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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Day 12: Taking it easy in El Paso

Today we took it easy. We slept in but since I've been getting up at 5:00 every morning it was hard to sleep past 7:00. The motel breakfast was fun... they had waffles in the shape of Texas. Matt took a picture of his carefully done arrangement.

Because it was Cinco de Mayo, Grandma Gina took us to a Mexican restaurant for lunch to celebrate. She must be secretly part Mexican or something because she loves the food so much. Matt and I have loved spending so much time with grandma, hearing her stories, and making some fun memories with her.

Today, we also went and repaired the bike I wrecked on and bought me a new helmet in case I decide to ride again. Having not put on makeup for a couple weeks now and letting my hair air dry, I didn't look too much different from one of the guys at the bike shop (a long haired hippie guy). At least I'm still shaving right? Matt, however, has still not shaved and he is getting pretty wild and woolly.

Day 11: Clint, TX to Fort Hancock, TX

Sorry I didn't post Day 11 yesterday, but we had a small bump in the road...

We only got 30 miles yesterday because at 10:00 a.m. I got in an accident. Matt and I were biking along a road that was smooth and had no traffic--everything seemed to be going really well.

We were riding passed a yard--that was on the other side of the road--with a chain-link fence when a black dog ran out of the yard from the open fence at the driveway. It came running towards us and Matt yelled for me to ride ahead of him. I tried to pass Matt on the right, but I hit some gravel on the side of the road and my bike skidded and I lost my momentum. The last thing I remember for a while was glancing over and seeing the dog still coming at us.

Grandma Gina said that she saw the accident in her rear-view mirror... the dog ran right into my back tire which sent me flying. Luckily, a policeman pulled up right after it happened and gave Matt directions to the hospital and said he would go and talk to the dog owners. Matt loaded me up in the truck and started driving fast to the hospital back in El Paso. Matt and Grandma Gina said that I kept asking over and over again, "What happened?" and, "Where's my shoe?" and telling them that I don't like dogs. I was not myself and they said it was really scary.

Matt pulled over to give me a priesthood blessing (We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for more information on what priesthood blessings are go to and shortly after, I was myself again, "woke up," and started remembering things.

I remember waking up from what I thought was a nap and looking down and asking where my other clip-in pedal shoe was and then later waking up and seeing that I had my normal shoes on again. I remember telling them that I had a dream about dogs. When they were asking me to recall things (like where we had stayed the night before, what we had for breakfast, and what color the dog was) I was telling them things that I thought had been in my dream because they seemed fuzzy and without detail like dreams do when you wake up. As we got closer to the hospital, I started remembering more and more details.

Matt put my arm around his shoulder and walked me into the hospital and then got me in a wheelchair and started filling out paperwork. Nurses came and pushed me around the hospital... first to my "room" where they left me for a while and Matt sat on the bed (Grandma Gina had to sit in the waiting room). Matt and I talked about how unexpected this was and that finishing the bike trip wasn't looking realistic. A nurse came and pushed me to the x-ray room where they x-rayed my arm/wrist. I went back to my "room" for a while and then got pushed to the CT scan room where the doctor helped me get up on the bed and slide me under the CT scanner. It was kind of relaxing laying there. Then I was pushed back to the room and Matt traded places with Grandma Gina for a while. She told me how scary it was looking in her review mirror and seeing it all happen.

I was glad that all of the doctors and nurses were asking me what had happened and I was able to tell them that Matt and I were biking across America and raising funds for JDRF. They thought it was awesome! One of the doctors said that his daughter has juvenile diabetes and that El Paso is having their "Walk to Cure Diabetes" next weekend and his whole family is participating in that.

Gratefully, the doctor said I just had a minor concussion and a sprained wrist. Thank you, Matt, for being worthy to give me a priesthood blessing! Who knows what the results would have been if you hadn't. Also, it was a good thing I was wearing a helmet because there was a crack in it.

As for our plans for moving forward... I'm going to ride in the truck with Grandma Gina for at least a few days and then will either join Matt again if I feel it's okay or fly home. Matt is going to keep riding come Monday because the bike I wrecked on won't be fixed until tonight and then tomorrow is Sunday.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 10: Las Cruces, NM to Clint, TX

The day started out great! Our favorite part of the day was riding through orchard after orchard of beautiful pecan trees. It almost seemed magical riding down the road with a canopy of trees over our heads and the sunlight coming through just right.

And good news... we're in the Lone Star State! (We anticipate it taking a week and a couple days to get across Texas so don't expect another state change any time soon.)

