The Riders

The Riders
The end at Yorktown

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Made it to Utah today

A sample of the wild life along the road.
We have been prompted to explain why we are doing this...biking across the country, or in my case, the western part of the U.S. We have some reasons in common, I am sure, but more that are unique to each.

For me it goes back to an aborted bike trip ten years ago, a trip begun because I like challenges. I knew little about how to prepare and had no support, but launched from LA, heading for Chicago, pedaling a cross bike with a bunch of stuff bungee corded to the back rack. After some unexpectedly difficult experiences I quit, packed up my bike, took a bus from Phoenix to Denver, to the home of my children, for R&R. So going with a group with more experience and support has been very satisfying.

For me the trip is also about seeing the beauty of creation, of nature, and of people. And there has been so much of that, for which I am very grateful.

Yesterday, as we reached Baker NV, my bike odometer reached 1,000 kilometers. During the ten days since the tire was dunked in the Pacific it has not always been on, so my daily totals are more than that. The goal of riding 2,000 kilometers on this western trip seems attainable. I am thankful for the many fine friends and family membes who pledged a gift to AJS for each kilometer I ride. Thanks for your means so much.

I thought today was pretty special. In fact I have a "top ten list".
10. Leaving Nevada for Utah...we are moving right along, slightly ahead of schedule!
9. The group biking over two peaks, Wah Wah and Frisco, each requiring an elevation gain of more than 1,200 feet.
8. The leisurely cup of coffee I enjoyed before driving the support GMC to a point up the road, then coming back to ride with Pete, Dave and Phil.
7. The songs of faith, most of which were learned in my youth, that I sing while riding, especially when the going is tough.
6. Hearing an eagle cry as I reached a summit.
5. Today was the first time I ever saw a rattle snake in the wild. A small one, about 2 and 1/2 feet, it crossed the road as I watched its every move as it watched my every move, rattle rattling.
4. Seeing a burrowing owl standing alongside the road, watching the prairie dogs holes for young ones it might have for breakfast.
3. Phil having a long ride after several days of not being on the bike.
2. Delighting in such little things as a cloud providing cooling shade, leading me to recall the thankfulness of the Israelites when God provided a cloud cover when they were in the desert.
1. Just making it through another day of challenge. In all I did 112 kilometers today, for a total of 1,112. The last 14 miles today were all good is that?!

Tonight we are in Milford, Utah. Tomorrow we head for Cedar City.
God bless you all, gary

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