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Inside of the Bator's Card
The Bator's Card

Click here for link to Case Western Reserve University article entitled "He Made It!..."

Cleveland Plain Dealer June 2, 2007

Click here to play video entering Cleveland

After 2700 Miles

Click here for Cleveland Plain Dealer news article

Saturday June 2nd:  Metro Park to CWRU Campus Cleveland, OH

Larry & Jean

Lake Erie Wheel Dip Ceremony
The ride into the Case Western Reserve University Campus from the Cleveland Metropolitan Park covered a distance of 31 miles at an average speed of 13 mph.
I had repositioned my bicycle from the Crystal Springs Campground to the Maple Grove Picnic area in the Metropolitan Park area, at the foot of Cedar Point Road and Rocky River, on Thursday May 31st with Carl Panek, a fellow CIT Alumnus.  This morning, all I had to do was ride from the hotel, where Jean and I are staying, a couple of miles down to meet the peloton at the turnaround point in the Maple Grove Picnic area.  Over 70 riders registered for the event and 62 actually joined in the ride from the Case Alumni Association office to meet up with me at Maple Grove and ride back to the CWRU Campus for a BBQ at Freiberger Field.  It was a beautiful morning and a lovely ride through the Metro Park into downtown and along Lake Erie back to the Campus.  We stopped at the East 72nd St. Pier for the front wheel-dip ritual.
When we arrived at the BBQ on Campus, I was presented with a beautiful trophy, recognizing the event, by Delia Mannen, Director of Student & Alumni Affairs at the Case Alumni Association.

Trophy Presentation by Delia Mannen

Friday May 25th:  Milan to N. Ridgeville, OH

Today the ride covered 38 miles at an average speed of 14.5 mph.
It was another hot and humid day here in northern Ohio!  Thank goodness for another tailwind, which easily propelled me to the Crystal Springs Campground in N. Ridgeville before noon.  Jeff and I went to lunch at Frankie's Italian Restaurant in the Great Northern Shopping area.  While having lunch, we had several showers come through, which tended to keep the temperature down.  In the evening we went to dinner with Spanagel Family relatives to the Union House in Brooklyn, Ohio for their Friday-Fish-Fry.  It was fantastic and a great time was had by all.
I want to personally thank all of you who have supported and provided me encouragement during the ride.  Your support has been instrumental in helping me to accomplish my goal.
Stay tuned, as there is still the 33 mile ride to complete into CAA and the CWRU Campus on June 2nd.  There will be a hiatus in reporting until then.

Cleveland Relatives

Thursday May 24th:  Nevada to Milan, OH

The ride today covered a distance of 48 miles at an average speed of 14.8 mph.
Again, as the last several days, the weather was very hot in the high 80's with a nice tailwind.  I spent a lot of time on Ohio Route 4, but there was little to no shoulder with a lot of truck traffic.  Therefore, after our lunch stop in Attica at Bev & Jak's Restaurant, I devised an alternative route which utilized lonely county roads as much as possible up to Milan from there.  This worked out very well, except I had trouble contacting Jeff near the end of my ride to pick me up at the intersection of US 250 & Ohio 113.  I even called wife, Jean and had her try and let Jeff know where to pick me up.  As luck would have it, he appeared shortly after, and I was only waiting out in the hot & humid environment for about 20 minutes.
Tomorrow, if the weather holds long enough, I should get to the staging area on the west side of Cleveland, for the final ride into the CWRU Campus on June 2nd.  I am really looking forward to this ride into the east side of Cleveland with a group of CWRU students, faculty and alumni!

Wednesday May 23rd:  Wapakoneta to Nevada, OH

Wyandot County Seat in Upper Sandusky, Ohio

The ride today covered a distance of 71 miles at an average speed of 14.8 mph.
It was a very warm and beautiful day in Northwestern Ohio!  The temperature in the afternoon reached a high of 88 degrees and it was very humid making for a "sweaty ride".  I stopped for lunch at about the halfway point in Kenton at the Midway Restaurant on Franklin St.  I found out about it by asking a local as I arrived in town.  I had my carb staple consisting of pancakes, an egg and sausage patties.  This propelled me to Nevada where we are staying overnite at the Foxfire Family Fun Campground.  I was again blessed with a tailwind, which reduced the effort to get as far as I did.
Tomorrow, we expect to be in Milan, the birthplace of Thomas A. Edison, a mere 40 miles from the West side of Cleveland, the staging area for my final ride into the CWRU Campus on June 2nd.

Tuesday May 22nd:  Ohio State Line (Fort Recovery) to Wapakoneta, OH

The ride today covered a distance of 45 miles at an average speed of 12.9 mph.
The day started out bright and warm as I headed east on Ohio 119 thru Fort Recovery, the first fair sized town across the Indiana State Line in this part of the country.  We stopped for lunch at the Rodriquez Family Restaurant in Celina on Ohio Route 29, which eventually changes to US 33.  Not long after leaving Celina, Jeff called me to let me know that he saw a sign prohibiting bicycles on US 33.  He devised an alternate route for me which I took, but as luck would have it, I ended up lost when the road went more South than I should have gone.  I called him at an intersection to see where I went astray and he told me I went too far South.  A motorcyclist stopped and asked if I needed assistance...I said No, but asked him for directions to the KOA in Wapakoneta, OH.  While we were talking, Jeff came to the rescue and we loaded the bike in the trailer and drove to the Campground.  It all made for an interesting day on the road in Western Ohio.

