Mile 2040: Spirit of America Ride for Hydrocephalus – Day 42 Recap
The weather report was predicting heavy headwinds this morning. Mary and I considered delaying our cycling tour another day in Amarillo but, when I spoke with a local Warm Showers host, his advice was to move on. At this point, every delay moves us closer to biking in snow. As excited as we are to spend the coming winter in snow for a change of pace from the eighty-degree winters in Florida, cycling in snow might be more than we’re ready for. Despite the predicted wind, with a couple of Celsius for extra endurance, today’s bike ride turned out well despite cycling against the wind.
From our hotel tonight, I caught part of the presidential debate on TV. The candidates appeared to be having a heated discussion about oil. This caught my attention. We can confirm the energy business is booming in Texas. Whenever we see oil pumps, we know a hotel room is going to be hard to find.
We have seen evidence of wind energy production here as well. We thought it was pretty cool that right in the middle of oil country, we came across a wind farm. We can also attest that there seems to be plenty of wind around here to keep them going! We have seen semi-truck after semi-truck hauling huge wind turbines. It looks like Texas is serious about wind energy! I did a quick Google search on Google when we got to the hotel and discovered the largest wind farm in Texas is just west of Abilene.
In our last post, we expressed some discouragement and wondered whether we were actually making a difference in spreading awareness about hydrocephalus. Some of that was surely the result of being exhausted and windblown, and Mary not feeling well. Regardless, our encounter with Pete, the Good Samaritan fisherman was a reminder that the Spirit of America Ride for Hydrocephalus is well named. If you ever begin to lose faith in the generosity and goodness of people, hop on a bike and start peddling. We had another reminder today. We had just crossed the 2000 mile mark when a pickup truck came up beside us, slowed down, rolled down the window and yelled out, “where you two going?” We kept peddling but explained our Ride for Hydrocephalus from Florida to Denver. He gave us a thumbs-up and a wave, and then sped away. He stopped a little way down the road and waited for us, then gave us $10 to add to the fund on the hydrocephalus donations website. We thought that was really cool!
Soon we will be leaving Texas and crossing into Oklahoma. We are sure going to miss your warm hospitality and beautiful landscape, Texas!
The landscape is becoming more flat as our cycling tour progresses north but we can tell we are riding at a slight incline. It is not as noticeable when we look ahead. But, when we stopped to refuel on Celsius, looking back we can see the gentle slope that let us know we are gradually getting closer to the mountains. When we got to our hotel tonight, I checked out our elevation. The highest point in the entire state of Florida is Britton Hill at 345 feet. We are now 3,657 feet above sea level, so we are more than half way to the mile high elevation in Denver. If all goes well, we will be entering our seventh and last state on Friday on our little 2500 mile cycling tour. Stay posted.