Day 42: Another Dogged Day

photo 2Thursday April 17
Today’s modest ride of 57 miles was met with the challenges of DOGS again..I lost track of how many times my buddy Twila and I were chased by all different types of dogs.  Of course, to me they all looked like Cujo (remember the movie).  Twila said I would be a good bike sprinter because I hear the first bark and my turbo bike pedals take over and I go into sprint/fear mode. I should have checked my heart rate monitor today I am sure there were lots of spikes!!!!

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Most of our ride was again country back roads and I thought about how much of our country is just like this–farms, modest and very small houses, very removed from the life that I experience in the city of Newport News.  We were passed by many trucks.  They seem like the primary mode of transportation in this part of the country.
We are at an ok motel called Traveler’s Rest (catchy name, yes?) in Bogalusa, LA. One more night in LA and off to Mississippi. I have never been to Mississippi, so stay tuned …
Several of my bike buddies are touched by Alzheimer’s, with parents and other family members. I am honored that some have shared their stories.  I hope this ride will help them know that people from coast to coast are working to find a cure and one day may we see a world without Alzheimer’s.
Fundraising totals to date: raised $8029 toward goal of $10,000
Thank you ALL for your support and prayers for safety !

Day 36: Five weeks down!!

I am dedicating this post to all my Blog readers over the last 5 weeks!  And those of you who have just joined me on my bike across America for Alzheimer’s trip, no worries–I still have 3 weeks to go!!

Please share my Blog as it is my hope to reach or exceed my fundraising for Alzheimer’s goal of $10,000.  To date, I am at $7356…..
Checks can be sent to Alzheimer’s Association, 6350 Center Dr Norfolk, Va. 23502 Attention : Rona’s Ride. Or donate online from my Blog… any amount is appreciated!

Today’s ride was special as it is our last stop (don’t ask about the hotel) in Texas.  Tomorrow, we pedal into Lake Charles, Louisiana. About an 80 mile ride!

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So I left our Super 8 Motel in Cleveland–yes, Texas–around 7:50 am, headed down a busy (did I say **busy**) 2 lane road.  We were sharing it with trucks, 18 wheelers, open back logging trucks filled with pine logs and yes DOGS!! Today I was prepared with my whistle and of course some nuts and M&M’s to throw at them in an emergency!  I just want you to know, I am afraid of dogs. it’s not that I don’t like dogs I am just afraid of them! Ok, so there are two bike buddies ahead of me about 100 yards and I see the DOG but I could see he was limping in fact it looked like he only had 3 legs!  No problem, I thought.  Wrong! Here he comes and I put my whistle in my mouth (it’s now around my neck) and blew it–in fact YOU might have heard me! He is limping on 3 flipping legs, but boy can he run!  But BOY can I pedal!!  Remember the buddies 100 yards ahead of me?  Well now I have caught them!!!! 1 for Rona, 0 for the limping DOG…
I am grateful for a safe ride to the Pinewood Inn (don’t ask).

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It was a flat 63 mile ride today, our first one with really no hills.  Lots of green trees and of course we ride secondary farm or country roads when possible. Small town America in Texas! Tonight’s stop is Silsbee, population 6,000…….

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Thank you for your continued support and prayers for our safety # 1 …..


Our Cook, Kimberly

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Day 35: The day that did NOT go to the dogs..

Rest is over in Navasota, but the sky is a beautiful blue, no rain, great day for a 72 mile ride!
We are again in cattle ranch country and the cows seem to be hanging out by the fences as if to say hi, and where are you going?  Nice rolling hills and very green.  Reminds me of home, except it’s still dry.  No humidity yet, but I know it’s coming soon!!!
I rode with Twila, a riding buddy who is a great rider from Colorado.  We had a nice pace going and I enjoyed the company.  My picture is at our SAG (‘Support And Gear’ stop) and I am munching a banana–another one of my favorite biking foods!

photo 1My first dog issue came early before I hooked up with Twila (remember I am afraid of dogs) I saw this black dog about 100 yards away on the edge of the road.  I thought, God, please make this either a friendly dog or make him go away!!  Presto!  As I got closer I saw it was a huge black crow-like bird … for Rona.  The next one was 3 dogs.  As I rounded a curve, I saw them.  I was alone at this moment, but knew someone was not far behind me so I turned around and found Tina she said, “Are you ok?” I told her, “We have dogs!!!”  Together we rounded the corner again, Tina with her great NJ voice and me with a handful of nuts and M&M’s, and we approached the dogs.  She yelled (excellently) and I threw the nuts and M&M’s. Two for Rona!  The dogs retreated!!!!

