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Riding4Hope – Day 24, 7/21/09 Hutchinson, KS

DAILY REPORT:  The weather finally was cooling off. Today it was supposed to be in the low 80’s. the winds were problematic. They were off the beam or just forward the entire day. 

I am not sure how far I’ll get on this tonight. I am really tired and we have another century ride tomorrow to Eureka KS.

We started off the day w/ a continental breakfast and then loaded up in the car for Dodge City. As discussed yesterday, we wanted to keep on schedule so we were driving to Dodge City.

The ride today was rough. In fact it was most likely our hardest day so far. We started at 0830 and finished at 2020. That was a full day of biking. Rt 50 had a nice shoulder and the weather was cool and over cast. The only real challenge was that darn wind. We either had the wind off our beam or just forward. Talk about an energy sucker!!

I was very proud of the boy’s bike handling skills. Because of the strong wind we had to ride in a tight formation to minimize the adverse wind. Everyone did very well. We did get our first flat tire today. Not bad considering we have gone over 2,000 miles. John picked up a small piece of wire which most likely came from one of the thousand blown steel belted tires that litter the road ways. I give a lot of credit to the Armadillo tires and the Gatorskin tires we are using. They are both Kevlar belted and have worked wonders and are wearing well.

We are staying at the Grand Prairie Hotel and Convention Center compliments of the General Manager, Marc Ahrens. This is a big place and you ought to see their pool. Wow!!

I’ll try to add a few more items tomorrow. We are riding to Eureka, KS and it is a little shorter distance. Also the Kitsap Sun wrote up a nice status story on our trip. Thanks Mandy!!

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 7/22/09; 0045

Riding4Hope – Day 23, 7/20/09 – Garden City, KS


DAILY REPORT:  The weather report called for another ideal biking day. Temps in the high 90’s w/ lots of humidity. Tailwinds in the morning followed by head winds in the after noon. A 40% chance of a thundershower.

Today is a long, long day of biking. Navigation wise it is pretty easy; take Rt 50 and travel to Dodge City KS. We got up and had our continental breakfast @ 0630 and were on the road by 0700. We were slightly delayed because the boys were unable to find their room key. It was ultimately found in their luggage.

We wanted to take advantage of the slight tail wind before it turned into a head wind. In the first 3 hrs we traveled over 60+ miles which gave an average speed of 20.3 mph. That is pretty good!! Shortly there after the wind shifted. Additionally the flat road turned into slight “rollers” which slowed us down. The real killer was the heat and the humidity. It really saps your strength.

About twenty miles into the ride we crossed into Kansas. For us it was very apparent; we shift from a nice asphalt road to a tar and chip road. No were near as nice a road to bike on.

Since we were riding 150 miles today we planned stops at 50 and 100 miles for lunch/snacks. We arrived at our first stop but Skip was not to be found. Turned out he went the wrong direction out of the hotel and was slightly delayed. (And I even called him and left a message on his phone to give him a head’s up.)

We stopped for lunch at the 75 mile point. By then the heat was really getting up there and the wind was now a head wind. The boys were beat. We had lunch and then just relaxed (ie cat nap). While we were there we conducted a phone interview with Mandy of the Kitsap Sun. They wanted to do a follow-up article on how we were doing on our trip. It should come out sometime this week.

We are officially at the half way point and have traveled 1,967 miles!!

Skip was working his charm and had gotten a number of free rooms for us over the next several days. However he was having some problems w/ Dodge City. So we discussed possibly stopping short today at Garden City because of the heat, humidity and wind. The twins were in total agreement. Skip was able to acquire a room in two different hotels so that was way better than Dodge City! We want to thank National 9 Inn and Best Western for giving us each a room for the Riding4Hope Team. Thanks much!!

I took a nice cool dip in the pool to cool off. We showered and went out to eat at the Golden Coral. There was a storm front coming in and as the sun set there was a great lighting show as the storm passed by.

Tomorrow we will drive to Doge City and continue our ride from there. That should get us back on schedule and line up w/ the hotel rooms Skip has already arranged.

