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Ride For Honesty » 2009 » June

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Archive for June, 2009

A Doozy of a Day

June 30th, 2009

Yesterday was the longest of the trip so far. On the map it was 86.5 miles, on the ground closer to 90 including stops, detours, etc.  Add the that the first 60 miles was practically all an uphill 3000ft climb. Here is the chart:

Add to that 100degree heat, add to that a morning tail (oops-haha) headwind, and finally add the debris filled roadway that, thankfully, only gave me one flat

Here is the culprit

I had to pull quite a few out of all my tires but, thankfully, the extra protection turned back the rest. It is always a crapshoot when pulling a thorn or wire from a tire. You never know when it will necessitate an immediate repair, or it would be better to wait till shade, or days end to repair in comfort.

Needless to say flats take time to fix, and on a long day that gets a bit hairy. I got off the road about a half hour before sunset and a couple more would have had me on the roadside in the dark. (eek!)

The 60 mile uphill was daunting. The pedal assist helps, but battery management on a long day means using minimal power and I still wondered whether I would be pedaling the final miles with no help. While the grapg gives a decent indication, there are still uphills which a closer look would reveal.

So between the climb, the debris dodging, and the heat, it was quite a tense day.

Leaving Santa Rosa, I was stoked to see a Sheriff Car in front of the court,

The deputy inside was great. A real smile and didn’t mind giving me some time even though he was a bit busy. He was not aware of the reasons for my trip so the conversation was a bit funny. When I said I was motivated because the DHS reports (he hadn’t seen) he said, “wait, you support terrorists?” I was like, “no no no, I supported Ron Paul in the primary” He then said the classic, “Who is Ron Paul?”  lulz… Anyway, by the end we were on the same page and I was pretty stoked when he said, “The Fed Gov is whacked, yes I’ll be glad to pass these along, you have a safe trip” It still makes me smile…

I got to pitch a few people leaving town, and then headed off up the hill. Stopped at the rest areas and got some fliers and Obama Deception DVDs to a few folk going to the “Rainbow Gathering” (which I have been hearing about for hundreds of miles) None of the folk I met who are going liked Obama and I think we could be targeting that crowd, as well. One guy volunteered to show the flier around while there, and do some canvassing for us… Again, I think we need to take the “green” message away from the tyrants and expand this “big tent” we always talk about. It only makes sense to leave the world nicer than we found it and that should be a non-partisan effort…

Another real cool thing that happened was I came up on  rental truck on the shoulder with a guy getting something from the back. Turns out he was a Marine, on the same page, did not know about our movement, and was glad to hear about us. Said he would join and get active, so I guess I recruited a Marine – haha

Another car with three guys pulled over to ask me what I was about. Had a great conversation and turns out one works at a Napa Valley TV Stataion and he said he was going to look into getting my story on-air…

You can probably imagine the feeling of relief that accompanies pulling into a town after a day like that. Even better the first business I went by had some welcoming signage

The boys there were not active (hadn’t even heard of 1207), but I implored them to get more so, “we NEED them” and I could see they were a bit re-inspired by what I was doing and hope they get back in the fight. The parting words indicated they would and they were real thankful I stopped by.

Finally, here are some pics for my friends who like seeing what I see. Liberty Rider #6 asked for some scenics so here are a couple:

It is a vast emptiness at times… Sky was nice…

The mountains began to appear in the distance

and here is looking back on the ridge I went over that had storms move in as I was coming through. I felt a few drops, but by the time I took this it was storming up there…

Well, thats about it. a regular 60 mile day today, only 1500ft of climbing so hope it’ll be easier than yesterday. Again some headwinds in the AM but forcast to turn in my favor in the afternoon

pedal pedal

🙂

PS, only $650 away from my goal, any help with, promoting or feeding, the chip-in is MUCH appreciated, thanks

Journal, Photos

The Desert Begins

June 28th, 2009

A bit of a strange day today. Good, but strange. Not Ohio psycho strange, but a bit surreal. Started out great. Stayed in a great little “Mom and Pop” Rt 66 Motel. Was recently restored and a classic. Was pretty full and as I was packing up quite a few folk came out to talk. One guy, once he found out what I was about, had to go get his wife… Most everyone I talk to is real appreciative of what we are doing here, hopefully they take home and act on my message that “We NEED them” I’ve been playing on the “honesty” thing lately. Telling people, “For too long we have just accepted that politicians lie, well, that is not the way it should be, and we don’t have to accept it…”

