Day 25: Rocky roads–and no, not ice cream

Many of my blog thoughts come as I am riding across America and today was no different. After our 107 mile ride yesterday (yes, I am still sore in many places), I thought of how researchers are working around the world to find answers to Alzheimer’s from drugs to cures. They hit many bumps in the roads of their work.  It may slow them down, but it does not stop them. They fight through the rocky spots and disappointments and keep going for a cure and to save the next person stricken with the disease called Alzheimer’s.  Today, our 45 mile ride had many literal bumps in the roads.  At times I thought my bike was going to fall apart but I kept going forward.  My head was bounced around and so was everything else, but onward we go. The thoughts of the researchers working through their challenges inspires me to take the bumps in stride and take each one at a time.
We are at Ft. Clark in –yes– still Texas !!!

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$6,626 of $10,000!!

Love

Rona

Day 24: Back in the saddle and better than ever!

photo 1Good thing I went to bed last night at 7:30 pm.  I had a low day so I needed to recharge my batteries and refocus. Today I woke up feeling like my old self –YEA !! We rolled out of the gross hotel at 7:45am for a 108 mile riding day unfortunately into 20-30 mph headwinds again. I had never ridden a bike 100 miles at one time.  They call it a century so it was a big day for me!  Of course, very nervous again, faced with the unknown. We started as the sun rose because it was a 108 mile day to the hotel in Del Rio. Let’s not talk about the hotel..again.  I will let you know when we stay at a nice one again!!  We got into a line–Jeannie, Twila, Ellen and me to form a pace line to help each other with blocking the wind.  We took turns in front pulling.  The funny part is they are all little people, so blocking the wind was minimal…but we did it!  Finished in 10 hrs. 30 min. In 20-30 mph headwinds. There were 5 riders that made it in before sunset.  Our group was so excited!!!

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So for me in the biking world, it was an awesome day.  I did my first century in they said the toughest conditions. Now I am closing my day by writing to you and again as always thank you for you amazing support!
Though my ride today was something I will never forget, it seems so trivial in our battle for a cure for Alzheimer’s. Thank you for the many donations for Alzheimer’s to date and I pray they will continue to come in to complete this journey of a lifetime. This is week 4 , halfway on our ride is Friday April 4th , and we will still be in Texas!!!!
With love

Day 23: They can’t ALL be good days..

photo 4We left the beautiful Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas and rode 55 miles to a town (not sure it is a town since most of the businesses are closed) of Sanderson, Texas. Just when you think the motels can’t get worse than Ft. Hancock, BINGO!!! Gross is an understatement. ….But it was this or ride another 110 miles to Del Rio, our ride for tomorrow. The ride today was another headwind, same desert landscape, and I was frustrated to say the least, or just tired. I guess I am allowed a hard day, but the gross motel doesn’t help.. Tomorrow is another day and I will try and refocus!!

photo 2photo 1photo 3Unloading our bags at the end of the day

The positives are, my bike buddies are really nice, it’s not raining, nice temperature, and most importantly, I have been getting great support from those of you supporting my ride for Alzheimer’s. That said, a good sleep and I will do my best to ride 110 miles (my longest ride ever) tomorrow to Del Rio.
With appreciation,

Rona

Day 22: An evening to myself!

I am dedicating my blog today to my dear Joanne who is living with Alzheimer’s and her amazing, loving daughter Lisa. You, my wonderful Joanne, are my strength to fight for a cure, and Lisa you inspire me with the love and care you give to your mom everyday of your life.  You were there for me with my mom and I will never forget your support.

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After a challenging ride into Ft. Davis,  poor internet connections and a needed rest day the winds were finally with us en route to Marathon, Texas.  60 miles in 3 hrs. 10 min. I almost felt guilty for the boost, but quickly remembered the 75 miles into a headwind, and thanked God for the help.  One thing is for sure–Texas is always windy in one direction or another!!!

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I have a single room for tonight in the historic Gage Hotel in Marathon Texas charming and rustic. Dates back to the 1927…..

