Monday, May 3, 2010

My Life Recently, or, The Ride For World Health

As some of you may already know, I am currently riding my bicycle across the country with a group called Ride For World Health. We are a group of mostly medical students who are riding our bicycles across the country to try and raise money and awareness for some global health issues. And I have been lax in my reporting thus far; we have completed about 55% of our ride now. I’ll try to briefly catch you all up to date on our adventures. Imagine some Doogie Howser, M.D.ish music playing as I’ll try to sum up the one or two items I learned that day of the ride.

3/27 - Do you know how long it takes to drive from Columbus to San Diego? I do. And it might be reducible to 36 hours, but it is a very, very, very long time. (Columbus, OH to San Diego, CA)

4/1 - 56 miles the first day, with 6600 feet of climbing thrown in for fun. Not my idea of fun, and I don’t think most peoples, either, but allegedly a person exists somewhere who finds that fun. (San Diego to Lake Morena, CA)

4/2 - Riding down a 6% grade could be fun – heck, it should be fun. But it is not when on I-8. (Lake Morena to El Centro, CA).

4/3 - Even if you fastidiously apply sunscreen twice a day over all of your skin, your lips will still sunburn. And blister. Also, flocks of red-winged blackbirds outside dairy farms create memories that last lifetimes. (El Centro, CA to Yuma, AZ). Oh, and those neat stateline “Welcome to Our State” are actually really difficult to find.

4/4 – Riding in groups is fun. (Yuma to Dateland AZ).

our pace line in the AZ desert

4/5 – The Ohio State University is going to take over the world. The town was named by proud alums back in the day – true story! (Dateland to Buckeye, AZ)

4/6 – Short, fun ride that led into our first Global Health Day. (Buckeye to Phoenix)

4/7- And if you ride to DQ after a long ride, you will hit your first “century” ride, where you cover more than 100 miles on your bike in one day. (Phoenix to Picacho Peak State Park, AZ).

Me after my first century ride.

Picacho Peak is pretty awesome

4/8 - Waking up early to hike a peak makes even a short 43 mile ride pretty long. Especially when there is a stiff headwind. Still worth it, though. (Picacho Peak to Tucson, AZ)

4/9 – Having a day off, even if it starts out with ornery custodians, is glorious. (Tucson AZ)

4/10 – New rootbeers in the middle of the day make any day better! (Tucson to Wilcox AZ)

Captain Eli's Rootbeer - really good, fully flavored and fairly sweet - 8/10

4/11 – Lordsburg is a horrible, horrible place. Also, I have a very different scale as to what is spicy, according to one Katie Kidwell. (Tucson to Lordsburg, NM)

4/12 – It’s a good thing there are signs to mark where the continental divide lies out in the desert. (Lordsburg to Deming, NM)

The continental divide

4/13 – I really love small-town America. (Deming to Las Cruces, NM)

4/14 - The whole group rode together for much of the day. And I finally found a state border sign! (Las Cruces, NM to El Paso,TX)

4/15 –White Sands National Monument is the prettiest bombing range I have ever seen in my life. (El Paso, TX)

4/16 – 4/21 – If you wake up 15 minutes before your flight leaves to Cancun, you can get there earlier than scheduled. I'll have a different post about this some other time. Maybe. (Cancun, Mexico for AMSSM conference

4/22 – Did you know Methodist churches have roller skating rinks in them? And bowling alleys?(Abilene, TX to Ranger, TX)

4/23 –The first 50 miles of this 107 mile day were some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. We had a nice wind, and the Texas wildflower bloom is really something everyone should see sometime in their life. (Ranger to Ft Worth TX)

4/24 – Ft Worth is a really fun town when spent with 20 of your friends.

4/25 – Horrible headwinds for the first thirty miles are totally redeemed by tailwinds for the next fifty, when you can average 30mph and end it with a dip in a private lake. (Ft Worth to Greenville, TX)

4/26 – The church ladies in Greenville and Paris are amazing. Really amazing. (Greenville to Paris, TX)

Some people struggle with directions

That's it for now. I'll try to be better in the future with reporting on the ride. It has been a really, really ridiculous amount of fun. I doubt I will ever have a better trip in my life, honestly, but it has also been a ton of work.

Also, if you want to follow some more faithful chroniclers of the ride, here are some of my friends' blogs:

The official blog is written by a different rider each day:

Tim Mitchell -

Maggie Rosen -

Libby Huffman -

Justin Harper -

Chris D'Ardenne -

Adam Koon -

Andy Nyberg -

1 comment:

Ann-Marie said...

Keep the updates coming. This was really fun to ride. I love to hear your details.