So, I finally got out of there and made my way to the Quay County Sheriff Office. As it was Sunday I had my doubts on finding anyone, and that was about the case when, lo and behold, a Sheriff Car pulls in next door. So I pedaled over and said Hi. I started into my spiel when body language told me this guy was not going to warm up. That is rare on this trip. I could tell he was being patient with me but had other things on his mind and didn’t want to chat. So I cut it short, he kindly said, “so I guess you’d like me to give these to the boss?” I said “yes, please”. He said “sure, I’ll do that”. I said thanks and pedaled off. I chalked it up to being a stranger with a peculiar mission on a Sunday morning and was simply glad to have found someone there.

But that wasn’t really strange, just not the norm on this trip.

One thing that was kinda strange was, as I was leaving town, a small white pick-up (NM? 671) pulled over up the road, a guy got out, snapped my pic with an expensive cam, and as I approached got in his truck and sped off… Hmmmmm… Most people taking someones picture at least say’s hi…

But what was more strange, was pedaling into the desert in late June in a cold rain. I’m serious, I mean, I know it rains and this is not full on desert yet, but it was still kinda surreal, wondering if I should put on a jacket after the heat of the last few days. It was kinda cool though, I could almost hear the earth soaking in the life giving water with a gentle sigh.

The pedaling was great though. The shoulder was good most of the way, and had 22 miles of new construction where it was very smooth and fast. The road was cut down to 1 lane but the shoulder is very wide and it was fine.

Had some big long hills, but was pretty much low grade and the nearby train tracks told me that hills don’t get much better than this. Of course the train tracks were even more graded than the Interstate but still no biggie, just a matter of keeping my feet moving and eventually the top is there.

The next strange thing to happen was a semi going very slowly past me on the interstate. Again I was, Hmmmm…? They usually are whipping past and there was no reason for driving slow where I was. He got ahead of me, pulled over, got out, and started walking to the back of the truck. I figured maybe he had heard his load shift or something, but he got to the back of the truck and kept coming. It was obvious he wanted to talk… In over 5000 miles of pedaling this was a first,

Well, turns out he was an old Army Vet (Vietnam) who had pedaled across three times and wanted to share his stories with another trans-con. So I made a friend on the side of an interstate. He had quite a few stories, including crossing Death Valley and barely making it out alive. He was the type to ignore politics, but I think I may have got him with the line about history and everyone wondering why the Germans didn’t do anything when Fascism’s ugliness arose. I hope so… Anyway, Ward, if you read this, thanks for stopping and it was great chatting, please do get more involved, your country NEEDS you.

So, after we parted I pedaled on, it started raining again, but never really poured and it wasn’t bad. I just kept thinking of what a goon Al Gore is. It kinda pees me off that the tyrants are using the environment to enslave people. They use heart string issues to suck in the innocent and get them to help, the poor saps don’t even know how badly they are being used. I really think we need to take the environmental issue away from the tyrants. They are only using it for their own nefarious purposes and will actually hurt the planet more with their greedy schemes. I’m not sure how we can do that, but I know our position is logical and makes more sense. I’ll continue to muse…

The final strange thing to happen was really cool. As I pulled into town I tooled up the main drag looking for a suitably inexpensive motel. I saw a Harley Club that had passed me earlier in the day at this Motel 6, and after looking around town decided this was probably the best bet, so pulled in. They were looking at me curiously when one mentioned that I sure do move along. I said, yeah, but I do have some help and pointed out the front hub… Then, one of the girls asked, “are you the only one doing this?” I said yes, she then said, “well you sure do move along cause I saw you pedal past my house in Missouri a while back”. Haha – That got everyone’s attention and I got to use the Statue of Liberty to Alcatraz line, which they loved.

As Ichecked in they were gathered around the bike, checking out the flags and stickers, pointing and smiling. I knew they liked my rig and was kinda stoked… It is moments like that that I remind me why I don’t wear “cyclist” gear on the road. I mean, I am sure the tight fitting gear is great for slipping through the wind, but pulling up in my Dickie shorts, Walk For Freedom shirt, and Gadsden Hat clearly says I am an activist, not really a cyclist, and that earns respect from some quarters…

What with the rain I didn’t get the camera out much, but did take a couple.

This shot did not come out as I hoped.

