Ride of Silence



#15 Crooked Tan Lines: July 21, 2013, Back Off Before Full Throttle

Today was our easy day. Actually, it was our easiest of our schedule. With only 70 miles to get from Custer to Rapid City, SD, we had a stop at Mount Rushmore scheduled in the middle. Some elected to ride over and see the Crazy Horse carving. I’ve done that before. 
If you ever been to this area, you know firsthand of the hills and climbs to get to the monuments. Though we had a short distance ride, it was filled with easiest gear, out-of-saddle, throwing the bike from left to right, just to get up. It was a lot of huffin’ n’ puffin’.
Though some chose to skip it, I went. A journey to see the famous stoned, er, stone presidents years ago was a wash when fog forbid anyone from seeing beyond a few feet, let alone the side of a mountain. Today, it was crystal clear blue skies…and a lot of people. Hey, it was Sunday. Evidently that’s a great day to feel patriotic as it was swarming people who wanted a glimpse of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln, and get a nifty t-shirt, necklace, sweat shirt, painting, or anything you could think of, souvenir. It’s the American way. Nothing is a success until an associated vendor culture is developed. Nevertheless, a nice day. Glad I got to finally see the carvings.

Rumor has it…
We have some closet views to this blog. Cool! It’s OK, trust me. I’m laughing. A spike in your nose, a rubber on your thumb, and I don’t mind. This site can use all the clicks it can handle. Even the clandestine ones. So enjoy the reading. Know that I know you’re reading along, too.

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
* If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
So, be careful what you plant

I got a care package a couple of days ago…WITH BROWNIES!! And Rice Krispy Treats, red twizzles, Smart Food (popcorn), and some chocolate. How cool is that?? (I also received a card before that. Thank you!)

Rode, and finished, with the lead pack on the same day. That was an accomplishment given how I started out and where I was riding. It was 109 miles in a stout head wind the WHOLE way. Just a beating you know you have to suck up and take; there was no way out. Scenery? There’s not a whole lot in central Wyoming. …No wonder the sheep are scared.
The right Achilles is REALLY bothering, tight from Big Horn’s climb. The masseuse worked on it for a bit, besides my left pelvic bone. It’s swollen big time. It’s quite sore. I’ve iced it, Ibprophen…  Organizer Lon Haldeman taped it up before today’s ride and will wrapped tomorrow morning. I’m icing as I can.

Our hotel was next door to a Pizza Hut. I ordered and ate an entire medium onion & pepper thin crust pizza without any problem. Then went to McDonald’s for cookies and a vanilla shake. I’d like to lean out from this ride, but I get hungry.

Sometimes I think God must have fun with me. First, I have to fight sickness and a sore butt just everyday just to get started. I overcome that while being propelled up a mountain. Not done with me yet, He has me ride with the leaders for two days, then blows up my right Achilles. He must have GREAT confidence in me, or just like me for amusement. I finished well again today. …But, it’s not a race. J

We rode past Devil’s Table yesterday where the Spielberg movie, “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” with Richard Dreyfus was filmed. It’s also where I wanted to stop years ago, but the thinking at the time was the Nat’l Monument had bad mojo, and elected to keep going.

We’re in Rapid City tonight. We’re well over 1500 miles total. Unbelievable. That seems SO huge to me.  Can’t believe I’m doing it. I can tell I’ve gone a good distance because my back tire is no longer round. The part that’s in contact with the road is starting to square off. The scenery was great, and I felt I had my own rhythm on the mountains

Tomorrow we will ride our longest day (150 miles). That will be part of our longest week, 930 miles! After seeing how I did today, I think I can do it. Once I find that pace, I think I can last forever. It might sound a little sick, but I’m actually looking forward to the test. I think I can shine. The rest of the week is: 150, 145, 137, 123, 123, 125 miles! It’s a heck of time for me to not be 100%. This Achilles has been the bane of my athletic career.

A week from today, I should meet up with Bob Ruby in Portage, WI, if it doesn’t rain he said.
That will be nice.

…I just realized it’s July 21. Wow. The  month is moving on. Good.

