Pedal the Plains Day 3

 

PedalthePlainsa

The Bike Corral.  I had to show my wrist band matched the bike I.D. Look at all those bikes.

I did the 7 City Century Ride in Norfolk Nebraska. It was so hot in my tent that I sent away for a compact battery operated fan. Of course, the past two nights on this ride, I froze. Chattering teeth and everything. I didn’t need the fan, but I spent Saturday evening inside. I turned my fan on and the thing barely sputtered. I had checked the thing when I first got it and the fan worked wonderfully. I reseated the batteries and it worked a little better, but not enough. I should have known not to store my batteries in the actual fan. I think it probably got turned on while in transport and now they are exhausted. Since I got it to work a little bit, I kept it on. The gymnasium was stuffy.

PTP has a truck that gives away free cinnamon rolls in the morning and cookies in the afternoon. The truck broke down, so they brought in the cinnamon rolls they had baked and offered them to those of us inside.

I went to sleep about 10:00 pm and slept until 1:00 am or so. About ten minutes after I woke up, an alarm in the school went off. And off. And off.

Someone finally got up and shut the door. That reduced the sound, but then someone else got up and left the door open. We had to close it again. I tried to figure the alarm out, but couldn’t. Since I was up, I grabbed a cinnamon roll. I deserved one after that stupid alarm.

I drifted off back to sleep. It took one hour and six minutes to fall asleep. I got five hours & fourteen minutes of sleep. When I woke up, the fan had stopped working.

Some guy was snoring like a water buffalo and a man just about five feet away kept giving him the death stare. The man ended up with his head sandwiched between the pillow to block out all that racket. The guy sat up and, I apologize. He wasn’t a man at all. He was a woman. I supposed I just assumed…

The next morning was also quite chilly, but not the finger numbing of the previous morning. They served hot pancakes. I used some syrup and butter. They only had a place to sit down outside, so I took my pancakes inside and by the time I got in there, they were cold.

Pedal the PlainsdPedal the Plainse

One of the town’s had a car show. Everybody was eyeing this truck.

Pedal the Plainsc

The lunch.

PtpcPtpj

We stopped and got our picture taken by the Nebraska sign, and rode a short distance and got our picture taken by the Colorado sign.

I rode 62,78 miles

14.3 Avg

21.4 max

4 hours 21 minutes

10602 Odometer

Sunday, Sept 20th.

Posted in Bicycling, Humor, Long Distance Bicycling | Leave a comment

Pedal the Plains Day 2

Saturday, Sept 19th

The next morning it was 39 degrees with a feels like temperature of 36. I’m not sure I could tell the difference. I forgot my full finger gloves, so my fingers didn’t move very well. I could not get my tent poles to collapse correctly, so I took them inside the school. I was so cold, I really didn’t care if I was a public menace with poles flying all over and sticking out. I could hear my dad say, “You can poke your eye out.”

I packed up my tent and luggage in the usual way most bikers do. I jumped on top squeezing and pulling the zipper along each and every tooth. The metal clasp broke. Never fear, I used my luggage lock to keep pulling it closed. I realized somehow, I had lost my little plastic clutch, shampoo, hair conditioner, soap, and toothpaste. I wasn’t about to unzip that bag and look for it.

For breakfast, we had our choice of breakfast burritos or pancakes. I choice the pancakes and sausage for $7.00. The pancakes were cold. 

We battled headwinds for most of the day. Finally, I saw a turn in the road. As a bicyclist, when you fight headwinds and then you see you are about to turn out of it, it’s a very exciting, joyful, kick your heels in the air kind of moment. Unfortunately, we kept going straight.

Thankfully, it was a pit stop, aid station. Lunch.

Ptp8

 

PTP Lunch

I met a guy who had the exact same bicycle that I did. He said he paid nine hundred dollars for it. He found it on Craig’s list. He said, “No one ever pays the full price for these things.” Gulp. Then he said he thought they went for…(Fill in price here…) That was three hundred dollars less than I paid. Double gulp.

He took blah, blah component on his bike and put it on his wife’s bicycle. Then he took blah, blah and attached to another bike. I really don’t know components. I should probably pay attention, but it was all over my head. I hated to sound like a doofus, so I just nodded a lot.

After we had turned out of the headwinds, the rest of the ride was a lot better.