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 7/21/09; 0030

Riding4Hope – Day 22, 7/19/09, Lamar CO


DAILY REPORT:  The weather report called for another ideal biking day. Temps in the high 90’s w/ lots of humidity. Head wind increasing after noon. A 30% chance of a thundershower.

We drove down to Pueblo this morning. We chose our starting point just after the Pueblo airport as a convenient place to start. You will notice that for the next several hundred miles we will not longer be following the TransAmerica route. When I was planning out the roads; I specifically chose Rt50 because of the very large shoulders and the relatively low number of vehicles on the road. For the next several days we will be dropping several thousand feet. This week is our high mileage week – all days over 100 miles. If everything goes as planned we will complete 6 century+ rides back to back!!

Today we had a fun day biking. We started w/ little to no wind. the shoulders on Rt 50 were perfect for riders; wide and in general clear of debris. Traffic was light. For the first several hours we averaged a little over 19 mph. Then we got some head wind and rolling hills. The boys were bushed by the time we finished for the day.

There we plenty of water stops along the way so we had told Skip to meet us at La Junta (~60 miles) for lunch. After he dropped us off he went to go have breakfast w/ his brother in law who lives in Pueblo. Several hours later we arrived in La Junta so we called Skip to find out where he was at. He said he was 35 miles from town. Asked what happened and he said it was the GPS’s fault because it had gotten him lost. Now I found that very amusing since for the entire day we are on only one road – Rt 50!!! No turns; just a straight shot!!! So we ended up biking to the next town 20 miles further down the road to meet Skip for lunch.

The temperature was really rising. It reached over 100 deg; our hottest day so far.  It felt like we were in an oven during some stretches of road. I told John & James that it builds character!!

Near the end of the day we started experiencing some head winds which the boys said “this sucks.” and we were racing a storm into town to avoid getting rained on (which we did!). We are staying at the the Blue Spruce Hotel in which they are picking up one of the rooms for us. We thank you very much for your kind hospitality. Thanks!!

Dinner was at KFC; on Sunday they have an all you can eat buffet. Once again this is just great for several starving teenagers. I am pretty sure they lost money on us!! Skip then took the boys out for shakes at the local Sonic Restraunt which was very nice. 

Tomorrow is our longest day of the trip of over 150 miles. I was really hoping for a tail wind but doesn’t look like we are going to get it. But no matter how you slice it; there will be some significant saddle time tomorrow.

We really appreciate all the kind words of encouragement and fan mail we have been getting through Facebook and Keep it coming. Thanks!! 

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 7/20/09; 0030

Riding4hope – Day 21, 7/18/09 Colorado Springs Rest Day

DAILY REPORT:  A beautiful sunny day in Colorado Springs. Temps in the low 80’s. Some clouds. Great day for running around doing errands.

Skip got up early so he could go around and take some pictures of the static displays while the rest of us slept in till 0800. We had breakfast and then the kids started laundry. Fortunately our TLF Unit had a washer/dryer; so we could knock out laundry through out day the day. And boy did John and James need to do laundry. Even Skip did a load of wash. He said this was his first time every doing laundry – go figure a laundry virgin!!

The first order of business was to get John’s bike to a a bike shop for repairs. A quick search on Google revealed a number of shops. This place is a biking mecca based on the number of bike shops. After reading a few reviews and some phone calls it was narrowed down to Ascent Cycling. They were able to squeeze us in today for some repairs. I can’t say enough nice things about the owners Patrick Cross & Clay Allison. Patrick was impressed with our trip and really took care of John’s bike – fixing the brakes and handle bars, truing front and back wheels, new handle bar tape, changed out the chain and and a few other minor adjustments. In the end not only did they put a rush on John’s bike but they only charge for the handle bar tape!! Wow!! They are relatively new in town and should you find yourself needing a bike shop in Colorado Springs; they’re the ones!! Thanks much Patrick and Clay!! You guys rock!!