Lance is still sick. I feel bad for him because I know exactly what it’s like. I was the first to get sick. Now at least half of the group has it and are feeling miserable. At the end of one day’s ride. my chain locked up and was really stuck, jammed. I got it fixed, but then couldn’t shift into the big chain ring up from. The last 11 miles were a bit scary, wondering what was wrong. Lance got in front and pulled me in. Organizer Lon is an expert with bikes. After looking at it he was going to have me ride to a bike shop in town (tired and sore).
But he and another guy tweaked with it, and it seems to be working now. The problem is the front derailleur.

Most of the time, most of the days, the mind is a blank, awash as an ocean beach with waves constantly washing away the slightest thought, other than the worldly pain, discomfort, and goal of the day. I’ve gone through sickness while riding consecutive 100 milers, up mountains, through desserts, and four states so far.
Beauty, blandness, dramatic landscapes, and openness the mind can’t absorb. And the best is yet to come. Lessons are in pieces, and daily, particles of thoughts that might get strung together with a moment from the day before. 

I’m only pedaling.
Dan Beckman catching a draft into South Dakota



Crooked Tan Lines, #14: July 20, Schedules

Wondering what we’ve been doing out here in the outer reaches? Ridin’!

Just so you know, each and every day, is not a shopping spree where we pop into town refreshed, showered, and dressed to visit the sights and talk to local people. Nada. It’s a bike ride to get your tail across the country. If you want to sight-see, take a bus.

We wake up about 5:30 most mornings in a mad rush to find some cycling clothes that don’t stink too badly, get our bikes down to the start area, gobbling down some food (usually oatmeal and some fruit for me), and get your bag loaded all in an hour.

At 6:30 (usually; sometimes earlier, sometimes later), we leave from the hotel parking lot on our bikes to chase the white line to the next town. Usually we arrive about 3pm (sometimes a little earlier, sometimes later) right up to the hotel door. There’s no skimping on miles here. If you’re going to say you “rode across America,” you’re going to ride every inch of it.

Immediately after arriving, you gather your stuff (bag, bike, and hotel key) and head to your room…exhausted, dry, hungry, drained, sweaty, and in bad need of a shower. But first, there’s your pre-shower routine that Lance and I think would be hilarious to the rest of the world.

While we’re debriefing about the days ride (“Did you believe that climb?” “Did you see the antelope on the side of the road?” “Did you see the billboard at Mile 80?” “How about that screamin’ downhill?”), we’re stretching, moanin’, and groanin’. We’re applying ritual of creams, lotions, pills, and stretches to help our ailing bodies before we shower and eat. We laugh at ourselves when we look at what we’re doing as we try to get our tired bodies across the country. Me, I’m smearing large amounts of Aspercreme, then Lantiseptic, and finally Neosporin. Then there’s the Advil. THEN there’s the shower.

Easily an hour and a half to two hours have passed. Now it’s time to eat. Usually,  since we’re walking (since butts are sore and our legs are heavy), we go to the closest place just like everyone else. Sometimes it’s Pizza Hut. Sometimes it’s a burger place. Hey, food’s food at this point. Pay for it and swallow. There have been days where I’ve been falling asleep as I ate.

Now walk back to the hotel arriving about 6 pm, if you’re lucky. You’ve still got to prep your bike and liquids for tomorrow. Maybe there’s enough time to make a call or get on the internet. Maybe not because bed time is usually 8:30 pm. If you’re up past 9, you’re up too late.

And that’s day. I’ve brought along a book, my trusty note pad for jotting down thoughts, and my workout log. I haven’t looked at the book or pad, and barely have time to quickly write down the days ride information. And then it’s lights out. That’s it. Dream land as your heart pounds through your chest wall just lying there attempting to recover from the day’s effort and prepare the body for the day coming. (Our bodies are SO amazing!)

As you can see, there’s little time to read ANYthing, visit ANYthing that’s further than a few feet from the hotel (My airline friends will understand this very well.),

We passed the one-third mark, 1200 miles, of the total distance yesterday. It was met with smiles, but the knowledge that we still have a long way to go.