PTP had a rule about no ear buds, so I bought a speaker. Many riders commented on how much they liked my music choices.

One woman/girl/child/punk turned and said, “Wow, I really like passing you.”

How’d you like a nice Hawaiian Punch?

I did all the Ed stops and waited around afterwards to see who the winner was. I stopped at the Info booth to see if anyone turned in my lost shampoo/soap plastic satchel. She said no. I drug my bag, and I do mean drug it across the parking lot and over to the school. The thing is so heavy, I couldn’t lift it all that way. I was afraid I’d rub a hole in the bottom and I did. Sand burrs rubbed a hole. I know how to sew, so I’m not worried. After the previous freezing night, I figured I’d sleep inside the school.

I set up in the gymnasium and plugged my iPod and speaker in. I went through my bag three times and now, I can’t find my phone. I swear, 50% of bike rides are spent bicycling, the other 50% is spent looking for stuff.  I retraced my steps and walked back to the luggage truck and looked around. I hiked the entire route, including crawling under a metal handrail. I crossed the scrub garden in the exact spot I had been about an hour before. I went back to the info booth. They had it.

I went to take a shower and found my plastic traveling shampoo case. Yes! I can brush my teeth again.

The shower was ice-cold. I made the executive decision not to condition my hair.

I took my phone to the Viero tent for recharging. I waited around for the prize drawing. The winner won a Colorado State flag flown over the state capital on the day of their choice. As a Nebraskan, you can image my excitement. They also announced the winner would get money donated to the charity of their choosing. Okay, I can live with that. I didn’t win.

60.21 miles

12.4 Avg

10530 miles

4 hours and 50 minutes of time on the bike

It took me 2 hours and 8 minutes to fall asleep & I got 5 hours and 36 minutes of sleep.

Posted in Bicycling, Humor, Long Distance Bicycling | Leave a comment

Pedal The Plains Day #1

20150918_113836Here’s a picture of the start.  You can see all the bikers wrapping around this bridge.

September 18, 2015

I got up early and took a shower. While sitting there, bemoaning my lack of sleep. A guy walked into the girl’s shower. He said he was sorry and left. There was a woman in the shower, but luckily for her, she was hidden in the back.

Once inside my tent, I started packing up and heard the guy bragging about how no one said anything when he went into the women’s shower. Well, yeah. I only had three hours of sleep.

I went to the long-term parking space and parked my car. From there, I spent most of the day, just waiting for the ride to start. They had a mass start at 11:30. There was supposed to be two ride distances, one at 30+ miles and one at 50+ miles, but I never saw the 50-mile option. And with such a late start, that’s probably a good idea.

I went to the registration desk based on my last name. I think it was Gi-Ho. They had a box probably three feet long stuffed full of envelopes. I asked how many riders there were. She said there were over a thousand.

I went to take a picture with my camera and it said battery exhausted. (I used my phone.)

20150918_131622

A picture of my bike, a corn field and the blue skies.

I rode 34,51 miles
24.1 m.p.h. max speed
13.6 average m.p.h.
10480 miles on my bike.20150918_122239

Here’s a picture of the crystal clear blue skies.

I went to the Viaero charging booth and asked if they had anything to charge my camera. They looked around, but no. I checked with the info booth and they said to try the town computer store but to hurry they were closing in 30 minutes. I waited fifteen minutes for the shuttle. I started to look up the store on my cell phone. I figured I might have to hoof it. Luckily, the shuttle arrived just in time. He dropped me off at the computer store. I had thirteen minutes to spare. Unfortunately, they didn’t have anything that would work.

I rode the shuttle back to Holyoke High School and they didn’t have any dinner options, so I hopped back up on the shuttle and went to the event center.

They had a choice of Lasagna and salad or Brisket, cheesy potatoes and chocolate chip cookie. That cookie was seriously worth the $10.00 alone.

On the ride back, I talked to a guy who said this was his second Pedal the Plains, He explained the educational stamp program. PTP has an option where you can make educational stops along the way. They stamp your passport and at the end of the day they have a drawing for prizes.
He said the prizes were things like airline tickets, backpacks, and bicycles. Did he say bicycles? I guess I can give it a try.

PTP5

Here’s a picture of me in front of Holyoke’s sign.