We got an interview today and some pictures taken by the "El Paso Inc./What's Up Weekly" magazine. We'll post a link to it when we hear it's up. Matt and I really enjoyed talking with Melody--the one who came to take the pictures. She was pretty surprised to learn that we didn't train at all for this endeavor and that we have a grandma cool enough to come with us. If you're reading this Melody... You really should pursue that dream of yours! Remember that you only live once! Enjoy the journey and take a couple detours on the way :)

A word to the wise: Don't try to go through El Paso on a bike. It's a friendly place, but not bike/pedestrian friendly. One 1/4 of a mile stretch took Matt and I almost half an hour to get through... We were pushing/carrying our bikes down narrow "walkways," under pokey bushes, and over cement barriers because there was no shoulder on a busy road. Let's just say it was an adventure.

83 miles for the day. We're pretty beat and excited for bed.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 9: Lordsburg, NM to Las Cruces, NM

We have a new record: 106 miles!

The shoulders on the road were great so we were smoothly sailing pretty much all day. We love New Mexico roads. The wind was just about perfect too.

Haha... both of our worsts for the day was riding through a cloud of flying bugs. We were going too fast to tell what they were (big flies or bees?) but I was screaming for a while afterwards. (And Matt later admitted that he was screaming internally.)

Our best was the 106 miles and that Grandma Gina treated us to a Mexican restaurant that had really good food. It also had big bird cages with parrots, toucans, etc.; fish tanks; and beautiful lights and decorations. Our favorite thing about the place, however, was a really tall guy that was one of the waiters. He told us that he's one of the tallest Mexicans: 6'9"! We couldn't help but ask to take a picture with him. We told him that we were going to put him on our blog, and he said to make sure that we say that he has a deep radio announcer voice too :)

Oh and by the way, check out this news post of us in an El Paso online news page!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day 8: Dragoon Rd., AZ to Lordsburg, NM

We made it to New Mexico! And we cranked out another 96 miles. (We must like that number...that's our third 96 miler!)

Matt's best of the day was the cacti we passed in Arizona; they looked like they came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. My best was that we had the wind at our backs almost the whole day.

I asked what Matt's worst of the day was, and he said, "Maybe that I feel like I just got run over by a train." But in all seriousness, Matt's pretty beat because all day he had to ride the Bianchi without clip-in pedals. It's amazing how much of a difference the bike makes. I was riding Matt's bike and felt like I could have gone another 20 miles or so.

Record breaker of the day: Eight friendly people honked at us!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 7: Marana, AZ to Dragoon Rd., AZ

Today was hard. We were biking for 12 hours and only made it 96 miles... Matt and I each got a flat! Matt's was about three hours into the ride when we were passing through Tucson so we went to a bike shop nearby to get it fixed. Mine was about an hour before the end of our ride today. Matt was a sweetheart and let me ride his bike and he hopped onto the Bianchi. Now that we're in the motel, Matt's working on fixing my tire.

As you can see in some of the pictures, I wore my homemade "leg sleeves" today and it helped my legs from getting burned. (They are soccer socks I brought on the trip, and I cut the toes off so I could pull them up over my thighs.)

Matt's best for the day was seeing a huge black snake in the middle of the road! ...But then he realized that is was probably just part of a car tire :)

I'll cheat a little bit for my best because it didn't really have to do with the ride today, but it was hearing from my little sister Ashley that she got a 34 on the ACT!! Amazing! My family is so cool.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 6: Rest Day

First off, we want to thank everyone who donated to JDRF (the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) this week:

Spencer Ray, Shawna Hamblin, the Haynes Family, Anonymous, and Anonymous.

If you would like to make a donation, click on the button that says "MAKE A DONATION!" on the right of our blog under the thermometer. All donations go straight to JDRF; Matt and I don't see any of it. (All of our expenses like lodging, food, biking gear, etc. come from our own savings.) Every donation makes a difference!

Because it is Sunday, Matt and I rested and tried to go to church. (Sunday is our Sabbath day because we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you have questions or want information, check out or, or feel free to ask us.) We looked online and found a church building close by, but when we drove to go to church we found out that it had been stake conference that Sunday so the times had changed. Bummer because we didn't get to go, but we're going to share our favorite church talks with each other now.

We have four weeks left with just under 2,000 miles to go. Because we were driving to San Diego on Monday, we only got 5 days of biking in this past week. With 390 miles for the week, this makes an average of 78 miles per day... pretty solid for the first week if you ask me. This makes us optimistic because for the weeks ahead we need to average about 83 miles a day. We're ready and excited for another week of biking!