Let me list my ailments, other than general tired and achiness such as knees and quads, to put things in perspective. (Sorry, Smith and Jame. It’s not whining if it’s real.)
Butt bones – both sides
Saddle sore – left side
Wrist weakness from constant shifting and feathering the brake – left side
Achilles tendon, blown up, swollen, unable to walk and painful to ride – left side (having it taped tomorrow; could use an Ace bandage)

Met up with The Ride Of Silence organizer from Sandpoint, ID, JIM DOUDNA. Great guy! The guy was very sincere about wanting to host a ride. As we talked, I could see his emotion. This ride speaks to him. Later he took me by Greasy Fingers bike shop for a photo to send to the local paper. Cool guy. Good guy to have as one of our organizers. I’m very thankful for him.

Later, in Missoula, MT, Ethel MacDonald and I weren’t able to connect. Communications were rough. She’s the RofS organizer in Missoula and had been in a recent bike wreck. When I got into to town (July 11), the Missoula Marathon was the next morning. Ethel was involved with that as well. Both our allotted time was limited. I was disappointed, but so it goes. I don’t know when/if I’ll be this way again.

We found some humor in a huge road side billboard from Butte to Bozeman, MT, July 15. Large yellow board with red lettering: “Testicle Festival.” Yup. Felt like they had us in mind. My wife simply wrote back, “Must be a guy thing.”

Day 10, July 16 was Bozeman to Columbus, Montana. It was 106 miles with a 20 MPH head wind the entire way, slowing our speed to under 10 MPH. It was nothing short of a beating. The goal was just to make it. Find a position and hold it. There was no attacking. We got in very late. … Can’t we just fly to Williamsburg? (Joke. Not whining.)


Crooked Tan Lines #13: July 19, Before The Ride Of Silence

Maybe it was just Dallas.

Or so I, and the many other runners and cyclists I hung out with, thought. Maybe it was Dallas' "football-at-all-costs" mind set, plastic surgery, personalized licensed plates, and glass buildings.

It was true what "foreigners," what people were sarcastically called when they moved to Dallas from other parts of the U.S., saw. There are only two important things on Sundays in Texas' gateway city: church in the morning, and "The Game" in the afternoon. Or, as local legend says, "There are two religions in Texas. The other is football."

The sixteen weeks of the sport has so permeated the local culture that it appears in the Dallas newspaper 52 weeks a year, as well as on the local TV news. The pig skin rules, unabated, with no end in sight. There is no battle for first place in Dallas' hierarchy of events and new items. It is football, of all levels. Basketball and baseball make up the second tier. Then it appears to be golf, NASCAR, bass fishing/hunting, horse racing, soccer, and ice-hockey in the third tier they way they show up in the paper and TV news. After that, fourth tier running/biking/swimming might be so far down the list as to be on the floor, or buried beneath it, in last place.

This is not a good thing because of that mindset mentioned earlier breeds other unhealthy, unnatural, and sometimes illogical patterns of behavior such as neglecting the rights of others on the road way.

Unfortunately, due to their status and the conditions and locations fostered upon them by the City Of Dallas government, runners and cyclists have become rivals competing over the same basic rights afforded to neither. Where they should be linked together in their common causes of traffic control, facilities, and execution existing laws, they disrespect and fight against each other for and on the same small turf allowed to them to share.

Even more worse is the respective sports have problems internally as well. The two running stores servicing Dallas (there are others, but they total a small amount of the community pie) are bitter rivals that stop at almost nothing to see the other fail. The same goes for the areas two bike stores. At one point in the 1990's if a runner of one store went to the rival store's event, it was considered an act of defection. The runner was brought before the store manager, and if not fired from his position on the store running team, then at least reprimanded and shunned by the rest of the team.

Dallas has the reputation for being the worst place in the country to bike, according to one of the cycling industries magazines. That behavior is also reflected to runners and the running community at large, as well. Dallas was also noted in other magazines as one of the angriest, vainest, and unhealthiest, and as having the worst drivers. All those different magazines, editors, and writers came to the same conclusions. When you think about it, adding those things together, who would want to bike or run there at all.

Nevertheless, where it was stubbornness or a genuine admiration for their respective sport, the local cyclists and runners persevere, despite the conditions, despite the odds. I use the word "local" liberally because a large majority were actually transplants, cyclists or runners from other areas of the country who transplanted to north Texas for college, a job, or relationship. As best they could, they thrived, developing races, training groups, and places to train. They created their own local champions, teams, clubs, stores, and infrastructure. The aerobic scene in DFW is definitely 1980's home grown.

