Monday, November 28, 2011

Still catching up

November 17, Tatum New Mexico rt 380, rode 64 miles mostly flat terrain.
     The wind was gentle and not much of a help or hinderance.  I checked into the Sands Motel owned by Dan, a Vietnam vet and local cattle rancher and his wife.  It's a bright spot in what looks like a rural slum.  So much of America seems blighted and a lot of these tiny towns are really slums.  I don't mean the whole town is blighted  but it looks very third worldish in the sense there is wealth and poverty side by side.  The motel owner invited me to eat dinner at his place.  We ate a pig he had raised and it was very good.  I think rural folk are for the most part very resourceful and hard-working.

November 18,  took the day off as it was too windy to ride.

November 19,  I've mixed up the dates or forgot an entry.  I'm copying all this from notes I made on paper.

November 20,Hondo New Mexico, rode 124 miles, slept behinde roadside falling rock barrier.
     Met with Lea County Deputy and Roswell Police department.
I met Harry and Tom age 24 riding their bicycles around the world from England.  They were coming from SanFrancisco and had ridden 12,000 miles so far across China etc.  About fifty miles later I met another couple, Robbie and Monica who are riding their bicycles around the world and have a blog at:  You can also find them by  Googling "Robbie and Monica bicycling around the world."
  They were coming from Alaska heading for Guatamala and have been on the road since 2004 and ridden 43,000 miles (it might be kilometers)
     I rode late into the day because the wind was with me and tomorrow the forcast is for wind against me at 20-25 mph.  That is unrideable.

November 21, Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, rode 26 miles.  Checked into motel at 9:30 am.  Beautiful calm morning but broke into big rain and windstorm shortly after I checked into the motel.  The ride today was all uphill but little wind.  I started about 5:30 am in order to beat the weather.

     . November 22, staying in a culvert near the White Sands Missle base entrance on route 70.  Rode 96 miles.
     Ice on the road at mountain pass about 7500 feet elevation.  Gave monitors to Ruidoso and Mescalero Apache fire, Tulerosa EMS,  Almagordo fire.  Long mountain climbs today.

November 23,  Deming New Mexico, rode 77 miles.  Left monitors for Las Cruces fire and police with the Chamber of Commerce. 
   I met Hector riding on Interstate Route 10 training for an 800 mile ride to Los Angeles.  He's a retired engineer.  While moste Interstate highways prohibit bicycles New Mexico does not and has signs at the on-ramps telling bicycles to "Use Shoulder Only."

November 24, Lordsburg New Mexico, Rode 65 miles, Left rad monitors at Deming State Police but no one to receive them.  Thanksgiving day.
    Wind at my back and road was fairly flat.  An elderly couple flagged me down on the freeway to change their flat (blowout) tire.  I had a bannanna split at the Dairy Queen for Thanksgiving dinner.
   Weather was beautiful all day til about 3:30 when a big storm blew in.  I got to a motel just as the rain started falling with air seeping out of my tires.

November 25,  Day off, weather storming with wind gusting out of the west at 40 mph.  No ride, no way!

November ????  I'm copying all this from scratch notes and have the days a little out of order but it's all pretty close.  Would not pass for an alabai.  My oldest daughter who is an audiologist says if I don't come home looking thin (vs. the fat I was before I left) they will know that I've been lying and just hanging out on a big vacation.

November 27,  Wilcox Arizona, rode 79 miles.  Met with Lordsburg police, met with Bowie AZ fire and left monitors at San Simon fire AZ nobody home.  I left monitors with Arizona Range News to pass on to police or fire, they said they'd like to do a story after Christmas.  The Range News is a weekly paper and did a story on our work three years ago.  I belive it is still on the Internet by searching "Nuclear Attack Kits Arizona Range News."  Wind at my back again today, very helpful..Police department, talked to dispatcher.
   A lot of long climbs but a very strong wind at my back got me to Tucson by about 3:30 pm.   Warm welcome by Dr. Orient and her mother Phyllis at the Physicians For Civil headquarters.  Big dinner.  Jeremy did some video taping.  This is the place  we worked out of three years ago handing out Nuclear Attack kits to nearly all of Arizona's towns and cities.  There are some videos of this at "roadman911" on YouTube.

November 27,

Catching up

November 11, Vernon Texas, Rode 28 miles
   Sick with stomach flu.

November 12, Still sick, laying out for the day (no riding).
November 13, Crowell Texas, rode 33 miles
  Met with Vernon Fire Department.  Fire captain drove me across town to meet with their HAZMAT.
Met with Crowell police & fire.
     Very hard day riding.  The terrain was flat but the wind was gusting to 35 mph.  I could only peddle about six mph against it.  I would even get off the bike and walk it just to rest.
    I sat down under a big old tree for lunch.  There was a huge bees nest in it so I had to move.  It was hot in the 80's so I ran out of water in spite of starting out with three quarts.
   It took as much time and effort to ride 33 miles into the wind as it did to ride 87 miles with the wind at my back.

November 14, Guthrie Texas, rode 64 miles
   Met with  Knox and King county judges in charge of emergency response,  King county has a population of only 350 people and is about 800 square miles in size. 
     Big scenery change from farm land to "Marlboro Country.