I wanted to capture a few things, the emptiness, the abandoned rail station, but mainly the signage, which always makes me laugh. The bottom little sign has a pic of a bicycle and says “use shoulder only” uh duh… It is a friggin interstate, only a Darwin Award contender would need that sign…

And here is something I got a kick out of

That’s about it. I have a very long day tomorrow (80miles) with 3000 ft of climbing over a 7000ft pass. Will descend 1500 ft, so will be gaining 1500 on the divide.

Pedal pedal

Journal, Photos

New Mexico, Land of Enchantment

June 27th, 2009

Left Texas this morning bucking a headwind. A little bit nerve wracking as I had 77 miles to make today. Luckily it did not last all day and by the end I had a tailwind helping me along. That was a blessing

On the way out of Texas I found a Sheriff Office and stopped in to have a chat.

The only one there was the dispatcher, but she was really sweet and glad I stopped by. The line about the imbalance of power is working well…

I entered New Mexico and a new time zone

Mountain Time… (uh oh – haha)

Minutes after taking this I stopped at the NM Vistor Center. Had a great talk with one of the workers, gave her a card and she said she would check it out. Out front a few people wanted to take pictures of me and the bike, (the price was taking a flier and promising to look into it) One guy kinda ticked me off though. A Boy Scout “leader” walked away from his troop to look at the bike and gave me a “not interested” when I tried to give him a flier. Being neither friendly, courteous, nor kind, he is an Oathbreaker, and I shuddered to think he is acting like a role model for young boys. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all. That makes three “not interested” the entire trip, so far. Not a bad average, but still… Luckily, lots of other folk who had seen me on the road quickly distracted me from the creep.

The road is long

and it got quite hot by the time I made it to this town. Upon arrival I was greeted by a strange sign of the times

I don’t have a problem with cops, but do have a problem with fear tactics and lies pushing a Police State.

And that is why I ride…

Journal, Photos

The Panhandle of Texas

June 26th, 2009

Will be leaving it tomorrow. A quick run compared to the last (that seemed to go on forever. Texas is a big friggin state…)All Rt 66 towns, some of which gives one a real feel for the “Old West”. The picture of the Lawman of Shamrock, from a couple posts back, kinda defines that.

The stop at the Potter County Sheriff went well.

When I first pulled up I saw no furniture and guys painting. I thought, “hmmmm, remodeling?” So I opened the door and asked if this was still the sheriff office, it was. I asked if any were around, they were. By then I had noticed these guys were not your avg. “painter” looking types, so asked, “are you guys sheriffs?” They were – haha. They asked me what I wanted and I told them I was riding a bike cross country, had some stuff for them and I’d be right back…

As usual, they were a bit skeptical as I started, but remember, these are LEOs, they are suspicious and skeptical by profession. Again, as usual they warmed up as I talked about why I was there. They nodded heads as I mentioned the DHS reports and how outrageous they are. They agreed when I stated that the “modern freedom movement” is no domestic enemy and if anyone is, it is guys in suits in NY and DC. (They usually smile at that one) Then I hit em with a new line I’ve been developing about how, “the balance of power in this country is all off kilter, and the federal government is getting way too powerful. They are trying to federalize the police and that is a very dangerous thing. We need to restore the balance of power between FedGov and The States and you guys are on the front lines of that battle. So here is some info… (as I handed them a set including a copy of Vieira’s Constitutional Hoemland Security – thanks Tim-”  They liked that!

It was classic, by the time I left we had shaken hands like friends and both had a smile and good word for my safe travels. On the way out I remarked how impressed I was that they were doing the work themselves. They shrugged and said that it was “their office and the taxpayers don’t need to spend a god-awful amount of money for contractors to keep it nice”

Kudos to the Potter County Sheriff Dept, both for your hospitality, and more for being fiscally responsible with citizen money.

In other news, I want to thank y’all for buying me new tires and tubes for the bike. After the cart had it’s first flat yesterday, I noticed how thin the rubber was on the tires (they had been used on the last trip, as well. I’m real surprised I haven’t had more trouble with them and got this far with out a flat

The part you are looking at is about tube thin, and that is the tire I kept for a spare.

Here is one of the new tires

Not exactly a road tread (will slow me down slightly), but all they had for a set and will work just fine.

While there I got a spare front tire,

because the one I have on has some hefty gouges that are bubbling a bit and I’d hate to have a sidewall blowout far from a store, (duct tape’ll only get me so far – haha). And I also picked up spare tubes for goathead country…

So I should be set on rubber. Thanks all, peace of mind, heading into the desert, truly is priceless.