One of our other errands for the morning was to stop by COSTCO and see if they would be willing to resupply some of our consumable stock items – water, Gatorade, jerky, bagels, etc. We met with the manager, John Wynns; explained the Riding4Hope and he said he would be more than happy to comp our list. Now that was really nice. This COSTCO in Colorado Springs is a new model and appeared to be 1 1/2 times bigger that the Silverdale COSTCO. It was very nice and lots of samples were being given out. You could have had lunch based on al the free samples. A big Thank you to John. If any of our followers are in the Colorado Springs area and you find yourself in COSTCO; please seek John out and say thanks on our behalf!!

From there we were off to the Air Force Academy to hook up with Granny Carole and Grandpa Bob. They had already been there waiting for us. This was one of my other goals; to expose John & James to a number of different academic environments so that they could make some solid decisions on their college education as they enter their senior year in HS. Since it was the weekend their were no counselors available to discuss the program; so I had called ahead on Friday and asked them to send some application information for review. It will be available for the boys when we get back home to Silverdale.

So we spent several hours with the Grandparents checking out the campus, visitor center, airfield, etc. Carole and Bob had an early morning flight out of Denver and back to Ft Myers. They had made lodging reservations in Denver to accommodate their flight. We said our good byes; it was really great that they were able to come out and spend a week following us as we headed east on our cross country trip. We will be seeing them again next month during Carole’s retirement celebration. She will be officially retiring on July 31 but will be having a party on 14 Aug. So while we are recuperating our tires/worn legs in VA Bch; at the end of the week we while take a quick flight down to Florida for the celebration and so John & James can see the rest of their aunts and uncle. (Got a great deal on airfare!)

After our good byes, a few more errands and then off to the Golden Coral for dinner. What a place for two growing young lads who need to consume 6,000 calories daily. This is the place!!

Tomorrow we will drive down to Pueblo for our ride to Lamar. We had adjusted our schedule to be able to support the Boys and Girls Club in Colorado Springs and I didn’t want to have to rearrange all our lodging/stopping locations or change the bike the legs. This was the easiest way. So for you purists out there yep we skipped 45 miles of riding across the US.    

Tomorrow we will be riding in the high plains of Colorado to Lamar. Expect to really see the temp and humidity start to rise significantly!

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 7/19/09; 2315

Riding4Hope – Day 20, 7/17/09 – Colorado Springs

 DAILY REPORT:  The weather report called for another ideal biking day. Temps in the mid 80’s again. Slight head wind increasing through out the day. Less than 20% chance of a thundershower. 

So I finished up the journal from Day 19 in the morning, we had breakfast from the back of the trailer — pop tarts and yogurt 🙂 And we were on our way.

Right out of Buena Vista on Rt 24 is Trout Pass which is 9,400 ft and aprox 13 miles long. Normally we like to have a a half an hour warm up as we ride; but not today. It turns out that Rt 24/Rt285 has little to no shoulder and was fairly busy with RVs, vehicles w/ loads, etc. All in all not the best way to start our morning out. 

After the pass, we took Rt 24 towards Colorado Springs and the traffic significantly dropped off. However the cross wind picked up which made riding challenging w/ little to no shoulder. We would have to be very careful not to be “pushed’ off the shoulder by the wind. 

During our pace-line transition (the lead rider falls back to the back of the pace line) we had an accident. John was the lead bike in the pace line and had completed his “pull” and was falling back. While he was doing this a car was approaching so he moved closer to the right and while doing so a strong gust of wind pushed him into James. As it turns out at that particular time there was a guard rail next to us. This then pushed James into the guardrail however James was able to gain control and not fall but John lost control and fell into the guard rail. Thankfully he was OK, He did sustain cuts to both knees, his right shoulder, and several bruises across his chest where he hit the rail. His bike brake hoods were deformed and his front wheel was slightly out of align. A number of cars stopped to render assistance but he was more shook up than anything else. We ultimately got hold of Skip and he showed up and we placed on the bikes in the trailer and called it a day. 

