As we headed out to breakfast there were clouds in the sky and a few drizzly drops falling.
Food was good and we were pleasantly surprised to find out the restaurant was completely non-smoking. The things we take for granted in California!
With tummys full we were ready to roll out. We were on the road right on schedule and all it took was 5 or 10 pedal strokes to get the rain to start flowing. As we turned towards 114 East, Don made the wise decision to seek shelter in the van (the van name: White Goose is starting to stick). I rolled on and hoped the rain would soon stop. There's the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. The latter is better informed.
The rain only got worse. Winds were from the South East, exactly the direction I was riding. It wasn't long before I soaked to the core. But I was warm from the effort of keeping the bike moving forward. Here's a short clip that gives an idea of the conditions.
About 15 minutes later, a pickup truck drove by, passenger window open, and I heard shouts of encouragement. I felt a bit like an elite rider. Well, with the White Goose trailing me with flashy lights, and me riding in this horrendous weather...people must think something special is in the works.
And there is. This is a ride reduce the number of preventable strokes and heart attacks. Knowing this gave me the resolve to keep going.
Our fundraising is going very well and will go a long way towards achieving our goals. If you haven't yet considered supporting HAA, no better time than now! I need the encouragement after a day like today! (Fundraising page)
So back to today...
We stopped for lunch at a Subways in Olney, Texas, about halway to Jacksboro. Since it was still pouring, we decided to eat in. It was freezing inside. Fans running full blast and I was soaking wet.
I ate quickly, got in the White Goose and changed into not just dry socks and shoes, but a new bib. The rain was still coming down strong so I even brought out my soon to be famous, rain gear, a full body Tyvek suit.
Note, I put my HAA vest over it make it clear why I'm riding. It also gave me some much needed back pockets.
As luck would have it, minutes into my post lunch ride, the rain stopped. I considered stopping and removing the suit but since it wasn't to uncomfortable, I just kept going.
Then the White Goose pulled up beside me and Don hollered, there's a large farm vehicle gaining on you! Music to my ears. There was a strong cross wind and it was a struggle to hold 15 MPH. I slowed as the vehicle gained on me and as soon as it passed, I found it's slip stream. This gave me a comfortable constant 19 MPH speed. I was glad to have my suit on though as the back splash from the tractor tires soon had me covered in grime.
The free ride only lasted several miles but it was enough to give me a much needed break. With about 20 miles to go, the rain stopped completely. Dennis and Don pulled ahead and as I rounded a turn, found Don out and ready to close the gap to Jacksboro with me. This gave me the chance to shed the Tivek suit.
What followed was the most beautiful part of the ride. Not because I had Don's company (though that helped) but because the terrain changed to beautiful rolling hills with wild flowers all around. Here's a sample...
We reached the new section of the Butterfield Motel around 3pm. Perfect timing. And the motel is everything it was advertised to be. Super clean. We are all happy.
I washed my bike, showered, and started laundry. Then I remembered I had a package delivered to the hotel. I went to get it and then it hit me. It had been delivered yesterday to the motel in Seymour. I called the hotel and asked them to return it to sender. They refused. Told me I must come get it.
Argggh..Long story short, Dennis and I drove back to Seymour and picked up the package. Even though it had my name on it, they had already opened the box. It was just a Norelco shaver. "Don't worry, we didn't use it, we just thought it was for us", the owner explained to me. I thanked them and left. They just earned a 1 Star Yelp and Google rating.
We made good time and were back in Jacksboro in time for dinner. We found a great little Italian restaurant, Roma Pizza. I almost finished a large Pizza on my own, I was so hungry.
Oh did I mention, Jacksboro is a 'dry' county? No alcohol. Wild.
But Don did see they have a Starbucks.
Tomorrow we are off to the big city of Dallas. And Sunday we get to be once again with Sean Maloney, our fearless leader! We can't wait. It's been tough riding without him.