Dr. Kenneth Cooper's world famous institute and clinic is located just a few miles north of downtown Dallas, amid streets filled with traffic and stores for the well-to-do. He is credited with creating the running boom with his book "Aerobics." He has since created a sprawling campus on prime real estate that is internationally known. The Cooper Aerobics Center is the gold standard for health clubs, despite the feeble attempts of other health clubs (a fancy name for gyms to lure a higher clientele and charge a higher fee). But if one wishes to join Dr. Cooper's healthy society, one must first get on a waiting list, and then pay dearly with cold, hard cash.

Cooper especially influenced the world back in 1969 with his book. However, despite being cited and referenced as the "Father of Aerobics" world wide, he did little to filter down to the local population's way of thinking. Fried food, real butter, and lots of it, still reign in Texas. One only has to visit the annual state fair held in Dallas to get a "taste" of what passes as food, or what the dietetic society annually condemns.

Further, the number one activity isn't an activity at all. It's watching the local pro, college, high school, junior high, and even Pop Warner football teams, the bane of runners at those levels as well, loose. It's truly amazing to see how the local economy and productivity is influenced by whether, say the Cowboys (Ugh!) win or loose, and play at home or away. The NFL sees a spike in Super Bowl viewership (and related sales of NFL gear) when the Cowboys, or "Da Boys" as they are affectionately called by locals, play in it. Tortured runners and cyclists constantly joke about using the main highways (75 Central Expressway, the north-south toll way, I-30, and I-635) to train on during games because they are usually deserted. In fact, if one wants to do anything in Dallas that normally involves a crowd, it is suggested to go during a pro football game; dinner, movie, shopping, the gym, all are available without crowds or lines during a Cowboy game. As stated earlier, this isn't necessarily a good thing.

During a Cowboy game, it's not unusual to see life as we know it come to a halt in Dallas as people, men AND women, crowd around TV sets as if watching world history unfold. Maybe it's the second coming of Christ? No, sadly, it's the Cowboys playing. It’s just football.

It becomes obnoxious (even without Jerry Jones' cowboy twang and his plastic surgery pulled back face) drowning out other activities while doing nothing to make the area healthier, or contributing to the welfare of society. The sad part is seeing thousands of people being duped into an empty way of being.

It's against this standard where the size of your SUV is your status, runners and cyclists are regarded as geeks! Not man enough to have played or watch a 100-yard game of grid iron. However, college statistics show that those who participate in aerobic sports (running, swimming, biking) have a higher average GPA than any of the big three sport's players: football, basketball, or baseball, with football having the lowest scores. But there's a bonus! As their GPA's go, so does their discipline problems reports the statistics. Ask any college recruiter for verification. It's also fact aerobic sport athletes work harder than team sports such as football because they are year long sports, not seasonal like their team sport doubles.

Dallas is a sprawling landscape of 1-3 story buildings and strip malls with too many tanning salons, mapped over homogenized neighborhoods. From Plano to Cedar Hill, from Forney to Arlington, and all points in between, there is no difference between the neighborhoods, developments, and other pockets of real estate. In fact, the only difference at all is only minor among the overly rich in Highland Park. Such is Dallas, sadly bland, without character or characteristics to set it apart. It could be Kansas or central Montana, innocuous.

I arrived on Memorial weekend, 1983. The "US Festival" played on the radio as I drove through states and into the Dallas city limits. I had never owned a pair of sunglasses before then.


Crooked Tan Lines: July 18: Remember?

Remember your first bike ride? Do you remember the sense of freedom and independence you felt? You could go anywhere. The world was yours at last.

Do remember your first bike? Of course, you do. Do you remember your first really bad crash? Probably.
Now I’m asking you to remember those that have gone before us, who have died doing what was a legal right to do, ride a bicycle. It’s a sad fact there are very few of us who don’t know a friend, a relative, a co-worker who wasn’t killed through no fault of his own.

There are those who feel we are a futile bunch for riding a bicycle, even doing this ride. Yes, there is an opposition to what we do, what we’re doing right here right now, and what we think. There is a distinction between those who ride and “get it,” and those who don’t. Unfortunately, those who don’t have a louder voice than those of us who do “get it,” the pleasure of being self-powered down the road with the sound of an engine other than our own breathing and pedaling, traveling at a speed that allows one to take in his surroundings so much more than by a motor vehicle.

