7/5/15 Summary Day #21: Today we said goodbye to Wyoming and entered South Dakota however; it was a rough day for the Tandem. Something that Alesia & ate yesterday did not sit well and both of us were very much under the weather. Thanks to the rest of our group for settling back, making a pocket and dragging us into the hotel. We spent the rest of the afternoon napping and an evening of chicken noodle soup, crackers and Pedi alight cocktails. Tomorrow is Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse. I hope we feel better.
7/4/15 Summary Day #20: First, Happy Independence Day and thank you with the deepest of gratitude to all of our fine service men and women that contributed in earning and preserving the freedom and liberty of this great nation of ours. Well… Go figure, I think that our group felt so good today after our recovery day yesterday we just decided to use up all of that recovery in one quick swoop on todays ride… Anyway the Texas Train group rode very well today as a unit. Aside from a long arduous ride there were three highlights. The first highlight of the ride was the 20 mile climb that came at mile 70 and we raced a 100 car locomotive up the hill. The Texas Train group exchanged waves with the conductor as we passed them on the ascent but just prior to the summit there was gradual descent where the train picked up momentum and the conductor tooted as he blew by us! Then around a curve came the final upward grade of the climb where our group captured the train in our sights, bridged the gap, passing the train and waving to the conductor as our group crested the summit! Too much fun. The second highlight was rolling into the hotel parking lot because we were ALL spent! Tomorrow brings 97 miles and we enter our next state (of the nation..) The third highlight was enjoying the spectacular fireworks celebration in the town of Lusk, WY. This was true Americana at its best. The display was at the fairgrounds and kicked off with prayer from the local pasture, than our National Anthem immediately followed with 45 minutes of fireworks. What an opportunity to be part of.
7/3/15 Summary Day #19: Today was a well deserved and appreciated rest day and afternoon off of the saddle. A quick massage to work out some kinks, a relaxed lunch with friends Rita and Else, and a quick trip to the bike shop to pick up a spare tire and a water bottle to replace the one I dropped on the road the day before and some guy in a car ran the thing over and busted it, (Something tells me that it was not an accident and the water bottle was just a target on the road).
7/2/15 Summary Day #18: Today was a full day of work presenting 120 miles of prairie land. The first 60 miles was a perpetual low grade climb, with a very narrow tire patch and consistent head and cross winds. The back 60 was the same except for it being a low grade descent with a stronger head and cross winds. Aside from an occasional elk and prairie dog distracting our attention, we occupied our time in the saddle by giving each other token Indian Names... (since we were in Indian country it only seemed appropriate, and it would be inappropriate to share the names over the internet). The one main attraction of the ride was stopping to see "Hell's 1/2 Acre". This was the point where the Indians rounded up buffalo herds into a charge and ran them off the cliffs. The Texas Train made it safely to our destination with a 19.1 average speed thanks to our group sharing the work together. A quick bite for lunch at "The Wonder Bar" in downtown Casper, WY and everyone looking forward to a rest day on Friday.
6/22/15 Summary Day #8: Crossed our first state, out of Oregon and into Idaho! It was another warm sunny day. The morning started out with some typical hijinx filling Alan's handlebar bag with rocks, which of course he did not find until the end of the ride when he pulled out his wallet to pay for lunch!. This route offered beautiful rolling hills and scenic countryside views. Fifteen miles into the ride the tandem got a pinch flat over some railroad tracks, a quick repair by the team and the Texas Train was back on the road. A few miles outside of fist and only rest stop the Texas crew pulled a tactical maneuver and made an attack on the support crew that was riding with us. The tandem boxed them in sending Alan and Glenn on an attack off the front. Once the gap stretched the tandem launched the second assault bridging up to Alan and Glenn, latching them on and racing into the rest stop. Too much fun for one day... Don't mess with Texas ;-)) the balance of the day was a nice tempo into Boise where everyone gathered for lunch and laughs at the 13th Street Grill. Tomorrow is a rest day off the bike. (Thanks for the well wishes Pam & Keith Harris)
6/16/15 Summary Day #2: Summary Day #2: Today was an absolutely fantastic ride from St. Helen, OR to Welches, OR. We rolled out of the Best Western Hotel at 7:30am and aside from one stubborn flat tire with our group, we were welcomed to 77.5 miles of slow rolling hills with a mild tail wind and only one steep climb. Rest stops were filled with goodies and today we were treated to "Voodoo Donuts", oh my goodness, they were GOOD! Most of the route was along the Columbia river bike path until we turned into the hills and rode towards the silhouette of Mt. Hood in the distance. It was so grand it felt like you could reach out and touch it... Simply spectacular! A quick bite for lunch at "The Wrap", checked into our room at "The Resort at The Mountain", reviewed tomorrow's route at "Ride Rap" and off to dinner at "The Whistle Stop".
