6 years cancer free, please donate $6 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Back to reality!

Today is workday 8 in a row, only 2 to go before I get a nice 3 day weekend at home. September 9th-10th was the last weekend I sort of spent at home. Sort of because I rode my first 100 miles bike ride that Saturday.
The living room still looks like a bomb went off and spread all my stuff around. My bike is still in the box, ready to be put back together. I should be able to do that this weekend, because I want to do some riding.
I did start riding to work again on Sunday and it feels great to be back paddling! I sure hope I’ll be able to keep this up for a while this winter, if it doesn’t get to cold to fast.
Yesterday I went for a run wearing shorts because it wasn’t to cold! That was until about halfway it started hailing! It’s a little different than in Texas, how am I going to keep my tan up?
This evening it was time for dry land training out of Floyd’s garage. It was good to see that Floyd is doing better after his health scare. I asked him if he’ll help me get in some bike racing next summer and he said yes. I really feel bike riding is my thing and think it would be fun to do some races to keep me motivated and have something to train for.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Ride for the Roses

Early morning and the alarm went off, Erik jumped out off bed as if it was not 5.45 in the am, must be the jet-lag!

We got up made some tea, ate our muffins and bananas, put on our bike gear and were ready to ride! Then the fun was spoiled when we opened the curtain, as Lance predicted: it was looking like rain! We still went down to find the CCC team ready to go. The busses were lined up and they filled up quickly to go south to Smith Ville to the start of the Ride for the Roses. The rain started falling before we arrived.

The bikes were waiting for us in the purple section and I finally found the “I’m a survivor, In honor off and in Memory off” signs so I could fill them out and ride with them. I rode in honor off: Mamma, Judith, Kharmen, Jacqui, Kathy, Cathy, Alison, Marion, oom Ed en tante Ellen, Kris, Julie, Earl, BCAA and all CCC-ers. This was also the time for me to again realize that I am a lucky girl, able to ride all these miles.

This gave me the strength to ride for all those that are not so lucky and realize that you can make a small difference if you set your mind to it. Thank you everybody for the support and believe in me and make my dream come through!

We were told that due to the weather the 100-mile ride was cancelled, that was a disappointment because I was really looking forward to an other 100 miles! Most off the other CCC-er choose to ride the 45 miles so we took some time to take some pictures with the whole group. Then it was time to line up at the starting line.

We were ordered to free up a path at the left side, for as it turned out Lance and company wanted to ride up to the front off the line. Lance gave us a quick pep talk and than it was time to ride. I never saw Lance again; I guess I need to work on my ability to get on somebody’s wheel!

Soon enough we came to the split where the 45 miles took a right turn and we kept going on hwy 71 to Bastrop State Park. Riding through the park was great because of the quiet roads, nice climbs and descents and a rest stop with very helpful and cheerful volunteers. Thanks to all the volunteers for your help, it was amazing considering the bad weather!
Erik was doing great, asking me all kind of questions, especially when we climbed the hills! I was having some difficulties breathing due to the climbing and the residuals off my cold and was not able to talk.

At the end off the park, I heard, “Hello Annemiek”, from behind me from a man I didn’t recognize?! It took me about 5 minutes to figure out that he had ready my “ Survivor sign” that I was wearing on my back. We started talking and it turned out that Mike was riding for his father who is battling cancer. He did a nice pull for us into the wind and this got our speed going. We worked together nicely the three of us and decided to stay together. The route now took us through farmland with some nice longer climbs so my legs started to feel better and better; I finally got my muscles warmed up!
On one off those hills we saw a rider loose his bottle and keep going, he must have thought it was broken. Erik tried to kick it off the road but after he missed, he then decided to pick the bottle up and bring it back to its owner. So on the chase we were, finding the wheel! It took a while but working together we caught up with Miguel, as we later found out. Erik returned the bottle and he caught on to our wheel and joined the group. We turned onto another highway and I was on a roll; at least until I heard yelling behind me, what?! It turned out that I completely missed a turn, must have been my subconscious wanting to ride 100 miles. Back on the trail we picked up Jim so our group now had 5 members. It was going great until we hit a rough part of the road and I felt my back tire slowly empty. We stopped behind a police car and with a little teamwork and a lot of Jim’s help my tire was changed quickly. An assist car pulled up at the end of this and provided us with a pump to get the pressure up enough. Back on the bike I got going steady again until again I hear yelling behind me. This time my brother was missing from our group. It turned out that he was having cleat problems and he was quickly pulled back onto our wheel.

