Friday, April 30, 2010

End of the Road

Dear Friends,

we have been quiet for a few days because on arriving in Amarillo Monday evening I realized that I was profoundly exhausted. This exhaustion was the result of inadequate nutrition and few support services along the Route 66 corridor, not to mention the battering of sun and wind over the twenty days we had been riding. In short I hit the wall.
After talking with Dave and then my doctor I decided to end the ride. we are disappointed, of course, not to have gone the whole distance, but proud to have ridden so strongly for those twenty days. We climbed over two mountain ranges going from sea level at Dog Beach to over 7300 feet in the Rockies. We crossed a desert and rode a substantial amount of the high arid plains in the Rockies before descending to Texas plains at just 3900 feet. The 1200 miles we did ride were great, although the absence of places to eat or buy food echoed the general ghost town nature of much of the 66/40 corridor.
I thank everyone for their support, and hope that the end of this trip will not mean the end of generous support for the work of the Hardisons in Africa. Truth is that the absence of nutrition we faced is mild compared to the devastation in northeast Kenya. So please be generous in supporting our work among more than 40,000 AIDs orphans and their guardians.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

San Diego to Texas 1200miles


Lookin' back at OB early Wednesday morning.
Headin' for the eastern shore.
I've got the pedals up front
And my gear in the back
And I haven't got a clue what for.

Taking it easy, Taking it easy
Lord I'm Pedalin' hard
But it's easy.

Don't you know, the way to go
Is ridin' through town real slow.
People come and people go,
You gotta stop and say "Hello".

Tune:Take it Easy, Jackson Browne/Eagles


Riding over East San Diego hills To Jacumba


Rollin' to Jacumba and my joints are kind of sore.
Gonna soak 'em in the mineral spring.
Then the ground starts a shakin'
And the earth starts a quakin'
But the spa keeps doin' it's thing.

Taking it easy, taking it easy
Lord I'm pedaling hard but it easy.

Riding in the Red Zone


Sheeba. Mineral Water dog. Should live forever.


Downhill racer. On the 8.


Exiting The 8 at the bottom. Photo courtesy of friends on the road.

Leaving at dawn into the Desert


Heading into the Chocolate Mountains. Don't see any bubblegum trees though.

Halfway through the desert and friends on the road greet us with an ice cold drink! It's "the real thing."

Arizona desert

Fixing a flat. Great way to meet people. Ten minutes later I had another flat, the front tire this time, on the I 10 and pulled over to flip the Bike over again. A man bicycling on the other side, going west against the wind, called over to check on me. I told him it was OK, just a flat. While I'm working the tire off I turn around and Bill is there to greet me. He sees that I'm doing OK with the flat and looks at my map to make sure I'm going to make it to our next stop which is Salome. He assures me that with the wind on my back I'll make good time and told me where we could get a good meal on the way. Bill said he'd ridden across country a few years back and was thinking of doing it again.
When my tire was back on and he saw things were OK he wished me well and was on his way and dodged back across the freeway to his bike.
Bill is 81 years old.
As I pedaled back on the shoulder again I couldn't stop being amazed that someone had run across the freeway to give a boost, not to mention that he is 81. The heck with the flats.
Bill boosted my spirits and gave me the perspective that I needed to happily keep going. Thanks Bill.

Life is good again

Everyday the days are gettin' longer
Everyday my legs are gettin' stronger.
Soon we'll be across the USA

Everyday it's hotter than a toaster
Crankin' up the hills like an old roller coaster
Soon we'll be across the USA

Riding into earthquakes...O MY!
Riding through the desert...O WHY?
'Cause if you're going coast to coast it's the only wa.aay.

Everyday we're gettin' a little closer
Crankin' up hills like an old rollercoaster
Soon we'll get across the USA

Tune; Buddy Holly,"Everyday"




Leaving at dawn for Varnell then Prescott

Hill to Varnell

Varnell Locals

Too hot for the horses

But OK for the Burro

Click on photo to see Mike on the hill to Prescott.

Still climbing to Prescott

Near the top of 6100ft

Friendly locals greet us with ice water after the summit. "The pause that refreshes."

On to Flagstaff

Our highest point on the ride. We will go back over 7000ft three more times before Texas.


Leavin' from the corner back in Winslow Arizona
I got seven states still on my mind
Two that want to kill me, four that want to thrill me
And one that's at the end of the line.

Taking it easy, taking it easy
Lord I'm pedaling hard, but it's easy




Stranded on the shoulder and the breeze is getting colder
And my rear tire's flat as can be.
Three Navajos my Lord in a flat bed Ford come on by to rescue me.

Taking it easy, taking it easy
Lord I'm pedaling hard, but it's easy

Brad, Brian, and Gilbert Brown (Three Generations)

Taking us up the road to the nearest truck stop

We picked up Mike on the way

Gilbert Brown, just like riding a horse

My "cousins"

Back on the road again

To Infinity and Beyond


Mike Racing a Train

No problem

Eastern New Mexico

Traveling over hills with a sunburnt lip
And nothin' really on my mind.
But the breakfast I just et and the lunch I'm going to get
And the story at the end of this line.

Taking it easy, taking it easy
Lord I'm pedaling hard, but it's easy.


Getting a Kevlar lined tire in Albuquerque
No More Flats, No More Flats!

Friendly Dog

Little dog

Big dog

Really Big Dog
Maybe a Bulldog


Ride Update


At least we made it this far. It was a good ride. Thanks for all the support
and donations. Dave