Current Ride Status (Pre-Ride Preparations)

Apr 19:

Well, we made it! Not just the milestone of having crossed the Mississippi and being on our way home, but Bobby (a.k.a. The Toddler) did not fall today nor did we have any flats! It must have been because Kathryn LaBoire took care of us. The day started with the rumble of thunder and rain; by 8:00 the skies had cleared and the streets started to dry. Kathryn, again, must have wanted us to have an easy day. After the "send off" from the Hampton Inn staff at Peabody Place, we got underway and rode through Memphis with an escort from the Tennessee State Police, and continued out Rt. 70 towards Jackson. It is a shame we could not stay longer and visit the jazz clubs! In Memphis, we went up the Parkway passing large and gracious homes…I wonder if we passed Graceland? Don’t think so because there were no signs for it nor were there any Elvis look a likes; once out of town, the homes were the same (big) but on large rolling lots with horses (live ones) in the front yard. East of Memphis, the terrain was hilly; during the course of the day we climbed a little over 3000’ with no net gain in elevation: they were all short hills! Then it got real flat riding through swampland. After yesterday and the high temperatures, today was a great day for a bike Ride! Thank you, Kathryn. We saw a little of everything today; farm fields, swamps, and rolling hills; all of which were under clear blue skies with a temperature that was bearable. Now that we are no longer able to ride on the interstate system, things look very different: we get to see how others live, we get to "mingle" with America, and we get a greater sense of appreciation of what we are doing. Is it boring? Absolutely not! Using the non-interstate roads is very educational: one gets to see how it was 20-30 years ago and how these small towns were thriving centers; now some are just ghost towns. Every town that we go through be it big and small, there is always someone that knows about the Ride and either waves or honks at us; in some places people applaud our efforts to get the 3 memorials of 9/11 built. All of which is again, very humbling. We could not be where we are today, closer to Shanksville, New York, and the Pentagon were it not for Kathryn taking care of us just as Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, Jeff, Sara, Karen, Kathy, Dianne, Amy, and Ken and Jennifer, Robert, and Amy had in the days before!

Apr 18:

Yep, he did it again: Bobby fell; he cannot go more then 48 hours without a fall! Wonder what it means? I think he likes the sensation of "falling". Ride Stats: Flats: Paul 11, Marc 20, Rob 7, Bobby 4, Tom 8 and the RV 1. Fall Status: Paul 0, Marc 0, Rob 0, Bobby (now in a commanding lead) 4, Tom 0; still leading in the crash stats is the "rookie" Mike Rossetti with 1. Milestones for the Day: passed the 2000 mile mark! We are now east of the Mississippi! Ops, forgot Bobby fell again! Leaving Little Rock, just as we arrived, we had an escort provided by Sgt. Bethel of the Little Rock Police Dept which consisted of 4 motor cycles and one black and white. Today as we ride for another Amy: Amy King, we are joined by Todd Wilson, the news reporter for Channel 11. Yesterday, while interviewing us for the nightly news, we talked about his love for biking; his experience, and then we asked him to join us. Riding through Little Rock and the downtown area went rather quickly and it was emotional: folks "greeted" and waved at us as we went by. In no time we are out of town and on Rt. 70 and riding next to swamps and Bearskin Lake; further along, we rode past rice fields that were flooded, and through the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge. As the day wore on, the temperatures rose; imagine riding on black asphalt with temps in the upper 90’s…guess how hot it was there? Too hot! This is still April and if my memory serves me correctly it (April) is still in spring; what happened to Spring? Because of the temps we had to stop much more often for water. Then, you guessed it, the wind! Around 2 p.m. it picked up to 20+ mph as a crosswind and the going got real slow for the next 2 and a half hours! We had to make a meeting with the Arkansas State Police to cross the Mississippi. You cannot imagine the nightmare of having someone accept responsibility for the Ride across the Mississippi. You’d think they wanted us to swim it! One state police department is responsible despite the road going through 2 counties, 3 cities: in total 5 jurisdictions! Had to call the Governor’s office for help and they came through. Got to Ride on the interstate and cross the Mississippi. Once we got to Memphis and checked into the Hampton Inn at Peabody Place, we were treated to a sumptuous dinner at the Lodge by Carla Raynor and Tilea Terry. These two angels didn’t just buy us dinner, they were the ones who got us nightly accommodations at the Hampton Inns all the way across the country! Again, the graciousness of not just the Hampton Inns but of these fine individuals to feed us continues to demonstrate the support the Ride is getting. A special thanks to Amy who got us through the heat and who just like Chic, John, Tom, Bobbi, Jeff, Sara, Karen, Kathy, Dianne, Amy, and Ken and Jennifer, Robert, and Amy had in the days before!

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Update
Apr 12:



The Bicycle Bandit strikes again! RCruising Altitude of a Jamis Xenith Team bicycle? Well, actually... Dear Mom. Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here. Umm. Sir. Actually, this is a RUNway, not a BIKEway. And you’re holding up traffic. So if you could please move...

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Update
Apr 11:


Are we almost there yet Dad? I gotta go to the bathroom! Parents, it’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your bicyclists are?

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Update
Apr 10:



Can you spot the heroes in this picture? Answer: Everyone in the picture. Rolling out the Red Carpet, Texas Style NOW you’ve done it! They’ve called security on us. Quiet! Genius at work.





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