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Feeling good and I think I have found the sweet spot on my bike saddle (it only took 3 weeks).  Or it could be because I bought the saddle right before I shipped my bike to San Diego and only rode on it 2 times–another rookie mistake!!

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Never forget how much each of you mean to me and this experience, I could not do this without YOU!!
Thank you all for the donations to Alzheimer’s and words of prayer!  For that I am grateful.  Thanks to you all, we are over $6000!

Love Rona

Day 21: Three weeks down!

Today is the official 3 week mark of my bike across America trip and
it was a rest day in Ft Davis, Texas. I did not go to the McDonald Observatory, although we biked by it yesterday.  I did not go hiking, I did not take a walk, I did not take a swim, I did *nothing* but rest….. Again, that’s not typical me, but we have 7 days coming with no rest!!!

I did talk to our friend Tony Macrini at WNIS and updated him on air about this journey and the support of those fighting for a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Sorry about no pictures, but we are too far from access to send pictures.  Stay tuned!
Oh, I did give my bike a good cleaning and got all the road grime off from yesterday’s ride on the damp roads.  She deserves the best!!!
Now I know what it takes to make me rest!!!  Miles and miles of bike riding in strong headwinds or mountains to climb!!
Miss you all and as always you are keeping me going!
Love

Day 20: Making do

I dedicate this blog to all the staff of the Southeastern Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.  Each of you are amazing in your dedication to the vision of a world without Alzheimer’s. I am inspired to do this bike ride because of your support and help in getting word of my efforts to the public.

We left Van Horn, Texas bright and early for a 90 mile ride to Ft. Davis, Texas. After yesterday’s ride in a monster headwind, I hoped I had enough steam for more climbing. We rode 39 miles on Interstate 10– crazy, but good shoulders. I ran over a piece of tire from a truck on the shoulder and at a rest stop I found the little piece of wire from the tire. I did what any good dental hygienist would do, I pulled it out with my teeth.

By the grace of God, I did not get a flat over the next 51 miles. We had a nice prepared lunch and I used that fuel to ride the many hills to reach Indian Lodge, a quiet spot for our rest day tomorrow!!  My whole body will enjoy a day of peace and not sitting on a bike saddle!
Eating lots, drinking lots (Gatorade) and always appreciating your support.
Today is the last ride of week 3!

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To date, you all have helped me raise $5,898 of the $10,000 goal.  Only $102 and we’re at 60%!!  Thank you for your investment into ending Alzheimer’s!!!

Love
Rona

Day 19: May the wind always be at your back. No. Really.

I am dedicating today’s blog to my pal Michele Beresh.  You see many years ago we ran a marathon together.  I was her coach, and there was a very strong wind in her face.
She was struggling and I told her the wind was good because ‘it forces your lungs to fill faster and makes you run better’. Of course it was bull, but I was trying to encourage her to run!!
Well payback is HECK because after waking up to my first flat tire (at least I was still in the hotel), a thorn in my tire was the least of my ride issues.  We had a 75 mile ride to Van Horn, Texas with 30 to 35 mile an hour head winds the entire 75 miles. The thoughts of what I told Michele made me smile but I also realized that this was my payback!!!! SORRY PAL….
Without a doubt, this was our hardest ride yet.  No wind break and I had to dig down deep to finish as my friend Jeannie from Maine and I only averaged 10 mph. It was great to have her to ride with because I knew we would not give up while working together!
Tomorrow is a 90 mile ride to Ft. Davis, Texas.  We are staying at a state park lodge and have a rest day!!! I am hoping for tailwinds–Please !!!!!

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Remember, please donate to Alzheimer’s on ronasride.wordpress.com or send checks to the Alzheimer’s Association 6350 Center Dr. Suite 102, Norfolk, VA. 23502
Every cent goes to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Thank you, my friends for your amazing support! I needed it today and you helped me through the windy ride!!
Love

Day 18: Taking it easy

We left El Paso on a bright sunny cool morning. We left a little late to miss the crazy El Paso traffic; they don’t seem to like bike riders!!! We rode 52 miles flat and no wind–a very relaxing ride. Kind of scary–makes you wonder what kind of ride is to come!