Monday May 21st:  Rigdon, IN to the Ohio State Line

Entering the State of Ohio

The ride today covered a distance of 51 miles at an average speed of 12.9 mph.
There was a headwind much of the day, which limited the speed.  We stopped at The Mathews Family Restaurant just in time to get breakfast before the lunch crowd hit.  This is the town, originally called New Cumberland, which contains a very nice covered bridge, a photo of which is shown below.
I stayed on county roads the whole day, but I overshot my objective, Portland, IN by 10 miles to the Ohio State Line.  I actually ended up on Highway 26 where it becomes Ohio 119 at the state line.  Therefore, I now have gone through 9 states since leaving Santa Monica covering 2444 miles according to my cyclometer.

Cumberland Bridge

Sunday May 20th:  Attica to Rigdon, IN

Llamas in an Indiana Field

Today's ride covered a distance of 78 miles at an average speed of 14.8 mph.
By the way...we crossed into the Eastern Time Zone at the Indiana State Line yesterday, therefore we are now on EDT or three hours ahead of PDT.
The ride started out much like yesterday's with a tailwind, but as the day progressed the wind shifted to more out of the NE, which resulted in a slight headwind for much of this afternoon.  At about the 50 mile point Jeff became concerned about the traffic on SR 26 with essentially no shoulder and researched an alternate route using county roads, which were much less traveled.  He came upon a county road which was just south of SR 36 and pretty much paralled it East.  This worked out very well since it took us all the way to where we were supposed to turn off for the Hidden Lake Campground in Rigdon.

Saturday May 19th:  Ellsworth, IL to Attica, IN

The Indiana St. Line on a Country Rd.
Evan, a Friend on the Road
Today the ride covered a distance of 80 miles at an average speed of 16.2 mph.
Goodbye Illinois and Hello to Indiana!  Bless the tailwind...the benefits of which are long distances covered in a relatively short period of time.  We stopped in Gibson City, IL at the Country Kitchen for breakfast.  After we got back on the road, a gentleman, whose name turned out to be Evan, pulled alongside of me in a Ford Mustang and wanted to know where I was headed.  I told him the Summers Carroll Campground in Attica, IN and he said he knew where the place was.  He said his girlfriend was from Attica and he was going there to see her.  He took several photos of me and eventually caught up to Jeff and talked to him suggesting shorter ways to get to the campground.  He also told us there was a good place to get a salad at Artie's Pizza in Pine Village, IN.  A photo of Evan is shown above.

Friday May 18th:  Lincoln to Ellsworth, IL

Illinois Cornfield

The ride today covered a distance of 46 miles at an average speed of 13.1 mph.
Today we said goodbye to Old Route 66 in Funk's Grove just south of Bloomington and started heading more East than North.  We relied on county roads most of the day, which had virtually no traffic whatsoever.  During one of our stops just before noon, Jeff said he saw a woman bring lunch to a farmer tilling a field on his John Deere tractor.  The temperature was much warmer today and there was less wind, therefore I shedded my leg warmers before noon.

Thursday May 17th:  Springfield to Lincoln, IL

North Wind Lincoln, IL

Today's ride covered a distance of 50 miles at an average speed of 11.8 mph.
The speed was kept down by a brutal headwind out of the north.  The temperature never exceeded 60 degrees making for a "cold ride".  This was the first day I wore my leg warmers and heavy jacket since riding in New Mexico.  We stopped for lunch at Ray's 66 Diner in Sherman, IL.  The food was very good and I had the stuffed cabbage special for $4.99.  The afternoon's ride was complicated by the northernly wind, which made it difficult to make good time heading north.  Fortunately, I had called ahead to the only RV Camp in the Lincoln area, so we reserved the last slot available at this "safe haven" out of the wind.
Tomorrow we should start turning East near Bloomington, therefore we should "be-off-the-wind", so to speak that is, if it's still coming out of the North.

Wednesday May 16th:  Springfield, IL

State Capitol Springfield, IL
Dana Thomas House Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright 1902

Today was meant to be a day for Rest & Relaxation.  However, as always, it seems there are things that need to be done, hence there is little time for R&R.
We took the Trek bike into the Ace Bicycle Shop on Macarthur  Blvd on the west side of downtown Springfield for cleaning and lubrication of the drive train.  In the meantime we took the Landcruiser tire, which went flat yesterday, to a Goodyear Store just near the bike shop for repair.  Somehow we had picked up a roofing nail in the tire, but fortunately it was able to be patched and should outlast the tread.
For lunch, we remained in downtown and ate at The Little Saigon Restaurant.  We both enjoyed the excellent Vietnamese cuisine here, which turned out to be a very popular spot for locals.
The forecast for tonight is for severe thunderstorms in the area, but it should be clear for tomorrow's ride up to Lincoln.

