“Things I’m grateful for and airing of grievances” …Mostly good stuff!
“Did you really eat all that grossness?”
Well yes and no. Nutrition was tough but we did our best.
I ate something every 2 hours. Jacob would go a bit longer.
Jacob and I cooked oatmeal and instant coffee for breakfast almost every morning. I put a scoop of protein powder in my oatmeal and sometimes added a cut-up apple when available.
Don’t worry, I’m much better now, promise!
“What was the hardest part of the ride?”
After “Why the heck did you do this?” it is the most popular question I receive about the ride.
I can’t pick one hard part so here are my top 3 hardest days:
Bike Day 1 thru 46 is the story of the most awesome adventure of my 33 years. Cross Country Craziness was a self supported 46 day 3400 mile 2 man cross country bike ride from Arlington VA to Cayucos CA. Epic!
Victory lap to the Pacific!
My body must have sensed that the end was near because my immune system took the night off. I had a fever, chills and cold sweats overnight. I didn’t sleep well and felt tired and feverish in the morning.
Bako to Paso
In order to avoid the scary Bakersfield traffic we got started at first light. We had cut day 44 about 25-30 miles short so we knew it was going to be another century day to get back on track. No prob, it was our final full day of riding.
We decided to use a different route to get out of Mojave. It got us off the interstate and it really looked like we would go around the mountains instead of up and over them. You know, obviously they constructed the highway over the most mountainous part, and put this baby road on the flattest part, right? Ha.
The motel included free breakfast at the diner next door. A different 50s diner than where we had dinner the night before. “What is with this town and the 50s?” I asked. Jacob said it’s all about route 66 nostalgia. Yummy French toast and eggs.
We rode on the interstate for a few more miles in the morning. It’s illegal and Jacob was nervous we’d get pulled over again but I reminded him of our golden ticket “Officer Fox gave us the green light, remember? We just say Officer Fox!” “I just don’t feel like dealing with cops today.”
We made it to Barstow and hopped on a local road through the town. It was nice to be off the freeway and to have more stuff to look at.
We passed one residence on a hillside with tons of sculptures and creatures actually painted on the mountainside. Jacob said “That guy has too much money and was obsessed with dioramas as a kid”.
A few nice dogs said hello to us. I told Jacob the story about how Melinda and I picked up our stray dog friend, Happy, while running in Turkey. Happy ran with us for a good 7 miles. After I told the story, we heard a man yell “So that’s where Melinda got the dog she gave me!” We looked over and the yell came from the other side of a chain link fence, from a rasta man with dreadlocks who was wearing only a loin cloth.
We had our first roadrunner sighting of the trip. That guy was faster than my fast!
We rolled down hill to the town of Mojave (80 miles total) around 4p. We ate at McDonalds and researched campgrounds. Mojave was ghetto. We decided to motel it again… $35 not too bad.
The shower was Robin sized. I actually had to duck a little to get water to the top of my head. Poor Jacob.
We woke up early at the truck stop in the middle of nowhere and I went inside to use the facilities, get coffee and heat up oatmeal. The morning cashier was an oh-so-talkative 50-something crazy man. “You ready to ride them bicycles this morning?” “Yes, sir, after my coffee though!”. Then he came over, grabbed both my upper arms and said “Wow, do you lift weights? You dooo? I like a woman who lifts weights, that means she can do the chores and I can watch football”. He asked me and other customers questions like “You know how you can tell if you’ve been a trucker for too long? If you’re over 40, that’s how. You ain’t making enough money if you’re doing it past forty, might try something else”…and “you know what vegetable has the most pesticides in it?” (this one I chimed in with “celery!”), he said “Nope! Celery! Wait, you said celery… well, you’re right.”
We climbed 26 miles up hill in the morning. The next few miles were slightly downhill but really windy. I drafted behind Jacob so he got the brunt of it. He was a rock star!
We rested at a Dairy Queen in Ludlow. Thankfully the wind died down a bit when we hit the road again. As the sun began to set and we both started to feel better, I told Jacob “this is where we make hay”. So we kept going to a little town called Daggett, where we saw a sign for “Peggy Sue Diner and campground”. Perfect!
We turned on lights to get us there but still it was too dark and cars flew by (it was shift change time at a factory).
We passed a Marines Training Center and the local dive bar. Jacob said “Why don’t you go in there, meet a marine, and find us a place to stay tonight?”.
We finally found the diner about 4 miles off the highway and ate a good meal with a fun atmosphere. I took a picture with James Dean. We asked around for directions to the camp site but it seemed that the closest one was five miles away in the wrong direction. No thanks… it’s late, we’re cold and there’s a motel next door. Done.
The only first floor room available in the motel was a handicapped one. Jacob said “Well I’ve been called that before so it’ll be fine”. It was fine except for the piddly shower. Low pathetic water pressure like the Seinfeld episode where they can’t get the shampoo out of their hair. After showering, Jacob said “That shower should be ashamed of itself”. But at least we were clean, warm, and logged 102 miles. We both felt good. Endorphins flowing.