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Met a military hero at breakfast!


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So good day to all. We had an interesting night. We stayed at a Fairfield Inn. It had two double beds and a boatload of furniture, which meant we piled up furniture and squeezed in Dan's cot. Hard night for Dan as he was next to the air vent and every time it kicked on, it sent a shiver up under his cot. I guess we will go to plan B next time the room is too small. The 120+ miles did Wynn in and he was exhausted, but the road goes on and so does the peddling. Later on I will let Colleen tell you about our new military friend. He left a gift for us at the front desk. Maybe someone out there will recognize what this is. Dan's son had given one to him earlier so we all know...

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The riders got on the road at 8:05 am MT. I finished up a load of wash, grilled Italian chicken for supper tonight, made a Walmart run of course and got on the road at 11:00 am. Roswell had alien stuff all over the place, even the McDonalds had one on the sign.

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Notice the lamp pole
The scenery changed so much from yesterday. It was a very hilly day and the team made it to our first stop in four hours.

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It was the town of Picacho and consisted of a little post office. We had to go another 9 miles for lunch and bathroom. I found a cool wood and metal place on the roadside.

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And I finally saw my longhorn cow!

We ate lunch. Dan wanted to show off his Silver Wheels Jersey and Wynn is wearing GOBA today. I don't know what Colleen was wearing, she was too busy spilling her camelback on herself to get a photo taken. ha!

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We entered historic Lincoln and I got a few shots of the buildings along the way.

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The scenery seemed to change every few miles. And of course we had to show off sights in Smokey the Bear's hometown.

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After meeting up in Capitan, the riders went on to finish their day to Carrizozo. We are staying at the Rainbow Inn.

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Today's ride was arduous to say the least, especially after combining it on top of yesterday's 122 mile ride. Today the ponies rode 90.3 miles, at 12.1 mph. And the riders were in the saddle for 7 hours and 30 minutes. Thank goodness the last 10 miles we were treated to a nice long downhill. The team went up from 3500 feet to 7000 feet before starting their descent.
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Looking forward to a quiet night....
Riding on,
Brenda and the ponies

As promised, here is Colleen with the story from breakfast.

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This morning at breakfast I met a gentleman named Bruce Salisbury and his wife of 61 years, Dorothy or "Blondie" as he affectionately refers to her. I had seen a sign in the hotel lobby that a reunion of 24th Bomb Squadron was taking place and noting his Air Force hat, I shook his hand and thanked him for his service. This led to an invitation to eat breakfast and get to know more about Bruce and Blondie. Blondie is also a veteran of the Air Force and that is where the story began many years ago.
Blondie mentioned to Bruce that a certain mountain in Colorado should be named for those KIA and MIA. In fact it should be named Mount KIA/MIA. Bruce agreed and set about convincing local bureaucrats of the same. Now there is a mountain in Colorado memorializing brave heroes, called Mount Kia/Mia.

Bruce shared about his and Blondie's history of competing in triathlon.
Bruce is active in Veteran's affairs and does a lot of writing for veterans' magazines and newspapers.
It was great to meet such a terrific couple, my only regret is we had only a short time to visit.
We riders had a great day on the bike. My rest day yesterday did me a world of good. We are all looking toward the finish now with a lot of great riding still to come.
I would make one suggestion to any women out there considering doing cyclo-touring. Bib shorts are great for the club rides but do yourself a favor and stick to shorts for touring. Bibs make everything more complicated when nature calls and you have to improvise when services aren't available. 'Nuff said on that subject.

Posted by brendagerber07 16:53 Comments (5)

New Mexico...Land of Enchantment?

A round horizon without a town (Walt McDonald)

80 °F
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Welcome from Roswell, NM: no aliens in sight, yet!

Last evening we found a little Mexican Restaurant and had a wonderful meal together with Dan footing the bill

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No! Not at that place....

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That's more like it. But as the evening turned into night...someone in our group didn't sleep so well. Yep, a case of TexMex Tummy. So Colleen sagged along with me today. She is feeling much better this evening. I sagged the guys out to their starting point and came back to do laundry, stop in at Verizon to update my searching for NM, and explore the downtown.

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I finished up and Colleen and I packed up and hit the trail.

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Wynn and Dan found their way to the NM border and a sign. (Colleen and I never did see the sign. ) We knew we had passed into Mountain time by looking at our phones. We only made one wrong turn, but caught it quickly. I have to say, this is the most desolate country I have ever seen...miles and miles of dry, flat pastureland and no traffic either. So glad that no one had a breakdown out here.