Yes, it was painful to throw my favorite foods, but sometimes you just have to do it!!
Besides that, it was a pleasant day and we are at a very nice Super 8 Hotel–ok a *nice* Super 8 Hotel.  Snacking in front of the hotel on a beautiful day just seems right!

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Miss home, but my mission for Alzheimer’s is not complete and I have 3 weeks to reach my $10,000 goal for fundraising!!  Keep spreading the word!  We can do this!!!

Day 34: Rest and outreach


Today was a rest day in Navasota–yes, Texas–and a very special one indeed. My day started slowly with coffee in the room and progressed to the hotel breakfast–good raisin bran and more coffee! I cleaned my bike–a regular event these days.
I had been contacted by local TV Channel 3 to do a news story on my ride for Alzheimer’s so Alex came to the Hotel at noon and we did an interview, lots of video, etc. She was great and will put the story on my page after it airs here. Then I walked to Subway for lunch.  I took a break from peanut butter for today!  Across the street was a Walmart and I decided to wander over.  Out front of the store was a guy on a packed bike.  I spoke to him–Curtis.  He is from Vancouver, Canada and he is biking to Florida, camping along the way. He is a caregiver for a large clinic for Alzheimer’s patients. I told him how much I appreciate what he does and we took some pictures. What were the chances of that!!!
I thought, how amazing, he is an aide for the disease which I am biking across America to *end*.
At 3:30, Amanda from the Houston area Alzheimer’s Association picked me up to go to city hall and meet the Mayor, Bert Miller. They arranged a group to gather for a proclamation given to me in appreciation for my efforts of biking for Alzheimer’s. The guests were wonderful and I was so proud to be representing our Association. I gave them all my Blog card to follow my ride to St. Augustine.

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I finished a great day with dinner with some bike buddies at Pizza Hut!
Tomorrow is back to riding 75 miles to Cleveland–yes, Texas!!
Sweet dreams and again, thank you for your support and prayers!

Day 33: Out in the Great Wide Open

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Today is Tuesday, April 8th, and I made it safely to Navasota–yes, Texas–safe and sound!

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We left the Best Western Hotel in La Grange and followed some quiet two lane roads,  some busy, truck-filled two lane roads, and a country road.  70 miles in total, and at last, our Best Western in Navasota!!  Today, the sky was a beautiful blue the whole way with lots of cattle ranches, horse farms, and a few pesky DOGS!  My bike buddy today Sally had her whistle ready and a load voice.  I did not have my whistle handy, and I can’t yell loudly so she kept us safe!!!

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It’s interesting that people I meet say, “Are you having fun?”  Fun, that’s a funny word and I am not sure where it finds it’s place on my journey.  I find words that come to my mind are words like ‘purpose’, ‘awareness for a cause (Alzheimer’s)’, ‘challenging’, ‘personal introspection’, ‘personal reflection’, ‘cautious’, ‘grateful’ and ‘blessed’!  Yes, there are fun moments with a nice group of women, laughs, shared stories, getting to know women who were strangers 5 weeks ago, but for me, it is the bigger picture and the deeper journey I hope to hold onto for a lifetime.

Thank you as always for your love and support I treasure it everyday!!

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Day 32: Blue skies are here again!

Monday’s ride, April 7

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I have recovered from the cold wet ride on Sunday thanks to hot tea and a good dinner and sleep!!  I learned about putting newspaper in wet shoes, and after doing it 3 times and checking them in the morning, they were good enough to wear today!
Today, we had a pleasant ride to La Grange-yes, Texas– a town of about 4,000. Rode through Bastrop State Park.  Lots of rolling hills.  Some I stood up on, but remember, I like the hills and their nice diversity.

It was cloudy and cool but not RAINING. As we rode the quiet roads to La Grange, the blue sky started to appear.  I found myself smiling as my friend and I peddled at a good clip to the Best Western Plus (yes, another nice hotel)!!

Every morning, we can pack snacks. Lots of choices today, so I had my peanut butter sandwich and banana for lunch.  I even threw in some Sun Chips– I know I am getting a little wild with adventure eating!!!