Tuesday May 15th:  Litchfield to Springfield, IL

The ride today covered a distance of 31 miles at an average speed of 14.4 mph.
Goodbye I-44 and hello I-55!  I will be going almost due north for the next several days, therefore I'll be paralleling I-55.  Although the day started out sunny and warm, it quickly clouded up and began to rain heavily during the early afternoon shortly after we had stopped for a bite to eat at Art's Motel and Restaurant in Farmersville, IL.  I had breakfast and Jeff had back-to-back breakfast & lunch, since he was very hungry.  This famous site on "66" has been in existance since the early 1930's and we were approached by several locals who were interested in our ride.  One of the gentlemen, who works for the General Dynamics coal mining unit, "bent our ear" for a good half-hour before wishing us good luck on the rest of the ride.  When it began to rain, I was fortunate to be able to pull into the Double J Campground & RV Park in, the small town of Chatham, and wait for Jeff to come pick me up.
While on his way to pick me up, Jeff said that it was the worst thunder storm he'd been in with zero visibility and "lightning bolts crashing down all around him".  It must have been pretty bad, since he is a "Katrina Survivor".  As of 5 PM, it continues to rain here.
Since it has been more than a week since I've had a "lay-day", I'm planning to take tomorrow off for R&R.

Monday May 14th:  Granite City to Litchfield, IL

Manhattan Beach, CA Mother's Day

Today the ride covered a distance of 57 miles at an average speed of 14.3 mph.  According to my cyclometer I have gone 2109 miles since leaving Santa Monica, CA.
This was the first day I can recall of having a tailwind since leaving the Texas Panhandle.  The sky was clear and sunny with temperatures in the mid-to-high 80's.  I stopped for lunch in the town of Hamel at DK's Market, which had a very nice deli-section with food-to-go.  After lunch I was sitting outside of Scotty's Pub waiting for Jeff to appear at the major intersection in town.  The proprietor, Jim Allen an avid cyclist, asked me to come in and sign his book, which I did.  He was interested in my ride and had aspirations to ride 66 some years ago, but never got to because of the time involved.

Sunday May 13th:  St. Louis Area to Granite City, IL

Crossing the Mississippi St. Louis, MO

The ride today covered a distance of 47 miles at an average speed of 11.9 mph.
Today was another beautiful day for cycling.  The temperature at mid-afternoon was 80 degrees.  I didn't notice the wind today, but it may have been due to riding the first 29 miles on I-44.  The ride through downtown St. Louis turned out to be a "breeze" since it was Sunday and Mother's Day to boot!  I took the EADS Bridge across the Mississippi into East St. Louis, Illinois.  This is very close to the Gateway Arch and downtown skyline as the photo depicts.  My understanding is that this bridge is the oldest of the many that cross the river.  The McKinley Bridge is closed and the Chain of Rocks Bridge is no longer accessable to ride across.

Saturday May 12th:  Sullivan to St. Louis, MO Area

Missouri Gas Price

The ride today covered a distance of 40 miles at an average speed of 11.5 mph.
Like yesterday, it was sunny and warm with headwinds out of the NNE at 10-15 knots.  This, plus the hills tended to keep the speed down.  We stopped for lunch on the outskirts of Gray Summit at a Burger King on Highway 100 (The 1920's and 1930's alignment of 66).  With the temperature right around 85 degrees, in the mid-afternoon, one needed to consume a lot of fluids in order to stay hydrated.

Friday May 11th:  Rolla to Sullivan, MO

Fido Flesh Feeds Few Sullivan, MO

The ride today covered a distance of 55 miles at an average speed of 12.3 mph.
This was the first day in the last four or five that it didn't rain!  The conditions were perfect for cycling except for two things...the hills and the headwind.  There was a slight breeze that ended up "in your face" during the day's ride.  I stopped for a-bite-to-eat in the Rolla area at a Shoney's Restaurant and had pancakes, sausage, and coffee.  This propelled me to Sullivan where I plan to ride to the west side of St. Louis tomorrow, to position myself for the assault thru town and over the Mississippi River on Sunday.

Thursday May 10th:  Lebanon to Rolla, MO

Near Rolla MO on Route 66

Today's ride covered a distance of 63 miles at an average speed of 12.2 mph.
The day started out very nice so I rode to St. Roberts and met Jeff there for lunch (actually it was breakfast) expecting that I could zip right through to Rolla.  Right after lunch, around 1 PM, it started to pour so we sat it out in the trailer until just after 3 PM when it cleared up enough to get back on the bike.  We rolled into Rolla just around 6 PM and headed for a Campground at the Arlington River Resort.

Wednesday May 9th:  Marshfield to Lebanon, MO

The ride today covered a short distance of 27 miles at an average speed of 12.7 mph.
I must be doing something wrong...I've gotten rained on the last two out of three days.  When I left the RV Park in Marshfield it was a lovely morning, but after about 15 miles I was hit by rain!  This happened just within a few miles of where I pre-planned to meet Jeff in Conway.  Needless to say, I got soaked and had to dry out in the trailer before heading to the local coffee shop for breakfast.  After breakfast, the sun appeared and it became another beautiful afternoon in central Missouri.

Tuesday May 8th:  Springfield to Marshfield, MO

Today's ride covered a distance of 36 miles at an average speed of 13.2 mph.
The day started out with some ground fog, which developed into a light rain by noon.  We stopped in Stafford at Dana's Cafe for lunch.  I got there before Jeff, who had stopped in downtown Springfield to pick up some Emergen C, a vitamin C complex, which I mix in my water bottles for riding.  After lunch we headed east up Road OO (Rte 66), which runs between I-44 and the BNSF railroad, for Marshfield about 13 miles away.  Shortly after I arrived, the weather cleared up and the sun came out.