We can see things, smell things, and I dare say, feel things our motoring brethren can’t. That’s too bad because it is such a world out there to be experienced and felt and seen and smelt, from sunsets to the rain, from shadows to light, from hay fields to autumn leaves falling, from another cyclist’s back tire spinning like a roulette wheel down a hill to the beat our legs pumping up a hill.

But them out there, they don’t get it. “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from life, because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. They have lost all sensitivity.” [Eph 4:18-19]

If we are a light, there are people who want to put that light out, and thereby, forget; forget us on the road and those who have been killed, forget there is another way to live and travel. They want to reject what we do. Whatever.

Thankfully we don’t have their point of view or bully angst of oppression and opposition. We are not anti-cars, but rather firmly believe we can all co-exist just as the law allows. We know we have a legal right to use the roads. We also know motorists have a legal obligation to share their roads.

We ask that people in Dallas, in Texas, in the US, and around the world allow us our right to ride without worry of harm or death, to make it as safe from motorists as pedestrians walk ways, and at the very least, with the same legal ramifications when a motorist does hit a cyclist.

A dirty little secret cyclists are well aware of is if a motorist is sober and doesn’t leave the scene of killing a cyclist, he will never spend a day in jail or be fined. How do we know this? Because to date, no motorist has. It’s a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card for motorists.

It wasn’t until the Ride Of Silence did anyone know or realize the extent to which cyclists are being killed, not only in Dallas, but all across Texas, this country, and the world. Your world and mine. Everyday.

On April 20, the The Federal Aviation Administration reported over 200 people dying as a result of birds getting sucked up into airline engines, since 1988. Since 1988. Twenty-four years. 200 people.  Meanwhile, we’ve lost thousands (!!!!) of cyclists in only a few years from motorists running into cyclists. Our message is obviously NOT getting out there. There is obviously a gap, a disconnect, as well as a great imbalance. I’m not here to debate why, but to point out it exists.

I’m asking you to remember; to remember this privilege we have to ride, to remember why you ride and why we ride tonight; to remember those feelings of freedom and accessibility of first ride. I’m asking you to remember our legal right to be on the road that appears to be eroded away by those that have forgotten the law, motorists’ legal responsibility to share the road.

Let us be consoled that our ride is attracting attention to the deaths of cyclists that are taking place. These cyclists did not die in vain.

MICHAEL ORTIZ lost his brother on March 22, as he was riding his bike to work in San Diego. He will be organizing a Ride Of Silence in his brother’s name. He wrote me this on April 16: “Thank you for your condolences and support. Fortunately, I am not doing this alone; I have the support of friends and family to help make this event become reality. Three weeks ago, I had no ties to the bike community; I don't even own a bike. Now I find myself becoming an advocate for safer conditions for bicyclists. This event continues to grow because people have been and continue to be affected adversely by tragic bicycle accidents, whether directly or indirectly. My brother was my best friend, and now he is gone. Riding in his honor next month will let his family and friends know he still has a voice and will be remembered.”

Our tears are our only truth. Tears cried for fellow cyclists are the only absolute truth. Any one can spout moral babble and sound sincere or even intelligent. But do they care? Do they back their words with action, or inaction? Do they have tears?

Alone we are but a whisper. But, together tonight we will speak loudly through a silence that will resonate around the world.

Let us ride for Larry Schwartz and every cyclist who’s been hit. Let us come together to remember, and to feel what its like to ride a bike. Let us ride in silence.



Crooked Tan Lines: July 13, 2013, Thompson Falls, MT, to Missoula, MT

Yes, you’re right. I had a rough start.

These types of cycling events are hard trying to get the body to adjust to the work load. There is no way one can prepare for 800-1000 miles per week, except by doing it. This is why the first week is critical, to allow the body to adapt.

I had some additional issues going on (sick, financial, communication) that added to the overall problem.
Today is Day 8. This should mark a turning point as we head toward Butte, MT.

