Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Update and 5 Borough Bike Tour

Well, it has been a good 8 months since my last post! It has been a rather difficult time for me since I last wrote. Been in and out of doctors' and specialists' offices with a severe ankle problem. It would appear that my tarsal coalition has been exacerbated somehow...I don't believe it is related to biking though. Basically, I have a bone fusion that I was born with in both ankles that limits my range of motion and can cause pain if inflamed. After xrays, MRIs, CTs and other tests, there really is nothing that can be done.

The only thing preventing surgery at the moment is a shot of cortisone that was shot up into my foot and ankle bone. Seems to be holding off the inflammation and pain for now, but after months of being in and out of casts and crutches it is great relief.

Now that I am on the mend, I signed up for the 42 mile NYC 5 Borough Bike Tour and completed that on Sunday. It rained the entire time. It reminded me of my first few days along the Oregon coast - and how much I miss biking! It was a fun tour, but a lot of congestion led to a lot of stopping. I think I prefer the open road. I'll stick to that in my future biking adventures.

Anyhow, planning new trips and new adventures at the moment, but also needing to get back to work...it has been over a year of unemployment and I have enjoyed every minute!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Back in NYC

Okay my dear friends, I must confess...I am back in NYC. After my partner and I went our separate ways, I decided it was best to postpone the completion of my trip for 3 important reasons: 1) Liam was taken very ill, 2) My camera lens shattered, and 3) I could not find one friend or family member that was OK with me continuing on solo. Therefore, for everyone's peace of mind I am safe and sound on the streets of NYC. Does that sound like an oxy moron to anyone else?

Honestly, I am fairly confident that I would have been plenty safe on the roads of Kansas, but I know that I did the right thing...for now.

I am already planning the next big adventure so stay tuned. I'll give an update as soon as details are available. I promise it will involve a bike and something equally outrageously challenging and fun.

Thanks for your support!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Liam's Hospital Scare

Liam spent the other night in the ER after an emergency run to the vet. I took him in early afternoon just for a check-up. He was fine and healthy. Everything checked out - normal weight, temperature and activity level. Then, by 7pm he was near catatonic and drooling incessantly. By the time I made it to the Emergency Pet Hospital he was quite incoherent and out of it. He was drastically dehydrated and his core temperature was 96 degrees - that's five degrees BELOW normal for pups.

The doctor put him on an IV drip immediately and wrapped him in a heated blanket. After x-rays and blood work we still didn't have an answer as to what is ailing him. It is a mystery still.

I am awaiting the results of one more test - possible salmonella poisoning. Poor little babe is on 2 antibiotics and under house arrest. Little guy is revving to play and I can't let him as yet. Thank goodness he is making a strong recovery.

I am still scared as we don't know the cause and this could be detrimental if it could relapse. Thankfully, I am in a huge city right now, but the cornfields of Kansas could pose a problem.

Keep your fingers crossed for my little guy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Day "It Doesn't Matter"

I have lost all track of days, but the way I figure it, I have about 50 more days of hard work ahead of me to complete this trip. I rented a car today and am enjoying the freedom of going more than 15mph. It really is amazing, but then again, I was eyeing mopeds as a realistic way to race in the Indy 500. I mean seriously, I LOVE biking, but sometimes it is a bit daunting to know that a mere four miles can be an hour away if you're climbing. This way I can bum around Colorado and see more before heading onwards.

Anyhow, I really love it here and like resting up, but my mind is getting listless and I need an outlet. I miss going to the gym and dancing. I think I will need to get back on the road soon before I lose all motivation to continue.

Liam has been under the weather so I am taking him to the vet tomorrow to get him looked at. With so many pet food recalls and crap in the media I need to make sure he is 100% okay. I can't continue at his expense. It is a partnership. When he's happy, I'm happy...and if Liam isn't happy...ain't NOBODY happy.

I've noticed my body hurts me more when I am not biking. My back aches and my knees hurt a bit. I think it is because of the lapse in exercise. I am going to do some stretching later.

Anyhow, I probably won't be blogging anymore until I am back on the road.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Day 44 - REI Will Ruin Me...And My Bank Account

Had the first leisurely morning in several weeks. I am getting accustomed to rising early, which is in many ways great, but also extremely atypical of my preferred behaviour. I took Liam to the dog park and watched him run contentedly. He played with a couple of other dogs while one of the owner's tried to hit on me. I think I broke her heart...just kidding, but it was amusing and she was a very nice woman.

Went to the bike shop and got my brakes fixed...again. I decided to spice things up and change the tape on my handlebars. I am now rocking out in red. REI's flagship store is here in Denver and that could quite possibly be one of my favorite destinations...ever. My wallet disagrees, but whatever. You can't please everyone, or everything for that matter.