Monday May 7th:  Springfield, MO

New Found Friend Springfield, MO

Today was an R&R Day at the KOA Campground located on the western fringe of Springfield, MO.
Did you know that Springfield was taken by the Confederates after the Battle at Wilson's Creek in 1861?  Also, famous natives and residents include John Ashcroft, Bob Barker, John Goodman, Brad Pittt, Kathleen Turner and Payne Stewart.  "Wild Bill" Hickok also called this his home.
Enough trivia...I made an 11 mile ride this morning to position myself near the KOA Campground for the ride tomorrow.  I want to get an early start since they are predicting severe thunderstroms tomorrow afternoon.  According to my cyclometer I have gone 1784 miles since leaving Santa Monica April 1st.

Sunday May 6th:  Joplin to Springfield, MO

Today's ride covered a distance of 60 miles at an average speed of 11.6 mph.
The weather was hot and muggy.  The temperature was in the high 80's and that coupled with headwinds made for a tough riding day.  You couldn't even coast downhill cause you had to pedal to keep the momentum going.  This part of Missouri is quite hilly since it is in the foothills of the Ozarks.  The tandem couple who rode "66" a few years ago said that the climbing in Missouri was second only to California and Arizona according to their altimeter log.
Anyhow, I got caught in a couple of showers and had to duck into the Joplin Truss Co. warehouse for shelter in the town of Avilla.

Saturday May 5th:  Vinita, OK to Joplin, MO

Today the ride covered 67 miles at an average speed of 13.2 mph.
The weather was warm and there was a crosswind for most of the day blowing 20-25 knots.  This made it difficult when the route turned more south than north.  The temperature was 85 degrees when we hit Joplin, MO.
We were in three states today, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.  Tomorrrow's weather forecast is for scattered thundershowers so I'll be "playing it by ear".

Back on the Road

Friday May 4th:  Tulsa to Vinita, OK

Today, I got back on the bike and went 51 miles at an average speed of 14 mph.
There was a break in the weather and there was no rain, but grey skies.  The temperature was in the 70's and the roads were dry...the first time in several days.  We stopped for lunch at The Foyil Cafe, a snapshot is shown below.
I elected to stop short after fifty miles since I am still sore after Tuesday's spills.  Tomorrow we should be in three states, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

The Foyil Country Cafe

Wednesday & Thursday May 2nd & 3rd:  Tulsa, OK

Yesterday and today were an R&R day in Tulsa, OK.
I took the opportunity to take my bike into the "Bicycles of Tulsa" shop to have it cleaned, lubed and checked out after Tuesday's ride in the rain and crash.  I bought a new helmet (A "Specialized") since my Giro had been cracked when I went down on Tuesday.  We also dumped the black and grey water tanks as they were close to full.  This is a ritual that isn't pleasant, but we're getting used to it and developing new techniques.
The forecast is for a two day break in the weather, which I intend to take advantage of.  Tomorrow's objective is Miami, about 74 miles from Tulsa.

Tuesday May 1st:  Bristow to Tulsa, OK

Today the ride covered a distance of 33 miles at an average speed of 12.7 mph.
It was another wet day in Eastern Oklahoma.  It began raining last nite and continued throughout the day.  This made it exceptionally slippery and going over some railroad tracks at an oblique angle, my front tire caught in the track and I took a spill!  Jeff made me go to the St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa and they kept me overnight for observation.
Wednesday morning when I awoke I was very sore on both hips where I apparently landed.  They released me about noon CST and I'm back "at my home-away-from-home", a 19' fully-contained travel trailer.
I may elect to sit out the next two days as the forecast calls for continuing rain through Thursday.

Monday April 30th:  Edmond to Bristow, OK

Today's ride covered 61 miles at an average speed of 14 mph.
It was another beautiful morning and early afternoon in central Oklahoma.  At noon the temperature was a balmy 84 degrees in the small town of Stroud.  Who said Oklahoma was flat?  I spent the whole day on Old 66, which had virtually no shoulder and a lot of truck traffic...a little dicey!  From Edmond there were constant rollers, some of which required shifting into "Granny Gear".  I had an early lunch around 11 AM in the town of Chandler at Marsha's Country Kitchen in the old downtown section.  Jeff passed me just as I had left Chandler and headed northeast on Old 66.  I took the opportunity to get rid of the long sleeve thermal wear under my cycling jersey.  I believe this was the first day since the California desert that I didn't require something under my short sleeve jersey.
About a half-hour after reaching my Bristow destination, it began to cloud up and a front came through bringing wind and rain.  The forecast for the next 3-4 days is 80 percent chance of thundershowers.  I may elect to just wear my wet suit and nothing underneath but plastic bags to keep my feet and socks dry!  I have little other choice since I must ride to maintain schedule.

Sunday April 29th:  El Reno to Edmond, OK

The ride today covered a distance of 50 miles at an average speed of 14.5 mph.
Today was another beautiful day in central Oklahoma.  The temperature rose to the mid-eighties with little to no wind.  I left El Reno about 8:30 AM and arrived at Arcadia Lake just after noon.  I scouted out the RV campsites at the Lake and chose one of the three remaining full hook-up sites.  This is a popular area for boating and day camping, and reminds me of our water-ski trips up to Lake Millerton east of Fresno, CA.  Our site has a number of trees and we will have shade from the afternoon sun.
We met our friends from Denton, TX this evening for dinner in Edmond.  It was good to see them since it's been six years since we've seen each other.  Tomorrow I'll finally say goodby to I-40 and start heading northeast, paralleling I-44 until I reach St. Louis.