6/15/15 Day 2: Today is the first official day of the journey. Early breakfast, followed by loading bags into the vehicles, a group photo with all of the riders on the tour, quick goodbye to the "Golden Girls" and off we went to our next destination. The weather started out crisp and refreshing and aside from the passing logging trucks the asphalt roads were a pleasure to ride on. The route was a combination of rolling hills with a mild tail wind and only 2 large climbs with exhilarating decents of 50 mph. Once in St. Helen the weather warmed up substantially. After unloading bags and checking into our room we gave the equipment a quick once over, a light clean and lube and off to dinner and tomorrows ride overview. Time for a good nights rest and do it over again tomorrow.Summary Day #
Summary 6/14/15 : We pedaled from Astoria, OR to "Shipwreck Beach", ceremonially dipping our front wheels in the freezing Pacific Ocean to officially begin our journey, (as well as the Golden Girls!!!). It was a beautiful day, all equipment worked flawlessly, including our legs. Lunch at the "Astoria Coffee House", a 2 hour orientation followed by dinner, a few bottles of wine and board games with our group, (not too competitive of a group... nobody played by the rules!) Time to pack up and head East in the morning!
Pre-Ride "A" Summary: Refreshed after a good nights sleep. A nice hardy breakfast and off for a quick ride to test the bikes to work the kinks out. Ooopppss... We're not in Texas anymore, need to figure out were we are going. Thank goodness for our "Human GPS" Alan a Hasty. Had to cut the ride short due to a few mechanicals but provided the opportunity to visit the local bike shop, watch the sea loins and yes... Eat! Rider registration and bike inspection completed and followed by a great dinner at "The Bistro" and a nightcap in the lobby with fellow riders (Guess I need to work on taking Selfies)
Many months of planning, preparation and training and departure is now just a few days away. The journey begins... 4:30am wake up call, off to the airport at 6:00am. Nice flight from Dallas to Portland with Glenn and Barb Rudolf where we collect ours bags, a couple of bikes and meet Daniel, Alan, Aunt Bonnie and Dunkin. A quick bite for lunch on the river followed with a nap on the ride up to Astoria to get situated for the first night. Hhhmmm.... Should we have a glass of wine or assemble the bikes??? How about both! Dinner at the Baked Alaskan Restaurnat and calling it an early night.
Alesia & Craig Kasprzycki
Glenn & Barb Rudolf
7/17/15 Summary Day #33: The sun decided to return today and what a nice day it was. The first 30 miles of the ride were almost built for a tandem with long gentle grades and a light tailwind. The next 30 miles was on a cinder bike path that started in the town of Sparta, WI which is self proclaimed as the greatest cycling city in the country. While on the trail we encountered three enormous tunnels that we had to dismount the bikes, put on shoes jackets, headlights and tail lights and walk through. The first was a mile in length and the other two were a bit shorter. At the end of the 30 mile rails to trails segment we only had 15 miles left on the road to get to our hotel where we encountered one short steep climb that rewarded us with our fastest descent yet of 53.9 mph. A great day of fun and sites. Tomorrow is 97 miles followed by a rest day on Sunday!
7/16/15 Summary Day #32: Well…. Our luck ran out with the weather today, it was our first day with rain and although it dampen the roads, it did not dampen our spirits. We thought that we were going to beat it as we rode out of the parking lot and charged towards the sunlight as the clouds and darkness chased us from behind. But as they say, don't mess with Mother Nature because she will always win, and win did she ever! We got soaked as we barreled up and down the rolling hills and headwinds. At mile 60 we had reprieve at a local coffee shop with the best chocolate chip scones and Costa Rican coffee ever. Once warmed up and fed there was 25 miles left consisting of one major climb, a 5 mile plateau leading to a descent into the town of Lacrosse, WI. Yes, another state behind us... we said good bye to Minnesota and hello to Wisconsin along with crossing the Great Mississippi. Were we ever glad to get to our hotel, offload the vans and get warmed up. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warm!