The last rest stop got into sight, just in time for Erik to get a flat. We decided to have Erik, Mike and Jim fix the flat and Miguel and I would go get some snacks at the last rest stop. After we regrouped the last 10 miles flew by getting more and more speed going. Do I hear there is beer and fajitas at the after ride party; let’s go! I was brought up front to be able to finish first in the group and get my survivor rose! Thanks guys it was a great ride; a fantastic finish to the adventure of my lifetime!

Celebrating 5 years cancer free, all the preparation, getting in shape, fundraising and BLOGGING has finally paid off and coming to an end! We took some pictures off our group before racking our bikes, changing into something dry and finding my fellow CCC-ers. All of who had great stories of their Ride for the Roses. What a fantastic group to belong to!

As Erik and sat down to eat a gentleman approached us asking me if my name was Dutch, he heard it last week at the pasta dinner. It turned out that Joe had lived in Germany and during that time had taken a Dutch course (mind you this was years ago) he spoke very good Dutch and was excited to be able to practice. We talked for a while and had another beer.

Then it was time to find our bikes and get on the bus to return to the hotel, we were ready for a shower. I dropped off my bike at the mechanics to be taken apart and get ready for the plane ride tomorrow.

At 6.45pm it was time to meet up with Kathleen and other CCC-ers for the after ride dinner at PF Changs. We had a good group going Steve, Mike, Chris, Kathleen, Fred, Will, Darren, Scot, Phyllis (I think I spelled that wrong!)Bob and our guests. Then Steve pulled out the dreadlocks and we all got to try out a new look. The dinner was great due to the family style servings we were able to taste everything. It was fantastic to have time to talk and hear all the stories from the other CCC-ers. Time flew by and before I knew it was time to say goodbye and get on with my plans to meet with Kharmen’s sister and family. Thanks for the tea and the gift. I’ll be wearing the jersey proudly next summer.
Back at the hotel Erik and I looked back on a great weekend, I’m so happy he was there to share this with me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Saterday RftR

Today we got up early to join the “abandoned” ride, 36 k for riders who were not invited to join Lance for a ride. Erik started with a flat before we even got going. I met up with even more CCC-ers who had arrived last night.
The sky was overcast but no rain and a comfortable temperature.
We started of at a comfortable pace down Barton Springs Road, to the MoPac and onto Hwy 360. Here we got some nice hills to test the legs and mine are still a little heavy, going downhill was going excellent I hit 62km/h speeding down.
We stopped by the bike store for Erik to get his tire checked and pick-up a new inner tube for tomorrow.
After a quick shower and lunch at the hotel it was time for the autograph session. We had to go to the 17th floor in the hotel where we found a line of people patiently waiting for their few seconds with Lance. Erik had to leave his camera behind at the door and the security guy at the door completed the picture. Once through the door there was an other line with slowly getting more and more excited people waiting.
I was ready with my 3 items to sign and the few words I wanted to say to Lance. Erik and I walked up to the table and I shook Lance’s hand and even before I said my name he recognized me as the Dutch Girl (from last night), that’s impressive! We sat down and I gave him the picture I framed for him with my thank you message on it. Lance reacted enthusiasticly and listened to my story while signing the LIVESTRONG baseball cap, CCC team jersey and the picture mat from my own LIVESTRONG Challenge picture. One more picture with everybody smiling and off we went, Thanks Lance for taking time.
After this we walked to 6th street to find a WIFI hotspot and update my BLOG. We quickly looked at the Capital and bought some breakfast for tomorrow morning.
Time for a little rest with our feet up and some football, Erik kept asking me questions on the rules etc, but I can’t say last years attempts to understand the game really paid off! (Sorry Kim we’ll have to start over with the football lessons!)
We also kept a watch full eye out for the bats that were supposed to fly out from under the bridge in front of the hotel. They never came according to my brother!
I took off to the awards dinner and met up with the CCC-ers and others I met during the weekend. Bob wanted to know which restaurant didn’t want to give me a free lunch in Northfield MN, because he was going to send a family member there to find out why they didn’t support me. People actually came up to me to ask about my ride from Minneapolis to Austin, they read about me or heard the story going around. I had all the CCC-ers sign my jersey to complete my souvenier from this adventure.
Then it was time to find a table and get some pasta, I like carb-loading!
I met Doug from LAF who was wondering who belonged to the car with MN plates last week during the Challenge! He told me there might be a Minneapolis Challenge in the future, wouldn’t that be cool! Sign me up for that one!
Lance welcomed all off us to the diner and thanked us for our fundraising efforts and for being cancer advocates. He’s starting a campaign to make sure that federal cancer funding gets back to the level it needs to be!
Will accepted the Top-fundraising Team award for the CCC-team; we raised almost half a million dollars in the 5 LIVESTRONG Challenges!
After dinner we needed to get the CCC-team behind the scene for a few more pictures with Lance! I can’t wait to see that one. I got to see Jake Gyllenhaal up close, but didn’t have a camera handy to snap a picture.
Then it was time to say goodnight and get some sleep for the ride, it might rain is what Lance told us. I sure hope it’s not going to spoil the ride!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Meeting Lance, Friday 10/13/06

