Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 16 - Day Off

We had a welcome day off today to refresh our bodies and to take care of laundry needs and Walmart runs. It's nice to take time to watch the Masters Tournament and stretch out.

Some have asked me how this trip compares to my 1974 trip. It's hard to compare them since so much has changed in the 37 years between trips. The 74 trip was 3400 hundred miles in 33 riding days along the more rugged north route crossing. This trip is 2500 miles along the southern route and avoids the huge passes in the Rockies and the Appalachians. My bike back then weighed 34 lbs. with 10 gear combinations compared to this bike at 20 lbs. with 30 gear combinations. The clothing and riding gear has vastly improved over the years to make distance cycling much more comfortable. So, even though I'm 37 years older than my first crossing,  I believe this trip feels better 1/3 of the way through than in 74.

Some of you have gotten back to me and asked for pictures of some of the other riders. Ironically, that is exactly what I planned to do starting this weekend. So, I am combining some of the pictures I've taken so far with this post. Here are some of them in their "civilian" clothes: 

Audrey - from Chesterton, IN has been Wheels support vehicle driver since 2004.

Karl - our German immigrant friend and retired cabinet maker from Van Buren, IN.

Sean - my roommate for the weekend and retired federal employee from Annapolis, MD. Sean has an impressive biking pedigree, all since he retired 10 years ago.

Marilyn - our cook and truck driver for Wheels for many years from Warsaw, IN

Bonnie (left) from Brimfield IL and Lou, from Chillicothe, IL. Lou's last official day of work before retiring was actually after she left for the ride.

Terry - a very steady rider from Palos Hills, IL and veteran of multiple crossings.

Derrel - former Vietnam vet and rider from Eagle, MI who decided to go on the trip just 10 days before the trip began and without substantial training. He's done well despite his lack of conditioning.

Edith - a retired nurse from Chillicothe, IL rides the only Acme brand bike on the trip

Jim - is a retired law enforcement officer from Strawplains, TN and is one of our youngest (53) and strongest riders.

Rose and Richard - our dairy farming couple from Fowler, MI who are as successful  riding coast to coast as they are at dairy farming.

Gary - a real estate broker from Okemos, MI came on the ride in NM and will stay with us through Texas. He is a very strong rider. He is also the father of 13 kids - all but one adopted!

Janech and Bob (Coach) Davenport - Coach is founder and director of Wandering Wheels since 1964 and Janech is our lead bike mechanic and enforcer when it comes to cleaning our own bikes.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting contrasts. Glad to "meet" your companions! Hope you have another great week ahead.