Saturday, July 3, 2010

We're world famous in Pocatello

Day 12. Burley to Pocatello Idaho. To paraphrase a great line from the very funny Mel Brooks movie To Be or Not to Be, we're world famous in Pocatello. Today a reporter from the local NBC affiliate came to interview a few of us about the ride and the causes we are riding for.

We just finished with the interview about an hour ago, and it will supposedly be on the 10PM news tonight on channel 6 here in Pocatello. Here's the link to the story:

I'm going to try to stay awake to watch this at 10PM (MDT) tonight to see how our interviewer Tammy edited the story. I was interviewed along with Sarah Kerr (who is riding for a Chicago Rehab Institute in the wake of her sister's car accident that left her a paraplegic) and Mark Koltz (Baltimore Mark, who is riding for the American Lung Association in memory of a departed family member). Hopefully this will turn out OK.

Well, there is a lot to report on since yesterday's post. After the ride yesterday, the ABB staff conducted what is, for them, an annual tradition on this cross-country ride – the ABB Scavenger Hunt. This is taken quite seriously by most of the riders – that is, most of the riders except for us. After failing to get many of the 16 items needed, we decided that instead of winning, we'd at least try to provide some entertainment value. So, we concocted a story about us losing every single item on the list (which we never even had) when we tried to save a fictitious dog named "little Jimmy" from going over the cliff into the Snake River Canyon. Whenever Judge Jeff from ABB asked us if we had item #1, or #2, or #3 and so on, all we said was "it went over the cliff with little Jimmy" (much like my people say "Dayeinu" at the Passover seder each year!). Of course we finished dead last and set a new ABB record for least points during the annual Scavenger Hunt. At least everyone had a few laughs at our expense. Congratulations to the victorious O.W.L.s who really kicked ass. Also, thanks go to both Joe and Dave on our team who did come up with a couple of ingenious "finds" to keep us alive in the Scavenger Hunt.

Also, even greater kudos go to Dave for giving our team a new name. We don't want to refer to ourselves as "the Thoroughbreds" for a couple of reasons. One, we didn't name ourselves thoroughbreds, and two, it's not very funny. So when we had to give our team a name for the Scavenger Hunt, Dave said that since we are all married, we weren't really thoroughbreds anyway – we were more like "Geldings".

Alas, the thoroughbreds are no more. From this point forward, we are now known as the "Geldings". When we explained that at the Scavenger Hunt last night, it got a pretty good laugh.

Oh yeah, we also did some riding today. Like 140kms worth of riding. It was a very flat ride with a nice tailwind through mostly farmland (not too exciting visually). The weather at 7AM was cold (like "The Vancer wouldn't golf in it" cold). About 8C with a brisk westerly wind under mostly cloudy skies. After about an hour we warmed up a bit, then the clouds went away and it was a great day to ride.

We stopped at a National Historic site called Register Rock (see pictures). This is a rock that settlers carved their names on when they traveled west (it's hard to see in these pictures but it's kind of like frontier grafitti). Very cool. We saw carvings from the 1830's! After we left Register Rock, the Geldings added another horse to the stable (actually a filly) – Katie (here in red with her roommate Beth from Colorado). Katie has said in her blog that she wants to ride with us for a whole day, so today was a test run. She did great. You'd think she was a professional based on how she led the paceline (her first time doing this) and how she kept up. Katie can ride with us anytime, and I'm sure she'll pass us by before we hit Minnesota.

Man, that was a busy 24 hours. Whew. This ride sure keeps me busy – busier than I thought I was going to be. It's 5:40PM local time. Dinner is in 40 minutes and I haven't really had a moment to spare today. The only regret I have on this trip is that there isn't much time for relaxing. There's riding, eating, laundry, sleeping, and that's pretty much it. It's tough physically (a number of riders are showing signs of small physical breakdowns) but it's also tough mentally. We're in the middle of a 9 day stretch of consecutive days riding (4 down, 5 to go until our next break in Casper on Thursday when I get to see my Duchess). The Tetons loom in the distance like a bully in the schoolyard picking a fight, but I won't worry about them until Monday (but worry, I will, as we have to climb over the 8,000 foot elevation level to get over Teton Pass). To any of you who have skied Jackson Hole, Teton Pass is the mountain pass just west of the town of Jackson.

Here's video from today's ride:


Now on to today's mail:

Peter Kaufman has a report on Lara (who this ride is dedicated to) "I'm here with Lara at her acupuncturist - an 85 year old traditional Chinese doctor who speaks very few words of English. His credentials are impressive but Lara has begun to call his technique 'acu-torture'. His reaction to her expressions of pain is to laugh and giggle. Lara explains that the pain is excruciating but she sucks it up and pulls through it. We're not sure if the acu-torture is working but we believe it's one variable with all the other therapies she is doing that is contributing to her slow progress. Last week she wiggled her toes and moved her ankle. Water therapy has been the one place that Lara is pain free. The buoyancy of the water is heaven and her movements are greatly improved. Lara will spend next week in the city and then move up to the cottage. She will be surrounded by her girl friends and more importantly access to two pools. We look forward to continue reading your posts. We're all rooting for you Lara – keep working to get better.

Brad from Toronto writes "I have just started following your blog - verrrrry entertaining!
I really enjoyed reading/viewing your descriptions and pictures - especially yesterday's caption of 'A Mighty Wind' followed by a picture of 4 ladies playing cards - lucky I wasn't in that room!" Those were some serious bridge players Brad, let me tell you. They thought I was Italian because of my jersey.

Useful links for you:

SO COOL: CHECK OUT MY STATS FROM MY NEW GARMIN!!!!!! When you go to this page, go to the player button on the upper right hand side of the page and hit it and then (after the page loads) hit the play button just above the elevation chart; this will allow you to track through the various aspects of my ride simultaneously (just make sure to make the Google map window small enough that you can watch the elevation chart, map, and other data bars at the bottom all at the same time). Too cool for words:

This is Joe's blog:

Trip journal and photos by our tour leader Mike Munk:

This link is Jeff's blog:

This link is Baltimore Mark's blog:

And this is Katie's blog:

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