Day17-5We saw lots of pecan trees.  It must be the capital of pecan growing trees!  We saw a herder with a herd of goats grazing on alfalfa. Lots of Mexican poverty along the side of the road as we peddled. Once again, I am reminded of how grateful I am for the blessing I have in my life.

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We peddled to our hotel for the night, the only hotel in Ft. Hancock.  It is really a motel– in fact, under any other situation, I would have peddled right by it, but the next place to stay is 75 miles away! Old and run down does not describe his hotel. To use the shower you have to hold the button that makes the water come out from the shower head so it was one handed showering!!! The good news is it is only for 1 night.

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Tomorrow is another day and I will see you in my blog tomorrow.
Sweet dreams!
Love

R

 

 

Day 17: Into the Lone Star State!

(Posted 1 day later–Day 18 blog will be posted shortly)

Day17-5I dedicate this blog to all the Alzheimer’s caregivers past, present and future. This includes families taking care of loved ones at home, caregivers taking care in facilities and homes, and friends that visit Alzheimer’s victims because they care. You are the heroes of this ugly disease and it is for you that I am riding across America.
Today I got up to see the sunrise and had my hotel breakfast (Days Inn Saint Teresa). Waffle House, you would be proud of me–I eat waffles everyday when hotels have them, my bike riding secret formula for energy. Of course I eat cereal, yogurt and hard boiled eggs, too. Oh, and did I say my favorite–coffee!

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My morning continued with a phone call from Hampton Roads’ own Joe Flanagan of WVEC 13.  He did a phone interview with me as an update on my Ronasride for Alzheimer’s that aired Sunday at 6pm. I was so grateful to have his and the station’s support in getting the word out in hopes of raising more awareness and more donations for the Alzheimer’s Association. If you saw it I hope it was ok!!

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I buddied up with Jeannie from Maine for today’s ride into El Paso because there were 60 miles of turns to reach our Comfort Inn. We have ridden into several towns and and have not gotten lost yet. We thought it was going to be a nice easy ride but surprise, surprise we rode into a Texas wind–seems they are common this time of year. So flat felt like hills and once again I was humbled. Most importantly we made it safely!!!!

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Tonight we celebrate the crossing into yet another new state!!! I am so excited because we had spaghetti last night and since I don’t eat pork (tonight’s dinner), I get leftover spaghetti!! I could eat it every night. So as I hear my stomach growling, I will say goodnight, God bless and thank you for your support and prayers.
Love

Day 16: Hello, Las Cruces!

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Today, Saturday, March 22, I dedicate my blog to the Alzheimer’s Association of Las Cruces, New Mexico. We left Kingston about 8:15 am for a chilly and a 9-mile downhill stretch! Just for the record, I REALLY DO NOT LIKE cold bike riding! It was an 88 mile ride–some rolling hills, but many miles of flat desert riding.

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Oh, I had my first encounter with a loose dog (Womantours told us to bring a whistle in case a dog started to chase us).  I had my whistle ready, and there he was across the two lane road in the middle of almost nowhere!  I heard the bark and saw what looked like a great big angry dog, about 200 pounds and teeth showing. I was blowing as loud and hard as I could as he came closer, then an 18 wheeler came up from behind me.  Don’t panic, the truck did not hit the dog.  He just got between me and the dog and it stopped! Yea, Rona 1, Dog 0.  By the way he was not a huge, angry dog but in my mind, that’s what I saw. He was actually a white, fluffy, mid-size dog ! Ok, now you know I am afraid of dogs!!! Too many bites…..
Arrived at the Days Inn and was greeted by the Alzheimer’s Association of Las Cruces. They brought balloons and treats, including their mascot Lizzy the stuffed lizard for me to take on my journey.

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I am inspired by your support and prayers !
Love Rona