 We decided it was best to just head into Colorado Springs and check into our room at Peterson AFB, get cleaned up and then show up at the Boys and Girls Club at the Youth Center for our 1730 presentation. As it turns out Skip’s sister-in-law had paid for room and we were in a two bedroom TLF (Temp Lodging Facility) – very nice with kitchen, washer dryer, etc. Thanks!!

We got unloaded, cleaned up, verified John didn’t have any serious injuries and then went over to the youth center. There we met Victoria Reid the youth center program director. We gave our presentation and the kids were very interested in our ride across the country and asked lots of questions. Afterwards we went outside and took several group pictures and several of the youth asked if we cold help them fix their bikes. Before long a number of bikes showed up w/ flat tires, brake problems, seat adjustments, etc. The kids were very appreciative of the repairs so that they could start using their bikes again. It was a very successful event. Thanks for having us and your great hospitality!!

Tomorrow is a rest day – that will give us a chance to take John’s bike into the shop for some repairs, grocery shopping, laundry,  etc.

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 7/19/09; 0211

Riding4Hope – Day 19, 7/16/09 – Buena Vista

 DAILY REPORT:  The weather report called for another ideal biking day. Temps in the mid 80’s again and calm winds in the morning picking up in the afternoon. Less than 20% chance of a thundershower. 

So I wrote part of this journal last night but I was just too tired to finish. I finished the rest this morning before we got on the road.

We started out the day with a continental breakfast from Super 8. This gave us an opportunity to get fueled up for our big climb this morning. We packed up the trailer and were on the road by 0730. It was a little brisk out; but the sun warmed us pretty quick.

We decided to take the bike path up from Dillon to Breckenridge, We had a number of different folks tell us that they didn’t think Rt 9 was safe because the volume and lack of shoulder. We go on the bike path easy enough but once we passed through Fresco, we began lost because of the number of bike paths and residential areas we went through. After asking the 4th person for directions my frustration level was such that I was ready to get on Rt 9. This was a nice bike path, it just really needed better signage. One of the cool things along the way we kept seeing were lots and lots of very tiny chipmunks. They were about 1/2 the size of the ones we normally see. 

James noticed that his bike was making “new” noise so about 10 miles into the ride during a quick bathroom break we took a look at it. It was discovered that when we replaced the chain, that it was not properly routed through the rear derailleur. It took us a bit to get this fixed and on the bike path again.

We stopped in Breckenridge for water and a bathroom break. This is a neat little town. Very much geared to the outdoor enthusiasts. Lots of bike rental places, outdoor cafe’s, and of course ski lifts for the winter months. I wished we could have stayed longer on explored but we were on a time table. While I was there I made reservations for whitewater rafting over in Buena Vista for an afternoon run down Brownsville canyon. We checked in w/ Skip who we were going to meet up at the pass and learned that he just gone over the pass and was on his way down the other side. We coordinated our next water stop and we were on our way again.

The climb over Hoosier pass I didn’t think was that bad. I would say the climb to Hurricane Ridge outside our Port Angeles WA is a harder climb. The challenge is the thin air while over 11,000 ft. We crossed the Continental Divide for the eight time. Once we arrived we took pictures and chatted w/ folks. While we were up there another biker arrived (Cotton) and was met by his wife (Joy) so he wouldn’t have to bike down the pass for safety reasons. We thought he had it all wrong, she should have drove him to the top so he could bike down the pass. They were on vacation and having a good time.

Down the back side of the pass we went. We had a nice tail wind and gravity to allow us some great riding. We had coordinated w/ Skip that we would need to trailer the bikes NLT noon so that we could be over at 4 Corners Rafting headquarters by 1300. I wished we could have biked farther, we really had a great tailwind for a change… yes we had to sacrifice a couple of miles of biking. I default to our number one goal – keep the trip fun!!  

We had a great time whitewater wafting. We had a god guide who kept it interesting. The rapids were class II & III. Nothing too dangerous. The water flow had been dropping over the last month and was down to 1,010 cfs. (A basketball is about 1 cubic foot so it would be equivalent to having a little over 1,000 basketballs pass by a spot in one second – that’s lots of water.) The water temp was 50 deg; but it was quite hot in the canyon so it felt good as we went through the rapids. The float down the river was diverse and lots fun.