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By the way, please help identify this crop...we saw a lot of fields like this early on in our ride this morning. We have two different answers from locals here...what's your guess?

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We caught up with the riders and tried to get some pics...why is it that we can go miles and miles without seeing a vehicle, but when we want to crawl along and take a picture, a truck appears out of nowhere?

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There was a bit of plant life along the way and some great metal work on some of the gates, but what we didn't capture on camera was the big rattlesnake sunning itself on the road. I think it was as long as my arm. We went back to try and take a pic of it, thinking it was dead; but it was very much alive and had slithered off the road.

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Oh, I also found a couple of leftover pics from Colleen's camera that I didn't have on the previous blogs. Here is a shot of my quilting friend, Pam and also a shot of the City Motel back in Knox City

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The road finally smoothed out after lunch. They had logged 70 miles. They decided to do the last 50 all the way into Roswell so we will continue to be one complete day ahead. This is kind of importent because of the scarcity of motels. Hopefully we'll all recover well and be ready to take the road to Nogal, NM tomorrow.

The team ended up logging 122.5 miles with the average of 14.5 mph. The two ponies were in the saddle for 8 hours and 36 minutes. The third little pony stayed in the stable all day, but I know she is raring to go tomorrow. Week three looks to be a challenge...as much mentally as physically. Continue to pray for our safe passage and that we will grow as a team through this next week.

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The videos may take awhile to upload so be patient or check back in on them tomorrow.

Goodbye from Mountain Time...
Brenda

Dan here:
So Wynn and I did close to a Silver Wheels double dog dare. But try doing it on rough chip and seal roads for the first 70 miles. Also, we had side winds from the south all day, except for 10 miles that were uphill and into the wind. I guess this is just the start of the tough New Mexico days.
So stay tuned, I think we have some struggles ahead.

Posted by brendagerber07 16:06 Comments (8)

Three different wheel touches leaves minor injuries

But we ride on!

75 °F
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So what happens when you bump the tire of the cycle in front of you? Any rider that has done pacing, knows that the person in front usually remains unscathed while the person in the back takes a tumble. All three of our riders have been the person in the back. Dan went down after nicking Colleen's tire. Colleen went down after touching Wynn's and Wynn somehow wobbled out without going down after nipping Dan's tire. We are indeed grateful that no one was more seriously injured than a few scrapes and bruises. All are still riding, antiseptic creams have been applied and all are thankful that the accidents took place on open roads with no cars around. I was close enough to check in on Dan and the other two were fine without me coming to see. As you know, Wynn and I do not believe in coincidence or good luck. We truly believe that God is watching over us, is not surprised by things that happen in our lives, and that when people pray for our safety- that it makes a difference. Please continue to cover our riders (and the Sag Master too).

The riders got out at 8:00am and rode right thru the middle of Lubbock with no problems. The road to the city outskirts has been very rough. We had heard that Texans are proud of their Chip and Seal...but it is not a favorite for cyclists. The team was able to stop back at the LaQuinta hotel in Lubbock for morning break.

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After meeting the ponies and topping off water bottles, I went on ahead to every cyclist's dream...Levelland. And it was Level land. I found gas for an unbelievable price...lucky Colleen...it was her turn to buy. And of course the cactus was by the wayside as well.

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Today I was fortunate to get into our next hotel at 12:30. I guess there were only a couple of rooms left. Over the weekend there was a large pig auction that had the rooms full and starting tomorrow the is an oil rig convention in town. The team rode in for lunch and we were able to get lighter clothes on for the remainder of the ride. We checked out Colleen's arm and helmet and all looked OK. I am staying here for a while and the riders will see how close to the NM border they can get in two hours. I will sag them back to Levelland for the night. We have been told of a good TexMex restaurant just down the road...so guess where we are going for supper? ( yeah, Dan!)

We had a surprise guest on the road today. Arthur Pare, father to Jen ( that picked up Karen) made a surprise appearance outside of Lubbock. He showed up on his bike and rode with the group for a while this morning. What an incredible man. We found his advice invaluable last night as we were able to get our oil changed and a tire replaced on the van. He also gave us the number of a bike shop in town. Then after riding, he hunted me down and caught up with me at an Arby's. Here comes a guy up to my window with a Diet Coke and a card in his hand. He told me to pass these on to the Pony Riders. I was honored to meet Arthur today. When the team showed up for lunch, I showed them the card and coke. Yes, there were actually some tears as we read the card, filled with names of folks wishing us well and praying for us. And we wondered at the "luck" of Colleen not getting seriously hurt. I believe it was because people were praying this morning for the riders.

