Ride Scott Ride

Riding With Passion for a Purpose

Have I said how much I hate the wind?

Scott Bell1 Comment

The wind has been in my face pretty much for the last 10 days. I had a couple of days with almost no headwind but it has been pretty constant other than those couple of days. The wind makes progress rather difficult. The effort to reward goes way down. My daily averages have dropped off significantly over the past week or so. If the whole trip was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. I am learning that even some progress is worth the effort. So many times in my past I was more content with just being where I was and not working on moving forward. I am learning on this ride that progress is still progress. I can learn to work though the tough times and enjoy the downhill tailwind days to make up the difference.

So back to some of the things that have happened recently. I have met a young man name John who is the same age as my son Aaron. He too is riding around the perimeter of the US. He started in Oct in New York and headed south. He caught up with me on my way out of Sanderson, TX. We kind of road together for the next couple of days. More like I would leave and he would catch me, ride with me for a few miles and then loose me on a hill. I would catch back up to him on his break. We both stopped at a hostel in Marathon, TX. They are very kind and let bicyclist stay one night for free. The place is very eccentric.

It reminds me of an old hippie commune. They kind of build little buildings as they can and they are very unique I must say. Using bottles in the walls gives the interior an eerie light but very cool. When you stay there you have to sign a waiver saying that you won’t sue them for anything that might happen to you while you are there. I stayed in the Beehive and John stayed in the main building. He was too tall to comfortably stay in the hive so I did.

After leaving Marathon we both rode toward Alpine, TX. That is where I said goodbye to John, at least for now. He is staying with some friends for a day or two and I went on to Marfa. I do expect him to pass me again, in fact he may have passed me today while I took the day off in Sierra Blanca to watch football.

Marfa is a small artsy town and just before you get there they have a viewing station to watch the Marfa Lights. I was there during the daytime so I didn’t see anything but if you are ever out that way stop at night and take a look. Apparently it doesn’t happen all that often but enough that many people have seen them. https://www.google.com/search?q=Marfa+lights&espv=2&biw=1368&bih=787&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj50byAsbLKAhWGFT4KHUrqDOcQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=lw6lafS8-NE_CM%3A

 

After leaving Marfa my goal was Van Horn but the winds were so strong I wussed out and stopped in Valentine, TX. I stayed at the library which had of all things an astro turf yard. I was able to set my tent up on the green turf and under a big pavilion for the night. Nice conditions like that can spoil a person. I made it to Van Horn the next night. Still being beaten by wind I stayed in Van Horn.

The big debate I had was when I got here to Sierra Blanca, TX. It was a really short day only 32 miles. It was another 40 miles to get to the next place I could get a room and take the day off to watch football. So after much debate I stayed here and will move on toward El Paso tomorrow (18 Jan 2016). I am about 10 days out from meeting my mother-in-law and my eldest son who is flying down to Phoenix to see me.

I have a couple of days of buffer in there as long as I get there before he does. I will take some time off with Carol and catch up on a few things and help her out.

Sorry but when I am tent camping it makes getting blog posts up a bit harder. Hopefully this one catches you up with where I am and what is coming up. I look forward to what is next. Until next time…..

Ride On!


Marfa, TX

Scott Bell2 Comments

Well since I've been told that I haven't updated in awhile, since Sunday, I am throwing this post up. I've actually been camping the last couple of nights and since it is getting at or below freezing I have not been spending time on the computer. I have a good story about where I stayed yesterday but need to get pictures off my phone to add to the post. So you will have to wait. I've been BATTLING pretty stiff headwinds the last few days and I have a long ride tomorrow so wish me luck to either have the strength to pedal through the winds or better yet no headwinds. Talk to you all later. Take care.

Ride On!

Scott

Brrrr its Cold Outside

Scott Bell2 Comments

It went slightly below zero last night and I am having a hard time getting out of my nice warm bed. After a warming Steelers win last night I had a hard time getting to sleep listening to all the noise. I think this hotel has the thinnest walls. Every bump, step and conversation could be heard. Maybe not what they were talking about and not just because it was in Spanish.

Ok I need to drag myself out of bed and get riding. I've had a couple of rather short days and can't afford to lay around. So I'll be off on what will be the coldest day of the trip yet.

Ride On!

 

Begining of the Texas Hill Country

Scott Bell2 Comments

After a day off for Football Sunday I started the Hill Country west of Austin. I was introduced to the Hill Country with 3380 feet of climbing. I think this is a good warm up for what is coming. Overall a short day at 50 miles but I needed to do laundry and get caught up on a few things. Plus I figured I worked the legs enough today and don't want to kill myself with the amount of climbing ahead of me. 

