A very memorable moment on the bike tour was accidentally competing in a road race. Competing is a bit of a stretch. If I recall on day three of the bike tour, I hurt so much and the hills were so steep that I walked my bike for a third of the day.
Originally Posted February 03, 2007
I'm typing out from Andre's house here in the border town of Jucumba. It's at the bottom of a hill 300 yards from Mexico in the neighborhood of Patron's roots. Once again some amazing hospitality meeting us at the end of a long day. We were giving Andre a ring from the pay phone and we rode to his house in the dark. We're his first warm showers guests since he moved here in November. We feel pretty special and he hooked us up with laundry and an air mattress. The good news is that the climbing is pretty much over. We have a little tomorrow, but it is nothing like yesterday or even today.
Along our travels today since we left the ranch we ran into a bike race. We were definitely a little out of place loaded up as hundreds of men... and a few women with tiny butts whizzing right by. However, they did give me a nice shout as I went across the finish line. I did put in a bit of a push at the end. I think I even passed one of the racers. After the race ended, the day drifted away from us as the miles flew past down the huge hill. Afterwords I heard them saying things like "Did you get him in the gap or did you break away."
This post isn't really organized, but I'd like to get to sleep sometime tonight and let John use the computer.
So many wonderful and varied hosts on my bike tour! Jerry and Margaret enjoyed a large gated-off ranch with horses and warm weather year round. They had poodles, good food, and friends. She mentioned something that stuck with me. She was living her dream.
Was I living my dream pedaling across the country? I was certainly living a dream. It almost doesn't feel real anymore. Reading back in my journal, I wasn't sure of very much at all. Retrospectively, this was the trip of a lifetime. At the time is was hard to think about anything other than my sore butt from the increased time in the saddle.
Am I living my dream now? In the moment it is alway hard to think past the poopy diapers announced with a "Happy New Year!". It is hard to see past the shouts for "Up! Up! Up!" interspersed with exhausted tears. It is hard to move beyond the thunder of the child bear crawling through our small house at an alarming speed.
I am glad I'm journaling and sketching now recording these hard moments. 15 years from now I'll look back and I hope I'll say I was living my dream.
Are you living your dream? What is your dream? Can you think back to a time when you were living your dream?
I don't have all the answers, but I'm going to try to love my life now for what it is AND I am going to chase my dreams. I don't think they are mutually exclusive.
Originally Posted February 02, 2007
Jerry and Margaret's Ranch - 18 miles
We're staying with Jerry and Margaret after a climbing 3000ft over 20.9 miles. It was basically all up hill. They put us up in their unfinished garage. It is huge and their house is huge and it is beautiful. Wendy, their friend the interior designer, brought fruit salad to dinner. They offered us leftovers: meatloaf, chicken barley soup, homemade bread, salmon, and baked beans. It was all delicious. Great conversation and Jerry and Jon spoke quite a bit about their motor bikes. But I'm beat. It was a long hard day and we stopped at their call box by their gate hoping they'd put us up. They have a bunch of sweet poodles that enjoyed getting loves. One was named Reba...
In the morning they had us up for breakfast and coffee. Once again their hospitality was wonderful in their bead board kitchen. As Margaret said, she's living her dream.
Originally Posted February 01, 2007
Lake Jennings - 25 miles
Many thanks to my 21 year old self for making these notes about what I brought on the trip, because now I just can't remember. I do remember that I felt like I had enough stuff... such a nice lesson to recall.
I don't have a lot of this gear anymore. I do still have and use the bike, helmet, panniers, sleeping bag, bike shoes, sleeping pad, and this mesh safety shirt. You can see that the back of the shirt is pretty faded in the bottom left corner of the picture.
I tried setting up this tent at the end of last summer and it was flaking and falling apart. So I salvaged a bit of the notions off of it and, with great pause, threw it in the trash.
Originally Posted February 01, 2007
This list is not yet finished...
A note on packing... everyone packs differently. That's it.
Left Rear Pannier - The brains of the operation.
Right Rear Pannier - Tools and overnight stuff.
On Bike/Body - Waterbottles and sunglasses and stuff.
Handlebar Bag - Everything I need to make it through the day.
Front Pannier - Back up food in the bottom's of both and clothing split between the two in no particualar fashion.
A note on clothing... if I did it over I would bring two refelctive mesh shirts and less longsleeve shirts. Most days I wore the reflective shirt and my bike shorts. Assume everything is some variety of synthetic unless I specify otherwise.
cycling shorts (2)
reflective mesh t-shirt
sports bra (2)
patagonia longsleeve zip-T (2)
lightweight rain jacket and pants
bike socks (3)
fleece socks (I keep in the bottom of my sleeping bag)
reflective pant ankle straps
helmet w/sideview mirror
tent - Meridian 1 made by Mountain Hardwear. Sets up fast. I sent the tent home half way through and just set it up using the poles, rainfly, and ground sheet now.
sleeping pad - Thermarest: Z-lite
cargo net bungee - holds it all together
sometimes I tuck food under the net or whatever else I need to