Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'm following the xc10 bikers and it is like de ja vu all over again. Barbie is doing the best job with her blog and she started with the 09 riders
Just returned from 5 days in North Carolina. Wife and sister-in-law visiting their aunt on business matters. All they needed me for was to drive them from place to place. (Can you say driving Miss Daisy) So, I loaded up my bike and while they took care of business I was off biking the local back roads. Unbeknownst to me, most of central North Carolina is part of the App. mountain range. For three days I was reminded of the cross country trip and all the climbing. I must admit I have gotten better at climbing or at least I think so. On three separate rides I encountered two to three mile climbs of 10% or better. Day one was intimidating but by day three I had gained my confidence. I also have gotten much smarter when it comes to traffic. On 6 separate occasions, with virtually no shoulders on the roads, when a semi truck appeared in my rear view mirror I stopped and got off the roadway until the trucks passed. I like to remind people that while I might be ignorant, I'm not stupid!
I have decided to meet the xc10 folks in Champaign.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Okay followers. I'm officially jealous of the riders of the XC10 cross country bikers. They have not encountered any headwinds the entire trip to date. Their blogs exclaim riding at an average of 22 mph with tailwinds virtually every day. I think they can thank the XC09 riders for using up all the headwinds. In addition, they have not, as yet, had to ride through an all day downpour. Recall Hamburg NY to Canadiaga among others. We must have used those up also. Anyway, I hope this doesn't jinx their journey and wish them continued safety and success.
On another note, I have given the last of my bike program for the season. The Sierra Club at Forest Park Nature center was the venue. An overflow crowd attended but they didn't have the technology I needed (compatible computer, projector). However, I always bring backup equipment just in case so the evening progressed as planned. The highlight for me was the vegan treats following my program. I also received a recycled pen made from discarded materials. Sierra Club members who requested the Youtube site I have provided it on this post.
Today's local paper covered the Peoria bike clubs silent bike ride to bring attention to those bikers who were killed or injured in encounters with trucks and cars. The state of Illinois is making it a misdemeanor crime to hit a biker and a felony to hit and seriously injury or kill a bicyclist. It passed both houses and is awaiting the governors signature. The article also stated many bikers have had near misses while biking. I suggest ALL bicyclists fall into that category! I am traveling to North Carolina next week and taking my bike. Hopefully I can find interesting and challenging bike trails. More later.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hey how about the XC10 riders. They seem to be enjoying fantastic riding conditions and I wish them well. Maybe we used up all the bad riding days. When we crossed the Mohave it was 105 and 110 degree temp. The bloggers for XC10 were delighting in describing the mid 70's with a 20 mph tailwind. They even mentioned, but had the facts somewhat in error, that "a few years ago 5 riders were sent to the ER for dehydration. Actually it was last year and three of our guys had to be re hydrated in the ER. So continued good riding, may the wind stay at your back and above all, be safe!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mixed feelings viewing Jims posting of the pictures of the XC10 group that left yesterday for their journey across America on a bicycle. I had to chuckle seeing them leaving the beach and immediately begin climbing at a 10% grade. While a little envious, I am familiar with the difficulties (headwinds, 12-14% climbs, numb body parts, traffic, possibly going over ones handlebars) and other hardships they will encounter. At the same time they will experience the thrills, friendships awesome scenic views and other positive dimensions that are part of the trip. Just so they know, the bad days (ex, Tumcumcari-Delhart) will fade and the good days will eventually prevail making the experience a once in a lifetime, memorable episode. I recall on a particularly horrific rainy day in Pennsylvania that Hank mentioned "we will look back and forget was a horrible day it was"
I was so motivated by Jim's pics that I did a 50 miler today. It was a beautiful day to ride a bicycle though the farmlands of central Illinois. I would like to inform fellow riders who still follow this blog that the fields are about a month ahead in terms of plant growth. In fact, I thought it interesting that as we passed through central Illinois last year, the plant height then ( a month into the ride) is about what it is today. I was mildly amused that Chris G. had trouble identifying the difference between corn beans and wheat plants.
XC10 riders-I wish you well and may the wind be forever at your back!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Getting close to the one year anniversary of the 09 cross country bike ride. Has it been a year already? Wow. I was told that the older one gets the faster time seems to pass. It was certainly true this year. Just finished presenting my program to three high school classes in O'Fallon, about 20 miles east of St. Louis. As stated earlier, my focus is to empower people to set goals, knowing there will be good days and bad days, and striving for success in attaining ones goals. I use my cross country ride to exemplify that concept. I have one more presentation scheduled before summer, on the 19th, to the local Serria Club. I am amazed at the interest people have shown in these presentations.
As for my biking, I am still getting between 35-40 miles per day 6 days a week. I am very concerned that if I reduce my rides I will lose the endurance I have built up over the year. In fact, I am doing a 65 mile charity ride from Zion Il. to Chicago with my oldest son Christopher. He may only do 20 miles of it since he hasn't done any training. I offered to loan him a pair of my biking shorts but he is afraid he won't look "cool". Ha, one must sacrifice "cool" for comfort. The weather has been co-operating lately except for that nasty 15-20 mph wind.
Looking forward to reading the blogs of the XC10 crew to compare notes.