I met Erik at the airport where I arrived 1 hour late on Thursday night. We grabbed a taxi and drove to the Hyatt hotel on the south side off the river in downtown.
On quick beer at the bar and Erik was ready to crash after being up for more than 24 hours.
We had a good night sleep and started Friday off with a great Mexican breakfast “las Manitas” a wonderful place that should stay downtown Austin.
Than it was time to collect our bikes, we first walked to the bike store where Erik rented his and got set up quickly. Back at the hotel, I called a taxi to get to Cathy’s house to pick up my bike and Erik changed the seat on his bike. Thanks Cathy for storing my bike and giving me some good riding advice.
We did a 40 km easy ride in the afternoon, to see if Erik’s bike was good to go and get my legs back to paddling. After being sick since Tuesday my lungs are not optimal but it’s good enough.
The evening was filled with the welcome diner at the Salt Lick a famous BBQ place 20 miles from downtown Austin. Once there we had an opportunity to play washers and horse-shoe (Holland-USA 11-9!), take a picture with a real longhorn cow and meet all of the other top fundraisers. We had 2 CCC tables and I was happy to see Jim attending the dinner, you rock Jim!
I overcame all my shyness and walked up to Lance and got a second to shake his had and introduce myself, telling him I was from the Netherlands. At the moment I asked him if he spoke any Dutch the speeches started so I had to get back to my seat! But Erik got the picture and I got my handshake!
After dinner it was time for speeches with MC Bob Roll, whom had some very funny stories about the early years of the Ride for the Roses, which used to be a race for 2 dozen roses sponsored by Lance.
Lance also spoke and encouraged every body to please keep doing what we are doing, keep cancer on the front page.
Linda, Lance’s mom also spoke, about young Lance and how proud she was of her son. She reminded us that if you don’t ask you’ll always have No for an answer.
It was a great evening and I’m ready for tomorrow, the autograph session.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Back to work!

After a morning at the Honda dealer where Blondie got checked out and eventually repaired, I had a quick flight back to Minneapolis. Reality hit when I felt the cold wind getting off the plane, brrrrr!
Tuesday morning my cough had gotten worse but I felt I would be able to go to work. Good thing because my wonderful co-workers had organized a Taco potluck lunch, now there's a reason to come back from Texas!
Everybody was very enthousiastic about my adventure and had followed me on my BLOG. Thanks everybody for the comments left on my BLOG and all the support.


Not a great night of sleep the night before the ride, but of course I fell asleep right before the alarm went off! I rolled out of bed and took a shower to wake up and dressed up in my CCC gear with my new LIVESTRONG socks. Then I just needed to get Nancy and Deb out of bed, but they kept their word and were ready to go! I guess they didn’t want to see me get stressed out and in a bad mood on this important day.

We left the hotel at 6 pm to get at the start of the ride around 6:30, with plenty of time to get ready. We met up with Mike, Steve, Will and Greg (the other 100 miler) from CCC, and then Vicky and Tish showed up to ride with me. Lance spoke shortly before the race and then ran the 5k in preparation of his NY marathon in November.