It took me 53 minutes to fall asleep and I got five hours and 41 minutes of sleep.

Posted in Bicycling, Bike Ride Across Nebraska, Humor, Long Distance Bicycling | Leave a comment

Pedal The Plains Day Zero

It is my hope/intent to post part of my journal of my Bike Ride in Colorado, Pedal the Plains.
Here’s a picture of the cool clouds I saw on the drive down there.
Pedal the Plains

Day Zero
September 17th, 2015
Before I left town, I grabbed my camera and looked for my cord to recharge it. I couldn’t find the one, amongst the other half dozen, that worked. I checked and my camera said it was fully charged. I didn’t want to take a chance, so I figured I’d stop at the camera store and buy another cord on my way out of town.
Usually, when I am traveling, I print out an itinerary for my family. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that done. Big problem.

I was pretty well packed, but PTP has a one bag rule. Let me tell you, I find that oppressive. I used my bigger duffel bag, but that sucker is heavy.

I wanted to leave by 10:00 a.m. but didn’t get out of the house until about 11:00 a.m. I had several stops to make and wanted to make it to Sterling by 7:00 p.m.
My stops: Money, See Mom, give her a check for church, also give her the tomatoes I picked that morning, diet coke and stop at the camera store.

It was almost noon and I was finally headed out of town and looked down to see the four tomatoes. If I left them in the car, they’d probably rot. I turned around and went back to my mom’s house.

Mapquest says it is 5 hour and 43-minute drive.

I made it to Sterling Colorado and was just about out of gas. It was 2.74 a gallon. I got $15.08 worth of petrol. I’m so cheap, I thought I’d wait & see if I could find something cheaper. I Googled the school we were supposed to stay at. Pause for pain. Horror and shock.

I had it in my head I was supposed to be in Sterling, but I was supposed to be in Julesburg, which was back 55 miles. Maybe, if I had printed out my itinerary….

After some painful moments, head bashing, and general degrading of myself and my stupidity, I got back on the highway and clicked on the radio. Phillip Phillips song, Home, came on. He sang, “Settle down, it will all be clear…” I don’t know if it all became clear, but I took a picture of these cool clouds. Look at the lines in the clouds…

Pedal the Plains1

With the change to Mountain Time, I made it into Julesburg by 7:00 p.m. That was my goal, technically I made it. Okay, so I could have been there two hours earlier, but I digress.

I have an activity meter and it can tell me how long it takes to fall asleep. It also can say how long I actually slept.

It took me 3 hours & 41 minutes to fall asleep and I got 3 hours and 15 minutes of sleep.
In the distance, I could hear a storm coming in. Thunder was threatening most of the night, ironically when it started to rain is when I finally fell asleep.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Text Neck vs. Biology Neck

In today’s society, we have developed a new ailment known as Text Neck. It happens when people, particularly youths, look down so often they develop a sore neck. Of course, they are also slouching and ruining their posture. We’ve all seen videos of people walking into pools and falling down staircases. Yes, they should be more careful and yes it’s kind of funny until it happens to you.
Text Neck

I haven’t ever walked into a pool, but I have walked into a wall/pillar. Apparently, I couldn’t take my eyes off of a friend’s fascinating photo of their dinner or something equally mind numbing like a video of someone walking into a pool.

I have come to realize I have another technological neck ailment. It’s been around a lot longer. I call it Bifocal Neck. When I am not suffering from Text Neck, I have Bifocal Neck. I raise my head to a slight degree upward so I can use the thin line of bifocals in my glasses. I guess I’m glad it’s a narrow section, but I get the feeling the bifocals are so small, the Flying Wallenda’s could do their tightrope act on it.

I’ve had Bifocals for a while. I’ve never found them useful, in fact, for the most part, I find them incredibly annoying. To compensate, I push my glasses up so I can use my uncorrected vision to read. Or, I slide them down my nose and look over my glasses just like my old biology teacher used to. I’ll call that Biology neck. It’s the over the glasses, condemnation, don’t bother me, kid, I’m busy look. That’s Biology Neck. You know you are getting old when you start to do the same things your ancient biology teacher did thirty-five years ago.

