A Travellerspoint blog

August 2013

Meeting the Team Members

Featuring Rider Dan

On Thursday night, the three of us and our SAG met for a ‘pre-packing’ party to make sure all our gear will fit into the van that we are taking on our Pony Ride. It looks good for everything fitting in. For the cyclists, it is relatively easy as our cycling kits will be what we are wearing for the majority of our trip. It looks like a small carry-on piece of luggage, a computer bag, and a ‘crate’ in the van for bicycle equipment will be sufficient for each of us. Brenda and Karen will have an extra bag for activities to do in the car (HA) We also will have some cooking equipment along and will have first aid kits and lawn chairs!

After the packing party, Ron and Joyce met us for an organizational meeting. Ron is considering riding the first week of the ride with us. It would be great if he could. In our meeting, we reviewed maps, housing arrangements, including ‘Warm Showers’, and talked about the best ways for physical recovery because we will be riding day after day.

The days are counting down toward the great adventure...I would like to introduce Wynn's teammates for this journey. All of our riders are in their 50's and 60's so I guess we can say this is a "Bucket List" adventure for all of them. Dan is our oldest member and probably has the most experience riding. He leads many tours in our local club, Silver Wheels. Dan is very knowledgable about bikes and routes and trips. His wife Ev is presently researching bike shops along the path that we will be taking. Wynn has really enjoyed meeting him. I asked him about his love of cycling and this is his reply:


"I've cycled since the early 1980's. I became more serious when Ev and I did GOBA from 1990 to 1995. After that we took many cycling trips. We did the Four Wine Valleys of California, Bryce and Zion National parks, across most of Missouri on the Katy Trail, and the trail from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C.
I've also gone from Cleveland to Niagara Falls. But this will be my longest trip by far. I love cycling for the great exercise, along with the wonderful opportunity to meditate on the move. But, possibly best of all, I love the social aspect. I'm really looking forward to the camaraderie of our cycling and sag team, as well as meeting cyclists and others along the way."

Dan has also introduced us to the idea of using "Warm Showers" as we move across country. Now I had never heard of this group, but it is an organized group of folks who offer cyclists a bed and a warm shower. It is a great way to meet other cyclists across the whole country. Dan has used this before and they have found it to be helpful in getting the lay of the land, saving hotel costs and just having the pleasure of meeting other people that love to bike. We are currently seeking out this possibility for some of the nights coming up.

So with less than a month to go, the training rides are picking up. Dan is doing back to back centuries today and tomorrow and then all three riders plan to do a back to back century again on Saturday and Sunday. Stay tuned...we will meet Colleen next posting.
Keep riding.... Brenda (SAG Master)

Posted by brendagerber07 05:25 Comments (6)

It's all in the name...

Why the name, "PONY RIDE"?

So you might have asked yourself, why is this newest adventure named, "The Pony Ride"? With several members of the riding team being [u]Lord of the Ring[u] fans, Bilbo Baggins had a quote that capped off our first meeting together.

Bilbo was sadly reflecting that Adventures are not all pony-rides in May-sunshine.” Bilbo the Hobbit had this reflection during a particularly dispiriting day on his pony in the early days of his adventure. It was rainy and gloomy, he was cold, and pining for his favorite chair in front of a warm fire. The troop was quiet, too grumpy to talk. The initial euphoria of the adventure had worn off now the hard work ahead, but this is just when the real adventure begins!

Our group knows that a lot of hard work and sweat is ahead of us yet, this is where the real adventure will begin. In under 6 weeks we will begin our journey. We know that we will see new things along the way and hope to meet new people as we journey across. We decided that our "Pony Ride" will start on September 21st in Savannah, Georgia. The "ponies" are getting ready to roll. New tires, innertubes, grease, chains are being stockpiled and are ready to be packed. Wynn even got a new pair of sandals equipped with clips so that he can have a change of shoes.

Colleen purchased a couple of foam rollers for after the riding is done for the day. What is foam rolling? It's a method of myofascial self release using a foam roller. ( included is a link to a pinterest board that shows many different ways to use a foam roller for myofascial self release.)
Basically you roll back and forth on the roller, targeting the area you want to loosen up. It's so very helpful after cycling and even before to loosen up the inevitably tight and sore areas of the legs and back and shoulders. Although it can feel a bit painful during the process, it feels sooo good afterwards. Recovery will be important on the trip so every advantage will be tried.

We had a night to practice packing the SAG wagon and it appears that the ponies, riders and gear will all be able to fit. I will be driving a Toyota Sienna minivan for the adventure, equipped with a bike rack on the back and a carrier on the top. The ponies are getting restless and are eager to embark on the journey. Stay tuned to meet the riders...

Always the SAG master,

Posted by brendagerber07 07:18 Comments (3)

Planning, Planning, Planning!

A little over 6 weeks to go

Wynn's update for this week of prep,
"Nothing much new is happening this week, but we continue to try to take as much of the unknown out of our trip as we can. One item we
are focusing on is trying to do our own food prep, instead of eating out each night. This should help us better control what we are taking in
nutritionally during our trip. So for the next 7 weeks, our SAG (aka Brenda) will need to try to do some food prep on an alternative source of
cooking (camp stove, small grill, etc.). Honey, we’ll try not to ruin your good cooking pots and pans."

For those unfamiliar with cycling, on a trip of this nature, it is necessary to have turn-by-turn instructions for each rider to ensure we stay en route to San Diego. So, we continue to familiarize ourselves with the route and are preparing route sheets for each of us. This past week, Colleen found a blog from a person looking for information on the same route that we are taking. He is planning this very ride in March 2014. In fact, he grabbed a lot of good information from the same website that started establishing our route for this trip. The most revealing bit of information from this blog was that there is a tunnel through the mountains on our route from Bylas, AZ to Mesa, AZ (projected day 24 of riding). One blogger stated ‘heading west you'd be coming down a 6% grade hurling towards a narrow tunnel against the guard rails with possibly some dump trucks carrying copper ore from the mines on your tail. I personally would never ride that road again until they've improved it’. Another writes ‘The Queen Creek tunnel between Globe AZ and Superior AZ is not too bad, but you will hit the entrance at pace. I found that as I entered it at pace, I quickly realized that I couldn't see the edge of the road, so I veered out as far left as I dared. It is not particularly long and you will pass through it fairly quickly. It is better to be descending than climbing through this tunnel’. Turns out that the tunnel is about a quarter of a mile, so we should be in the tunnel less than 1 minute.

(Intel such as this will help us as we go. Again, we are trying to take out as many surprises as we can from our journey. Stay tuned.)

On a personal note from Brenda: Hooray for me! My sister-in-law, Karen will be joining the SAG team for the first part of our trip. She was my college roomie at Cedarville back in the day and then married Wynn's brother so she is indeed a double blessing to me. Welcome aboard the Pony Ride, Karen. Looking forward to some good times in just a few weeks!

Posted by brendagerber07 14:38 Comments (2)

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