We got in our 100 miles line up, the horn sounded and off we went. Greg, Vicky, Tish and I stayed together and the first few miles, keeping an easy pace because it was very busy. My idea of the LIVESTRONGChallenge was a fun sort of easy 100-mile ride, but it seemed that Greg and Vicky had other ideas. Slowly the field stretched out and our pace picked up. We skipped the first rest stop and became part of a bigger peleton for a while and started talking with riders around us. It’s amazing how everybody was interested in each other and willing to help each other. We met Randy and Jared this way and they decided to stay with our little group and helped us a lot by taking their share riding in the wind and leading up the hills.

We took a quick refill and bathroom stop at rest-stop number 2 and back on the road again. The route was beautiful with some nice hills and the wind was not to bad and the temperature perfect. The speed was still nice and high and we worked well together in our group often combining power with others. Vicky got a flat, which with a little teamwork was fixed in no time. We stopped again at rest stop 4 for refills, a quick power snack and a restroom brake (important lesson learned on the road down to TX never let a good chance to pee you by!)

On the road again, we quickly fell back into our speed, legs cranking around and around! A nice long climb around mile 85 broke up our group so we slowed down to re-group and found an other rider had joined us. Vicky got an other flat, but luckily this time it was about 150 yards from the next rest stop. A small piece of glass was found and Vicky got a new tube, ready, set, go! Greg wanted to stop at the survivor rest stop but we couldn’t find the survivor part of the rest stop, so of we went again.

My legs started to feel stronger and stronger with the last 10 and than 5 miles to go. A voice from the back of our group asked us to slow down and enjoy the last miles, but that was just not an option for me. Vicky and Jared joined me attacking the last miles to the finish, and yes they were up hill, one more corner and there it was the finish! I steered through the survivor lane to get my yellow rose. My fan club was waiting for me cheering with a big sign and those yellow balloons!

Ride totals were: riding time 5h 34 min, total time 6 h, average watts 147, average miles 18.5 m/h and a total distance of 103 miles (according to Vicky’s bike computer)
Time for a lot of pictures and quick goodbyes. Thanks Greg, Vicky, Tish, Randy and Jared for riding with me, I had a fantastic experience, LIVESTRONG at it’s best!
Champagne brought by Nancy made the finish celebrations complete, to your health!
I found Colleen from the LAF, the Austin coach who adopted me and helped me out with a lot of patience, answering all my questions and supporting me all the way. We took some pictures in front of Lance’s picture on the LIVESTRONG truck. Thanks Colleen!

After a rest break at the hotel it was time to drop of my bike at Cathy’s and go out for dinner. We choose Mexican with an opportunity to sit outside and catch up on the experiences of the day.

A great day it was, for me. A perfect finish of a wonderful adventure; I’m a very lucky girl: being healthy enough to ride these 3 weeks, having all the support from family, friends and complete strangers! Thank you everybody that supported me in anyway, I love all of you!

I can’t wait for Thursday when I fly back to Austin for the Ride for the Roses weekend, which I get to share with my brother!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Saturday October 7th

Sleeping in or at least staying in bed was a nice treat this morning.
Nancy called at 10.15 to be picked up from the airport, so Deb and I got in the car and drove to pick her up. We circled around once and than decided to park the car and find Nancy inside.
Back at the hotel we decided it was time to get some lunch and get ready to go to the LIVESTRONG Village. So we packed everybody in the car and drove to downtown Austin finding the parking garage with only 1 Texas u-turn needed.
We had lunch outside at a sports bar and I enjoyed a Fat tire beer and hamburger to really get into the TX spirit. It was only 2 blocks from the conference center where the ride package pick-up. Inside we met up with Mike and Fred from the CCC and soon after this I was interviewed by the local NBC station about my ride to Austin. (We did see the result on the evening news and it is weird to see and especially hear your self on TV).
Than it was time to go and get my ride number, 2219 my lucky number. We collected all the free water bottles, bags, pictures with Lance’s picture, kinesio-tape for Nancy and Deb and some LIVESTRONG wear for Lance to sign next week. I also got the jersey for collecting more than $7500, very nice.
After this it was time to get some coffee for the troops and then there was just enough time to drive by the starting point for the Challenge.
Then back to the hotel and change before the pasta diner. Even though officially I was only allowed to invite 1 person, Colleen from the LAF was nice enough to call me and invite my whole fan-club present for the ride.
It was a great Pasta Party with Lance himself and all 3 kids present. The prices for different achievements were given out and all the top fundraisers were acknowledged.
It was great that we all got the chance to be there together!
My dad’s evening was made when he got to keep the LIVESTRONG-balloons!
Back at the hotel it was time to go to bed and get some sleep before getting up at 5.45 am to get to the ride on time.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