Friends from Denton, TX

Saturday April 28th:  El Reno, OK

Today was an R&R day in El Reno.
It turned out to be a beautiful day here...80 degrees without a cloud in the sky.  I took my bike into Oklahoma City to have it cleaned up and lubed after yesterday's ride in the rain.  The water, mixed with the grit from the road, forms a slurry and plays havoc with the drive train.  The mechanic at the Bike One shop told me that there was considerable wear on the chain, but I opted not to replace it at this was new when I left California four weeks ago.  I also did some maintenance on the trailer and LandCruiser in addition to doing my laundry.  I'm getting pretty good at that now, after figuring out the washers and dryers.  Jeff spent the day with a friend who had recently moved back here from New Orleans.
Tomorrrow I head up to the northern suburb of Edmond and will meet with Joe and Ruth Bain, friends that we had met on our Viking River Cruise in 2001.  They are driving up from Denton, TX, a suburb of Dallas.  I talked to Ruth this morning and she told me it's about a three hour drive due north for them.  Although I have'nt been able to locate a specific RV Campground there yet, I believe that there are several in the Arcadia Lake area that Jeff can "smoke out" before I get there.

Friday April 27th:  Weatherford to El Reno, OK

Foul Weather Gear

The ride today covered a distance of 46 miles at an average speed of 13.1 mph.
Well it had to happen sooner than later...wet weather!  It started out as a very grey morning and got progressively worse.  We had all the elements of a severe storm;  hail, lightning, thunder and rain.  Fortunately, conditions did not spawn a tornado, but it was scary riding on a virtually deserted rode with lightning bolts coming down all around you.  I made it to a truck stop, named the Cherokee Restaurant, before the heavy hail and rain hit.  After hunkering down in the trailer for almost two hours, there was a break in the weather and I headed east again for El Reno.  Jeff devised a way to keep my socks and feet dry by using plastic bags over my socks as homeless people do.  It worked for the rest of the day.

Thursday April 26th:  Elk City to Weatherford, OK

Today's ride covered a distance of 50 miles at an average speed of 12.5 mph.
The weather was gorgeous today in western Oklahoma.  The high temperature was a warm 70 degrees and the wind was not as bad as the last couple of days.  I rode with Dave and Rex again, which will probably be the last time since our paths will diverge in the Oklahoma City area...they will be tracking I-40 (East) and I will start heading NE along I-44.  I will miss their company, but we will stay in touch via cell phones and my web site.
We stopped for coffee at a Shell Station Food Mart, the gathering place for locals, in the small town of Canute and for lunch at a very nice Cafe on Main St. in Clinton.  At both stops we were approached by a number of people interested in our ride.  We remained on Route 66 most of the day as it was the primary frontage road running along I-40.  The conditon of the road was excellent, consisting of reinforced concrete most of the time.  It was very smooth with hardly any bad spots making for easy riding.
Tomorrow we will be on the northwestern outskirts of Oklahoma City in a suburb called El Reno.

Formerly a Dear Deer Custer County, OK

Wednesday April 25th:  Shamrock, TX to Elk City, OK

The ride today covered a distance of 62 miles at an average speed of 12.6 mph.
Today was very grey and overcast with NNW winds at 20-30 knots with gusts up to 35-40.  The high temperature was 54 degrees, but with the windchill factor it seemed like 44!  This kept our speed down, since we were confronted with headwinds at numerous times.  I rode with Dave and Rex and it was nice to have their company.  We stopped at several points along the way, including the Roger Miller Museum in Erick and the National Route 66 Museum, located on the outskirts of Elk City.  We missed the photo shot at the Oklahoma state line...never saw it since we rode 66 all day long and never had to go on  I-40.  One interesting town was Texola, which obviously was on the main route 40 years ago since there is a divided 4 lane highway east of there for many miles with nothing around but open praire now.
According to my cyclometer odometer, which registers 1356 miles since leaving Santa Monica, we are now at the halfway point!

Tuesday April 24th:  Amarillo to Shamrock, TX

Art Deco Theatre McLean TX

Today's ride covered a distance of 97 miles at an average speed of 16.8 mph.
Although the day was originally scheduled as a lay day in Amarillo, I opted to ride east under clear skies and good conditions while I could.  Since entering the Texas Panhandle we have been dodging severe storm warnings and high winds.  It was windy today, blowing 20-30 knots with gusts up to 40, but it was primarily a tailwind.
Tomorrow I plan to ride with Dave and Rex who had about a 20 mile lead on me today since they had ridden to Conway yesterday, which is east of Amarillo.

Monday April 23rd:  Vega to Amarillo, TX

Texas Pandle

The ride today covered 43 miles at an average speed of 15.3 mph.
I overslept and missed riding with Dave and Rex this morning, but I was in constant touch with them via cell phone.  I finally got started about an hour behind them.  They kept me informed of what was up ahead and I met Jeff for a break at a Love's Subway, about the halfway point.
We rode on the I-40 north frontage road most of the way which was Old Route 66.  The road condition on this section was excellent with little to no traffic.
Since they are predicting severe thunderstorm activity in this area later this afternoon, I am undecided about what to do tomorrow...take a lay day as scheduled, or press on towards Oklahoma to build another day's margin into the schedule.