We checked into the Mountain View Motel who is run by Beau Jean in down town Buena Vista. She is most likely the friendliest and most open hearted person we have met on this trip! She generously donated our room and spoke with high praise of the Wounded Warrior Project. She has a daughter in the Navy and a son in the Marines. A very nice family. She even brought us some fresh oranges and grapefruits to make sure we were getting the right nutrition while on our ride!! A great Mom and a patriot!! Thanks much.

We had dinner at Quincy’s Steak house. We had the best steaks! My Mom and Bob joined us again. We also had the pleasure of having some friends some 27 years ago join us as well – Connie and Joe. I had met them when I worked in Buena Vista back in 1982. We had a wonderful time sharing stories and getting caught up on our families, kids, and lots of stories on animals. Connie has kept a large assortment of animals over the years – birds, goats, horses, wolves, and the list goes on. Connie and Joe are just great folk! 

Tomorrow we off to Colorado Springs. We will be meeting w/ the Boys and Girls Club at Peterson AFB late this afternoon. We are looking forward to meeting their staff and youth.

As I mentioned yesterday, there are a couple new press releases from some of the towns we have passed through over the last two weeks. They can found under “News & Info” 

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 7/17/09; 0745

Riding4Hope – Day 18, 7/15/09 – Dillon CO

DAILY REPORT:  The weather report called for less wind today and temps in the mid 80’s. Once again clear sunny skies were in the forecast. 

This morning for breakfast we went over to the Moose Creek Cafe. When we arrived there were two other bikers just finishing up w/ their breakfast. They were Matt and Ross from Dayton OH. They started on the east coast and were following the TransAm bike route to Astoria OR. Ross had recently graduated and Ross was nearing completion with several more class to knock out. They gave us a few tips and short cuts for today and they worked out very well. Thanks and best of luck on the rest of your ride!

Breakfast was GREAT and was the compliments of Jerry the owner. The breakfast burrito I had rivaled anything I had in ABQ NM and Skip said he had never had any better biscuits and gravy.  Thanks again for all your support and if you ever pass thru Walden make sure you eat at the Moose Creek Cafe’!

The temp was quite chilly when we got up (42 deg). With the sun shinning and beginning to warm things up we actually took off our leg warmers and jackets before we started. It wasn’t long after the first one or two small hills we were just fine. It was 34 miles to the first pass/Continental Divide – Muddy Flats @ 8772 ft. Overall we were a little slow to get into a groove; which was fine since the scenery was very nice. We had a rest and water break at Muddy Flats. Granny Carole and Grandpa Bob also showed up while we were there.

It was basically all down hill to Kremmling for lunch. By now we were “in the groove” and made great time. We hit a little construction but otherwise it was a great 28 mile ride. Actually the construction really helped us out. Since they were using a pilot vehicle to ‘move” vehicles through a single lane; it resulted on groups of cars passing us every 10 mins or so. This was nice and improved our safety.

We stopped in Kremmling CO at the town park for lunch. We had been biking for 60 miles so it was nice to get off the bike for a bit and rest our buns. Granny Carole and Grandpa Bob had picked up some tasty sticky buns from Rawlings. The boys started first w/ desert today 🙂 After lunch I stopped by the Chamber of Commerce / Visitor center and had a nice conversation with Marty. I promised if she checked out our website; I would put in our journal that they had the nicest bathrooms – and they really do!!

We had 40 miles to go to get to Dillon. Marty had warned us that Rt9 had a lots of traffic, little to no shoulders, and to be careful. And was she right. Traffic wise, this was one busy road. We were constantly having to move over for vehicles. About 10 miles into this up hill climb we were passed by two, day riders. This was the first time we had been passed by anyone on this trip (even if they were just day riders!) So after 10 min or so, James put the hammer down and reeled them in. We then road w/ them for a good 45 mins or so. They both were from Boulder and had taken the day off for a 100 mile ride. One was a professor at Colorado University for City Planning.  We had a nice ride together, conversation and the miles flew by. I think they were amazed at how much mileage the boys were doing.

