Spokes

The sun was low in the sky on what had been a brilliantly cool desert day. We were on our second of three straight 60-plus-milers, and a welcome tail wind blew out of the north. We always gladly traded warmth for speed. 

We were descending from a 6800 foot pass on Interstate 15 headed for Beaver, Utah, where our beds were. We were tired. Traffic sped by at 75 mph, and on the steepest downhill portions I was holding my own at 39 mph. The exhilaration helped offset the fatigue.

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The Longest Day

The morning desert was chilly. The clouds that had brought rain to us, and flash floods to southern Utah, had passed, and we were left with just a partial overcast. A sky full of LPF’s I called it (PG-13 definition: little puffy fellows.)

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Reentering Bike Life in Salt Lake City

The day started off poorly. I wasn’t feeling very well, kind of like I might be coming down with something, and my timing was terrible. We had numerous chores before biking, and a 50-mile day, so told myself to “suck it up.” I prayed that would work. After three solid days of driving, I was very much wanted to be back in the saddle.

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A Night in Kansas City

I left Kansas City almost 50 years ago, and I’ve never looked back. At the time I couldn’t get out fast enough, and fortunately for readers, the space limits of this blog prevent discussing those details. 

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Westward from Ohio

“New Mexico’s not gonna work.”

“Why?” Mike asked.

“Way too far between motels, altitude’s gonna screw up our daily mileage until we get used to it and it’s too far between motels. Like sometimes a hundred miles or more.”

“Okay, then ‘what’s the plan Dan?'”

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Short of 700 miles But We Made It

Well we made our first-stage (eastern) objective, despite two days of threatening skies and intermittent rain. We were greeted by friendly faces, the first home cooked meal in four weeks and my wife Marilyn, who showed up to surprise me. But we didn’t make our seventh-hundredth mile. Oh well. Odometer evidence below.

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Seeing the Halls

Ken and Clare Hall, my brother-in-law and his wife, have been an integral part of my life for a long time. And not only are they family, they’re close friends as well. One of those nice twists of fate that has you actually liking the people you are related to.

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Changing Plans

Ever since we left New York, crossing the Appalachian Mountains had been a big milestone. We knew the range had nothing like the height or reputation of its western siblings, but this gnarly, weatherbeaten series of ridges was intimidating. And while we only nudged 3000 feet a couple of times, that intimidation was richly deserved. Finally, when we crossed the Ohio River this morning at Wheeling, WV, and entered Ohio, that milestone had been accomplished.

But the very day that the one objective had been accomplished, another was proving impossible. It had finally sunk in, that while we made it from New York to Ohio in 16 days, we just weren’t going to make it to California in the four weeks we had left. The solution seemed obvious.

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The 500th-Mile Day

The lightening flashed and the thunder boomed. There was still some space between the two, and it wasn’t raining yet, so we kept on moving. Then the wind started blowing. In the lee of the houses there was a false sense of security, but when we came to the cross-streets, the gusts carried dust, sand and leaves sideways. Its strength made handling our overloaded bikes challenging. We finally stopped when trash can lids and other debris were blowing across the street in front of us, and there was less than 5 seconds between lightening and thunder. Then the rain came.
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Down Day in Bedford

Bedford, Pennsylvania rings a bell with me, but I can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s the hometown of some sports figure or movie star or just possibly something famous happened here. So far I haven’t had the energy to Google it.
– We’re spending a quiet Sunday here because I have some, ahem, groin distress. I believe the term is chaffing. All told I’ve been in the saddle 12 days without a break, and as a result, my “tropical” area is beginning to feel the “heat.”

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