through), it is still not flat, the line between green and brown is Dallas, the further east one gets; the more humid it becomes, the Texas State Troopers drive sedans (regular police type cars) while the Sheriff drives a pickup truck (go figure), today is the first time that Bobby has not fallen in over 48 hours (hope our/his luck holds), the wind is always blowing and if one wanted to open up either a hardware store or auto parts store you could do it without spending money for inventory: just pick up the hardware/tools and auto parts on the shoulder of the interstate(debris). Flat Status: Paul 9, Marc 17, Rob 7, Bobby 3, Tom 8 and the RV 1. Fall Status: Paul 0, Marc 0, Rob 0, Bobby 3, Tom 0. All of this because of Jerry’s prayerful dedication to our Ride in memory of Robert Fangman and his looking over us just as Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, Jeff, Sara, Karen, Kathy, Dianne, Amy, and Ken and Jennifer, and Michael had in the days before!

Apr 15:

Day 13 of cross country riding. Lucky 13? Try windy day 9 of headwinds! Ride Observations: it is amazing what 200 miles can mean. West of Dallas the topography borders on desert like, brown; East of Dallas, it is almost like back home: trees, big trees, and the color green. The "road kill" has changed to be armadillo or some kind of snake and there are more horses than cattle or oil derricks next to the interstate. Question: how can a Texas Longhorn hold its head up with such a "rack"? Horns spanning over 6 feet tip to tip? Early this morning (7:00AM), Paul left with Mike Rossetti and Henry Urban to ride with the Greater Dallas Cycling Club to a rendezvous point with the Ride outside of Dallas. It was the opinion of the rest of the group that after last Thursdays Ride on the Interstate through Dallas that it was the safest just to "load up" in the RV and meet in Rowlett East of Dallas on the other side of Lake Hubbard. We met up with Paul and several of the Club cyclists and started out to the East. After the full moon of last night, the cool clear morning made for an easy Ride. Winds? What started out as an enjoyable ride with a quartering tail wind, became after a couple of hours a "monster" head wind: rolling downhill and peddling as fast/hard as possible, max speed 11 mph; then, the wind shifted or either we changed our direction and then most of the afternoon was spent dealing with an awful crosswind. It was so strong that it was difficult to stay upright; to add insult to injury, the road was so rough (chip and stone with sealer) and the Sheriff escorting us said "no" to our use of the Interstate (even though it was legal and permissible). What made all of this somewhat bearable was the fact that we were not on the interstate, did not have to grind out 150+ miles and we could therefore take in the scenery. It was ironic to watch the quarter horses watching us as we passed. Wonder what they were thinking? The only thing that kept us going was the fact that we knew our destination: Jerry Voss’s house! There steaks and beer awaited us with traditional Texas hospitality. Jerry joined us 7 miles from his home and became the tour guide of Hudson County: Jerry’s family has lived either here or in Dallas since the 1800’s and historically speaking, Jerry was a wealth of information. Jerry and his wife, Kitty typify the sense of support not just for the Ride but for what it represents. They opened their house, their hearts, and their life to us. It was very humbling. It was a fantastic evening and the ultimate conclusion of a safe day: "0" flats and "0" falls! All of this must have been because of Michael Horrocks looking over us just as Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, Jeff, Sara, Karen, Kathy, Dianne, Amy, and Ken and Jennifer had in the day before!

Apr 14:

The Rest Day in Dallas
Unless you’ve been there (fatigued), you cannot imagine what a good nights rest, a decent breakfast, and a short slow bike ride can do to both the mind and the body. A wonderful experience! The riders for the Dallas loop started showing up around 10:30 at the Embassy Suite Hotel and by 11:15 we were "off and running" on the short loop to the C.R. Smith Center Museum and back to the hotel. The bike group consisted of about 125 cyclists supporting the core group and we were escorted by both the Ft Worth police and the Euless police. The Ride went by the headquarters of American Airlines, by the offices of Allied Pilots Association (APA), near the APFA offices and stopped by the C.R. Smith Center Museum. Once there, the group gathered on the steps and met with the V.P and the President of APA who presented a check in the amount of $10,000.00 to the Airline Ride Across America. Another special guests present was Pat Gibbs, former President of APFA. She not only endorsed the Ride but wanted all to donate to the 9/11 memorial Funds. After the ceremony, the family members directly affected by the tragic events of 9/11 stepped into the Museum to see the Memorial Quilt, the "Stones of Heroes", and touch the "healing" marble eagle. The rest of the cyclists disbursed and later that afternoon, we all went to the home of Michele Heidenberger’s sister, Diane, her husband Ron and daughter Erica and had cocktails and a "Texas home cooked meal". One guess? Yep, steak! During the day, for both the loop Ride and the activities because it was a "rest" day we did not Ride for any of the 33 crewmembers. Tomorrow, we will Ride for Michael Horrocks, First Officer UAL Flt 175.

The Official Hotel of the Airline
Ride Across America