7/12/15 Summary Day #28: Rest Day . - A restful morning and coffee in bed followed by a very slow and relaxed ride to the Sioux Falls and brunch on the patio of a local eatery. Everyone on the ride gathered together for a 2pm happy hour in the hotel lobby and then we branched off for dinner. The Texas Train went to "Foleys" for steaks and sea food before anther stage of buffets and Busquets and gravy. Time to get some sleep for Monday.
7/7/15 Summary Day #23: Today was a short ride into Wall, SD and Alan Hasty was gracious enough to captain the tandem once again to give Craig one more day to get his belly and legs back, so I rode the single. (I also think that Alan was anxious to ride the tandem on a route that was touted as "All" downhill with a tailwind). Here is a quick business tip, there is nothing in life that is free, and anytime somebody says its "All" easy, don't believe them! We were presented with rolling hills and a cross wind the front half of the ride that required almost as much work as climbing, and the last 12 miles presented an uphill grade with a headwind. We ended the ride at the World Famous "Wall Drug Store" for ice cream and a bite to eat. Following lunch Alan suggested we ride out to see the Badlands, (its only 30 more miles back into the headwind), and the Texas Team almost made him walk the plank. Captain Hasty quickly relinquished this foolish idea of riding out there but you could see the disappointment on his face. So, team together/team apart, the Texas group banded together to pool their resourcefulness and once checking into the hotel we made the hotel manager an offer he couldn't refuse and the next thing we knew were where in the bed of his pickup truck on the way to the badlands!!! Everyone was happy and what a worthwhile adventure, it is fantastic...
6/26/15 Summary Day #12: Today was a short mileage day with a laid back pace. To help pass the time (and mess with the riders), the America By Bike crew put together a scavenger hunt for items along the 38 mile ride, which turned into 51 miles for us. What better name for our group than "Rock-It" in honor of all the riders we sabotaged by putting rocks in their saddle bags!! It's so much fun playing old tricks on a new group of unsuspecting riders... but, I'm sure our time is coming. We saw two beautiful waterfalls, a few crop dusters flying above treating the fields and made friends with some of the locals along the roadside on our way into Burley, ID. Once to our destination we had a nice lunch at "The Upper Crust", took care of some equipment maintenance and off to dinner and the scavenger hunt award celebration. Yes, the Texas Train, team "Rock-It" won! Off to bed for 86 miles tomorrow.
6/24/15 Summary Day #10: Only 53 miles today over to Mountain City, ID. We started with nine slow miles on the bike path (ho humm), one moderate climb and the rest of the ride was a tailwind festival that had the Texas Train blowing down the 40 or so miles buttery smooth highway at 30+ mph…. WOW!!! We left around 8:15am and arrived at the hotel before noon!!!! It should be against the law to have that much fun....
6/20/15 Summary Day #6: On the road at 7am with three large climbs ahead of us. Only 80+ miles today but still a little soft from yesterday. The first climb took a bite out of our legs but the majestic scenery , views, kept us distracted, and long non-technical descents rewarded us with our fastest max speed yet 52.5 mph. Once at our destination a quick bite to eat and a frosty beverage on the curbside patio provided our Texas group the perfect spot to watch and cheer on our fellow tour riders as they arrived into town. What a great day!
6/17/15 Summary Day #3: Today's ride can be summed up in two words; UP & DOWN!!! 6:45am breakfast immediately followed with a 13.6 mile climb to the heavens! Multitasking has just taken on a new meaning, digest, pedal and try to keep breakfast down... Once cresting the first summit we're rewarded with a screaming descent, (the cars did a pretty good job of keeping up with us;-) the group got hung up at the bottom with construction, but quickly made friends with Scott the highway engineer... We even taught him how to say "Howdy" like a real Texan. From the lush forests to the high desert with Mt. Hood perpetually over our shoulder we finally made it to rest stop #2 where we were greeted by a herd of wild horses running along side of us chasing our wheel (it was like something you would only see in a movie). Some rolling hills, a screaming twisting descent down into the valley and a final climb to our destination, "The Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa". A quick bite for lunch, prepare for tomorrows ride and off to a Route Rap and dinner. A wonderful day but, it's nice to be off that bicycle saddle!!
