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Pony Express 2000

July 11, 2000

Day Eleven : Mountains! Curves!

Left Casper about 8:30 am — another cool day. Yesterday was in the 70s and 80s in Nebraska – at one point, I got downright cold. Today feels cool – so I pull on the heavier polarfleece pants — they’ve *almost* lost their petroleum product signature fragrance.

Jon was right – 20/26 is pretty darn desolate. At one point, I pass two road kill deer within a half mile – one on each side of the road. A reminder of the risks of traveling this area after dark. (more…)

Pony Express 2000

July 10, 2000

Day Ten : The Plains

Today’s excitement provided courtesy of North American Van Lines. Now, for a word from our sponsor ….

Was ready to leave the Howard Johnson’s at 8:30 … glanced (again) at the Grand Island Independent story from Sunday … and picked up the phone. “News room, please.” I briefly state my story, tying it to Sunday’s piece on the bicyclist, and the reporter asks me if I can stop by the newspaper before leaving town. I say “sure.” (more…)

Pony Express 2000

Day Ten : Tires

Have trouble finding a place to park the bike where I can use the wood block *and* feel like the bike is secure if the wind kicks up again. Check chain and tires … and groan.

There is a flat spot on the rear tire. (more…)

Pony Express 2000

July 9, 2000

Day Nine : Postscript

How could I forget this??

I ate at the Village Inn Pancake House – and sat next to a table where there was an older couple, with the lady breathing oxygen. Made me think of my Aunt Barbara, who must carry an O2 tank around with her everywhere she goes. (more…)

Pony Express 2000

Day Nine : Day Of Rest

It’s Sunday – a classic day of rest – and I give a nod to tradition.

EC gets out on time – I wake up to hear John* in the shower. Will I get up for breakfast? Turn over, nap some more. Drag out of bed at 8:30 – join John for breakfast, who is almost finished. (complimentary hot buffet breakfast for PE riders) (more…)

Pony Express 2000

July 8, 2000

Day Eight : St. Joe

John, EC and I stay up WAY too late Friday night – what with orientation, late dinner, chit-chat, etc. The alarm, set at 7, comes too soon.

We are supposed to be in staging by 9 am. Our room is on the second floor – the elevator is 100 miles away in the opposite direction of staging – and the bikes are further away yet, again, in the wrong direction. I elect to move the bike to staging (well, in the shade nearby) and get the luggage trolly to move all my stuff. It’s too hot (already) to be lugging stuff. (more…)

Pony Express 2000

July 7, 2000

Day Seven : Homestretch

The highlight of the day was that there were no highlights. ;-)

Did not sleep well last night. Finished the (abbreviated) coding for the web site for the client to review today (Friday). Went to bed with AC running and the window open to let out gas fumes. Woke up about 2:30 – WIDE awake. OK, fine. I’ll finish the pix and get the trip reports up on the web. That takes an hour. (more…)

Pony Express 2000

July 6, 2000

Day Six: Still a newbie – Part 2

I’m now running about 30 minutes late on my ETA for Denver. I start thinking about the afternoon and decide to stop sooner than I had planned. I’ll run through Denver and stop 60-80 miles out. Should be early afternoon. I’ll rest (it’s obvious to me that I need it) and finish the web stuff I have to do.

OK – somewhere between here and Denver are outlet malls. I see the sign for Silverthorne and something in my brain says “this is it.” The things I remember. I stop and right there by the freeway is a sporting goods store. I go in and ask for repair stuff for the tent. And explain *why* I’m asking. (more…)

Pony Express 2000

Day Six : Still a newbie – Part 1

I really wish I knew *why* I must learn experientially.

Here’s the positives of the day:

— I now have an Arai helmet that fits (xs) even though they only come in white
— My clutch lever now matches the brake lever (ie, short)
— I have another pair of nice REI pants that breath well and wick away sweat

How this came to be (might as well be chronological). (more…)

Pony Express 2000

Day Five – Scenic Wonder

If there is a more beautiful 150 or so miles than SR12 to 24 up to 95 in Utah – I want to see it. There was enough “red dirt” to make this south georgia girl homesick. ;-) Followed by – shock! – pristine forests (more Dixie NF) – then desert again.

I marvel at mother nature – and at the settlers who lived here, both native and european. What a HARSH life. In fact, this has been on my mind for some time – how disheartening it must have been to come over a rise … and see more of the same. Then you find a spot of green near a water source – how in the world could you persuade yourself to leave, set out for more uncertainty? (more…)