Friday, March 19, 2010

5,000 miles!

We broke 5,000 miles today! Ollie, sensing that I may have been getting a bit too big for my britches -- she may have a point, the shorts have been feeling snug lately around the noticeably larger quad muscles -- put me back in my place with flat #12 just shy of mile 5,001. Yep. Merely 19 miles on loose gravel and sand roads, headwind, and aggressive Texan drivers would be too easy. (Maybe they would be. I'll never know.) But we made it the 54 miles to El Paso just before dark.

Really, though, it should not have taken over 9 hours. This, after logging 40 miles in 2 1/2 hours on the way to Las Cruces. Embarrassing. As I gritted my teeth amid no less than 8 near wipe outs on the sandy terrain, I finally got past the pathetic rate at which I was pedaling and channeled the spirit of my marathon training buddies: "It doesn't matter. Just keep going." Even so, I did yell a few times. Nobody but the yapping chihuahuas seemed to notice. (I'm so glad the New Mexican choice for unleashed canines is the chihuahua. Much better than the Ohio shepherds or the California rottweilers. They try their best to sound tough, but since they can't reach my calf I find them significantly less menacing. I was chased by exactly 3 today.)

Today's mental mp3 player -- an actual working one never materialized -- alternated between Slip Slidin' Away and the theme song from Hawaii 5-0. And for good reason. Have you ever tried to steer a loaded bike on sand? It's kind of like a cross between hydroplaning and surfing (based on my memory of the single, highly comical surf lesson I took a few years back in Costa Rica). Why on god's green earth Google sent me on 19 miles -- okay, 15, actually, if I hadn't taken a few wrong turns due to the complete lack of signage -- of unpaved roads is beyond me. Oh, I've got feedback for them alright. In retrospect, perhaps it would be wise to check out the street view before blindly accepting Google directions. (I can almost hear you thinking it, Aaron.) Still, I'm willing to give the new bike route mapping program a few more tries. (No, I'm not a masochist. I just really, really want it to work.)

Before I forget, I've a few state license plate rewrites to add:

Arizona: Not as flat as you might think

New Mexico: Paved roads are for sissies

Well, I'm sure Texas will weigh in with a colorful entry once we make our way over 1,000 miles across the Lonestar State. Which reminds me: Meghan, I may need to serenade you at a karaoke bar when I make it to Houston for your wedding. Because you know "I would bike five hundred miles, and I would bike five hundred more just to BE the girl who biked a thousand MILES to fall down at your door...." (Maybe after we've all had a little champagne.)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. Congrats on the 5k! Great job.

  2. Congratulations on the 5,000 mark! Oakland is rooting for you!


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