Monday, May 30, 2011

8 days until I leave for Seattle ...

Since Denver is between Georgia and Seattle the sag wagon van, new trailer, and 8 riders will be arriving at my house June 6 to sleep over and take me with them to Seattle. June 7, off we GO!!

I am a day late with this posting because we have been staying with our two grandkids while my son and wife have been on a much needed vacation. It was fun to spend time with them, but it hurt my training time. I only managed 4 days riding for 12 hours in the saddle and only 165 miles ridden. This week may not be much better with two days scheduled at the dentist, and I need to start packing to see if I can manage with only one duffle bag that can be no larger than 4,500 sq inches. It doesn't help that my dentist is 80 miles away. At least my bike maintenance is set for one of the days I'm at the dentist.

A day late on my weigh in, I am now at 195 lbs which means that I gained a lb, and makes me way too many lbs over my goal. Bummer!

I am trying to produce this blog using only my iPad, which is all I am planning to take with me on this ride. I think I'll need a session at Apple before leaving. I can't figure out how to get a picture, and Pages here is different from the full version; I'm using Pages for the rough draft before publishing.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Two weeks left to train ...

19 days to report for action in Seattle

Lost two days training to the rain, and a partial day when I got caught in a hail storm. It started to rain, so I stopped and went under a store front overhang; before I could even get my rain jacket out the hail came pounding down, and piled up, and stopped about 20 minutes later. The rain continued another half hour until the hail had been washed away. If the rain had not started for another 5 minutes I would have been out on the trail with no cover, and a very unhappy camper (rider).

I finally got two back-to-back 75 mile rides in yesterday and today. Now I only have to do that 6 days in a row to equal what our average will be for this ride. Total for the week is 279 miles, 23 hours in the saddle. Since I started in March I have now logged 1,875 miles trying to get ready for this ride. I think I need all the miles I can get in to try to keep up with these 20 year olds.

Only lost one lb this week, now at 194 lbs and 6 lbs over my goal. At this rate I will be lucky to get down to 190 lbs before I leave.

I caught up and passed another rider today north of Boulder. That does not happen very often, in fact, almost never. She was on a fixed speed Schwinn that she said she got as a 14 year old in 1940. :-)

This is my favorite picture of raptors. This is a Swainson's Hawk that I took on one of my rides a couple weeks ago.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Three weeks left to train ...

26 days to report for action in Seattle

Tomorrow is my last day volunteering at the Raptor Education Foundation until I get back from this adventure. We have 29 raptors that we care for and use in educational programs throughout the country. I usually try to volunteer twice a week, and was lucky enough to be Volunteer of the Year last year. Here is a short video of my buddy, a Harris’s Hawk that I am holding on my arm out in the yard to get him some sunshine. Watch closely at the start of the video and you will see a Golden Eagle flying across the pen in the background.

My fat cells seem to be winning. I am still at 195 lbs, and now 5 lbs over my goal. It used to be easier to lose weight when I was running, which makes me think fat cells don’t like bouncing! I have lost enough weight, or toned up a bit, that now I am having trouble with my butt and my saddle. I have to make sure the wrinkles are flat under my sit bones to keep from getting blisters.

Lost two days training to rain this week. I don’t mind riding in the rain, but it has been just too cold for rain. Total for the week is 17 hrs in the saddle, and 202 miles. Again only one day at 75 miles, when I need to be doing some back to back to back 75 mile days.

Thanks to all who have donated to help me reach my goal to ride, but more importantly they have helped eliminate poverty housing. Together we can make this planet a better place to live for all.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Four weeks left to train ...

 33 days to report for action in Seattle

 Same Great Horned Owl nest as last week, but from the first time I found them. Mamma is stepping gingerly over the babies before flying off. She did not like me stopping for pictures.

Found out this week a quick way to loose weight. Just get sick for a few days. I am now at 195 lbs, only 3 lbs over my goal. Had to cut my Thursday ride short, and spent Friday and most of Saturday in bed. Still not feeling well enough to get on my bike, so I’m way short of my 240 miles for the week. I did start the week strong, so I ended up with 171 miles and almost 16 hours in the saddle. I was hoping for two 75 mile days this week, but will just have to do it next week.

We now have 25 whole way riders, plus our van driver, and another 31 riders doing one or more week long segments. That is a total of 57 people on this adventure. What a statement we will make as we ride across the country!

What a bunch of neat people we have on this ride. You should go to the Fuller Center page, button on right, and read about them. When I was getting serious about signing up for this adventure I was worried about raising the money. I hate to ask people for money, but I was recently reading an interview given by one of my fellow riders, Loyal Mehnert, and he said:

“… by not giving a little, you miss out on the chance of making a real difference. When I head off on these wild travelanthropic adventures, it’s not $10,000 donations that roll in. It’s $25, it’s $50, it’s $100. That may not sound like a lot but when you have dozens or hundreds of people pitching in, we all truly become part of something much larger than ourselves. You may not even meet the people who benefit from the charity you’re donating to. But know that for the rest of their lives, they will be thankful to the strangers that took a minute out of their day to donate or a weekend to volunteer. That tiny bit of time or money you gave will radically change their lives.”

So, why am I riding, and donating to my own ride? Simply to make a difference in the lives of people who need a little help.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Five weeks left to train …

40 days to report for action in Seattle

The good news is that I made my goal of at least 210 miles, finishing with 212, and 20 hours in the saddle. Next week’s goal is 240 miles. The wind is still my friend, but you know how it is when friends stay too long? Almost wore out my brakes trying to keep from being blown into Kansas with the wind at my back on the way home the other day.

The bad news is I did not lose any weight; still at 198 lbs. But, I figure since I lost 4 lbs last week, I’m still on track for 2 lbs per week. Oops, just counted weeks. I started at 210 lbs eight weeks ago, so I should be down to 194 lbs. So now I’m 4 lbs over my goal! I just checked my bike log, and last week it registered 10,766 calories burned! Now, I have to wonder, how many calories are in a root beer float? This could be depressing.

Our Anthem Ranch riding club started riding last week. On Tuesdays we ride an easy 20 miles or so; Wednesdays we ride in the mountains about 15 - 30 miles; Thursdays, a short social ride to the local pub; and Fridays, our long flat ride of about 30-45 miles. Weather is still a little sketchy, so turnout is not great yet. I want to ride with them, but my training does not always allow it (as I need longer rides) especially the pub stop.

Practicing putting pictures in my blog. This is a Great Horned Owl nest that is on one of my regular routes.

Great Horned Owls do not build their own nests, this was a crow nest last year.

A good week riding:
Monday - 37 miles
Tuesday - day off to work a raptor program at a school (we brought a screech owl, an American Kestrel, a Harris’s Hawk and a Golden Eagle--kids love it, and I love showing the birds!)
Wednesday - 55 miles with a stop for lunch halfway
Thursday - 74 miles to Carter Lake Reservoir
Friday - 31 miles with bike club
Saturday - 15 miles to reach goal for week of 210 miles
Sunday - day off for church and rest; maybe a ping pong match to keep me moving a little bit