Sunday April 22nd:  Tucumcari, NM to Vega, TX

Route 66 Auto Stop Glenrio, TX

The ride today covered a distance of 75 miles at an average speed of 14 mph.
The weather was perfect for cycling as I rode with Dave and Rex again today.  When we left Tucumcari, we hopped on Old Route 66 and virtually had it to ourselves all the way to San Jon.  We stopped for a break about 25 miles out then headed east on 66 until Jeff called us and told us that it had turned into a dirt road.  We opted to get on I-40 before we got that far and came to the Texas State Line and entered the Central Time Zone at about 38 miles.  By this time Jeff was lagging behind us since he had stuck to 66 and the dirt road.  At about 55 miles we stopped for lunch at a Stuckey's Dairy Queen then headed for Vega on Old 66 which was the north frontage road along I-40 all the way into Vega.  Vega is purported to be the midway point along Route 66 between Chicago and LA.  My cyclometer says that it is 1044 miles from Santa Monica to here.
For you movie buffs do you know what town was portrayed in the movie "Friday Night Lights" with Billy Bob Thornton?  That's right...Vega, TX, a town of 936 people in the west Panhandle that won the State Football Championship in 1999.  While Dave, Rex and I were walking into town to grab a bite to eat, who, but the coach of the high school team gave us a lift to the only place open on Sunday evening...the local DQ.  We will ride out past the high school stadium on our way to Amarillo tomorrow morning.

Saturday April 21st:  Santa Rosa to Tucumcari, NM

Today's ride covered a distance of 62 miles at an average speed of 13 mph.
I rode with Dave and Rex today, two trans-America riders heading for Georgia. It was a real pleasure to ride in their company.  We rode about half the distance to Tucumcari on Old Route 66.  The road condition in this part of New Mexico was excellent, the weather perfect and we had the road to ourselves.  Most of the time we were on it riding three abreast.  This is unheard of in most urban areas let alone rural roads.
Tomorrow we will be in a different time zone, CDT, when we cross the state line into Texas.

Friday April 20th:  Moriarty to Santa Rosa, NM

The ride today covered 73 miles at an average speed of 16.5 mph.
It started out as a very cool day with the temperatures right around 40 degrees, but it grew hotter throughout the day and when we arrived at the Santa Rosa RV Campground the temperature was a balmy 80 degrees!
We met up with two trans-American riders today, whom Jeff had encountered on Old Route 66 just west of Grants, NM a couple of days ago.  These gentlemen, who go by the names of Dave & Rex, are probably in their early 60's and are planning to ride to Georgia.  I rode into Santa Rosa with them.
My average speed was enhanced by the tailwinds we had most of the day.

Thursday April 19th:  Albuquerque to Moriarty, NM

The Sedillo Trio

Today's ride covered a distance of 53 miles at an average speed of 12.7 mph.
Jeff and I met Bill Drotning and Cliff Loucks at the Frontier Restaurant for breakfast.  The restaurant is directly across the street from the University of New Mexico on Central Ave SE (Route 66).  One of their specialties is a cinnamon roll, which is absolutely "out-of-this-world".
After breakfast Bill, Cliff and I wound our way through several nice quiet residential neighborhoods of eastern Albuquerque before we hooked back up with Central Ave and finally SR 333 (Route 66) which winds its way through a beautiful canyon up the Sedillo Grade.  We climbed from 5000' (elevation at the Rio Grande) up to the summit at 7060' according to my altimeter.  It is a moderate grade and not that steep with several flat sections and downhills where one can catch their breath.  When we reached the summit Bill told me that I could say goodbye to the Rockies and that if I looked hard enough I should be able to see Lake Erie!  At the summit Bill and Cliff turned around and went back to Albuquerque while I headed east to Moriarty, but as hard as I looked, I still wasn't able to see Lake Erie...maybe my eyesight is failing me!
I really enjoyed Bill & Cliff's company today and will miss them.

Wednesday April 18th:  Albuquerque, NM

Today was an R&R day in Albuquerque.
This morning, we met Herlindo Landavazo's Aunt Velma for breakfast.  She is a very nice lady who treated us at a popular gathering place for locals, Mac's La Siesta Coffee Shop on old route 66 (Central Ave) just about 4 miles west of Old Town.
For lunch we met Ray Saunders, who is Manager of the Northrop Grumman District Office in Albuquerque.  It has been at least 5 years since I had seen Ray and it was good to talk about old times at TRW before they were "consumed" by NG in 2002.
In the evening we were taken to dinner in Old Town by a lovely couple, Bill & Chris Drotning.  Bill is a physicist and a fellow alumnus of CIT.  He is also a cyclist.  He and his friend, Cliff, plan to ride up the Sedillo Grade with me tomorrow morning.

NG Albuquerque District Office
Bill & Chris Drotning

Tuesday April 17th:  Grants to Albuquerque, NM

The ride today covered a distance of 74 miles at an average speed of 14.2 mph.
About an hour before I left Grants this morning there was a brief period of snow flurries.  The temperature was 30 degrees.  As the morning progressd, the temperature rose and it turned out to be a very pleasant day with a nice tailwind for most of the way.
About halfway to Albuquerque, both the east & west bound lanes of I-40 narrowed to one lane due to ongoing construction with essentially no shoulder to ride on. After being passed within an arms-length by semis doing 60-70 mph, I decided to walk my bike as far to the right as I could for about 2 miles at which point the shoulder reappeared that could be riden on.

