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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Home Like Lord Rama

FINALLY! He's home, resting, and "eating like a Witterholt." Having ridden 2400+ miles, and with a weary exterior, he crossed our threshold at 8:30 p.m. He actually arrived in Denver in the early afternoon, but got lost on the Cherry Creek bike trail. Of course, if you're a guy and you ask for directions, vital parts start falling off, so when I called him at 6, he said he was lost but on his way.

He knocked on the door and we rushed to greet him. When he came in the apartment, it was like he had been here all along. Our daughter talked his ear off for about an hour before collapsing and she's been spending a lot of time with him today. He'll be adding to the blog soon, and the bestselling cycle adventure novel will come out before you know it.

My Bollywood West Dance teacher, Renu, pointed out that Ed came home during the first days of Diwali, and that's very lucky for us. Apparently, it's a holiday of new beginnings, returning and eating sugary treats. Sounds like our kind of party.

His welcome home meal consisted of a whole Domino's pizza and ice water. I tried to do something special, but he said, "Just get me a pizza and let me sleep in a real house for once." Nuff said.

Here's Ed by the new car, bringing the bike into the house and saying hey to the guinea pigs, who missed him terribly, also. StoLat, Ya'll.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Heading Home

At left is a picture from the Alaska ferry that never got posted. De-Luxe accomodations!

Ed wanted to give a shout-out to the guys at Fine Edge Ski, Cycle and Fitness in Laramie, WY. Apparently they had one younger guy and one older guy who offer gear advice, philosophical discussion and tires. Ed says they were very "diplomatic and respectful" while chastising him about his previous tire choices.

Since there is not a lot between Laramie and Fort Collins, Ed's in for a thrasher ride. He's hoping to arrive by 3:30 for the Obama rally at CSU, but he may not make it. I'm not saying anything else, except that anyone who's entered a guess about Ed's arrival in Denver may be a little off.

And, to answer the other FAQ, there won't be a party or a finish line. I tried, but a) he's a bit of a 'don't pay attention to me' kind of guy and b) it's hard to predict a time when he'll arrive. I hate to ask a bunch of people to just stand around. My kid's iPod can only entertain two people at a time, max.

So, as with his departure, the arrival will be low-key. And there will be garbage for him to take out. Don't forget to enter your guess about day and time of his arrival. When he sees his family is what we'll count.


Friday, October 24, 2008

WY so Windy?

This is the text I got from him yesterday: All good but beat. Altitude and crosswinds. Eat sleep now. Will call Fri.

Poor thing. He's on his way to Cheyenne and it sits at over 7000 feet. The good news is that it's all downhill to Denver. Apparently the Wyoming wind is something of legend. Several of my coworkers have experienced the WY wind at one time or another.

I still want to plan a celebration for Ed, even though he's not into those kinds of gatherings. Maybe I should set up a virtual finish line or online video of him riding to collapse in our apartment parking lot.

What will probably happen? He'll show up at my office asking, "Hey - where do we live?" I'll give him a key and he'll go home to make dinner.

On Wednesday, I started a to-do list for him - top of the list is figuring out our polling place.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In Case You Wondered What He Ate

Have you made your prediction yet about when he will arrive in Denver? Leave a comment about the day and time he will roll in (when he sees his family is the time we'll count).

Last night, he was in Casper, but the next couple of days will be tough. Uphill and gaining altitute to peak in Cheyenne, I think.

Oh, and for you bike freaks out there: He doesn't really eat breakfast, but has "bike food" along the way (GU and PowerBars). Then has a good dinner. He said he will break with tradition tomorrow and have breakfast in the same cafe as last night's dinner, only because they seem to have the small-town diner thing down: Good food and good service with a lot of locals packed in. Strange how that's not been his experience until now (except for that couple in Canada, who threw in the jokes).

"I'm nerve-cited about seeing you guys," he said yesterday. Nerve-cited is the term our kid came up with before a big presentation in 2nd grade. Nervous + excited = nerve-cited.

Make those predictions now - there could be a prize waiting for you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shoshoni Crosswinds

Moving right along, Ed made it from Thermopolis to Shoshoni, only to be stopped by hideous crosswinds that actually frightened him. And that's saying a lot.

He described the winds as rattling the bike, tearing at his windbreaker and scaring the stuff out of him. But, being the stubborn Polack he is, Ed trudged on.

"I thought I could hide under a rock if things got too bad," he said. "But as I rode further I really looked at the landscape around me. No ****ing rocks anywhere in sight." There went that plan.

"There was road, dirt and wind - that's it," he continued. "So I rode back to Shoshoni and got a cheap room at the Desert Inn Motel, did my laundry at the Desert Inn Laundromat and got my dinner at the Desert Inn Cafe."

He added that the crosswinds continued in town, rocking both the hotel walls and the laundromat structure. My only question was: What was he laundering? He has the Sooner bike jersey and kit, and maybe one other set of clothes? Hmmm....

He hopes to ride out of Shoshoni today and continue to Casper, which involves going east but not very south. After that is some other town, Laramie, Fort Collins and Denver.

More pictures from the road now:

They are: The fender falls off, the fender has a proper funeral, Close Encounters of the Bike Kind, and a little pit stop to fix a flat


StoLat, ya'll.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dinosaurs and Turnip Trucks

Besides going 2000 miles officially, Ed had another fine moment:

"I literally saw something fall off a turnip truck," Ed told me yesterday.

It was, of course, a turnip, but it was HUGE. He described the large dangerous vegetables poised delicately on the top of the pile, then the truck turned and the turnips rolled off and threatened to crush crazy bike riders.

"The lesson here is to keep clear of them - they will mess you up," he warned. Now that he's seen the turnip truck, they are apparently everywhere in Wyoming. It must be the second largest cash crop or they actually use turnips as local currency because they are all over the road, so threatening with their precarious truck placement. Oh, he also saw the world's largest pile of potatoes:

Last night, he made it to Thermopolis, a huge dinosaur remain capital. The dinosaurs were big shots there but since there were no tourists, they died out. There's a pretty good museum there and Ed talked the manager into letting him roll the bike in for a few pictures:

And here are more pictures to keep us honest:

They are from top: Outside the "Biker Bar", a beautiful corn field, and the continental divide at night.


Tomorrow: More pictures!

Monday, October 20, 2008

In Wyoming as a Lucky One

Only one more state to go until Ed is home and able to take out the garbage and fix the squeaky refrigerator door. After this epic ride, I think he needs more mundane things to do, don't you?

Once he gets to town, he may have a greater challenge ahead than biking almost 2000 miles - finding a steady job. Actually, no one needs to worry about that. He's always had work, including a temp job roasting and glazing hams during the holiday rush at Honeybaked Hams the winter before we moved to Alaska. This guy will do anything to support his family in the manner to which we've become accustomed.

Still, we are extremely lucky:
  1. We sold our house in Alaska within 30 days of listing it AND made a profit
  2. I have a great job in Colorado
  3. We're all in good health
  4. Ed is making the trip of a lifetime and having a marvelous time

Maybe I shouldn't tempt fate by listing my good fortune, but I do it only to acknowlege that others are not as lucky as us and we totally get that. And I do think it has more to do with luck than anything. Hard work can only take you so far. There's no other rational explanation, besides what CNBC or FOX News have to say about it.

We're all guessing about when Ed will finally arrive in Denver, but there will be a special prize to the person who names the date AND time he arrives at the final stop. Leave your guess in the comments and whoever is closest will win.

Over the next couple of days, I'll be putting together a finish line (not sure where) and getting the garbage ready for him. Maybe I'll set up a ramp so he can take his bike off some sweet jumps - LUCKY!