6/18/15 Summary Day #4: A fairly short day in the saddle but lots to see. A four mile ride out of the desert canyon surrounded by tremendous rock formations and Mt. Jefferson & Two Sisters on the horizon. Cresting the summit we were graced with a screaming non-technical descent to the river beds on the opposite side, then taxed with a long climb into the lush grass lands. One last 25 mile stretch of wide open plains with a mild head/cross wind. we finally arrive at our destination, check in and grab a bite to eat. Mildly refreshed we are all a bit anxious to see how we feel for tomorrows 117 mile ride into Johns Bay. We are all a bit "Tender-ized".
7/15/15 Summary Day #31: A nice day in the saddle. We held a comfortable pace and a straight line the entire ride. Scenery was lush and green with plenty of barns and nicely groomed lawns. Minnesota has been one of my favorite states to ride through because it is so nicely maintained. A highlight was pulling into the city of Rochester and seeing the Mayo Clinic. What a wonderful hospital and grouping of facilities. We had lunch at a neat little place called "The Loop" and then back to the hotel for equipment preparation and dinner.
7/9/15 Summary Day #25: It was nice to wake up this morning and hear that todays ride will be less than 100 miles (only 85),and that we hit our halfway point in days and distance.. Half way across the United States by Bicycle, our batteries are recharged! Again slow rolling hills with a head and cross wind. Thanks to Alan & Glenn, the tandem had an opportunity to sit in at the back of our group and use today as active recovery. Most of the ride was along the Missouri River but an occasional deviation would set us up for 3 fairly large and steep climbs. Two of the three climbs came at the very end fhe route. Once entering town we grabbed a bite to eat the "Busted Nut Bar & Grill" and off to our hotel and dinner for the night.
7/1/15 Summary Day #17: This morning came much too quickly as our legs were still remembering yesterdays chase into town. The good news is, with the exception of the last 20 miles, virtually all of today's 78 mile ride was downhill with a tailwind. Beautiful red rock cliffs flanked one side of the road with lush green mountains on the other side. The light push from the tailwind and lavish downhill grades made for a very nice active recovery ride. Into town by 12pm where we found a great little Mexican restaurant. For a bunch of Texan's there is nothing better than Quesadilla's and Margarita's as a post ride recovery meal. Tomorrow brings 120 miles into Casper, Wyoming and a well earned recovery day following.
6/23/15 Summary Day #9: Today is th first day off the bike. A relaxed breakfast, tolley ride through the city of Boise, a comfortable walk around town and off to a nice dinner. Time to pack the bags and get ready for tomorrows ride into Mountain Home, ID.
6/19/15 Summary Day #5: We'll... 117 miles in 6 hrs and 22 min on a tandem... Look at the route elevation map below... Enough said.... Goodnight! (More photos coming, the internet was slow tonight)
7/19/15 Summary Day #35: Today there were no pictures to be taken. The single task at hand was to get Captain Hasty from Fond Du Loc, WI to the ferry boat "Badger" in Manitowoc, WI in time to greet his bride as she departed the ship. Two important things to note is 1), Yes… the task as hand was accomplished (with time to spare), and 2) the average speed recorded does not come close to the actual average speed because it does not take into account the 6 miles of bike path and three times we got lost. An average speed of 24 mph over the 64 miles would have been more accurate.... What a Great Ride!!! If you were to pick one word to describe the ride that one word would have been, "Amputate".... cut off the pain and Focus on Fast! That evening Alesia, Glenn, Case and Craig had a fantastic Italian dinner at Luigi's relishing in stories and tales of the days ride while killing 3 bottles of wine, and enjoying each others company while Captain Hasty enjoyed a date night with his bride at a non-disclosed location... (Very Smart Mr. Hasty... You are always thinking ahead...Now we know why you are Captain). Tomorrow we board the ferry and across the great Lake we go.
