La Junta, CO

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Today was awesome, Period. Today was a hot day and the team decided last night to have an early start of 5 AM instead of the scheduled 6 AM wake up. We had beds again last night since we stayed in a hotel (4 nights in a row on the JOH is considered unheard of) and a Colorado State University alum provided us with Pueblo breakfast burrito’s which we all scarfed down. Once on the bike we cruised all day finishing 63 miles before 10 AM, we averaged 21 MPH for the day over 67 miles; one of our fastest days yet with only -600 ft. elevation change.

One of our fastest days so far!

Cool photos of the early morning ride

We raced a train that rode next to us for most of the day.

As we leave the foothills behind and ride into the plains the team is finding new ways to keep ourselves entertained on the bikes. We’ve begun doing challenges every day including the push-up challenge which consists of 20 push-ups at every crew stop, and on 100+ mile day can quickly add up to 200 or more push-ups. Several of my teammates recently graduated with degrees in education, and Whitey from Truman State University decided to teach everyone sign language with weekly sign language classes. Today on our three hour ride I managed to learn the entire alphabet and while my 9 year old cousin Seth and certainly do it faster than me, it feels good to learn and it helps pass the average 5 hour day in the saddle.

Shane doing push-ups at a crew stop, Mike (left), Trevor (right)

When we arrived in Pueblo we decided to partake in a salsa challenge a few miles before we arrived, which involved shots of salsa left over from the breakfast burrito and we split a few remaining burritos that we didn't polish off earlier; did I mention that Pueblo is know for their chili’s and spices?

After our salsa challenge we rode the few remaining miles into town and arrived at La Junta High School where we were staying for the night. The team was overwhelmed with the amount of time we had and played volleyball and swam in the high school pool. Everyone was all jazzed and excited about being done early and having time to run errands and get an afternoon nap in.
For dinner we all piled into the vans and headed to a local park where we me with the Lions Club of La Junta, which primarily focuses on assisting individual with vision impairments; the Lions Club was originally associated with Helen Keller. Dinner was great and the Lions Club really made us feel welcome and thanked us for doing what were doing.

Today was also one of our teammates 21st birthday and we had an opportunity to celebrate it after our dinner with the Lions Club. We all walked a few blocks to the local bowling alley so everyone on the team could celebrate with Moff; we all had a great time and played some pool and enjoyed a sheet cake that our PM had picked up earlier.


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