View Full Version : Radio's blasting and the birddog's on

Richard and Rhonda
09-16-2009, 09:50 PM
With all due respect to Mr Steve Earle and that line from Guitar Town. If you don't have it, get it, it's always a good tune to put on as you pull out of the drive.

The bus is loaded with the bikes and victuals, and my Texas buddies will join me in the morning for a 1100 mile jaunt from Fort Worth to Lenoir NC, the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. We're doing a little ride called Bridge to Bridge, the course description is "105 miles of pure hill". 11000 cumalative feet of climbing. I hope I don't overheat my own engine on some of the passes :-) Maybe Tom could ride along side me with those misters he's been playing with.

We're picking up an old cycling buddy of mine in Georgia, and a another cycling buddie I rode with when I lived in Virginia is also meeting us there.

Can you tell I'm stoked?

This was always a fantasy of mine. To have the health and some sort of rig to tour the country with my bikes and backpacking gear and just follow the weather. So this is the inaugural trip of the bike experience. None of them have a clue about traveling in the coach. It should be quite a trip. No, I don't know why it takes a 20 ton rig to carry a 17 pound bicycle or a two pound backpacking tent.

Yeah, I know I've started my retirement fantasy early, but honestly, I'm more concerned about running out of time than money. I think I can make more money, but I'm not so sure about more time.

I'll report back and post pics of the effort.

09-16-2009, 10:17 PM
For those of you who don't know Richard, he is talking about riding a bicycle (not a motorcycle) 105 MILES UP A HILL TO 11,000' ELEVATION. To say that Richard is over the top when it comes to exercise is the biggest understatement since Noah said - it looks like rain!

If any of you have ever visited Egypt and noticed the 3 pyramids along the Nile - Richard built those. All three of them! Last weekend in his spare time!

The man is a dynamo!

Just kidding, have a great trip Richard.

09-16-2009, 10:34 PM
Wow, I wouldn't want to ride DOWNHILL for 11,000 feet.
Of course in Louisiana it would take about a million years to get that kind of elevation change!
Have fun!

Richard and Rhonda
09-22-2009, 06:36 PM
We are back, rolled in at 2 last night. 1150 miles in one shot. Whew !!!!!

First of all the tremendous weather system that dumped a foot of rain on Texas followed us to NC. Lovely.

We stopped the first night in Clinton Miss, and rode a little leg loosening ride on the Natchez Trace. I definitely will go back there for cycling. No traffic, speed limit of 45, smooth roads and flat.

We picked Keith up in Georgia, and his wife was amazed at the meal we were cooking in the Walmart parking lot. We hammered on into NC the second night. Rain and more rain the whole time.

Amy came down from Virginia and met us at the Grandfather Mountain RV park, our home for Saturday night. We took the cars to the finish line of the ride, and parked them. We rode our bikes back to the coach to get some blood going in our legs after the long ride. Oh yeah, in the rain.

I'll attach some pics of the gang carbo loading the night before with some home made blue berry cobbler and ice cream. After a light dinner of blackened salmon, risotto, and asparagus. Hey, ride to eat, eat to ride.

Sunday morning we took the coach to the start line. Oh yeah, it's raining.

It rains for the entire 105 miles. Biblical proportion rain, and because we are in mountains it's about 50 degrees. Just think of standing in the shower with the cold water running for about nine hours and you get the picture. One of the pics is the grime line from the rain.

As soon as we gained a little elevation the most incredible fog set in. The visibility was about 50 feet which made you feel isolated even if there were others around you. It also made the descents a bit tricky too !!!!

I finished in 8 hours and 50 minutes. The winner finished in 5 and half hours.

We drove the cars back to the coach, and it took two hours to travel 40 miles because of the fog. It was too foggy to even think about leaving Sunday night, so we slept in downtown Lenoir and blasted off early on Monday.

Some of you know Rhonda likes to do trips by the numbers. Here they are:

Total miles driven 2400
Total miles ridden 140
Total days traveling 5
Total days driving in the rain 5
Total days riding 4
Total days riding in the rain 4
Total feet of elevation gained 11000
Total number of people signed up to ride the ride 700
Total number of people stupid enough to actually start the ride in a monsoon 400
Total number of people who finished the ride 240
Total calories consumed by the Entrekin contingent Hmmm, can't count that high.
Quickest time by one of us, Amy at 7 hours 45
Last time by one of us, and last official finisher at 9 hours 10 min Keith
Number of complete total idiots that shouldn't be on the road 2. One who let me get within 30 feet and pulled out of the emergency lane onto the freeway, and the second who rode 20 miles sitting on the rear quarter panel of the toad despite me speeding up, slowing down, and exiting at a rest area.
Best bottle of wine J Lohr Chardonnay 2007
Total number of Newell problems 0
Total times the light connector came loose from the toad and dragged on the road enough to render it useless 1
Total times rewiring coach to toad to have running lights 1
Total bike riding stories (lies) told , I lost count

Final total 1 One epic trip

09-22-2009, 07:02 PM
Richard, you are a better man than I......though I have done my share of riding in torrential rain, I never intentionally begin a ride in the rain, so you have me there. I have been caught in the middle of rides many times by the rain. Once riding my mountain bike locally in Chino Hills State Park were the predominate soil is clay.....really sticks to your bike when it is wet making the bike unrideable. At any rate, too bad the rain put somewhat of a wet blanket on your trip and ride, but good for the drought. Did the heavy rainfall in Texas extend down to the Austin area? I guess Lake Travis is even lower than when we were there!

We have the same dream as you....follow the good weather around the country with our bikes, trikes and tandem. When do we leave??

09-22-2009, 09:59 PM
Outstanding, Richard. I'll bet at this age, the Special Forces would still want you, hands down. In life we have many experiences, it is the ones that we remember that count. This is a great accomplishment for you and the team and one that you four will always be able to share together. Thanks for the pictures and for sharing it with us too.


09-23-2009, 01:37 AM
I told you he was a dynamo!

09-23-2009, 03:16 AM
Sounds like a blast for you, a nightmare if it had been me. ;-)

Richard and Rhonda
09-23-2009, 07:40 PM
In hindsight, I should have written the post a little differently. I did not mean it as a "look at me" at all. I apologize if it came across like that.

What I was trying to do, and perhaps poorly, was to relate some of the different ways that we enjoy our coaches. Admittedly, this trip turned out to be a "different kind of fun"

09-23-2009, 07:57 PM
No worries, Richard. Those of us that have met you, read your information in the spirit that it was intended. Don't change a thing in the way you convey your excitement and experiences. We enjoy this sharing of information very much. Best to your family.

David and Denise

09-23-2009, 08:44 PM
As David said, those of us who know you did not take your story that way at all. Nothing to change....we like you just the way you are!

09-23-2009, 10:52 PM
Richard, there you go again. Practice your people skills!!!!
Great job....

09-23-2009, 11:07 PM
Hey Richard, it's us! Your Newell family! We like you just the way you are. Don't change a thing!

09-24-2009, 12:29 AM
hey, we know you cant help yourself. you are an obsessed newell guy and bike rider. just cant be changed.....

you ride bikes, i buy tools. whats the difference?

you are an amazing dude,


Wally Arntzen
09-24-2009, 01:23 AM
Hey Richard, If it reallly gets to you there probably is a 12 step program for excessive bike riders. Enjoy the moments and who cares how you get there. You can ride your bike and I will ride my Newell like the rest of the folks.

Enjoy, Wally