Finally, kudos to all who lobbied congress on the cap and trade bill. We need to just keep on keeping on. Increase the pressure from all sides. Win, Lose, or Draw, it’s how you play the game. Perhaps the Senate’ll go our way and we can kill it there. Also, we can tell who the Faux-GOP is by the votes and if you live in one of the turncoats districts. HAMMER THEM!!! In the press, at their office, at the GOP meetings/Lincoln dinners. return their fundraising appeals with parting “gifts” and THROW THE BUMS OUT!!!

GO GRASSROOTS!!!

Journal, Photos

Changing countryside

June 26th, 2009

Have left the trees behind, wide open spaces. Still green, but the canyons are starting. Climbed all day, low grade, but still…

Mostly interstate, had one section where the shoulder was all beat up and rattling my cage, so I checked for snakes and dragged the rig off onto the frontage road. The Frontage Roads are always a crap-shoot, they sometimes veer and tie in with crossroads, sending me miles further than necessary. Often they are a rough surface. They, also, usually go around the luxurious shade of the overpasses… But sometimes they are fairly smooth, and it is nice to be able to ride in the middle of the road, far from the debris, tooling along…

Speaking of snakes, I’ve seen heaps. All flat, but heaps, regardless. Started in the Ozarks… Reminds me to stay on my toes when stopping… Saw a rabbit chasing a road-runner yesterday, thought that was kinda strange…  Haven’t seen much else, alive, just lots of roadkill. Other than a cursury glance for known species, I try to ignore it, (and avoid it, as well – haha). It does serve as a kinda barometer of geographical/climate change, and lets me know what the true wind direction is…  This is a family blog, so I’ll leave the turtle story off…

It was hot yesterday, and the ride was 65miles that was basically all uphill. The wind was in my face in the morning, but moderated and turned SE as the day progressed. On the interstates I usually pull into rest areas and take 5. The rig attracts the tourists and I just sit there and hand out fliers and talk to folk. I’m finding people are more interested in this rig than they were the RP one. I am finding that the vast majority of people are receptive to my denouncing of the Federal Reserve. Everyone knows we are being lied to and robbed, and are thankful to be getting info on the real culprits. I tell people that I am not being paid by any of these orgs, and none are perfect, but all are working towards exposing the truth, and that the links they will follow from these will certainly open their eyes…

I stopped for lunch in Groom TX, all of you who donated bought me an open faced chicken steak sandwich smothered in white gravy. It was great. Thanks. On the way out of town I came across a house with 4×8 RP signs still up.

That certainly brightened my day. I stopped and knocked, no answer, so left some gifts on the porch (including a Mack book and a note to please deliver it for us), then, pedaled on.

Also had a difficult flat to fix, took two attempts and still has a slow leak…

Usually, I can just remove the tube, fill it with air, and roll it past my cheek to feel the air escaping. I did that, but did not catch the nine other tiny holes that this piece of retread had created. In the end I had to cut up some truck tire patches a garage had given me on the last trip into strips and cover about an 8 inch section… That was sufficient to get me here, but will be shopping today for new tubes and tires…

Have a short distance day today. Only 44 miles, so should be able to get the tires issues sorted, am waiting for the stores to open now. Will pedal to the Sheriff first, then the stores, then back on the highway. May try increasing power today to experiment with speed to distance ratios…

Finally, I am within $750 of my fundraising goal and would love to close that out early (before the Kokesh Money Bomb on 7/4/09). If you have donated, thanks; if you haven’t and can, please do. I’d love to replace the donation widget with a video playlist…

pedal pedal

Journal, Photos

Slow Connection/Quick Post

June 25th, 2009

I am in Alanreed TX. Pop-53.  Am posting through a 1x connection on my phone so will be brief.

Cross a border is always cool

You can see some touristas taking pictures as well. As soon as I got this shot, I pedaled up and pitched them, so basically started working Texas as soon as I arrived – haha.

