25 riding days
18.7 mph avg.
79 rpm avg cadence (704,522 pedal strokes)
Other fun numbers (at least for the biking geeks):
Fastest day (speed):
95.8 miles / 3:34 hours / 26.8 mph avg. / 1904' climbing
Tucumcari, NM to Dalhart, TX
(also the shortest by time and distance)
Slowest day (speed):
104.17 miles / 7:03 hours / 14.8 mph avg. / 8624' climbing
Wickenburg, AZ to Cottonwood, AZ
Longest day (time):
135.89 miles / 8:09 hours / 16.7 mph avg. / 7803' climbing
Albuquerque, NM to Las Vegas, NM
Longest day (distance):
144.34 miles / 7:40 hours / 18.8 mph avg. / 5630' climbing
Chickasha, OK to McAlester, OK
After seeing so many churches in the middle of quite sparsely inhabited places, and given that I have at least 40 registered followers of my blog (and Lori tells me many more), I am seriously contemplating the possibility of starting my own church. I'm sure I could buy one fully furnished for cheap down South, but the old mantra location, location, location kicks in. It should probably be an iChurch with a phone application to match so you can log your prayers any time anywhere. I'd just have to ask for you credit card number just to validate your age...
Now, a couple of days after the end of the ride, the questions pile up: Why did I do it? Did I learn anything? Would I do it again? Why? If you'd bear with me while I observe my navel, I think I have a couple of things to say that may touch some of you. First, my navel is not much different than that of others, that is, anyone who wants it enough, can accomplish great feats, the trick I guess is in wanting it enough to pay the price. Unfortunately for some the price is higher that for others, but that is the nature of life. Now this begs the question, was this a great feat or just a great indulgence? I think it was both. I have the privilege of having the means and the health to do it, hence I can indulge. I also pushed myself physically harder than I have ever done it and that also meant pushing myself mentally; believe me, there were some days that I wanted to just ride on the van to the next city, and there was at least one day that I just wanted to go home. Hence, the great accomplishment.
I have to say that I am lucky enough to have found a concrete and challenging goal and that I went for it wholeheartedly. That taught me a lot about myself and in truth, it feels really good. Best therapy ever.
On the other hand, I also got to see how some of the other 95% of the country lives, what they eat, where they shop, were they live and were they used to live. While writing the blog I often used the hotel's computer which is usually located within earshot of the reception desk; it was typically past 8:30pm which in those towns is way late and there is close to nothing happening. In those quiet moments, I got to hear the receptionist's private conversations on the phone (they were all loud). Even though I could only hear half of it, what I heard was usually very agressive and mean. Sometimes it was a mother scolding her kid or husband, sometimes it was bitching to a friend about somebody else. In most cases the manner was quite violent. It really makes me thankful for all the hours of therapy, Zen workshops, yoga, aromatherapy, massage, etc. that we have invested in our relationships with ourselves and with others. Sounds very New Age California B.S., but boy, I would not like to be on the other side of any those conversations. That was a cultural shock.
Thanks to all for being there. Once I started the blog and I realized that I had to keep it up, I was forced to observe a bit more carefully each day as it went by and I think that helped me get a lot more from the experience than I would otherwise have. I guess the traditional travel journal served the same function.
PS. How lucky, by the time I got to the hotel and saw this...
...I had already shipped my bike home; there it goes...
not really, but how cool is the view from our room!