It was a great day! I can't believe how fast we finished the 100 miles. 5 and a half hours of riding and 6 hours total on the raod with stops and 2 flats!
I'll write more tomorrow because now it's time to go to sleep.
I'll have sweet dreams tonight.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Day 17

Today it was time for the last stretch to Austin TX. We started off around 8.45 am, a little late because I found out that I had a flat I needed to fix. After getting directions from the hotel clerk how to get out town we headed to Holland, TX. After driving through Amsterdam in Arkansas it was only a logical next stop!

We arrived in town at 10.30 “koffie tijd!”, So we stopped took pictures and had coffee with some muffins, lekker!

The next stop was Round Rock to meet an old family friend of my mother; Anton and Rebecca van Tilburg, they hadn’t seen each other in 50 years. They moved to the United States in the fifties after the war, starting here in a very different way than I have in 1993. We put the bikes on the car to get to their house and decided to drive closer to Austin to finish the last lap safely. Seven miles from the Capitol Vicky and I got back on our bikes and rode into Austin traffic, one more time follow by my parents in the car. The ride was nice with a good down hill and left turn onto Congress: there it was the Capitol of Texas; I made it all the way!

We rode up the hill and circled around the Capitol for a victory lap, I could see all my family and friends cheering me on like you have done all the way! Thanks for all the support; I made it thanks to all of you.

After taking pictures and one more ride around, we needed to hit 70 miles it was time to find the hotel and take a shower. We had dinner with Vicky’s friends Cathy and Hutch at a wonderful Italian restaurant. Thanks for dinner and the good directions to get into town. Nancy called that she missed her flight and wouldn’t be in until Saturday, but at 9.30 it was time to go pick Deb up from the airport.

After a quick cup of tea in the hotel room, it was time to go to sleep.


Friday, October 06, 2006

I made it!

Around 4.15 pm Vicky and I rode up to the Capitol in Austin TX.

Day 16

A sad day because it was time to say goodbye to Peet, I’ll miss her a lot supporting me, riding with me, celebrating life with me and organizing free hotel rooms and extra donations for me. Thanks Peet!
Thanks Connie and Wendy for your hospitality, we sure enjoyed staying with you and it was good to see y’all.
After the goodbye we set off to meet Vicky at the bike store where we left the extra bike and packed up V’s. A quick hello and goodbye to Kenny and South to Hillsboro we drove. Around 10.30 V and I finally got on our bikes riding towards Lake Whitney. Riding over the dam, we both were surprised about the beauty of the lake and wondering why we never seen it before. We planned for lunch in Crawford but because we had only been riding for 40 minutes V decided we couldn’t stop yet! She’s a tough coach, but her yelling at me to get serious about the training sure paid off during this trip.
So lunch ended up in McGregor in the shade next to a gas station.
The rest of the miles were done at the same 17m/h pace which brought us into Temple around 5pm with a total of 80 miles and total riding time 4h and 40 minutes.
Mom and I jumped in the pool at the hotel while V did a quick shopping trip to the bike store from some new gloves.
Dinner at the Texas Steakhouse was good, including normal size steaks for mom and dad.
Ready for bed because tomorrow we’ll be heading to the Capitol in Austin. I can’t believe this is the last leg of this journey. Good thing I’ve got 2 more 100 miles to go, the LIVESTRONGChallenge and then the Ride for the Roses!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Restday 3

No real news today. We spend it mainly at Wendy and Connie's house, relaxing a little, updating my BLOG and some last minute shopping for Peet. We also took a drive trying to find some familier spots from when we lived in Dallas.