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I think the riders were very encouraged today to be back in pace lines with a little flat ground to cover and no Cat 5 climbs. Stats for the day include:
85.4 Miles
14.4 mph
5 Hours and 56 mins in saddle
1,559 miles under our belts (woohoo)
New Mexico, here we come!

Looking forward to resting up tonight,
Brenda and the Pony Express.

Colleen would like to write a bit about logistics...

Hi Colleen here. Thank you for following our adventure. I wanted to write about the logistics of making a trip like this happen. It takes a tremendous amount of behind the scenes work to keep us pedaling every day toward our destination. We have our support/ride angel Brenda who spends her days tracking us on the road and meeting us at our rest stops to provide water and sustenance. In some of these remote desolate areas out here in the west it is not at all unusual to go 80-90 miles without any services along the way. Without Brenda we would be dried up like a raisin at the side of the road before too long. Another very important job is locating a place to stay somewhere near the end of our daily ride. Many days we roll right into our hotel and other days Brenda meets us on the road and brings us to our hotel then takes us back to our stopping point to start our ride the next day. All of this is happening on roads which no one is familiar so planning and logistics is critical. GPS is also extremely helpful
Another important aspect of logistics is mapping the route which Wynn is doing quite capably. This means an hour or two in the evening for Wynn looking at maps and writing our cue sheets to keep us rolling in the right direction.
And we all have to eat of course. Brenda has planned some simple and delicious meals which we are able to eat in our room. Other nights we go out to eat. But there's not always a restaurant open or available so we have some food items stashed for just such occasions.
One surprising aspect is there is very little down time with a riding schedule as vigorous as ours. We are moving right along and believe me your prayers and support and encouragement is the wind beneath our wings. Thank you so much.

Posted by brendagerber07 17:26 Comments (8)

Forecast : Cool and Windy

Texas rolling...

72 °F
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Happy Saturday.
Over halfway done and the third week promises to be a challenge. High winds kept the mph down, but the cooler weather made it bearable. All riders sported their light jackets today. The day started in the 50's and warmed up nicely as they day went on. I personally was not sorry to say goodbye to the City Motel. Looking forward to the night ahead in the La Quinta. Plans are to get an oil change here, find the local bike shop and stock up on supplies for the trip into and through New Mexico.

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We saw quite a few horse ranches early on

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But my personal favorite today was the ranch with the jockey statue in front.

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Then the terrain changed a bit to rocky and red. There were a few cattle grazing but not much else. Pam told me yesterday that Texas is in a three year drought. Many of the horses and cattle have been sold off. Many of the rivers have dried up and jobs have been lost. Some of the ranches are harvesting wind and cotton.

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I still enjoy seeing the rodeo and signs leading to the different ranches.

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There are a lot of historical markers just set along the way. Here's a couple I stopped for today.

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The rest stops are kind of barren, with no bathrooms. We ate lunch at this one. It looked like a couple of flying saucers from up the road.

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The group made it to Crosbytown for their afternoon break. The wind has settled down but we are still climbing. Hope to make it a bit further before ending today's tour. We will have to sag into Lubbock but should maintain our miles for today. Final stats will soon be coming...enjoy today's video while you wait...

The team rode into a little tiny town outside Lubbock with a Dollar General as our stopping point. That seems to be an easy place to find and start up again tomorrow. We made it to the LaQuinta Inn sagging in at 5:00pm, riding 85.7 miles, averaging 12.3 mph. Saddle time was 6 hours and 56 minutes. The team went from 1500 feet to 3000 feet above sea level today. Sounds pretty grueling to me. We hope to get close to the New Mexico border tomorrow and we will soon be saying goodbye to the Lone Star State.

Hope everyone has a happy Sunday and that someone will lift up their voice in praise to God for me at New Community.
Rolling along,
Brenda and the ponies

Posted by brendagerber07 17:07 Archived in Haiti Comments (6)

Where did civilization go?

I rode through the desert on a horse with no name...