Monday April 16th:  Gallup to Grants, NM

Today's ride covered a distance of 67 miles at an average speed of 12.2 mph.
The key feature today was getting over the Continental Divide, at an elevation of 7245', about 27 miles east of Gallup.  Since the elevation at Gallup is about 6500' the climb up to the Divide was a moderate one and hardly noticeable.  The Arizona Divide, just a mile west of Flagstaff, is actually 90' higher than the Continental Divide here.
The only complication with the ride today was the wind blowing out of the south at about 35 knots.  The road turns south about 30 miles west of Grants and it made it tough with the headwind to get into town.  There were isolated T-storms in the area today and about 10 miles west of Grants I was briefly hit by sleet and had to duck into The Bluewater Outpost for refuge.
Tomorrow's objective is Albuquerque with a lay-day on Wednesday.

Continental Divide
Proprietor of USA-RV Park Gallup, NM

Sunday April 15th: Holbrook, AZ to Gallup, NM
The ride today covered a distance of 95 miles at an average speed of 15.2mph.
I had a tailwind most of the way, although at times when I had to turn south there was a nasty crosswind that made it very difficult to stay on the bike.  The shoulder on I-40, was fortunately very generous and in fairly good condition.  There was an accident on the west bound lanes just before the New Mexico state line where a truck had overturned going a bridge spanning a wash.
I am now three days ahead of my schedule and should make Albuquerque on Tuesday if the weather permits and I can get over the Continental Divide tomorrow, which is about 30 miles east of Gallup.

Saturday April 14th:  Winslow to Holbrook, AZ

The ride today covered a distance of 56 miles at an average speed of 14.4 mph.
It was a beautiful day in the Northern Arizona desert with temperatures in the mid to upper sixties and just a slight breeze out of the NE.

Jeff met me at the Jackrabbit Trading Post at about mile 36. I remembered the Jackrabbit sign, which I had first seen 50 years ago...and it looks like it hasn't been painted since!  In the mid-afternoon we took a tour of the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.

Holbrook was founded in 1880 and was known as "The Town Too Tough for Women and Children".

Friday April 13th:  Flagstaff to Winslow, AZ

Today's ride covered 42 miles at an average speed of 16.6 mph.  It was another extremely windy day and at times very difficult to stay on the bike with the cross-winds.  The weather conditions were further complicated by the semis going by on I-40 which create their own draft tending to suck you into them.
When I left Flagstaff this morning, the temperature was right around 32 and the town was blanketed with snow.  The low last nite was 22 and it snowed all nite.

Meteor Crater Winslow, AZ

Thursday April 12th:  Flagstaff, AZ

Today was a lay day in Flagstaff.  We unhitched the travel trailer and went downtown in search of a bike shop to check out a bent spoke on the Bontreger Rear Wheel.  After we dropped the Bontreger and Mavic wheels off at the Absolute Bike Shop in old town, we went next door to Martannes, a popular Mexican Restaurant with the locals, for a bite to eat.  While there, we got a call for help from Jason Ford, who had decided to ride east to Winslow, a distance of 40 miles.  His rear derailleur cable had broken and his crank had seized up and he couldn't spin.  He was in the middle of nowhere about 10 miles west of Winslow on I-40.  We drove out and picked him up and brought him back to the Absolute Bike Shop in Flagstaff...the closest shop around.  He was very thankful that we could come and rescue him.
After we got back to Flagstaff it began snowing around 2 PM.  We'll hunker down here at the Woody Mountain RV Park and Campground till tomorrow AM when we plan to head east to at least Winslow or maybe beyond depending on the weather conditions tomorrow which call for an improvement.
Those white streaks in the photo below are not meteorites, but snow!

Woody Mountain Campground Flagstaff, AZ

Wednesday April 11th:  Ash Fork to Flagstaff

Today was a tough day on the road.  Although the distance covered was only 50 miles, there was a wind advisory in the Flagstaff area calling for SW winds at 25-30 knots with gusts up to 50 which kept the average speed down to 11.6 mph.  It was very difficult to stay on the bike in the open unprotected areas where I-40 turned more south than east!  The high temperature in Flagstaff today was 56 degrees, but with the wind chill factor it was about 50.  There is a slight possibility of snow tonight and tomorrow.
In addition, there was a lot of climbing with the elevation going up to 7335' at the "Arizona Divide" just a mile west of Flagstaff.  This is 90' higher than the Continental Divide in NM about 300 miles east of here.
I now have built a two day margin into the schedule.

Tuesday April 10th:  Peach Springs to Ash Fork

Today's ride was 61 miles at an average speed of 16.2 mph!  No kidding...we were literally blown along with a tailwind that I estimate was 30-35 knots!  At the halfway point in Seligman we had averaged a whopping 17 mph!  If we make Flagstaff tomorrow, a mere 52 mile jaunt, then I'll have built in another day's margin into my itinerary.
We came across a good German Restaurant (Westside Lilo's Cafe) in Seligman where we took a lunch break.  I have had the pleasure of riding with Jason Ford, a Trans-America rider who we re-hooked up with in Kingman.  He had gotten to Kingman by going up to Oatman then over Sitgreaves Pass from Needles, whereas I had gone directly east via I-40.

Monday April 9th:  Kingman to Peach Springs

Today's ride was 47 miles at an average speed of 13.2 mph.  Peach Springs is at an elevation of 4797' and the next two days we will be climbing to over 7300' to get over the Arizona Divide near Flagstaff.
One of the highlights of the day was a stop at the Hackberry General Store at the top of a pass about halfway to Peach Springs.  This store is a real mecca of Route 66 memorabelia!  Check out the video clip below to see what this general store looks like.

