Saturday, August 11, 2007

Each day I feel like I have so much to say. First, to those of you who are writing messages of support, thank you. We're reading them and getting strength from them. Selina, keep riding! I got an email from Peter Thomas' mother thanking us for the event and wishing us well!

Genny and Mike, the Gleevec Twins, started riding together today from Brookings, Oregon. Within a few miles, we crossed the California border, so I've now pedaled through Washington and Oregon. We stopped for Jim to take pictures of us in front of the "Welcome to California" sign. Then crossed the street and got pictures taken in front of the "Thank You for Coming to Oregon" sign then walked to the other side and got a picture in front of the "Welcome to Oregon" sign. There was no "Thank You for Coming to California" sign. People felt compelled to write information on their rides on the posts of the California sign. Perhaps the most interesting was the person who commented that he stopped at the sign because it had been his last chance to pee in California. Another, more typical example noted a ride from British Columbia, to California, to Montreal.

With fresh legs brought in for support, and each only riding 50 miles, my position as the tortoise remains secure. Andy "the hare" Johnson is now resting comfortably.

The weather was more traditional north pacific coast weather. It was foggy and cool in the morning and remained cloudy and cool through the rest of the day. It warmed up in late the afternoon.

The first third of the ride was flat as we then moved into two significant climbs (1200 and 900 feet, the largest of the ride to date). The hills are definitely getting harder on me. Throughout the day we moved from the Coast to the redwoods with continued spectacular scenery.

Jim picked up riding after lunch and Genny took up driving.

To those who have been cautioning me not to push too hard, thank you. It has been a huge emotional boost. It has been very liberating allowing me to stop thinking about the wrong reasons for the ride and continuing and to focus on the right ones. It also allowed me to listen to my body today (most particularly my "new and improved" stomach (as I call it after my first surgery)) which told me loud and clear that it wanted me to stop riding around mile 76 (about 3200 ft of climbing). Genny graciously came back to sag me. We'll have to see how tomorrow goes. And, on riding for the right reasons, I am much less concerned about making the 1000 miles in 10 days (which now seems unlikely) than I am about missing out on some truly great and enjoyable riding in the next few days. I know that everyone will feel uplifted by the attempt by as much of this ride as I do complete (my bike is downstairs in Jim and Genny's room, but, I think, right now it is somewhere between 600 and 650 miles--a distance record for me). Tomorrow we are to go through the Avenue of the Giants (Redwoods). I want to do it!

Thanks for reading.

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