Saturday, July 5, 2008

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

We awoke this chilly morning to an orange glow from the east.  Our campground was quiet except for the few stirs of our fellow bike and builders.  Gabe, Emily, Janine and Dylan were careful not to tumble from their sleeping perch atop Betty (the van.)  Few others had slept outside, myself being one of them.  As we carried out our usual routine, the antelope/deer of Flaming Gorge frolicked in and out of the campground.  We broke our daily route meeting with a huddle and a cheer… today would be an adventure.

Our route, at first, had us backtrack about 3.5 miles to get out of the park where we had camped.  We then turned on Hwy 530 and headed for lunch.  This particular morning was an amazing ride.  The air was cool.  The terrain wasn’t too hard.  Everyone was in good spirits.  We rode into lunch in little groups.  Lunch was very near the top of our toughest climb for the day.  After grubbing out on PB and anything sandwiches, we took off towards the long downhill to Green River for a big American cheeseburger and some freedom fries.  Not 2 miles later, as we neared the crest of our climb, the road became treacherous.  A repaving project was underway, and we were caught in the worst of it.  The road had been “shaved” down to make a base for new asphalt to be put in.  Riding on the shaved road can be best described as taking a jackhammer, turning it upside down, putting a bike saddle on it and turning it on.  The faster you went the worse it was.  The only other option that presented itself was riding on the 1-2 foot shoulder that was not covered by road shavings.  This route presented a whole new danger of having your back wheel slip from beneath you due to the loose dirt.  The six miles of what was supposed to be our rewarding downhill had been ruined by silly roadwork, and McDonald’s was the only place to get a burger at the bottom.

We were all digesting the distinctly American McDee’s burgers and freedom fries when we learned that our original route had been changed. Instead of taking the interstate, we would take a gravel/dirt service road for 10 miles.  I would only make it a few hundred yards down this new road.  Near the bottom of the first gravel downhill I lost control of my bike and saw a pile a dirt around a raised manhole.  I hit it and jumped it.  My best guess is that I launched about 10-12 feet before I landed on my head/arm/hip.  After jumping up and pacing around pissed off for about 10 minutes, I began the short walk up the trail where the van would scoop us up and bring us to our destination for the night.  The brief ride brought us to a First Baptist Church, and I continued on to the hospital.  I learned that my injuries were no worse than superficial scrapes and bruises.

The tough and frustrating day came to an end with restful sleep on our air mattresses.  We all pondered what tomorrow’s 100-mile day would have in store for us.

7 comments:

the robisons said...

thanks so much for letting me be a part of your adventure. living through your posts i'll have to reconsider...safety first, fun second? keeping all beverages at the proper temperature in your honor and for the inevitable toast, from our location to you. have fun, the robisons

jeff bray said...

Cory!

Sorry it's taken so long to get on to make comments. You sound great... you sound so CHANGED! Hope this has been the best thing you've done! Life here in Milwaukee is crazy... but good.

Love-
jeff bray

Mom said...

Hi Cory,
I'm writing this on July 8 and hoping you're back in the saddle for that long 90-mile ride today. I hear you and Kirt have matching skin-removal patches on your arm...you too always have been connected that way!
I watched the videos and got a huge lump in my throat, not just from the thrill of the ride, but from that spectacular scenery (especially into Flaming Gorge)...our God is an awesome God!
We all love and miss you and look forward to hearing many more stories when you return home in 2 weeks. Much love from all the McMani, MOM

tabby4 said...

Hey, Cory! We finished the 10k Peachtree Road Race in 90 minutes, and that's walking with our 11 yr old nephew, Andrew; stopping to take pictures; and of course, stopping to dance to The BOSS's Born in the USA! We thought that was pretty good! Of course my older and only brother finished this, his 29th Peachtree, running it in 45 minutes. We all got our tee shirts and are looking forward to next 4th. AND YOU, YOUNG MAN!!! Look what you have and are accomplishing!! You are so totally awesome and I praise God for giving you the determination and strength to challenge yourself in such a physical way! I agree with your wonderful Mom; God is awesome and His world is breathtaking. We have to fight to keep it clean and liveable, don't we? I loved the videos and thanks for taking me along with you! Two more weeks to go? You're on the downhill ride! Keep up the fantastic work and I'm thankful you were not hurt when you launched yourself over the man hole. We know you went to the hospital just to check out the western NURSES!!!You sly guy! Praise God for Cory! I hope you have had some time to talk to Him as you peddle along! Blessings always and prayers daily for YOU, Big Guy! claudia =^..^=

Brent H. said...

Cory,

You're the man! What an awesome experience. I'm jealous but will have to live it through you and the blog 'cause I'm to darn old and out of shape to do otherwise. Blessings on your final leg of the trip and back home.

Brent

Trudie said...

Cory,

Whoooo Hoooo from Texas! Just now checking in on your blog to read your entries and see the latest pictures. Cory, you have an incredible "voice" with writing. I am awed; I felt like I was with you on your bike. Ever thought about changing majors -- might consider the possibility...
Such an experience you are having, wow! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Love from your favorite aunt,

Trudie

tabby4 said...

Hey, Cory! Just checking in with you to see how things are going on your final leg of the trip. Can you believe what you have accomplished? I'm sure you're a changed man, and one that is stronger, both mentally and physically! I cannot help but believe that your spiritual strength has also grown. You're the Man!!! I look forward to your next entry! Please know you are in my daily thoughts and prayers! Blessings! cds =^..^=