A good hot shower and today I am thinking about those from home that traveled to DC to speak to our congressmen about the need to fund Alzheimer’s research NOW.  I am with them in spirit just as we all are, hoping for the funding to find answers and ultimately a cure. Safe travels, my friends.  As you journey home, I will wait to hear about what happened and which representatives had an open mind!!
We will leave La Grange tomorrow for an 80 mile ride to Navasota–yes, Texas– and then a rest day.  It is very green here in these parts of Texas, ranches everywhere.  We even have cows staring at us as we pedal past them!  About 10 deer ran across the road in front of us today–pretty cool!  Lots of wild flowers, too.  In fact, I actually recognized one from my yard (primrose, I think, pink).  Oh, I had my first experience of being stopped by a train on my bike!!!

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Be well my friends, I miss you and I am so grateful for your support !!
Alzheimer’s fundraising :$7336 to goal of $10,000

Day 31: Strength from our numbers

(Posted a day late – Day 32 blog coming right up!)


We left Austin in a small group and it was not long before we missed a turn, it was cold and started to rain! We found after asking for help with directions, that there is no problem with asking. We found an alternate route that connected us back with our route and we think we saved a few miles! Stopped at the support car (SAG) and it started to rain really hard and thus began my downward spin. I got really cold and of course wet! Not a good combination especially on a bike! We found a gas station food mart and a few of us stopped quickly. I got some hot coffee, but got scared as I shook from the cold. Some ladies headed out and I considered a bump call it quits for the day. One lady, Mary Slade stayed with me awhile longer and thanks to her support, I decided to go for it. She gave me the strength with her support and I made it to the next SAG stop where she had extra clothes stored. Her kindness continued as she offered and I took her extra clothes. I had never ridden a bike in the cold and rain, so chalk up another new experience for this rookie rider. All ended well for me, as I am writing you this laying in a nice hotel bed (Hampton Inn) waiting for the washer and eating kettle corn I bought in Fredericksburg–yes, Texas.


I am grateful today for Mary Slade and the blessing of God taking care of us during this challenging day. As always I am grateful for your love and support I drew on it today for sure!!!!
I am also grateful for reaching $7216 to my goal of $10,000 for Alzheimer’s Disease.


Day 30: Buh-bye, Texas hills!

Left Fredericksburg on a chilly 40s morning headed to Austin–yes, Texas. It can be a dilemma dressing in the morning if it’s cold; is it one jacket, two jackets, long sleeves, short sleeves, headband, which gloves, etc. etc. I love my bike bag, not just for snacks, but carrying excess clothes!!

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Found the famous Texas Bluebonnets, a Longhorn Steer, and a nice (yes, nice!!) hotel (La Quinta) all on one 77 mile ride. It was our last ride in the Texas Hill Country and there are no tears here, my friends. Climbed over 4500 feet today and after today, our cycling maps do not include elevations.  Now that is a good thing!  I will say I feel stronger than I did when we started March 7, and definitely more tan, despite wearing sunscreen 70 and zinc 50 on my face!!

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We still have 5 more riding days in Texas. That will take us to the last third of this journey!
My Alzheimer’s fundraising is now $6896 toward my $10,000 goal!!
Thank each of you for your likes and notes to my Blogs–I read them all and they continue to inspire me to pedal even when I am tired!!

Day 29: Rest and reunion

Had a wonderful visit from friends that live in San Antonio, Mindy and Barry. I grew up with Barry in NN. They drove up to see me–what a real treat. They took me to lunch and we walked the cute town of Fredericksburg–yes, Texas!!!

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All else was quiet here today and I am ready to ride to Austin tomorrow.
Cleaned my bike and just thought of the wonderful support back home and from people that are on my blog I don’t even know!
Got a wonderful fax from my Alzheimer’s office friends of well wishes and support, you made me cry, and are so kind. The note will go with me in my bike bag the rest of the trip, hope it doesn’t rain!!!!

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See you in Austin …..
Love ,

Day 28: HALFWAY!!!

I dedicate this blog to our Alzheimer’s planning committee of 6 years and our new steering committee. To have as successful an event as Walk To End Alzheimer’s, it takes committed, passionate individuals and indeed, that is exactly who they are, a blessing to the Southeastern Virginia Chapter and our Peninsula Walk. Thank you my friends!!!!

Today was an interesting ride of 80 miles. It was along country roads passing many ranches mostly cattle, and some sheep. Traffic was minimal and that is always a treat. We are still in Texas hill country so there were plenty of hills. For some reason I like climbing hills.  Maybe it’s because you can make up more miles on the downhills. You can really get going on those downhills, but 36 mph is scary on a bike!!!

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Tomorrow is a well needed rest day thank you God !!
Thank you for all of your support and embracing our fight against Alzheimer’s