Day 15

Riding around White Rock Lake!
An early start of the day, to try and meet Richard at the beginning of Whit Rock Lake trail for a bike ride the equivalent of Plano to Waxahachie.
But before I was ready to take off I had to publish my last request for fundraising on my BLOG because $20,000 was within reach!
Peet dropped me of a little late but luckily for me Richard was still waiting for me and after a few quick pictures it was time to ride. During the ride on the trail some spots did bring back some vague memories from the time that I lived her in Dallas and I went roller-blading on the trail. We met up with Becky at the lake and after a quick repair were ready to ride, round and around.
It’s nice to for a change ride against the wind knowing that in a little bit you’ll have the wind in the back! We talked a lot about riding, Dallas and life in general and sometimes were just quiet and enjoying the perfect weather. In lap 3 Becky unexpectedly hit the pavement due to a complicated indescribable unfortunate series of events! Or was it just the fact that she had a flat front tire? Luckily she landed with her head on the grass and didn’t have too much damage to herself or her bike. The flat was fixed with some good teamwork and Becky was ready to ride again. (I know she’s very excited that she’s mentioned in my BLOG)
At the end of loop 3 Becky had to leave to pick up her son and Richard and I continued on riding around. I called Peet during our bathroom/refill break and the Team was on their way. We met up just as we started our 5th lap around and decided they would find a picnic spot and the 2 of us would finish our lap.
Lunch was great and it was wonderful that Richard was able to hang around and talk for a bit. Thanks Richard and Becky for riding with me, it was a pleasure to be in your company.
Now it was time for Peet to get out her new helmet and try out the Chamois Butt’r and work on her tan. We had a quick round, still counting; number 6, and noticed that the wind was slowly picking up. Peet did convince herself during this ride that wearing a helmet is a good thing and she sure looked good with her new one.
The last round was for mom, we turned around and rode the other direction, which was like seeing a whole new lake. We stopped for some bird watching and mom improved on her bike mounting technique, lying the bike down on the ground, stepping over the frame and than picking the bike back up. It is fun to watch and a lot safer than her trying to stand on a park bench trying to swing her leg over the tall frame.
Peet got in contact with Connie and after packing up the bikes we were off to find the house. This turned out more complicated than expected but eventually with help from Wendy, we were picked up at the gas station and followed Connie home.
We settled in quickly and dinner plans were made to pick-up Tai food and eat at home. When shopping in Target for wine and beer Wendy told a friend of her about my trip and he donated money right there in the store. That’s the first time I leave a store with more money than I came in with! Thanks Clint and Kevin for the donation.
The evening we spend with Connie and Wendy’s “buren” Adriaan and Augie, who brought some great Dutch treats from their store.
When I checked my LIVESTRONGChallenge website before going to bed I found out that I actually hit the $20,000 mark, thanks Jus for pushing me over! Now I just need to figure out what to ask Lance!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Hi Y’all,
I'm getting ready to ride here in Dallas, not through the city as I had originally planned, but the equivalent distance on a bike path riding around White Rock Lake. It’s a much safer solution and who knows the lake might cool me off.
Yesterday I got a donation from RBM Richardson, thanks for your support. This is bringing me very close to the $20,000 mark, which would mean an autograph session with Lance on the day before the Ride for the Roses! The fundraiser deadline is this Friday October 7th, so if you have been planning to support me financially but just haven’t gotten to it, this would be a great time.
Thanks everybody for all the support so far, it has exceeded all my expectations, and to meet Lance in person would be the icing on the cake!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dad's day in Dutch

