Posted by: twistsoffeet | August 4, 2011

It’s all downhill from here


I woke up this morning stiff and with moderate pain but I was so anxious to get on the road I did not really care. That is until I started pedaling. When I actually start pedaling it really does not matter how psyched I am if my arthritis is acting up I feel it immediately and today was one of those days. One of the problems is that as it was pointed out to me today as it has been pointed out to me almost every day recently is ever since I crossed the Missouri river I have been traveling uphill at a gradual but nearly constant rate.
I have also been dealing with heavy headwinds or crosswinds and today it was mostly crosswinds. These winds were so strong today that every time a Semi would pass me going either direction I would be hit by a crosswind just after the vehicle passes me that would nearly blow me off the road. It is generally more physical to deal with headwinds but the crosswinds are in my mind more dangerous. I only rode 32 miles today but each mile was demanding.
I made it to Lusk Wyoming after riding about 4 hours. The 1st 9 miles were additionally difficult because of road resurfacing. By the time I made it to Lusk I was exhausted and just wanted to relax. I inquired about staying in one of the towns parks but was informed it is not allowed. I next tried 1 of the local campgrounds and was told $15.00 to pitch my tent amongst RV’s behind a drive in restaurant on gravel with no access to restrooms . Obviously I turned down this option both because I did not have the funds but also out of principal because this was just plain and simple not worth it at the very least. I then decided to look for a church. As I rode around I spotted a church which turned out to be a LCMS Lutheran Church. I went in search of the pastor but he had apparently stepped out. I decided to stick around and soon enough the pastor rode up on his bicycle. I asked for permission to pitch my tent at the church and also was allowed access to the church restroom water and air conditioning. One of the other benefits is that it also let me get away from the flies that are everywhere although not as heavy here in Lusk as in the last few days.
As I was relaxing inside the church the pastor Darrin offered for the church to get me a motel room for the night and asked me to go to dinner with his family. I readily agreed to both offers. I was extremely grateful for these offers but I was not looking for help like this and was very grateful just to have a place to pitch my tent and access to fresh water.
I checked into the motel and quickly shaved and showered. It really is amazing how something so simple as a shower can change so dramatically how a person feels. I dressed in something other than my riding clothes and waited for the pastor to call me and let me know when and where dinner would be. I then decided to torture myself by watching cooking shows on the food network and the travel channel. I was delirious at the thought of preparing and eating all the food they were preparing.
After the pastor called me I rode my bike to the Pizza Place and met the pastor and his wife. We went inside and ordered our pizza and then had a very enjoyable conversation, although to be honest I did most of the talking. I spoke of my tour and my diet of  protein shakes and also about my experiences on the road. I also spoke about RA and my desire to inspire other sufferers to stay active and lead a healthy lifestyle to help in managing the symptoms of the disease.
And the pizza was delicious  although my stomach has apparently shrunk because I was only able to eat 2 slices at the time. I was able to take the 2 remaining slices from my pizza back to the motel with me and they should provide a delicious breakfast if they last that long.
As we were speaking the pastors wife reminded me that my ride was all downhill from here due to the curvature of the earth. Now that is just the kind of motivation I need after 300+ miles of almost constant uphill riding.
It is now about time to go to sleep and hopefully recover from today’s ride so that I can ride strong tomorrow. I saw on the news today that there is a tropical storm coming up from the south in the Atlantic ocean and that explains why the winds from the south have been so strong as they are being pushed ahead of the storm. But at least my ride is downhill due to the curvature of the earth.
My RA is pretty much mellowed out right now and hopefully will remain mellow tomorrow as I begin my southward journey. I actually will have at least 500 feet of net altitude gain but since I am not certain of all the topography between here and my destination but it is almost certain I will do at least 3 times that amount in gain and loss of altitude.
I once again now have to express how thankful I am that when things are not really going well I get the help I need and my prayers are answered. I once again ran into good people who were able willing and wanting to assist me. I am continually amazed at the good people that inhabit this country and world. We see on the news and read in the newspaper all the negatives that go on this world but when out in the world trying to survive and make my way on this journey I have seen almost exclusively the generosity of good people. And I thank GOD for his watching over me.

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Responses

  1. It is so wonderful to read how kind and generous people can still be in this world. It reaffirms my belief in mankind. I am so glad I found your blog and have been riding with you in the tailwinds of your journey.

  2. I don’t know if this is the right place on the website to contact you, but this is Carolyn Pflughoeft (of Lusk Wyoming…The pizza place) How interesting is God’s approach to things. Not two weeks after our visit with you, our son’s odd symptoms of fever and joint pain increased to the point of seeing a specialist at Children’s in Denver. Dr Hollister presented a diagnosis of Systemic JRA. Now, this is by no means a coincidence, but God’s hand. Our struggles continue in finding the right medicine and the right dosage, but the Lord is Faithful and “all things work together for good, for those who love Him.”

    • Hi Carolyn, This is the right place to contact me. I am so sorry to hear about your son and his diagnosis of JRA. The good thing is that at least you have a diagnosis and can now proceed with developing a plan for managing the disease. Children’s hospital of Colorado is an incredible place and I am certain they will be able to proceed in the best way possible for his health. I do admit that I am a little biased though because my daughter works there.
      I am certain that your sons physician’s have advised him fully on the need for living a healthy lifestyle and how important this is in managing his symptoms. I personally believe in the benefits of keeping my body moving and active so hopefully he will continue a healthy lifestyle including riding his bicycle. I will certainly keep him in my prayers.


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