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Jul 1, 2012

Montana to Wyoming

Clicking the week’s summary chart will bring up a detailed route map for the week including elevation gains. After the summary and overview of the week and Sheila’s op-ed piece, you’ll see the posts in order starting with the first post of the week.You can view any week of posts by clicking on the week in the sidebar.

Click to see week-2 overview summaryWe’ve now completed 2 weeks of our 9 week journey, covering more than 1,000 miles and more than 33,000 feet of climbing. This week we battled 3 days of headwinds, one bad enough to force us to sag at 55 miles, crossed the Continental Divide and climbed Teton Pass with 10-14% grades in searing heat. Today is our rest day. While Spencer does our laundry I get to share some thoughts with you.

This week’s op-ed from Sheila

no kvetching

Dear Morning you come with so many angels of mercy, so wondrously disguised in feathers, in leaves, in the tongues of stones, in the restless waters, in the creep and the click and the rustle that greet me wherever I go with their joyful cry: I’m still here, alive! (excerpt from “Then Bluebird Sang” by Mary Oliver)

Our dear friends Bill & Sooz gave us a sweet and thoughtful departing gift…a small package of homemade messages with tiny reminders and inspirations for each week. The first one was “Let the adventure begin” and week 2’s was “No Kvetching” and included this lovely excerpt from Mary Oliver.

We feel really good about keeping to our intentions to be present, not wishing things to be other than they are and not complaining (ie: kvetching). When I shared this goal with another rider he pointed out that sometimes kvetching helps you find a solution to an issue. That’s different because it’s problem solving not complaining about the same thing over and over in a whining voice. It’s one thing to “note” what you’re experiencing in the moment and another to dwell on it and wish it to be different. Spencer and I have helped each other with this rolling practice. I might say my butt hurts and he’ll say time to stand. We might say all the food tonight held such promise but it was all undercooked then remember they’re the yearbook kids and not the kitchen staff. It is what it is and dwelling on the unpleasant doesn’t change it or help at all.

unusual cowboy roadsignWe’ve been inspired by several of our fellow tour members. Denny from Mukilteo, WA is a 5 year lung cancer survivor riding cross country missing half of one lung. Every day is hard for him but he persists.  Ric from Monroe, WA has kept a smile on his face and a great attitude despite being one of the last in every day. All the saddle time finally caught up with him and he ended up in writhing pain, doubled over and nearly in tears. But he sought treatment, missed a few days of riding and is back in the saddle with some bike adjustments. Another rider arrived for only this one week. The mechanics found her carbon-fiber bike had a hairline crack in it and it would be dangerous to ride. She could’ve just gone home but instead she used a loner bike, heavy and ill-fitting, and successfully completed the week with a smile on her face. Go Dorothy! It seems attitude IS everything.

Thanks to all the other riders for inspiring and motivating us. And thanks to all our readers for letting us know you’re there with your encouraging and thoughtful comments. They mean a lot to us.

Jun 25, 2012

Week 2 begins

tent

Today we started our journey anew. About 17 new riders have joined us and a half dozen have left. We number about 80 this week.  Our first stage of week two takes us further east in Montana. We got a leisurely start because the course went right by our motel. The early morning was lovely […]

Jun 26, 2012

Wind wins

wind

What a day! The big news is that for only the third time in our cycling career, we took the sag wagon. (That would be the truck that picks up riders who can’t finish for one reason or the other.) The good news is that we are both well, there were no injuries involved, and […]

Jun 27, 2012

Earth, wind and fire

s2-cinnamon-roll

In Townsend we were fed at the Wood Family Grill. The folks there did a bang up job. But they underestimated how much a pack of hungry cyclists can eat. The owner came out to apologize and a said, “We’ve served a group of 55 Army Rangers, and we thought those guys could really eat. […]

Jun 28, 2012

Headwinds again!

S2-at-picnic-with-vista

After writing last night’s blog, we went to dinner at the Ennis High School. It was pasta and veggies, but no protein. As I sat at the table, all the energy in my body drained away. I realized that the fight against the wind all day had taken a huge toll. We were in bed […]

Jun 29, 2012

Payback

Lower-Mesa-Falls

What a difference a day makes. Today Mariah was working in our favor all day. (They call the wind Mariah) It makes riding a bike long distances so much easier to take. We are ever so grateful for days like today. And to top it off, it was a short, mostly downhill ride. A perfect […]

Jun 30, 2012

1000 miles down, 3200 to go

hot air balloon

Our training continues to pay off. Not only are our bodies in shape for this epic journey, but our attitudes and capabilities are up to snuff as well. We rode very hard today and still came in with smiles on our faces. Our trip today was divided into thirds. The first third was rolling farmland. […]