7/18/15 Summary Day #34: This morning we awoke to thunder showers again but by the time we finished breakfast and loaded the gear they had passed through and skies were beginning to clear. Our intentions were to cover as much ground as possible while the weather was cool because once the sun broke it very quickly became extremely Hot and Humid. We made good time while enjoying the barns and churches along rhea route. Our first rest stop was a neat little town with small water falls to look at and a bit farther down the road the local American Legion was hosting their annual Bratwurst sale so we pulled in to try them out. When we asked the old guys at the cash register selling the "Brats" what made them so good they said it was how "They" prepared them, but the guys wouldn't let go any trade secrets. However; when I went inside to use the facilities I learned the Truth!!!! The entire kitchen was filled with their wives cooking all the food... The Old Guys were just up front selling the goods and drinking beer!!! Anyway, no harm, no foul and the Brats were very tasty. From their, the forecast was getting ready to change and not in our favor so we tamped out a fairly brisk pace to our final destination. A quick shower, dinner, Ride Rap for tomorrow and a fun Tee Shirt exchange and off to bed. Tomorrow Alan's wife Colleen is coming to visit him so the Texas Train will be tamping out brisk pace and pulling its first Team Time Trial to get our Captain to His Queen as quickly and safely as possible!!!
7/13/15 Summary Day #29: Today was bitter sweet… The Texas Train said goodbye to two things; 1) South Dakota, which no tears were lost, and 2) One of our Train Members Barb Rudolf, who had to go back to the Big D for a couple of weeks to take care of some business and then rejoin the Train in a few weeks to finish it up with us. Even though the ride started off a bit soft on the bike path, the pace became Very Hot as the Train carried it's chosen GC Contender to the State Line of Minnesota to compete for the state line sprint with "Young Nick The Ride Leader". We kept Captain Hasty fairly well tucked away in the pocket while working on weeding out Young Nick and making him work for his position in the line. Because Young Nick is half our age the Train chose a long lead-out and sprint to ensure his legs were properly exercised and then Launched Captain Hasty who threw a one/two punch and captured the State Line Victory! Even though our goal was to keep the pace calm for the balance of the ride, fresh legs and good stories kept the pace and average speed high. An early lunch and shower and looking forward to 110 miles on Tuesday. Not too many pictures today, we had Way Too much fun tamping out the pace
7/8/15 Summary Day #24: We began our day with a 4:30am wakeup call, a 5:15am load, 6am breakfast and tires hitting the pavement at 6:30am for 118 miles through South Dakota. We are learning that the state of South Dakota is best identified with three words, 1) Open, 2) Hills, 3) WIND!! We had head wind, tail wind, cross wind, swirly wind, hard wind, gusty wind, truck wind, car wind... you name it we had it. We had as many types of wind as Bubba Gump had types of Shrimp in the movie Forrest Gump. Not many pictures because most of the ride was Wide Open prairie land and yes... Wind! One thing we did learn was that this was the area the movie Dances With Wolves with Kevin Costner was filmed. We know this because our ride leaders told us that as we entered our destination of Pierre there would be a sign that said "This was the area that the movie Dances With Wolves was filmed". However we missed taking a picture of the sign because our heads were down as the Texas Train battled through the wind! Anyway, it was a good ride and as we crossed the Missouri River we entered the Central Time Zone and our hotel manager had a Huge Cooler of frosty adult beverages waiting for us. Time to hit the sack and get ready for tomorrows ride.
6/30/15 Summary Day #16: The legs are still a bit tender today after climbing 10% grades and cresting Teton Pass yesterday, but off we go for 87 more miles into our trek. The first 15 miles were fantastic on the relatively flat bike path with a tailwind through the Teton National Forest. It was like an open zoo as we saw birds, elk and buffalo free roaming (and who knows what else was watching us). After the first rest stop we hit our first and only climb... 20 miles up, over the continental divide at an elevation of 9586 feet! Not exactly what we were hoping for. Once cresting the summit, we were rewarded with a long 20+ mile tailwind descent into the town of DuBois with speeds consistently in the high 30 - high 40 mph range and a new top speed record of 53.1 mph! Our friends from Dallas were on their singles and cooked the tandem on the climb to the summit, but a slight twist of fate landed them with a few flat tires on the descent allowing the tandem to gain the necessary ground to bridge the gap and pass them on the screaming descent into town. At that point this calm relaxed recovery ride had taken an ugly turn and The Chase Was On to the City Limit Sign 12 miles out!!!! Understanding the everyone on the Texas Train is a type A++ personality its needless to say that we were all spent by the time we hit the town line, but was it ever fun!! Tomorrow is another day with 80+ miles all downhill and we all promised that we would go easy... (Ill believe that when I see it.. ;-)
6/21/15 Summary Day #7: If ever there was a day to ride the tandem, today was the day. 85 miles of mostly downhill with a slight tailwind. Had to shuttle the bikes by van for 7 miles around mile 35 due to construction, then off load equipment and resume by pedal power. It took 3 drop offs to get everyone on tour across. Temperatures were in the upper 80's and on the rise by the second rest stop with 20 miles to go into a headwind with a progressive uphill gradient leading into our final destination.... felt like a good solid Saturday morning OAS ride, head down, eyes up and pound it out. A good max speed and respectable average after 6 days and 624 miles in the saddle. tomorrow we cross the state line into Boise, Idaho. (Be sure to check out the additional web-links in RED located towards to top of the page in the left hand column for some Great Photos. And thanks for posting the words of encouragement Jay,click the "Read Coments" tab to view.