Nu we inmiddels een week meerijden met Annemiek en Petra wordt het tijd om ons af te vragen wat er zo speciaal is aan deze tocht en waarin hij zich onderscheidt van een gewone fietsvakantie of van andere reizen die we met haar gemaakt hebben in dit enorme land.
Er wordt gewoon keihard gewerkt. Om te beginnen is het een gigantische afstand die afgelegd moet worden. Op een kaart van Amerika is het maar een klein stukje van Minneapolis naar Austin en drie weken lijkt een lange tijd, Maar op de detailkaarten die we onderweg gebruiken is elke centimeter niet meer dan tien mijl. Een afstand van vijftien mijl is voor Annemiek ongeveer een uur fietsen. Negentig mijl dus zes uur, d.w.z. zes uur flink doortrappen. Tel daar regelmatige rust-, plas- en eetpauzes bij, nog afgezien van tijd om de juiste weg te vinden of om te keren als dat per ongeluk fout gaat. Als het lukt om rond negen uur op weg te zijn, betekent dit dat ze onder gunstige omstandigheden ‘s middags niet voor vijf uur op de plaats van bestemming is.
Maar meestal is dat later, want de wind is bijna elke dag tegen en trekt in de loop van de middag aan tot krachtig. Soms zijn de wegen goed, waardoor ze heuvelaf lekker kan opschieten, maar het gebeurt ook vaak dat de weg slecht is, vol met scheuren en hobbels. Dan moet er in de afdaling worden afgeremd en dat schiet niet op.
En dan is er de hitte die elke dag toeneemt. Gisteren zijn we ruim een half uur vroeger vertrokken, dat leverde wel wat op, maar na de middag was het echt afzien, zowel op de fiets als in de volgauto. 94 graden Fahrenheit was het toen. Op dat gebied heeft ze alles meegemaakt. Geen wonder dat het avondprogramma voornamelijk gevuld is met douchen, uitrusten, eten en vroeg naar bed.
Over alle praktische dingen die dagelijks geregeld moeten worden zoals boodschappen en onderdak hebben we het dan nog niet gehad. Het lukt Petra zo goed als elke dag om een gratis hotelkamer los te krijgen, vraag me niet hoe.
Maar sinds gisteren zijn we in Texas. Dat betekent dat het einddoel in zicht komt en de zekerheid groeit dat het gewoon gaat lukken. We zijn zelfs een dag voor op het schema en dat maakt het mogelijk Dallas op een andere manier te passeren dan op de fiets. Ze gaat morgen de daarvoor geplande afstand afleggen d.m.v. acht rondjes om een meer in plaats van langs de snelweg. Daarover schrijft Annemiek morgen weer.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Day 14

Durant-McKinney 123 km-76 miles
Today started with breakfast in our room with hot tea, juice, bread with cheese or jelly. Because of the warm weather the plan was for mom to ride the first hour turning into 20km where dad took over. We turned east for a while and the wind helped us along to make a good speed. There was the Red River and before we knew it we were in Texas, picture time!
Peet changed into her riding gear and after a quick snack we were ready to go. The road let us through Bonham onto hwy 121 a busier road with nice wide shoulders. Then my phone started ringing and Else was calling me, wondering what I was doing! I also got to talk to Eva who reported that high school is going well and Erik who was wondering how fast I was riding. He is training to ride the Ride for the Roses with me in 2 weeks.
Lunch was on the curb at a gas station in Trenton, more bread, grapes and cola light, that’s what I call a power lunch!
A few more miles to go to McKinney and I was done for today. Total 76 miles at least according to my speedometer, I sure hope this thing it accurate!! I have left a lot of confused cows behind riding all this way.
We are staying at the Best Western hotel in Plano and just had a wonderful diner.
Luna de Noche: a very nice and new for us since leaving Texas, Mexican restaurant.
Now the laundry is going and it’s time for some relaxing TV-watching.
Tomorrow an extra day off because we are ahead of schedule, nice. I just need to get to stationary bike for the 15 miles I missed today!

day 13

Haywood to Durant 138km- 86 miles
Rolling off our high bed around 7am to get ready for an other day of riding. But first we had breakfast at the hotel and went grocery shopping for lunch.
The team dropped me off at Haywood, just West of McAlester. The road quality was pretty bad and the first miles the rolling hills returned from the past. The temperature was 80+ F early in the morning, which told me I wasn’t in Iowa anymore. The wind was still coming out of the South felt like I was paddling into a blow dryer. But enough complaining: I’m still riding strong, no injuries and the best support team one can hope for on a trip like this! Thanks Peet for getting free nights at hotels, riding with me in the afternoon and keeping my parents out of trouble. Thanks mom for paying for all our food, filling up our stomachs and worry about the little things. Thanks dad for asking a lot of questions about a lot of things, riding the car behind me (or us) and packing up the car every day. I know I’ve got to do most of the paddling but wouldn’t be able to do it without your help!
The ride was a long and hot one today. Lunch was served in Wapanucka at the side of the road right next to the City Hall. After a little while a nice man approached us wondering if we “had broke down or where just having lunch. He was happy to find out that we were indeed just having lunch and “were not broke down’.
Peet jumped on the bike to work a little on her tan and get some km in her legs. It turned out to be a few more than we anticipated because the hotel in Durant happened to be all the way on the other side of town.
Thanks Days Inn for sponsoring me tonight.
Tomorrow we’re heading for Texas, hoping to make it all the way to Plano, which will be one day ahead of schedule. Nice!