Mile 1955: Spirit of America Ride for Hydrocephalus – Day 37- 39

October 15 is Mary’s birthday. We are celebrating it in Amarillo, Texas. The timing is perfect as the past few days have been a series of very small towns with very little in between except for long horn steer, cotton fields, train tracks and vast expanses of rolling hills alternating periodically with stretches of flat road.


With strong storms passing through the area at the end of last week, our progress on this bike tour has lately been at the mercy of strong winds. When the wind happened to be blowing from behind us, we welcomed it. But when the roads or winds changed, and we found ourselves riding into the wind, it made for some rough riding. We have been riding along side the train tracks. When a train passes, it acts a buffer and cuts down  the wind to a degree. Most of the day on Friday, we were riding into a strong headwind as we reached Paducah, Texas.

Paducah is a tiny town with a population of about 1100. The only hotel in town, the Town House Motel is run by Don & Jessica Matney. They welcomed us warmly with a great rate for the night and even invited us to join them for the local high school football game. Being from Florida, we know that social calendars in the south tend to revolve around football this time of year, but by the time we grabbed something to eat, we were so tired from riding all day, all we could think about was a soft bed.

The next morning, we headed out before the motel’s office was even open. (There is an interesting twist to this story but we will save that for another time.)  The winds had shifted during the night and we found ourselves riding with a much welcomed tailwind that seemed to push as along. Saturday was a short 37-mile ride and we made it to Childress, Texas by noon. As there would be no good place to stop before our next planned stop, and we’ve learned that roughing it cowboy style under the vast Texas sky is not as glamorous as it sounds, we had to make a quick decision. If we pressed on,  we would arrive at our next stop well after dark. The alternative was to just take the rest of the day to chill. We opted for the latter.

We were glad we decided to take the afternoon to rest as Sunday’s bike ride was a 65-mile journey riding against headwinds! For Mary’s birthday, I think the only gift she really wants is a nice tailwind for our bike ride! We’ll see if we can find a little birthday fun when we get to Amarillo, though. You can give Mary a quick birthday shout out in the comments below or on Twitter @MarkandMaryRide. Tailwind aside, if you want to give her a present…donate to Hydrocephalus. Donations to this worthy cause is what will make her birthday really special!

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