 

Please excuse the primitive nature of this video. It is the very first video I've edited for this site and I am learning the software. I will hopefully get to the point where I can and fancy music and narration to the videos. Either way please enjoy. If you are so inclined please go to my new You Tube channel and subscribe.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIBrehk2B4ITeXc8mFsY1Ag

Oh What a Feeling

Scott BellComment

 

 

 

Well the new “day one” is over. I was going to stop earlier in the day but couldn't find a place to camp, so I kept riding. Still not finding anyplace to camp I booked a room in Brenham, TX. By doing this it forced me to go 60 miles for the day and although I was a bit tired and sore from not being on the bike for a few weeks it was great! The start of the day was good with the company I had from my Nephew-in-law, Dennis. He guided me through The Woodlands, TX and got me on my way. From there I continued west. Running into some construction along the way; however, the day was light on traffic and generally great roads. I even had a bit of a tail wind most of the day.

That tailwind did give away to a partial head wind at the end of the day making the last tired miles just a tiny bit harder. All-in-all the day was rewarding and upon waking up this morning I was glad I got the room. The roads are wet and it rained throughout the night. It is still threatening with rain right now with the radar picture not looking good for the next hour or so. So I think today will be a late start. It is a rough morning when you only have one day back on the bike and already being derailed from getting back on. I think I might go by Walmart and use my Christmas gift card and pick up some rain gear. I can’t keep skipping rainy days if I want to ever finish this trip.

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and may you find the courage to follow your dreams this year. I know starting the year out on the road, riding, was not something I ever thought would really happen. I know there will be more struggles to come and an uncertain future but I wouldn’t give this up for anything.

Ride On!

 

End of the Year

Scott Bell1 Comment
upload.jpeg

I want to thank once again Mr. Stephen Keller from Shimano and Handlebar Cyclery for the support in overhauling my bike. My cost were cut in half thanks to the free parts from Shimano and the discounted labor from Handlebar. Without their generous help I would have spent a ton more on getting everything replaced and ready to continue on with my ride.

As I sit here getting ready to sleep I am feeling a bit apprehensive. Not as much as I did when I started this ride but some nonetheless. Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and I will be getting back on the bike and heading west once again. It almost seems like it is a whole new ride. The nearly 20 days that I have been off the bike seems like I never actually was riding now. I know deep down that it will all come back to me, how does the phrase go? It is like riding a bike, you never forget.

I had a terrific time being back at my sister’s house in Maryland. We had her whole family there on Christmas and although it was a bit chaotic with all the kids there I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I am glad I was able to afford the time to go back and recharge myself a bit and enjoy Christmas with family. After all to me, family is the most important thing. That being said I want to give a special thank you to my boys Aaron and Joshua for being so understanding with me going to my sister’s house instead of going back to Colorado. Boys I love you, you are the greatest!!!

I also wanted to give you a few statistics so far for the ride (as of 30 Dec 2015) (I'm not sure how well this will look on a phone so the columns / numbers might not line up correctly.)

                           Riding                 Local                                              

Total Miles         8647.62              112.40 = 8760.02                                      

Average Miles    59.23                  5.92                                               

Average with breaks = 40.98                                                             

# of break days = 65       # of Days Riding = 146    Total days = 211    69.19% <<<<Time Riding

Let me explain this a little bit. Riding miles are days that I left one place and rode to another place. Local miles are when I rode from one place back to the same point. Average miles is calculated only for days that I rode from one place to another (146 days). Vs. If I take the total amount of days (211, to include break days) to get the average with breaks.

                                       Days      Percentage for each type.

Free / Stelth / Gorilla        9           4.27%
Paid Campground            42        19.91%
Hotel / Motel / B&B          108      51.18%
WarmShowers                  8          3.79%
Family / Friends               44        20.85%
 Total Days>>>>>>>>>>>>       211

 

Flat Tires 13 (This includes on the bicycle and the trailer.)

 

 

Christmas

Scott Bell1 Comment

Well I wanted to give everyone an update. I reached my nieces house in Texas on Saturday the 12th. From there I took my bicycle to Handlebar Cyclery in Richmond TX, (http://www.bicycleshopkatytx.com/)   just west of Houston. The reason for this is that Shimano is providing parts for my bike overhaul and this is the shop they picked. Handlebar is helping by providing very discounted labor to support my trip. So I want to thank both Shimano and Handlebar Cyclery for helping me out and thus helping Ride 2 Recovery.

Since my bike will be in the shop for a bit I decided to take my sister up on her offer to come to her house for Christmas. So I flew back to Maryland on Monday the 14th. I want to thank her for the offer and it is really nice to be able to spend time with family for Christmas. Both my boys were nice enough to support my decision to come to my sisters rather than back to Colorado. I love you Aaron and Joshua.

My only issue is that I will be off the bike for just over two weeks. I don't think it will but I sure hope a break this long does not derail my ride. I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Texas State 28!

Scott BellComment

I would have posted this right after taking the pictures but Texas is now in the running to out perform Montana on having the worst mosquitoes. I snapped just a couple of shots and had to beat it out of there before I lost more blood and passed out.