November 15, Dickens Texas, rode 34 miles
   Met with King County sheriff and Dickens County sheriff.  I too photos of Dickens county jail because it looks like it came right out of a Charles Dickens novel.  I thought it was a tourist museum at first.
     Big hills, it looks like the wild west out here.  For most of today's ride there was nobody in sight for as far as the eye could see.
     I slept under a bridge in Guthrie last night as there were no motels.  Today I was low on energy and feeling run down.  My appetite has not fully returned.  I ate a better lunch but have low energy because I have not been able to eat enough..    The town of Dickens has a population of about 300 people and Dickens county has about 2,400 people covering about 900 square miles.
   Summer weather today

  November 16,  Brownfield Texas, rode 105 miles
       Gave monitors to Texas Highway Patrol officer, to Crosbyton Sheriff and fire and Lorenzo police.  I almost quit the trip today but my energy came back and I'm finally over the flu bug and its effects.
     Sometimes the need to arrive at a motel before dark or dusk means I have to skip meeting with a police or fire department.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My day off

November 9,  Frederick OK, Rode 87 miles
  Met with Cordel Fire Chief and Witchata (sp?) County Emergency Manager Max Booth.  Also dropped off monitors at Rocky fire department through contact at the senior citizens center.
  Barry Diffendaffer (sp?) stopped on the highway to talk to me.  He's a local farmer about my age (61) who also bikes a lot.   I asked him what the round rolls of hay were and he said just another way to bail it.  For most of my life I've seen those round rolls of hay and never asked anyone what they were.
   Wind was at my back all day so I cruised most of the day at 20+ mph.  "Only" peddeled for 5 hours and 54 minutes.  Average speed for the day was 15mph.   It was a bit of a thrill cruising at 20mph.  If I peddled hard I could get my speed up to 25mph on the flat.    I pushed it all day long because it was fun and I wanted to break my old record whatever that was.  In the end I realized that I can get a lot more miles with a lot less effort just by riding fifty or 60 miles a day.   I lectured myself that riding into the wind should be just as much fun as riding with it if I have the right attitude.  Frankly I can see that riding with the wind all the time could get really old as it's hard to keep up with the peddles and it makes me want to ride even faster and peddle harder.
   I stopped at the County Health Dept. on my way into Frederick to see if they were interested in the rad monitors.  No.  I asked the receptionist if there were any "economical" motels in town?  She said, "I think they are both economical."  So I stopped at the first which is the Scottish Inn.
  The geography and scenery changed a lot today.  It's looking more like the southwest.  While I probably should not compare, the route that I have taken to cross the country has been much nicer than the one I took 44 years ago.  I have avoided riding across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa both because of the weather but also they are so flat with the same endless sort of scenery.  Not that I don't like cornfields but I've both biked them and I've seen them from train and bus at least 30 times (bike once).  I hope I've not spoken to soon but I've biked across New Mexico and Arizona before (43 and 42 years ago)  so I know what's ahead.  Also, three years ago I visted about 130 fire departments in AZ by car which required about 6,000 miles of driving throughout the state.  I've been to all the smaller cities and towns in AZ with the exception of Beaver Dam.  I look forward to revisiting those that I pass by again.

November 10, Still in Fredrick as it is my "day off."
  I never have said how much my bike weighs, or my pack weighs or I weigh.  My bike was so heavy that I did not want to know how much it was.  The same for my pack and me.    I know after the first four days of riding I lightend my pack by about 30 lbs.  I was carrying an incredible amount of junk.  I think I've lost about 15 pounds of body weight so me and the bike together are about 45 pounds lighter than when we started.  If I stay on the road I'll probably lose another ten pounds.   I look better and my back doesn't hurt any more when I get up in the morning.  Also my knees have stopped bothering me.  Before the trip I figured my kness likely would not hold out if the rest of me did.
   So I got a haircut today in Frederick and I went to visit the fire department.   I ended up spending three and a half hours at the fire department and was invited to eat lunch with some of the crew.  When I showed Chief Newman the training cards and rad monitors he asked me to show him how some old Civil Defense meters he had worked.  He and his crew there really liked the new SIRAD technology and the simplicity of it.  But all agreed in the end that the information in the 60-Second Nuclear Detonation training cards had more life-saving value than "techonology."   So much of the technology, radios, electronic meters, etc. that is out there is either too expensive to maintain, sitting on shelves, or nobody knows how to use it that it is functionally useless.
   I showed Chief Newman how to make a radioactive sample with a paper towel and vacuum cleaner.  That was a big hit with him and the crew.  They all realized that if the air they were breathing was that radioactive then we've been lied to that it is so dangerous.   The EPA and related agencies have use our fear to create nice jobs for themselves etc.
   Chief Newman was so interested in radiation monitoring that I got out the Kearny Fallout Meter and showed him how it worked and gave him the instructions for making one himself.  He says he plans to order the postage stamp-size monitors for the whole county as well as make some Kearny Fallout Meters or get scouts to make them.
  So when I got my haircut the lady cutting my hair who is 82 told me that her grandson-inlaw is the fire chief in Mantaou which I passed but did not stop at.   So I gave her a monitor/training card pack to give to him.  She wanted a monitor for herself and her husband who was the former fire chief but still works for the town.
   While Frederick looks about as rural as you can get it is ringed about by abandoned nuclear missile silos visible from the road and as close as two miles away.  It is also about 18 miles from the nearest military base.   It is also well-know that a lot of radioactive material is transported on local roads.  So interest in radiation is very high here and I've been made very welcome in town for as short of visit as I've made. 
   My ride is also serving as a new sort of credential as firefighters and police officers are impressed with my "feat."   I am too.  It's hard to belive I've ridden this far and I'm surprised that I even want to keep ridding.
   One of the firefighters who is 28 but in line to be chief someday, was explaining to me how he thought there were "two America's."   He said the people who live in Oklahoma City have no idea of rural OK life.   I might add to that that congress is not only out of touch with rural America they are disconnected from it.  It's amazing that the government pays millions of people for not working when there is so much work that needs doing all throughout America.
  I'm 15 miles from Texas and hope to stay in Crowell TX tomorrow night. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bad day in Blackrock