Enjoying some downtime and planning for the next half of the trip. Woo hoo!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Day 43 - I Heart Colorado

I am currently in Centennial, CO at Wendy's mom's house wondering just how to adapt to civilization. I went to Target today and it was a bit overwhelming. I am excited to get Wendy's bike repaired so we can go back out into the wild and conquer the Rockies and the TransAm's highest peak - Hoosier Pass.

I'm looking forward to the break in the Denver area later this week and catching up with some friends.

Day 42 - Interstate Madness

Whoever thought it was a good idea to put someone traveling at 11mph on a highway next to semi-trucks and loggers going 75mph+ is an idiot...or has a sick sense of humor. Riding on the Interstate 80 was NOT scenic, nor stress-free and the gravel on the side of the shoulder made it a leap of faith to survive. Liam was vocalizing what I was feeling and when we arrived at Walcott we took a slight break and a breather before heading onto the quieter, 130.

After about 35 miles I took a roadside lunch break and was laying on a blanket when Wendy and a State Trooper simultaneously appeared. He asked me if I was alright and I replied that I just needed some nourishment and was taking a break. Wendy, however, was in a bit of distress. Her armadillo tires have disappointed her yet again. She somehow got a rather large gash in her rear tire and doesn't have a spare. Fortunately, the trooper towed us into town 8 miles away. He took Wendy and some of my stuff while I pedaled on since he couldn't fit us both in one trip.

There isn't a bike shop for 200+ miles and a patch job probably won't work, especially since we are in no man's land and tomorrow is Sunday. I have a spare tire, but Wendy is too concerned to use it as it is considerably different from her current armadillos. It could throw the balance off. I probably wouldn't use it either.

We have decided to send out an SOS and her mom and step-dad are going to come get us. We'll make the necessary repairs and then we will backtrack to conquer Hoosier Pass and the Rockies.

In the meantime, why not stay at a motel?

Went to the 24/7 hot springs. Smells like egg-butt and beer. Seems to be the local dating scene. Very interesting. Oh yeah.

Day 41 - Life is a Gift and I Don't Intend to Waste It

Well said, Jack Dawson. I made it to Rawlins and plunked myself down on the bed...YES a bed. Stayed at 1st Choice Inn and Titanic was on. Of course I watched it...who wouldn't? I crossed the Continental Divide twice more today and enjoyed a hot open faced turkey sandwich at Grandma's Cafe - a truck stop in between civilization.

Like I said, sage brush is wearing thin on me.

Day 40 - Land of Silent Hill

Woke up to my tent encased in frost. I felt like I was in a winter wonderland. Waited for the sun to burn off some of the cold and headed to Jeffrey City. I swear that is the backdrop for Silent Hill. It was so creepy I kept expecting a zombie to come out and get me...queue the mist/fog machine.

There was one open bar and they let me bring Liam inside to warm up. Ate some lunch and met a hiker, Todd, who was hiking the Continental Divide Trail. He has been on the road since June and plans to complete it.

Wyoming is still in a state of eternal 5pm. It never looks any earlier and is getting on my nerves. Liam decided to bark at some horses and they responded by running wildly. It was beautiful to watch as the dust kicked up and they ran in unison for yards on end.

Pitched the tents behind a fire station in Muddy Gap next to a mobile home from hell. The land was filled with bunnies so I watched as Liam fruitlessly tried to chase them. He is hilarious, but I didn't mind because I was pretty certain he wouldn't catch them. My tent was just yards from some cows who seemed entertained by the whole event.

I'm getting to the point where talking to cows is normal for me. They seem to really listen. (Remember...I'm in towns with population nonexistent and the only building a service station. My outlets are limited).

Day 39 - Hello, Can Anyone Hear Me?

It's a bit lonely out here sometimes. Especially, when you spend the day racing tumbleweeds and they keep beating you. I haven't seen much in the way of any other life form for a while and it is getting a bit tiresome. I am worn out on sage brush and pretty much over Wyoming. I want Colorado and I want it NOW...please?

Had a fight with a thunderstorm today. I wanted to outrun it and it thought otherwise. Once I became the highest point around I figured it would behoove me to get off my metal bike and seek shelter in a ditch. The thunderstorm and wind were pretty tame considering, but I didn't feel like becoming Mountaintop bar-b-que. I covered everything and got my rain gear out with Liam and sat in a gully to wait it out. It passed relatively quickly, but I am glad I got off the saddle for a bit.

Stopped in Sweetwater Station and stayed with some Mormon Missionaries. They were very nice and gave me the history of the Church of Latter Day Saints. It was an interesting lesson, but I had to refuse a bible as I haven't room for another book. He seemed disappointed but understood.