Sunday, April 27, 2008

Our Route

Our official route is official! The squiggly line is nice, but it is also exciting to have some numbers too. I'll be riding the "red" Western section, which is a gentle, half-inch downhill ride according to the squiggle--but 1562 miles of mountains according to the numbers. You can check out our "campsites" and mileages here:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I got a new seat! (at least it feels like it)

So I tried out my new bike shorts yesterday on a nice, sunny ride with Katie, my sister. Before these guys, I thought I had a couple pairs of bike shorts--great.
But my eyes have been opened.
I have a real pair of bike shorts.
In a way I'm glad I waited so long to get a quality pair of bike shorts, because it feels that much more magical. Much like the concept of the longer you go shower-less, the better a shower feels.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Looking around

This morning a strange dynamic concerning this ride hit me in the face. I was just finishing up an early morning ride before work, and I decided to stop by my (other) work to check the schedule. (This spring I have been holding down 4 part time jobs =crazy life transition period). As soon as I stepped in the door, I felt uncomfortable. Not because I was wearing clanky bike shoes, a helmet, or an over-abundance of neon color--well okay, maybe it was because of those things--but it was also because I realized how blessed I was to be able to go on this ride. A lot of my coworkers are working pay check to pay check and wouldn't dream of doing something like this. I'm not sure what to make of the uncomfortable feeling...maybe its a good thing, or maybe it a bad thing, or maybe it was just the biking attire. I think it comes down to the fact that I am "working to alleviate poverty" by riding my bike across the country which seems like a very strange and irrelevant way to help the problem when it is in front of my face everyday.

I know that this ride is and will be very powerful and effective and it is worth all the energy put into it. I am behind it all the way. On the cyclist forum, there has been a recent discussion on why we have chosen a bike ride. Through this wrestling, many have pointed out that the ride isn't just for the money, but more importantly its for raising awareness. And it is one step to help solve a big problem.

Still, sometimes it just feels weird.

Yeah, and this weirdness and uncomfortable-ness is good I guess. Because if we didn't feel "weird" when faced with our own and other's hardships, there would be an even larger problem.

And now I am just preaching to myself, so I will stop.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lots of Money and a New Rivalry

Thank you all who have donated! I have surpassed my goal of $4,000 already--and its barely April. I was quite confident I could raise the money by June, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the generosity of my friends and family (and I can't forget the "stranger" who gave me $25 for shoveling his driveway after listening to my not-quite-polished Sea to Sea blurb on his doorstep).

So thank you.

Your generosity is making my part seem easy. But it is also challenging me to stretch out of my comfort zone to follow your example (as well as future fellow riders' examples).

Training is going well. I think it is safe to say all those pesky winter injuries that always come with running on snow and ice are behind me. But more importantly, today I realized that my love of biking is starting to challenge my love of running. I'm afraid that some of my urges to run are now being replaced by urges to get on my bike. And the smooth speed I can get on a bike is rivaling the familiar feeling of my feet pounding down the road.
At first I thought this "trade" was a tragedy, but I guess its also very appropriate, since I will be riding my bike for 1,550 miles in 4 weeks this summer. Running will just have to cope with the pangs of jealousy.