Well, I promised to start my East Coast bike ride blog on August 29th - so here it is! In 2009 many of you know I rode my bicycle from Manhattan Beach, CA to Boston, MA...some 3600 miles. I did an almost daily blog of that ride - and if you missed it - you can still read it below. I just said "I did a blog of that ride" If the truth be known my wife, Carol, really did the blog. Here's how it worked: I would ride an average of 85 miles per day. I would take pictures along the way...then, every evening before the lights went out I would send Carol a list of bullet points of what I saw and did on each days ride. Then she turned these bullet points into a great blog.
There's no way I could adequately describe that thrill of seeing our beautiful country at an average speed of 16 mph! We traveled as many back roads as possible. The high points were the people we met along the way, the beauty of our country and the many historical points of interest. The low points were the wind, rain, traffic and drivers that don't like bicyclists on the road.
The tour company that I used in 2009 and will be using for the East Coast ride was/is CrossRoads Cycling Adventures. They are terrific! They offer a totally supported ride...that means we stay in motels every night, don't have to carry lots of stuff on our bikes and have two SAG (Support And Gear) vans that travel with us each day. All we have to do is ride our bikes from Point A to Point B.
This trip Carol has been "hired" to drive one of the SAG vans. I'm really excited that she'll be with me for all 25 days of the ride. She'll be working hard from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day so I'm not sure how we'll keep up with the daily blog. We'll see!
I hadn't done much riding since the cross country ride. Last summer I played a lot of golf (Carol's favorite sport) and when we're in residence at our Baja, MX home I can't ride. The roads are narrow, full of pot holes, hilly and the drivers don't know how to handle bicycles on the road.
This year's ride is a "reunion" ride of cyclists that have done the cross country rides with CrossRoads. My 2009 group had 16 people finish the ride. Eight of us are signed up for the 2011 ride. It's hard to describe the strong bonds that were created by riding and living together for 51 days. For the Past two years e-mails and phone calls have been flying through the airwaves.
When I decided to sign up for this ride and get back in shape again I did what I should have done for the cross country ride. I retired my 15 year old, 24 gear Trek bike - all 24 lbs. of it and treated myself to a new, sleek Trek Madone 5.2, 19 lb. bike...with 30 gears. I started training in earnest about 6 weeks ago and have logged 1500 miles. I'm doing 50 - 80 miles a day and am starting to feel like I might just be ready to attack the East Coast. Actually, as I'm writing this Hurricane Irene is hammering the very roads we 'll be traveling!
I'm taking my bicycle in for a "tune-up" tomorrow - and will keep training until September 11th - when I fly to Arkansas for a couple of days of consulting work. Then I head to PA to visit our son Steve and his wife, Andy - and other friends of family that we left behind when we moved west 33 years ago. Then on September 17th I'm meeting Champ, my roommate from the cross country ride - and his wife, Veronica in Portand, ME. We're going to spend three days exploring parts of Maine where my mom and grandparents lived. Carol will be SAG wagon training in Connecticut - and we'll all meet in Portland on Wednesday, September 21th. On Thursday 25 of us will climb on our bikes and head to Portsmouth, NH - our first night's stop!
How about if we do the next blog on September 14th - and we'll start daily blogs on Wednesday, September 21th.
If you're reading this you most likely received a "letter" from me announcing the trip and asking for a donation to the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Scholarship Fund that Carol and I helped start - and that we feel very close to. If you choose to make a donation that would be wonderful. Please feel free to make comments on the blog site - it would be great hearing from you. We are so blessed!