7/20/15 Summary Day #36: Rest Day - Well, while today is considered a rest day there is much to do…. The morning began as the girls would call it... "A Spa Day/ Mani/Pedi", as the guys would call it... "Harass Each Other While the Boys Get Haircuts Together". Just know... there is nothing good that can come from sending three guys to the barber shop, (Unsupervised). Anyway good news is, it was fun, we didn't get in too much trouble and nobody walked out with a Mohawk!! Next was the Ferry ride across Lake Michigan on the Badger, (the last coal burning ferry in the country). Everyone fell asleep, but it was nice to get to the other side f the Great Lake without having to pedal. Once exiting the Badger we said goodbye to Wisconsin and hello to our next state… Michigan! A good dinner out that night, losing an hour of sleep due to entering the Eastern Time Zone and losing another hour of sleep the next morning with an early wake up call and 112 miles of riding. Time to suck it up and get on with the riding....
7/10/15 Summary Day #26: A nice ride today from Chamberlin to Mitchell, SD. Along the way we stopped in the little town of Pukwanna, SD to see the Puk-U-Bar & Grill as well as check out the riding lawn mower race track. As well we made a quick stop at the Tractor Museum along the way which was just a great little place with tons of stuff that not only taught us a little history but also brought back some fond memories of things that we used to use in the not so long ago past. I guess we are not as young as we thought... Oh if we only kept those old wooden skis and leather ski boots instead of using them for firewood. Once arriving in Mitchell we had a bite to eat and then stopped at the "Corn Palace" which is a monument to the corn industry and all the designs and architecture on the building was made from... yes, Corn. Tomorrow's ride bring another leg of our journey to and end and gives us a much appreciated rest day.
6/29/15 Summary Day #15: We are now 15 days, 1143 miles into our journey across the United States. We just left Idaho behind and crossed into our third state, Wyoming. Today was a 92 mile day with two major mountain climbs one of them being Teton Pass at an elevation of 8504 feet and a 10% grade up! Can you say Ouch!!! And yes... we made it to the summit on the tandem and were rewarded with a magnificent view as we crested the peak. Some of the riders had the chance to see a moose and others were graced with an eagle sighting. Truly a glorious country we are blessed to live in. Once to the hotel we had a quick bite for lunch at the Brewery Pub, 2 hours later was dinner at Bubba's BBQ, then off to see the elk horn arches and the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in the center of town (Clint Eastwood filmed a scene from one of his movie "Any Which Way But Loose"). Off to bed because tomorrow bring 86 miles with more climbing involved. We are 1/3 of the way to our destination.
6/28/15 Summary Day #14: With the lonely prairie and grasslands now behind us and the mountains along with Teton Pass now within arms reach away the Texas Train collectively decided to make today an active recovery day. Only 66 mikes of virtually flat and scenic country roads. The ride was fairly peaceful aside from a surprise ambush by a group of lightning fast farm dogs that were hiding in the tall grass on the side of the road and scared the spandex pants off of us. A quick sprint, a few maneuvers by the group and a perfect shot of water in the eye of the lead dog by Alan " The Dog Whisperer" Hasty deterring the pack and we continued with our leisurely pace. Lunch was at a wonderful little eatery right across from the Idaho Falls. followed by a great dinner at "Jackers" across the street and off to bed. Monday is a BIG day. We depart Idaho and enter Wyoming with 91 miles in the saddle, two major mountain passes coming at the very end of the rider (Teton Pass being one of them).