Biology Neck

You would think that Text Neck and Biology Neck counteract each other, but they don’t. I suppose in some way, I should be flattered that a person of my age can have Biology Neck, Text Neck and Bifocal Neck all at the same time. Okay, just so long as I don’t have Turkey Neck. You know that thin layer of skin that flaps in the breeze when you shake your head to alleviate Text Neck/Biology Neck. I’ve heard it said that if you raise your noggin just so, it will reduce the look of that extra layer of skin. It’s a tricky business all these necks.

Turkey Neck

Both Text Neck and Bifocal Neck have the same result. They hurt. To alleviate the pain, I swirl my head around like a soda jerk swirls ice cream at the local Dairy Sweet.
The cracking is a good thing. To compensate for the problem, I have lowered my desk at work, but I feel like I am sitting at the kid’s table.

One could never confuse Text Neck with rubber neck. Rubbernecking, as defined by Wikipedia, is the act of looking around. That’s the problem. People with Text Neck never see anything but their phones. They can’t take their eyes off their device.

To combat Text Neck, I just installed an app, called appropriately enough, Text Neck.
It will light up with a red head when I am viewing my phone at the wrong angle. A green head lights up when I have perfect posture. To picture this head, think of Blue Man Group. That’s what the head for this app looks like, only red or green.
I can set the app to vibrate or have a beeper go off. I need an app for Bifocal Neck. My glasses could beep at me when I’m doing the under/over glasses thing.

I’ve no idea how an app for turkey neck or rubber neck would work. I’m sure people develop turkey neck over time so it would have to be one long slow buzzer that zings you in the offending fold of skin. “You are in danger. It’s almost Thanksgiving!”
I shudder to think what would happen if my neck is down, my glasses lowered and then I develop turkey neck while rubber necking. The apps on my phone would go crazy!

Posted in Apps for a phone, Humor, Rubbernecking, Text Neck, Texting, Turkey Neck | Leave a comment

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Insecure? That’s me! I’m taking part in an Insecure Writer’s group blog hop. Lately, I haven’t written much of anything. I know, I know. I should just keep submitting, but at times I am stifled by anxiety. Did I use the right word or comma? I shouldn’t let that stuff get to me, but I do.

I know, as all writers, artists, journalists, musicians and even jugglers know, that it takes courage to put yourself out there. You can and will get your hand slapped. There are people out there who want to take you down and make you hurt as much as they hurt.

You dropped a ball, you hit a wrong note, or you misspelled a word and put a comma where clearly it doesn’t belong! After my latest and greatest fiasco, I haven’t written much of anything in the past few weeks. I haven’t posted in my blog in months!

However, I just started working on something yesterday, so all is not lost. I think I wrote two paragraphs, but it was two paragraphs more than I had the day before. I know, lots of authors get tons of rejections and you have to push through until you get that yes. I’ve had agents chase me down, but then things happened and it didn’t work out. It was a huge boost to my confidence. I also feel and have felt in so many different times and different ways that God, yes God, truly wants this for me as well. So, who am I to argue with God?

I have some down time, in other words, vacation, (Yippee!) and hopefully I can recharge my creative juices and get back to writing and submitting.

Posted in Writing | 2 Comments

I’m a Crunchy Bagel

I’m a crunchy bagel. Yes, that’s right. I took an online test. You see them all over Facebook. I’m sure the REAL purpose of these tests is some sort of market analysis. You can’t help but take them, they are fun. It doesn’t seem like there is any real science to these things, but it’s a kick to find out the answer to the burning question, “What Disney Princess are you?” Or, “What Font” should you be? For the record, according to the quiz I should be Rapunzel, and Times New Roman. This is information I can take to my grave. Who knows, some day it may come down to “All you Times New Roman characters to the right, and the Goudy Stouts to the left.”

For purposes of this blog, I have been taking the most ridiculous tests for some time. Many of them I don’t even care about like: Which Bieber are you? Apparently there are different Biebers, Romantic Bieber, Young Bieber and Drunken Egg Throwing Beiber. I barely know his name. I can’t even name a song he sings. He is a singer right?

I’m Sporty Spice girl, but my favorite is, what cereal are you? The fact is, I hate cereal. I eat eggs substitute every morning, but apparently I’m a Honey Nut Cheerios. Phew, I can sleep better now.