November 7,  Watonga OK
     Rode 61 miles, met with Guthrie police department and Kingfisher County Sheriff Dept.  Light showers, bike skidded off slippery road.  I hit soft ground and rolled so was not hurt.  Tornado warnings, sky looked dangerous.  I quit riding before the clouds poured rain.
   Had I not altered my route I would have been in the path of tornadoes and golf ball-size hail.  Sun came out about 2pm.   I was exhausted and took a nap in my hammock by the roadside.  It was warm except when the showers came.
    I eat a lot but it's still not enough. My gut is gone.  Riding curbs appetite.

November 8,  Clinton OK
    Rode 56 miles.  Met with Thomas police chief Buck Jones, Custer town clerk for fire department,  Emergency Management Director for Custer County, Clinton fire chief and battalion chief.
   They all seemed like exceptionally good meetings.  Either people are more interested in these parts or my presentation is getting better.  The Custer County Emergency Manager said he was interested in getting all of Oklahoma equipped with the rad monitors.
   This was the first day it was very cold.  I could see my breath.  It feels like winter here tonight.  I'm not getting south fast enough.   I'm altering my route so I get pushed by the wind rather than fight it.  When the wind blows from the south or east I ride west.  When it blows from the north or northwest I ride south.   I can't ride into a wind that is 20-30 mph gusting 40 but I can ride perpendicular to it.

   I hope my x-country ride can get a buzz going in the country about the new SIRAD monitoring technology and the 60-second nuclear training.    First responder leadership seems more open to being prepared for nuclear than they used to be.  The old attitude was "it's all over" if a nuke goes off.  Now they are aware of the possibility of nuclear terrorism and generally want to know more.

   Police chiefs, fire chief and sheriffs don't need to spend time training for nuclear they are already trained to handle disasters.  They only need to think about what they would do for nuclear and they can do that in the shower or while driving.  While the 60-Second training cards could get their departments through a nuclear event, it would be more effective if the first responders were also equipped with the SIRAD monitors.

   Because production is not sufficient to equip 2 million first responders in a timely way now it would be enough for even 10% or 20% of a department  to be carrying the monitors.  Even one monitor to a department would go a long way towards preventing panic in the jurisdiction.


November 1,2011
    Rode 70 miles.  Met with Springfield and Republic fire departments.  Got to meet with deputy chief at Springfield.
Average speed for the day was 9.8 mph.  Total peddle time was 7 hrs and ten minutes.  Approximate total miles to date is 1,748.
  I rode into interstate spaghetti by mistake and escaped by pushing the bike up an embankment and across a cemmetary.   Rode on a bike path through part of Springfield.  Did a TV interview with KY3

November 2,    Neosho OK, rode 42 miles.
     I quit early as a storm was moving in.
Took November 3 off

November 4, 2011  Claremore OK
   Rode 91 miles, met with police (emergency manager) for Waydotte tribe, Fairland fire department dropped off monitors no one available.,  OK Highway patrol at Vinita, I met Terry at a gas station and she volunteered to deliver monitors to people she knew in the Chelsea and Foyil fire departments.
   I got into an argument with an administrator at the OK Highway patrol who refused to take the rad monitors, said I had to give them to main office in OK City.  I told administrator that "it's because of people like you that the officers are not getting the monitors.  An officer came out and let me explain and demo the monitors and 60-Second training and thanked me for them.

November 5, Drumright OK, rode 76 miles
   Met with Tulsa fire department.  Very hilly and windy, 3 flats, bought two new tubes at Wal-Mart.  Bought a floor pump as my hand pump is too small and hard to fill tire with.  A lady took a picture of my bicycle.  Thorns are causing flats her.  KSL TV News Salt Lake City called me and said they want to do a story on my ride.

November 6, 2011 Guthrie OK, rode 52 miles.
   Dropped off monitors at Drumright fire (no one to receive them).  I met with Perkins fire department.
Wind was against me at 10-20 mph.  Mostly hills an no flat stretches.  Earthquakes 2 days in a row but I slept through them.