Yes I am now in Texas. A mile or two into the state I stopped at Three Flags Café. Nice little place. I walked in and sat down at the counter. I was immediately immersed in a full fledged Texas dinner. The men had on the hats and boots. As I ate breakfast I listened to the banter between the guys and Jessica the waitress. It was quite entertaining. Jessica walked over and whispered how cliché it was that now that I am in Texas I find a group of men talking about their hats and boots. I did find it rather funny that no more than two miles into the state I was already regaled with this entertaining banter. We all chatted with each other and they wished me luck and safe travels as I head out.

Later as I was riding down the road I see a group of three on the side of the road. I could see that they had bikes and as I got closer it turned out that it was the same three that were a day ahead of me in the log book. Let me explain. I had stopped Thursday night in Maryville LA and stayed at the little museum. They host bicyclists and have a nice place for us to stay. They let us cyclist either set up a tent or they have a little cabin. They also have a bathroom with a couple of showers and toilets. They don't charge but do as for a donation if you can afford it. I love these little gems that are hidden in our small towns. Thanks Maryville!

So back to the three on the side of the road. As I was in the cabin they have a log book and I noticed the entry from the night before. It was neat to see all the different stories and other peoples experiences on the road. I hadn't figured that I would run into them let alone the next day. They are traveling with two dogs in trailers and their pace is a bit slower and shorter than mine that is why I caught up to them so quickly. They are nice group of young people who are spending a year on the road. I need to take some notes from them on being a bit more frugal.


Stess

Scott Bell1 Comment

I had a longer letter written out but I don't think you all want to really read my rant. Plus once I read it I don't think I want you all to read it. So to simplify.... the last few days have been rather stressful. I've been battling pretty stiff headwinds causing me to have a rather short day, to today fighting traffic. Today was probably the second worst day of riding due to crappy road conditions. The people down here may have good southern hospitality but they sure are the worst drivers yet. I can't tell you how many people just barely squeaked by me today.

These last couple of days has played a number on my motivation. I haven't felt this unmotivated to ride since I started. Plus with that, being alone on the road is taking its toll. So whatever you do, pray for me, wish me luck, or send positive energy I need it right now.

OMG Southern Hospitality

Scott BellComment
upload.jpeg

The last couple of days has really revealed southern hospitality. I was actually getting a little bit jaded about the trip when yesterday I stopped at a local dinner. I talked with a couple for a while and ate my burger. On my way out to pay for my lunch the gentleman said that he paid for my lunch. Wow! Unfortunately I can't remember his name, but if he or his wife is reading this right now thanks again.

 

upload.jpeg

After that I road around NAS Joint Reserve Base Belle Chase because my logging room wasn't ready yet. I found myself riding through base housing. There was a lady washing her car and her husband, who was watching ;)  , asked as I was riding by how far I was going. So I stopped and we chatted. He went inside to grab his camera and when he came out he had a hat. He asked me to sign it, MY FIRST AUTOGRAPH! He then handed me some cash and they both wished me luck and great travels.

Then today I met another couple at a gas station / café. Again we also talked for a while as I ate my sandwich. Joe and his wife Regina left and I finished my lunch. As I was finished Joe came back into the café and handed me some money and said that he was inspired and wished me luck and wanted to help with my expenses. Later when I went to put it into my wallet I found that he handed me $100. I am totally blown away. I can't believe how generous people can be. Joe and Regina THANK YOU so much! You two are truly an inspiring couple.  

upload.jpeg

 

Then to top the evening off I stopped at the Venice Marina restaurant. I had a wonderful loaded baked potato. However, it was not loaded like you would normally think. It was loaded with shrimp and crab and a great sauce. I enjoyed the meal greatly! When I went to pay the waitress wouldn't let me pay and she tanked me for my service and for what I was doing.

upload.jpeg
upload.jpeg

I sit here tonight humbled as I write this with the overwhelming generosity of the Louisianan people that I have come across. Now that I think about it, all of them live in Belle Chase, LA. Must be something in the water. So, once again, my thanks to you all!

upload.jpeg

Ride On!

Scott

State 26.

Scott BellComment

Well another state crossing with no welcome sign. I crossed, unknowingly, into Alabama yesterday. I am currently taking Thanksgiving day off on Dauphin Island AL. Had a great free meal from Pirates Landing restaurant. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Pensacola

Scott BellComment

Didn't plan on it but ended up spending the night on Pensacola Naval Air Station. Home of the Blue Angeles. Toured the old lighthouse and the Naval Air Museum. 

Getting ready to land.&nbsp;

Getting ready to land. 

Around and around we go 177 steps. Wasn't even winded.&nbsp;

Around and around we go 177 steps. Wasn't even winded. 

I could spend all day in here. Very nice museum.&nbsp;

I could spend all day in here. Very nice museum. 

MIA

Scott BellComment

Hello yes I am still alive and well. I had a great break at my sisters house just over a week ago. I headed north from Ft. Myers. A few days later I arrived in Perry FL. From there it was the turning point where I am now heading west. The trip is moving on and I keep on pedaling.

Ride On!

Scott