There were no water locations between lunch and Dillon so we were just beginning to run out of water when we came across Bob and Carole waiting for w/ water. What timing!

With aprox 10 miles outside of Dillon we had our first mechanical issue. When James stood up to begin riding over a hill his chain snapped. Fortunately we had cell coverage and I was able to get hold of Skip to bring the trailer w/ spare parts. He arrived w/in 15 minutes and in no time we had James back on the road. At first I thought maybe after the last two weeks of riding James was “bulking out” just a little too much. Then I recalled back in Jackson, the bike shop had to remove James’ chain to grease the rear cog gears. When they did one of the chain links got damaged so they had to shorten the chain by a link. When he told me about that I should have had the shop put a new chain on then and there. Why take chances when you are doing a ride like this? And we were already planning on replacing the the bike chains this weekend during out rest day since we will be around the 2,000 mile mark. Live and learn!

We arrived in Dillon around 1730 and Skip had already checked in at the Super 8 Hotel and talked w/ Hal Williams, manager and fellow biker thanking him for picking up our rooms for the Riding4Hope Team. We really appreciate it, Thanks much!!

After a quick shower we were all off to dinner. I was starved. We went to a brew pub in town which reminded all of us the Silvercity Brew Pub and Restaurant. We sat outside and watched the sun set over the mountains. They had some really good food. We had family and friends swapping stories. Life is Good!

Tomorrow we head over Hoosier Pass @ 11,542 ft!! This is the highest point on the TransAm Trail. It is an ~80 mile day to Buena Vista and if we arrive soon enough we are planning on doing some whitewater rafting through the Brown’s Canyon area on the Arkansas River. This is my old stomping grounds many moons ago. While in college I spent a summer working for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and helped w/ the regulations and whitewater river rafting both in Canyon City and Buena Vista. Who would have thought some 25 years later I would be biking through the area w/ my sons. Pretty cool.

Today we crossed the Continental Divide for the seventh time and finished our seventh century ride so far. Oh yea baby keep them coming!!

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 7/15/09; 0155

Riding4Hope – Day 17, 7/14/09 – Walden CO


DAILY REPORT:  The weather report for today was windy again (10 to 20 ktns) and sunny.

We started the morning having a complimentary breakfast thanks to Tina of the Quality Inn. Since we didn’t have time last night, John, the Navigator for the day; briefed the 110 mile ride from Rawlins to Walden CO. We were going to be riding on I80 for aprox 15 miles this morning. We would be riding with a tail wind on the interstate and then we would be heading due South and expecting to have a strong cross wind.

We had met a couple last night and they were in the restaurant for breakfast. Their names were Frank and Autumn Bro. She was 80 yrs old and was sharp as a tack. Turns out when she retired at age 65 she decided to ride RAGBRAI (Ride across Iowa.) Very nice folks.

The interstate ride was very easy and safe. There was a nice wide shoulder and we had the wind to our backs which made for nice riding. We cruised along at 20+ mph the entire time. After we got off the interstate we headed south and then had a stiff cross wind. It was almost a repeat of yesterday with the strong winds. No fun here!!

As the morning wore on, the wind direction was shifting slightly so that we were getting the off our rear quarter which significant assisted our riding efforts. When we met up w/ Skip for lunch; we were ready for a break and recovery.

After lunch, our road changed direction which put us in a tail wind and Life was Good!! We had a few large “rollers’ but nothing too bad. By the time we finished for the day we were over 8,000 ft. The last 15 miles or so were really tough. The wind/road combination placed the wind at our forward quarter and dropped our speed down below 10 kts. We were very happy when we pulled into our hotel a little after 5 pm. One of the cool things for the boys was that we broke 50 mph on a bike. John said he reached 53 mph — now that’s zipping right along on a bike!!

We would like to thank Betty Lou, owner of the Hoover Roundup Motel for comp’ing our rooms. Thank you very much!! Turns out she is related to President Hoover. We met one of the motel regulars, Mickey who comes up here to fly fish a fair amount. I had a very nice conversation on fishing w/ him until all the mosquitoes drove me inside…..there were LOTS! He is supposed to be coming out to Seattle next year and I told him to look me up and I would introduce him to salmon fishing on a fly ride.