6/27/15 Summary Day #13: 87 miles of long open range barren prairie land greeted us today. It was a progressive upward grade into Pocatello with lots of rolling hills and moderate head/cross winds. Scenery could have been summarized with two pictures, one at the start and one at the end. Aside from a few free range cows wandering across the road and the occasional windmill farm, the most rewarding part of the was lunch and a frosty beverage at Applebee's. Oh yeah, the "Get Out of Jail Free" card that we won at last nights scavenger hunt had to be turned in to the ride leaders today because we got caught taking and hiding one of the riders front wheels... Oooooppppss. We didn't think that we were going to hang onto that prize very long anyway, but the ride leaders thought we would keep it for more than twelve hours!
6/25/15 Summary Day #11: A 5:30am breakfast and on the road at 6:30am to beat the heat. We are looking at 97 miles in the saddle with record temperatures in the upper 90's. We were a little more fatigued then we expected from the fast ride we did yesterday but after a few miles the legs came back, (and after 75 miles they decided that they were tired again ... ;-), but we made it. It was a day hosted with beautiful scenery and spectacular views. We even saw where Evil Knievel attempted to jump over the Snake River Canyon! The gorge was breathtaking. An early dinner, tomorrows route update and off to bed to refresh the legs. Enjoy the pictures.
7/21/15 Summary Day #37: An absolutely beautiful morning…. Temperatures were in the mid 50's when we rolled out of the parking lot and stayed in the mid to upper 60's throughout the day with a max temp of 72. The skies were crystal clear and we were graced with a light tail wind throughout the entire ride. Since yesterday was such a long day and we lost an hour of sleep seeing that we are now on Eastern Standard time we made a gentleman's agreement to keep the pace down today. our agreement worked pretty good for a while but you guessed it, eventually the horses started smelling the barn and we started to giddy-up! Once we got into Mount Pleasant we stopped for lunch at a restaurant called Max & Emily's where we grabbed the patio and cheered on the rest of the riders as they came into town. Before you knew it the patio with filled with cyclists enjoying the sunshine, sandwiches and stories of the days ride.
7/6/15 Summary Day #22: Feeling a little bit better today, we made a quick switch of tandem captains and away we went! Alan Hasty stepped in and did a stellar job of captaining the tandem, allowing Craig to get his legs, (and stomach back) by riding the single. Although Craig was off to a very slow start, Alan and Alesia looked like seasoned veterans. Loads of scenery helped to keep our minds off of the massive climbs. We encountered buffalo on the side of the road, elk, beautiful vistas and of course Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore. On the descent down Mt. Rushmore the tandem encountered a minor obstacle and blew a front tire, on a 10% grade. Alan controlled the bike, brought it to a clean stop, and with a quick tube and tire change off we went. It was a fairly quite ride the rest of the way in because I think we were all in a bit of shock, but what great stories that evening! Enjoy the pictures. Mt. Rushmore is awe inspiring and when seeing it in person brings a sense of appreciation of this great nation that we live in and the values and leadership of the past presidents that made it way.
7/22/15 Summary Day #38:
7/14/15 Summary Day #30: The Texas Train bridged the international gap again today by recruiting a new member from Holland named Case. With today's ride being 110 miles, tomorrow being 98 and the next day being 87 miles we collectively employed a new strategy of 3 minute pulls to best share the work and not beat each other into the ground. Alesia of course was the Boss running the timer and believe it or not we all arrived fairly refreshed! Minnesota by far has the best roads we have yet to encounter with smooth blacktop, rolling hills, green farmland flanking both sides of the road and fairly wide shoulders. The wind was over our left shoulder most of the day but with four of us sharing the task at hand it made for a manageable day. The last 10 miles of the ride was on a well shaded and surfaced bike path which spit us out pretty much right into downtown where we grabbed a bite for lunch on the patio and rallied in the rest of the riders. We have been blessed with great weather and so far all of our equipment has operated and handled the mileage well. Time to do some laundry then off to dinner and bed.
7/11/15 Summary Day #27: Today the Texas Train went international. We recruited our very young and strong German Friend Christophe to the dark side, taught him how to ride an echelon and together the 7 of us cheated the wind all the way into Sioux Falls. Arriving at our destination Christophe replied... "I Liked That". Good news for us because there will be many more days of wind and hills. A fairly non-eventful ride with only one rest stop where we stopped to watch a street carnival and children's pedal tractor pull races, and kept a fairly high tempo to beat any rain that was forecasted for later that afternoon. Tomorrow is a rest day where we hope to refresh the legs and refuel the body after a week of being under the weather with little bug.