93 °F
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When I look at this map, it absolutely amazes me. I cannot believe that we will be half way across the country when we finish today's ride. We know that God has been clearly watching over us and know that many of you pray for us daily. Our hearts are heavy for many that are experiencing the weather storms right now. We know that only one week ago, we were traveling through those Gulf states affected by Tropical Storm Karen. Our thoughts are with my good friend Janis who lives in LA and serves with the National Guard. We also think of Colleen's son, Gregory, serving in Okinawa with the typhoon patrol in the Marines. We think of and pray for you daily, Greg. We know there are others who are going through storms of life right now. We want you to know that we are praying for you as well. It may seem like it is all about the bike ride, but we know that life is going on around us.

In the evenings after a ride, many things take place. The riders all have their ritual of cool down and recovery. OJ is provided to make the Recoverite taste better. The foam roller is used by Wynn and Colleen. If hot tubs are working, all three take a dip and then a nice hot shower gets everyone ready for supper. I usually cook, then Colleen does the dishes and Dan may make a Walmart run and always keeps me supplied with a cold diet coke. Then Wynn and I hit the maps, he does the fine tuning of routes and distances between breaks and lunch and I get the hotels researched and booked. This usually takes a good hour or two. I'm always surprised at the lack of free time. I get the blog finished and then have one of the riders add their thought of the day before posting. Then by 8:30-9:00 I am ready for bed. Lights out is always before 9:30 pm. The alarm clock rings faithfully at 6:00 am and the team is off to breakfast by 6:30. Today the riders got the van packed and were on their bikes close to sunrise. Happy Trails....

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I heard from Karen today that this part of the ride is desolate. It's suppose to be in the 90’s and windy today so I will need to stay a little closer to the team. Karen and Jen said to make my Walmart trip before I leave town. Wynn asked me to pick up a camelback for him, as the other two already have one. We are concerned about keeping enough fluids going into this dry country. Jen also told us that we may see wild mustangs in this section of the country. Oh how I would love that! ( right Valerie?) so I am off to start my day and will look forward to writing more at the end of the day. So long Wichita Falls...

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The riders got on the trail and headed to Seymour. The little brick roads were quaint and the water stop was well deserved.

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The video was shot next to these cows...it is so funny that the cows are scared of the bicycles!
The wind was so loud that the commentary was not able to be heard. Probably just as well.

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My new best friend has been this app. Of course it doesn't do me much good if I can't pull up 3G...
Back on the road to little tiny Vera, TX where we ate our lunch by a little church. The parking lot was nonexistent and we met a real snake handler.

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Then it was back on the road again to Benjamin. I pulled in ahead of the team and found a wonderful new friend, named Pam. She ran the local quilt shot and we really struck it off. She showed me her quilts and introduced me to all her friends. The little shop owner next door was the sister of the State Photographer for Texas. I bought a beautiful book of his pics and Pam gave me a gift of a DVD, WEST TEXAS, which has his pics put to the music of Doug Smith. What a sweet gift.

I thought maybe I would buy a pair of boots while in Texas until I saw the price tag

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Before I left I used the bathroom, which they called, The George...wonder why? (George Strait)

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We ended the day on Rt 82, 6 miles east of Rt 222. The riders finished at 88.5 miles..they rode for 6 hours and 40 mins at 13.3 mph. It was such a tough mental day with the wind and the heat. They also doubled their elevation. Even though we ended short of Guthrie, it was still a very profitable day. To or row the weather is suppose to get cooler, which will be a change. We are staying in the City Hotel outside of Knox City. We had to drive about 20 miles to get here. It is a Mom and Pop place with 1950’s decor. The Internet stinks but thanks 3G.. The blog will go up. We ate in our rooms (dirty rice) and hope to get a good start to or row. There is a 30 % chance of rain tomorrow...so pray. We'll go back to this ranch to start tomorrow's ride.

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No riders are available to write so I will include Colleen's funny story. We went to pay for the hotel and the machine for the credit card was down. Colleen finally went and paid with cash, asking if there were any discounts. The little lady gave us $5.00 off per room! Then Colleen went to do a load of laundry. The door said laundry, but she didn't see any slots for the coins. So she started her load and went in to pay...and the lady said, that is not for guests. Oh well. Wet clothes and she graciously allowed us to use her dryer. So much for the $5 discount. We paid $3 to use the dryer. HAHA

So goodnight all, and I hope your weekend brings joy and a chance to worship God.
Brenda for the team

Posted by brendagerber07 17:34 Comments (6)

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