For dinner we ate at the Moose Creek Cafe’. Very good “home cooked meal”. At the end of the meal we met the owner, Jerry and told him about our charity ride and what we were doing. Turns out that last week over 350 cyclist passed through Walden…..Jerry is also the President of the Chamber of Commerce. Once we got talking about the WWP; his entire family was connected to the military from both his parents being in the AF and his brother and sister being in the Army and Navy. What a great patriotic family!! He invited us back for breakfast tomorrow morning his treat. I am just totally blown away by how nice folks have been to us on this trip so far. Just amazing! That’s what makes this country so great!

Today Colorado was our fifth state and our 6th century ride. Tomorrow will be number 7 with a fair bit of climbing. Weather looks good! We’ll keep our fingers crossed!  

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 7/14/09; 0025

Riding4Hope – Day16, 7/13/09

DAILY REPORT:  The weather report predicted a windy day. It would start at 10knt and increase to 20+knts. Sunny day w/ possible thunder showers in the afternoon.

We got up a little later than what I wanted. Ideally we would get out before the wind really got howling but sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want. We knew we had a 40 min drive for Skip to drop us off where we started yesterday some 30 mile outside of town. We needed to get gas and stopped just at the edge of town. It turned out that the attendant was power washing the driveway and Skip talked him into allowing us to use his power washer to clean the car and trailer……it had been awhile and Skip wanted to make sure we looked good while driving down the road! It turned out that the attendant was prior service US Coast Guard and had been injured/shot while doing drug ops in the Caribbean. Thanks for serving your country!

So the long and short it was 1000 by the time we got on the road. Through out the morning the 10 knt wind was on our starboard (right) beam (side) to just aft abeam and getting stronger. To really take advantage of the pace line we basically had to ride abreast of one another which is somewhat dangerous with the width of the shoulder and the rumble strip. We talked safety several times but the gusting wind made things unpredictable. On one occasion the boys touched bikes but thankfully no one went down. There definitely was an adrenaline rush though for the boys and exchange a few choice words to one another! 

In the morning we came across a number of horses and colts along the road. We decided to stop and take a look. they seemed friendly enough so the boys went over and were ultimately able to pet them. Skip showed up shortly there after. John really wanted to make friends, so he went back and got some water for them. They seemed to appreciate the H2O.

We stopped for lunch at Muddy Flats. By then the wind was really howling and the boys were getting tired so it was good place to stop and recuperate. Granny Carole and Grandpa Bob were also there. Shik had found a nice bit of shade under some Whispering Aspens at a DOT building. By now the wind was gusting up to 25-30 knts (yep the calibrated sailors eye!) and our road had shifted directly into the wind. The boys were anything but enthused to ride another 50 miles into Rawlings!! 

After lunch I told them to “Cowboy up and lets go!” Skip initially was driving along the shoulder of the road acting as a wind block. We tried that for a couple of miles but ultimately decided that it was too unsafe and sent him on ahead to our next water stop. For the next 35 miles we had gusts of winds that shifted from ahead to the beam; gusts of wind that would nearly push the bike out from under us! We really had to be careful that we didn’t get pushed into the traffic that was going by. As predicted we got a few showers but it wasn’t too significant and we dried out after 5 mins or so.

We crossed two more continental divides today. That now brings us up to six crossings so far. We are now seeing a lot more bikers. Some are going from East to West and others like ourselves are going West to East all taking different variations of the TransAmerican Route. We met Andrew who was from KY and was also doing a charity ride. There was also Paul from Northern England. A very friendly chap. They both started from Astoria, OR on 19 Jun. They were amazed how far we traveled since we left Silverdale on 28 Jun. Today we have traveled over 1300 miles so we are officially a quarter done w/ our ride. Hard to believe!!  

