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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will you be gone?

A: Approximately seven weeks, counting “zero days,” days when I rest instead of ride. Bike health, “me” health, and weather 😲are also factors that can affect how long my trip takes.

Q: Aren’t you kinda, well, old to be doing this?

A: Bite your tongue! You are only as old as you feel, and I feel pretty good. Even got a clean bill of health from my doctor to do this ride. Also, I’ve joined several Facebook cycling groups, and have found other women my age doing similar tours.

Q: When do you leave?

A: Monday, April 29, God willing. I’ll put my gear, my bike, and myself on Amtrak from Albuquerque up to Colorado. My actual ride starts the next day.

 

Q: Are you going alone? 😱😱😱

A: No, I’m taking Jesus and my mom’s .38 special along for the ride. Seriously, though, I’ll be on paved road the entire route, not out in the boonies—and that leads up to the next question.

 

Q: Where will you stay each night?

A: Mostly in hotels/motels for convenience, safety, and electricity to charge my bike and other electronics. On one occasion, I’ll be sleeping in a church fellowship hall. On eight other nights I’ll be camping in state/city or private campgrounds that have electric sites, hot showers, etc. These are good, reputable campgrounds with other campers and rangers or owners nearby.

 

Q: How will you navigate?

A: I have an app called Komoot, specifically designed for planning bike tours, backpacking trips, and the like. I have planned my entire route, day by day, including where I will spend the night. Each day, Komoot will, through my phone, give me turn by turn directions. I am using the app now while I’m doing training rides in and surrounding Albuquerque.

 

Q: How many miles will you ride each day?

A: That’s a great question! Two big factors come into play such as, where on my route the next town with a decent place to stay is and how much elevation gain the day’s ride requires. On average, I’ll ride 40-50 miles a day. On other days, the rides will be shorter, either because I can’t find a place to stay farther down the road but still within reach or because I know the ride that day will be difficult. (Lots of climbing hills.) Generally, the more difficulty, the shorter the day’s ride.

 

My three longest days will be 60.6, 60.9, and 63.3 miles, respectively (and not back to back), but with low elevation gains. In other words, I’ll be CRUISING! My bike is really great on the flat. My most difficult day will likely be 50.6 miles with an elevation gain of 2.250 feet—and an elevation LOSS of 2,575 feet as I meet and cross the Mississippi for the first time on my trip. (Don’t forget, I’m riding an eBike, which helps a lot with hills!)

 

Q: What about food?

A: I hope to have some—it’s a long trip. LOL! 😁😂😁

Actually, I’m not taking much in the way of food; mostly I’m packing water, water flavoring, and electrolytes. I’m determined not to get dehydrated on this ride 😠, and thanks to my friend Connie, I have a cool “hydration backpack” (like a CamelBak) that holds two liters of water. I’m amazed that I hardly notice the weight of the backpack while I’m riding. Most of the hotels I’ll be staying at also have a free breakfast, which is nice. The rest of the time, I’ll buy food along the way. I’ll need to get a little creative while camping, but I’ll manage.

 

Q: How much gear are you taking on your bike?

A: The weight of my gear is running right at 50 lbs, about 12 lbs on the front tire and rack, 30 lbs on the back, the rest on me or the handlebars. Gear includes tent, sleeping bag, a few cooking items, small pack of clothes, smaller pack of personal items, windbreaker, rain poncho, waterproof bike cover, first aid supplies, bike tools, spare tube, tire pump, a 10-foot outdoor extension cord, and a bazillion charging cables for bike, phone, backup phone, iPad, power bank, three bike reflectors, bike horn/alarm, flashlight, tiny tent light, and ear buds. I’ll post a few pics of my gear and my bike’s loadout before I leave! 🤗

 

Q: What kind of bike are you riding?

A: Last fall I met another Vicki (a believer close to my age) who had just finished the Southern Tier (San Diego, California, to Saint Augustine, Florida). She told me about her eBike’s range, so I looked into it and upgraded to a Trek Allant+ 8S Stagger I named Beulah. (Thank you, Vicki!) Beulah is a 10-speed, mid-motor eBike with 4 levels of pedal assist and two integrated electric batteries. The integrated batteries give me a much longer riding range.

 

For those of you unfamiliar with eBikes, they are not mopeds. You do pedal the entire time. My bike doesn’t even have a throttle, like many eBikes do. It’s either pedal or stay home. The electric motor simply gives me “assistance,” particularly on hills, and I will have hills. They’re called the Ozarks. 😆🤗🥳

 

Q: What will you do if . . .

A: If I get sick (and I’m not planning on it), I’ll check into a hotel until I’m better. If it rains, I’ll hunker down until it stops. If my bike gets sick, I have roadside assistance insurance. I’ll call for a tow to the next town and find a bike shop.

 

Q: How can we pray for you?

A: This is the best question yet. If you will pray for me on my ride, I thank you. Needs? Health and safety for me and my bike, of course. I’d also appreciate not having my bike stolen along the way. As my only mode of transportation, that would be an outright inconvenience. 🙄 I have one specific prayer request regarding my health: nosebleeds.

 

Thirty years ago now (wow!) I was hit on the bridge of my nose by a baseball. Not a softball, but a regular, hard baseball. It shattered my nose. You should have seen the double shiners I had! Anyway, I had surgery to repair my nose. They put me out, then used these hook-like tools to lift all the broken pieces back into place, after which they shot my nose and sinuses full of silicon gel to hold the pieces in place until the bones knitted. Weeks later, after the gel had been removed, I awakened in the night with my mouth full of blood. I had a “bleeder.” When I saw the doctor about it, he cauterized it for me.

 

Fast forward to a year or so ago, I started experiencing infrequent nose bleeds when I blew my nose, same side as the previous bleeder. Went to new ENT place and found that I have a little “three-headed blood vessel,” likely as a result of that long-ago injury. I’ve had it cauterized twice in the last six months, but unfortunately, cauterizing did not fix the problem. Two weeks ago, I had three sudden “gushers,” twice just because I was stretching, which must have put added pressure on that bleeder. I think you can understand that I don’t want to deal with frequent bloody noses while riding my bike across the country, so thank you for your prayers on this!

As I go along I hope to add more pages with a few photos and experiences. Return here frequently to check for updates, using THIS LINK. Please note: Pages for my Excellent Adventure are not included in my website's normal menu.

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