Thank You to My Sponsors

  • Ernie Wilson
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  • Henry Gundling
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My Calling Card

My Calling Card
The important facts in a nifty size

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Odessa to Spokane, day 4, 6/27

We had ourselves some quick breakfast at the highschool made by the same wonderful ladies that had made us dinner the night before. Catie, Letty, and I started off the day a little rough. We made a wrong turn at the very first intersection we came to and before we could even realize it, Catie and Letty had a big crash on the side of the deserted town road.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

May 26th, Day 3! Vantage to Odessa.

Up at 5:30 am again. Still an ungodly hour. Give me a few more days to get used to it. Breakfast was full buffet style at a local restaurant as a group. We had a tight and busy bridge to cross first thing in the morning so we got into formation with a support in front and back and all 37 riders riding together in the middle. Never experienced escort service quite like that. It was a long long hot hot day. A bit of headwind and lots of rolling hills. I rode with Greg, a fellow recent graduate from Nebraska, for most of the day. The bum was hurting a WHOLE LOT that day. Also forgot to grab my sunscreen that morning and got my first bad burn of the trip. I also got stung by a very rude little bee on the road. I hadn't been stung in so long I forgot how much those stinkers hurt!! I definitely screamed outloud and made a few cows jump on the side of the road (figuratively of course, they can't really jump...silly cows). We finally rolled into Vantage highschool and set up camp after 85 long rough miles. Some ladies from the town made us a very tasty dinner, after which I tossed the frisbee with a few of the guys, dunked my burnt little body in the local pool, and then it was off too bed.

June 24th, day 2! Easton to Vantage

Day 2 of the big ride began at 5:20am. Yikes that hour was going to take some time to get used to. I got out of my tent and almost fell over my own feet as I stood up, I was still so tired and out of it. We packed our gear, had a quick bite of oatmeal and bananas and were on the road by 7am. Catie Letty and I were again some of the last to leave camp but we caught up with the rest quickly and were at the middle of the group by late morning. Had some nice downhills leaving the cascades, then ran along a beautiful river with widning country roads. We had a great tail wind for much of that morning. We did 25mph easily without barely peddling. After our last rest stop for the day, we stop at starbucks to get our caffeine fix before beginning the supposed long hard climb for the day. The climb ended up being no match for our mad awesome muscles and high spirits. I made friends with a horse on the road as we shared my granola bar. (I really hope horses aren't allergic to chocolate). Anyway, he was grateful and nodded me as i took off down the road again. had another great downhill with tailwind at the very end of the day and I hit my next record speed of 40.01 mph . SOO MUCH FUN. Cold beers and hot showers at camp finished the day off perfectly.

May 23rd. The First Day!!

Well it was a pretty restless night. I was so nervous I could barely sleep. Some of our fears had been put to rest the night before by a veteran who had answered our many many questions mostly regarding our deep seated fears about having to be sagged in one of the support vehicles if we ended up being too slow. I had a couple nightmares about sore butts and being left in the dust and woke up well before my 5:30 alarm went off. Letty, Catie and I got our gear together and rode off to the starting line by 6am which was about half a mile away from the university. We had a little breakfast at the starting line, took a million pictures, watched other riders say goodbye to their family and friends who were seeing them off, and then it was time to start the ride. My mind was still fuzzy and in total disbelief that I was really starting this thing that I had been talking about and planning for for over 6 months. We were some of the last to leave, but we were happy to realize that we had easily passed half the riders by 15 miles into the trip. We started on a really neat shaded and winding path out of the city and every minute of it was more exhilerating than the last. Eventually the terrain changed to highways and then to rolling hills and then to the big test of our training and endurance, "Snoqualmie Pass." We knew it would be several miles of climbing and we had been nervous about that mountain for months, but I guess our training climbs on Mt Veeder in Napa paid off because it was way easier than we thought it would be and we reached the summit still breathing and our heads held high. There was still some snow on the pass, and even a little snowman that we later discovered was made by on of the riders, Simon, during his short residency in a nearby ditch. We had a little coffee at the summit and then began our long and well deserved descent. I topped out at 38 miles an hour going down and was feeling quite proud of myself as we rolled straight into camp after our downhill, completing the longest ride of my life at 91.4 miles. I couldn't believe I'd made it, and I wasn't even close to being last! We enjoyed cold beer and sausages that night, courtesy of former big riders that had ridden with us just for the day, and then konked out in my little green canvas house feeling very pleased with myself.