There were no county seats on the route, but Shamrock TX has a sub-station that I detoured to and met a real Texas Lawman

We had a long conversation. He was raised a Democrat and feels his party left him, like I feel the GOP left me. He thinks the radicals, on both sides, are in charge and wonders if they are trying to provoke a violent scenario. He thought I was Libertarian, at first, and didn’t care for third parties (“spoilers”) I came back with some history of parties in this country and the “lessor of two evils is still evil” philosophy. I explained how I had always leaned right, but that I had usually given my top ticket votes to the LP rather than vote for, what I considered evil. That got him thinking. All in all a great stop

There is a Rt66 Landmark in Shamrock

I wish I had time to GIMP out the wires…

Pedaling was pretty smooth, slight tailwinds and mostly good surfaces… Ran into one section of full shoulder rumblestrips that rattled me until I could get off onto a frontage road. Got back on later and it was less severe. On the frontage road I saw this whimsical spread

Also, had some interesting conversations at truckstops. You meet all kinds out here…

pedal pedal

Journal, Photos

Last Day in Oklahoma

June 23rd, 2009

And I sure am glad I came. These folk down here are at the front of the pack and driving hard. Many and much mahalo to all who came down to say hi, helped out, and rode with me for quite a few miles. Y’all have a great state full of decent people. Weathered faces with easy smiles and all glad to hear my message. I absolutely love using something like the following, “and this here grassroots group is lobbying congress hard to audit the federal reserve… (you know they ain’t really federal and reserves is bit of a stretch, as well), anyway, we figure that there is the vipers nest, itself. And if we audit it, it’ll all become clear how they’ve been robbing us blind. Then, we can get rid of ’em like we have twice before in US History… ”

Everyone seems to respond well to the “vipers nest” bit; had one guy give me the ol’ “good luck-haha” – till I told him we were up to 220 co-sponsors (237 as I write  🙂 wonder what kind of sneaky tricks they are thinking up… ) That made em think for a bit…

Anyway, OK was more than OK. Thanks 🙂

Pedaling today was hot, but with a slight tailwind, quite a relief from the last week or so of headwinds

Above, I am on a frontage road, cooling off under an overpass. Had a curious experiance under an interstate overpass today.  I was taking a break when an old white pickup pulled over and backed toward me. I got up to say hi. The old man asked what I was up to, I gave him the spiel, he asked if he could buy me a soda at the nearby store, I declined saying thanks, but I have water and did not want to pedal off the interstate. Then… he asked me if, “I play around?” OMG – I was hit on by a dirty old man at an interstae rest area, (albiet, not an offical rest area, but still). I politely declined, and walked away, shaking my head… strange… The girls on Facebook are all teasing me about being cute, and how I should be flattered (grrrrr… – lol) When hotties start pulling over for me on the interstate, then I’ll be more agreeable… haha

Had a couple construction issues today

Never a good sign… Having a lane closed is one thing, being closed to standard wide loads means something entirely different. I pedaled up to it to find major overpass work and tiny lanes. If I had to I could have timed the traffic, turned up the volume, and pedaled like the hounds of hell were behind me for the short distances involved, but luckily there was a frontage road that turned into a great detour.

It started out a bit rough, took a few chances (rather than fire up the computer for a detailed look at the dilemna), asked a few locals, and found a route not all that much longer, nor very much rougher, and only a bit hillier. What was cool about it was it turned into a historic section of 66 that had the original on one side of me, the “Historic” that I was on, and the interstate on the other side of me. Three generations in parellel…

Even better, the road was hardly travelled, and with the tailwind I had gotten almost 50miles from 1 battery, had 10miles to go with 2 full batts, so turned up the juice and flew the last few miles. I still havent really opened it up, (without ground support, don’t want to take any chances and am gentle with the rig…), but I really love the upgrades on this bike. I hopen to get around to a post dedicated to the rig, one of these days…

Pedaling here in the open west gives me planty time to think, and one of the things I’ve been thinking about regards a sticker on my bike.The one below the RP signature one that say’s, “Classical Liberal”

Ya know, one of the prima ways our country has been stolen from us is the curruption and mis-se of language, words. It really is that simple. Take the word “liberal” for example. The people using it are certainly not liberal, in the classic sense. In fact, they are quite the opposite and giving the term a bad name. And on the supposedly other side we have the neo-cons using it like the ultimate insult. So basically, both supposed sides of the virtual aisle are giving true liberals a bad name. In other words, they are giving liberty lovers a bad name. Us!!!

I think we should take it back from them. They took it from us, no reason we can’t take it back…

“I am a liberal”, a conservative one, at that…

haha

Oh yeah,  an OK Deputy surprised me with a second star …

🙂

pedal pedal

Journal, Photos