Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 19
Pecos to Midland

It was good to get back on the bike today, the day of rest was good and I have a long ride ahead of me today. Today's destination Midland to stay with a distant cousin that I have not seen since I was in 20+ years.

Today's ride parallels I-20 and I am told that there are a few hills that I must contend with. I headed out and was quickly met by the smell of oil. I did not realise how many oil wells were actually along side these highways. As I rode I started thinking why they call it light sweet crude, it really did have a sorta sweet odor, but it wasn't very pleasant just the same. As I was riding along I was also quickly reminded that I was near railroad tracks. I was passed by 6 trains in the first hour of riding, being the big kid that I am and loving trains as I do it was fun waving at the trains to see how many I could get to sound their horns. It was quite amusing and took my mind off an otherwise monotonous section of road.

We pulled into Pyote, TX and found a little diner for breakfast. As luck would have it they were not longer serving breakfast but the special today was chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, mixed vegetables, sweet tea, and German chocolate cake for $8.95. What a deal and IT WAS GOOD! While we were eating I was approached by another customer of the diner and asked where I was headed to on the bike. I explained I was headed to Florida and started in San Diego on a fundraising awareness bike ride for Crohn's Colitis, Colorectal Cancer and Ostomies. The man (Paul Tucker) said he was an avid cyclist who rides frequently in the Midland area and was amazed at the ride I was undertaking. We talked for a while and as we got up to pay our bill, he came up and told us not to worry he had us covered and would not allow us to pay. It has been amazing to me the outpouring of support from complete strangers such as this who are willing to help in any way they can even if it is just to buy lunch. I believe this "grass roots" effort to spread awareness is by far the best way to get our voices heard. It is these so called little people that will get the word out far more effectively than the mass publications can ever do. These are the people whose lives have been touched by everything that we are riding for.

Thank you very much to Paul Tucker of TORQUED-UP Energy Services for the kindness you showed us today!

After lunch we again hit the road. Before long we found ourselves in Odessa. In Odessa we peaked at 3137 feet for the day. I do not know if this is where we happened to come into town but Odessa is not what I was expecting. We were met by long lines of cars and trucks with trailers trying to bring their scrap to the scrap yards and there were a number of scrap yards in this town. It was scrap yard lane for a good mile. Finally, what I was expecting appeared. A bustling town with store fronts and business. I happened across the Central Fire station and had to stop for a patch. I went inside, explained who I was and what I was doing and the secretary handed me a patch and took one of mine in return for their collection. she offered me a tour of the station and took me to a room where a couple of guys were on light duty and asked on of them to give me the grand tour. I was treated to a tour of the station that is only 8 months old and it was quite modern and very well laid out. It was kind of funny to see a partial slide pole sitting on the apparatus floor, that they still had to show the probies and tours of kids what it was like in the old days with fire poles. I said thank you and again I was on the road for the last 15 miles to Midland.

The last 15 miles to Midland by this time of day (4pm) on business loop 20 was very busy and congested. Riding with traffic was getting very difficult and at times aggravating. I did not get a break in the traffic until we hit the residential streets of Midland where I was to rest for the evening.

I arrived around 5pm and looked at the garmin and realised that today was the longest ride I have had to date. 94.64 miles. With that we pulled in, parked the bike and rested for the evening.

The garmin information for today is as follows:

Day 19 Pecos to Midland by wegotguts at Garmin Connect - Details

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