For the record, I’m Emma Woodhouse (Austen Heroine) Cora Countess of Grantham, (Downton Abbey) I’m a lemonade girl scout cookie. I must object. I don’t care for lemons let alone lemonade. Although, if I see a child selling lemonade I will buy some. It’s the right thing to do. Even if it’s disgusting swill, chug, smile and move on. Maybe that makes me something else on some other dumb test, but so be it.

I’m the High School Drama kid. I can deal with that. I did take High school drama. I’m a hippie, Lauren Bacall, Bieber in love, (puke) Producer Barbie and I’m a Pit bull. Now, this is weird. The psychic power I should have is Psychometry. I should have the power to sense the past of an object simply by touching it. I am “curious” about everything around me or so the quiz masters say. Now, let’s see, I just ate some corn on the cob. It’s coming to me. I see the corn getting loaded off the grocery store semi-truck. Before that it was in a field. I see it growing. Before that, it was a seed. Yes, they are right. That is the power I need. I can’t live without it.

I would take the power that enables me to get out of debt. Now, there’s a super power.

I’m Les Miserable. Of course, I am. I’m the Silent Survivor like Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption. I’m Sarah the Biblical Heroine, and yet somehow I’m also Judas. I strongly, strongly object. I WOULD NEVER BE JUDAS! NEVER! Can Judas even be considered one of the twelve? I mean, really. Traitor.

As strongly as I object, I am more afraid to let my conservative family know that apparently I am also Barack Obama. Which I don’t understand. For all I know, they only used three Presidents on the meter. Did any of your friends report they were William Howard Taft? Or who bragged they were Rutherford B Hayes? My guess is, they only looked at Washington, Lincoln and Obama. And by the way, between those three, I am Lincoln, or my name is not Judas Iscariot.

I joked with a fellow survey taker the quiz we need is: “What color Belly Button lint are you?” It never appears. It could have questions like: Did you bathe today? What color shirt are you wearing? Are you an innie or a outie? If you are an outie… Annoying buzzer sound! You don’t get belly button lint, you loser wanna-be!

Of course, the problem with making up your own dumb quiz, is some sore loser would try to sue you over it. “What do you mean, I’m a belly button lint wanna-be?” Or, “Of course, I get Belly button lint and I’m an outie.” I don’t know. I’ve never asked outies about their belly button lint problems. I might get in trouble at work. I’m sure you can guess, I’m an innie.

Here’s some of the other surveys I took.

Emma Woodhouse, Cora Countess of Grantham, typographic tattoo, Wyoming, Big Bird. Don’t Stop Believing, Rapunzel, Producer Barbie, Hippie, Rapunzel, Lauren Bacall, Full House, Sam from Benny and June, and Much A Do about nothing. Liz Lemon from 30 Rock. Thomas from Downton Abbey would frame me for theft. I’m Michel Foucalt, the philosopher. I really belong in Renaissance Italy and I’m also Beatrice, a Shakespeare character.

Now, some of my male cousins told me they read my blog, so let me just warn them, you may not want to read this next paragraph.

What strong female character are you? Lara Croft. That’s nice, but looking at a picture of this cartoon woman, first of all, she has breasts that come to attention in a perfect triangular diametric shelf. I’m not going to go into detail, but let me just say, that’s just not happening. I’m not sure it ever did.

Okay, male relatives can continue. Residential Haunting, Sistine Chapel, The Fantastic Four, I’m Inigo Montoya and, you know, I must say, all this quiz taking a side. For me to know, I would be Inigo Montoya from the Princess Bride, is something I take great joy in. “You killed my Father. Prepare to die!”

Pluto, Goddess of women and marriage, grumpy next door neighbor, Catwoman. What kind of Lover do you need? The good guy lover, and by the way, step forward please, sir. Immediately!

Jean Luc Picard, Storm, Kermit, The Lizard, Hybrid car, Sunshine Yellow, Linguistic thinker, Sun, Hope, Spirited one, Black Hair, Tiger, I’m 26% Bitchy and just in case Mr. Good guy lover is reading this, it’s not true. Really.

Oh, and let’s see. I wore a Navy sweatshirt today, Bright green workout shirt and gray sweatshirt. So, that means, navy, green and gray belly button lint. Let me verify beneath the triangular diametric shelf and past the perfect washboard abs. Nope. Oh, well, I guess that’s another quiz that got it WRONG!

Posted in Humor, Quizzes | 5 Comments