Click here to view Hackberry General Store

Sunday April 8th:  Needles, CA to Kingman, AZ

Today's ride was 72 miles at an average speed of 12.4 mph.  I got an early start before 7AM in hopes that I could beat the high temperature and fierce winds out of the south.  The temperature was about 20 degrees less than the last couple of days, but the winds did not abate and I was buffeted by a cross wind until I-40 turned north at a rest stop just beyond Sante Fe Road. 
It was not bad riding on I-40 as there was a very wide shoulder, about 8' wide, most of the way.  And most of the semis that passed were courteous and gave me a very wide berth.  I gained about 3800' in altitude during the day although it didn't seem like it.

Saturday April 7th: Needles, CA

Today was a lay day and Jeff and I went to Laughlin, NV for the afternoon.  Jeff went to a movie and I spent a good length of time at the Colorado Belle Micro-Brewery.  While I played video poker at the bar I was compensated with Golden Ales.  Although I lost at video poker, I figured I came out ahead by about five bucks considering the cost of the beer!

Friday April 6th:  Amboy to Needles

The ride today was 78 miles at an avereage speed of 12 mph.  It was very the mid-nineties!  The temperature tended to keep our speed down as we had to consume more water than normal.
Last nite in Amboy Jeff went over to the Amboy Crater and ran into a couple from Germany (Dr. Detlev Henschel & travel partner) who are walking across country to Newfoundland to promote Ecco shoes.  We ran into them again today in Essex and exchanged info.  It is interesting to note that they think the USA is wonderful and the Europeans who like to bad-mouth us don't really know what they're talking about!
We had a lunch stop in Fenner at Naja's Truck Stop Cafe then headed up to Goffs where it was all downhill the last 20 miles into Needles.  We were only about 10 minutes from Fenner when I reached for my water bottle to take a swig and realized I had left my bottles in the trailer!  I got on my cell and called Jeff to pull over and wait for us to catch up.  Twenty minutes later we caught up to him and I got my H2O back!

Thursday April 5th:  Barstow to Amboy

The ride today covered 81 miles at an average speed of 12.5 mph.  I was fortunate to be able to ride in the company of a Trans-America rider from San Diego who is riding to Virginia Beach.  We stopped at the famous Baghdad Cafe in Newberry Springs for a coffee break then headed up the National Trails Highway (Route 66) to Ludlow where we had a lunch break at the Dairy Queen.
The road just east of Newberry Springs turned out to be very rough with potholes and ruts which made it very difficult to stay on the bike and keep going.  This slowed us down considerably but after about 20 miles it smoothed out.
We had previously planned on stopping overnite in Ludlow, but by going on to Amboy it cut one day out of our schedule.

Wednesday April 4th:  Victorville to Barstow

Today's ride to Barstow was 42 miles at an average speed of 15.7 mph.  Arrived at the Shady Lane RV Camp at 12:30 PM.  Could have gone farther, but from here to Needles there is almost absolutely nothing but a few gas stations and one truck stop near Essex.
Met up with a Trans-America rider from San Diego last nite at the Victorville KOA Campground who is riding Route 66 to Oklahoma City.  He is riding from Barstow to Amboy tomorrow an 80 mile ride then to Needles the next day.  I'm considering riding along with him which would build more margin into my schedule.

Tuesday April 3rd: San Bernardino to Victorville

Today's ride was 33 miles in length at an average speed of 12.2 mph with the major ascent up Cajon Pass at an elevation of 4190'.  I started the 6.5 mile ascent at Cleghorn Fire Road where I had to get on I-15 because Cajon Blvd disappears here.  I started the ascent at right around noon and reached the summit at about 12:40 PM.
The ride to Victorville after cresting the summit was basically downhill on Mariposa Rd at a speed over 20 mph without any effort.  This was a nice payback after the long climb.

Monday April 2nd:  Azusa to San Bernardino

The ride to San Bernardino covered 46 miles at an average speed of 13.4 mph.
The actual finish point was at the intersection of Cajon Blvd and Devore Rd.  This is northwest of San Bernardino at an elevation of 2000', the staging point for the assault on Cajon Pass with the summit at 4190'.  Jeff picked me up here and we rode up to Lytle Creek for our overnite at the Bonito Ranch Campground, a beautiful site back up in the mountains.

Sunday April 1st:  Santa Monica to Azusa

Riders Accompanying Me in Santa Monica, CA

Cal 20 Group

The long-awaited day has finally arrived!
Wife Jean made arrangements to host a continental breakfast at the Santa Monica Pier with a large number of friends in attendance to send me off.
After the wheel dip ritual, at the south side of the Santa Monica Pier, a group of 6 Beach Cities Cycling Club riders headed east up Santa Monica Blvd.  The riders included Rocky, George, Herlindo, Kelly, Marty and me.
I was truely fortunate to have friends from my old Cal 20 sail club appear for the wheel-dip ritual and the BCCClub riders accompany me part-way for the first leg of my journey back to Ohio.
Counting the 16 miles I rode from home to Santa Monica, the first day's ride turned out to be a metric century (61 miles) to Azusa along the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.  My average speed over the distance was 13.4 mph.  I arrived at my RV Camp destination in Azusa just before 2 PM in the afternoon.  It was perfect weather today for cycling with the temperature in the seventies.

Click here to play Wheel-Dip video

The Edwards' BDay Card
Inside of Edwards' Card