We checked into the Quality Inn of Rawlings around 1730. Long day. Took a quick shower and went to the hotel restaurant for dinner. Granny Carole and Grandpa Bob were also staying in the same hotel. Tina the hotel receptionist gave us some free dinner and breakfast pass to help support the Riding4Hope Team which was very nice. At the end of dinner, the Grandparents surprised John and James with a birthday cake and cards. It was very sweet of them. They will have headed back to FL on Sunday and wanted to celebrate their BDay a little early. Their actual BDay is 31 JUL. Interestingly for at least the last five years, the boys have not had a BDay at home. They have always been on some Boy Scout adventure and have celebrated their BDay at some cool places ranging from the National Jamboree to Philmont. I guess this summer will be no different.

I did have a electronic casualty in which my Blackberry no longer would play music through the ear piece. It appears that the plug has failed on the device. It will be over a month before I can get a replacement from the Lab and the lack of music for the ride was not an option. So this evening I went out in town and found a cheap MP3 player I could use. Unfortunately the store I stopped at had only 1G version so I expect I’ll be listening to a number of repeating songs since the device can only hold 500 songs or so which I will easily go through over ethe course of a day’s ride.  

Tomorrow we will be leaving WY and entering CO. That will make state #5 and will obviously include the major climbs of our entire ride. Now that sounds like fun!!

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely……and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

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Signing out 7/14/09; 0150

Riding4Hope – Day 15 7/12/09

 DAILY REPORT:  The weather report was basically a repeat of yesterday – for sunny skies and then clouding up in the afternoon. Expected highs were 90 deg. Chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Another great day for biking! 

We started out the day with a continental breakfast at the Twin Pines Lodge. The boys ate enough to get them thru till our lunch time meeting with Skip out near Fort Washakie. We also convinced Jennifer, the manager for a photo shoot. Thanks again for a very enjoyable stay. If you have an opportunity to be in the area of Dubois, check out the Twin Pines Lodge you won’t be disappointed.

While we were in Jackson Hole, I picked up a new pair of Shimano cycling shoes because my pair were beginning to separate at the toe. I had repaired both with some shoe goo, but my left shoe was starting to come apart again. Last night I had put on the new Look cleats and was ready to ride w/ a new pair of shoes. Unfortunately the cleats felt really loose, so after we started I had to head back to the trailer to get my old pair  of shoes. Tonight I’ll look at them again.

After we got going, it was a fast ride. The down hill ride and the lack of wind early in the morning made for a very nice ride. It was interesting to see how the scenery changed as the miles flew by. from sage, to trees, to rock formations to fields of hay. Our first 30 miles we were averaging greater than 20+ mph. 

We were pleasantly to find at a rest stop Granny Carole and Grandpa Bob taking pictures as we came up a small rise. They flew into Denver from Ft Myers FL two days ago for the next week will be following us as we travel WY and CO. It was great seeing them and they both looked great.  They then met us for lunch at  Fort Washakie. It is believed that Sacajawea is buried here in the town cemetery. 

After lunch we continued onto Landers which was 10 miles away. We were starting to experience a broadside headwind. We had decided after we reached Landers, we would check into our hotel room and then have Skip drive us out 30 miles down the road so that we could reduce our mileage tomorrow (126 miles to Rawlins).  This way we only have a 95 mile day tomorrow instead.

By the time we got out there (1530) the temp was in the 90’s and unfortunately the wind had shifted so that we were going to have a head wind on the way back into town.  The boys road well but were bushed by the time we got backing to town. We were hot and tired so we stopped by McDonalds for a well deserved ice cream cone. It was great day of fast riding w/ an overall average speed of 19.1 mph for 108 miles!!

We arrived at our hotel; the Silver Spurs Hotel. Andrea the manager was nice enough to arrange a room for us for the evening. Thanks much for all you support!! The boys really enjoyed the pool.

Tomorrow is a long day of nearly 100 miles in which we will cross the continental divide two times on the way to Rawlings WY. The weatherman is predicting some nasty head wind on our way to Rawlings. There are minimial facilities along the way so we will be depending on Skip, our SAG support for water.

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)