The open terrain humbles all of us. It makes us all feel smaller than previously. There is the realization that all of this, in fact the entire earth, would carry on just fine (and probably a good deal better) without us. We are the only living organism that go extinct and not be a problem for the balance of live on earth. That’s ironic because we are the only living organism not in danger of becoming extinct, given our ability to adapt and extend life our lives. I say ironic because we are also the only living organism that is causing other organisms to become extinct.

Man searches his world for his gods, demons, and himself. It is himself that he ultimately finds as both his opponent and his best friend. It is himself that will both chain him to ideals that are either impossible or of fantasy, or free and encourage him to reach his potential in all things.

Man searches the earth over closeness. Some use drugs, alcohol, or money, running themselves into the ground, swimming to point of near exhaustion, or riding their butts off. Searching for God, the meaning of life, to exercise demons from a parent or lover, to make up for some short coming they think can't overcome any other way. They punish themselves from coast to coast and from here to the moon, only to find themselves staring at themselves. "It was me all along," the answer is found.

Forest Gump stopped in the middle of Monument Valley on his run across the country and announced, "I'm done now. I'm going home." I understand his sentiment completely. Only, obviously, I haven't beaten myself up enough yet.

Today was scenic, bordering on an Indian reservation. Thankfully there's a sign post that I stopped to read that explained how we screwed over these indigenous people. Cool t-shirt I saw once "Indians. Fighting terrorism since 1870." Very cool, I thought.

I'm working on my tan lines. :) ...I REALLY need a butt massage, however!!!! MAN! I ache!

Every turn, every straight way, every rise and fall of the road, music comes down from the mountains.

Today we rode through a town named Hope. The next down along the river we were following was Beyond Hope. Cool. Beyond that the next town's name struck me funny. Puckett. So, you have hope, beyond hope, and puck it! :) (My odd sense of humor.)

Two years ago, I was injured two weeks before starting this ride. I told people at the time the dream of this ride was delayed, but not denied.  …I’m here and still standing.

Riding my butt off!



Crooked Tan Lines: July 11, 2013, 7am, Spokane

Day 5…I think.

If this is Wednesday, this must be Spokane.

Well, for those of you trying to emails of support, encouragement, or mental evaluations of doing such a ride, you have probably figured out by now I’m not getting any. Either that or the world really has abandoned me.
If you want to send hate mail, love mail, brownies, a new credit card, cash, or a new set of legs (Did I mention brownies?), the mailing addresses for where I’ll be are below. The US  Postal Service has actually been doing a great job with everyone else’s mail and packages, getting it to the appropriate hotels. And the hotels are doing great, too, at holding the mail for us. Letter, bike parts, brownies…did I say brownies?...have gotten to the right person. It’s quite simple and relatively inexpensive. Let me put it this way: it’s beating the heck out of technology like a piece of vermin.

Lance should get his compact gearing from Richardson Bike Mart (Yeeaaa!) today. (Thank you Jack Gilespie.)

Sat, Jul 6, 2013 Best Western Cascadia Inn  2800 Pacific Ave. Everett WA 98201-4528 425-258-4755

Sun, Jul 7, 2013 Three Rivers Inn 210 Ball St. Sedro-Woolley WA 98284 360-855-1333

Mon, Jul 8, 2013 The Virginian Resort  P.O. Box 237 Winthrop WA 98862 none

Tue, Jul 9, 2013 Columbia River Inn  10 Lincoln Ave. Coulee Dam WA 99116 509-633-2633

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 Econo Lodge  1503 South Rustle Rd. Spokane WA 99202 509-747-5950

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 Quality Inn Sandpoint  P.O. Box 128 Sandpoint ID 83864 208-263-3289

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 Rimrock Motel  P.O. Box 1450 Thompson Falls MT 59873 406-827-9804

Sat, Jul 13, 2013 Campus Inn  744 E. Broadway Missoula MT 59802 same as phone

Sun, Jul 14, 2013 Super-8 Butte  2929 Harrison Ave. Butte MT 59701 same as phone

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 Days Inn Bozeman  1321 North 7th Ave. Bozeman MT 59715 406-587-5351

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 Super -8 Columbus  P.O. Box 88 Columbus MT 59019 406-322-4636

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 Super-8 Powell  East Coulter Ave. Hwy. 14 Powell WY 82435 307-754-3387

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 Best Western Sheridan  612 North Main Sheridan WY 82081 307-672-3018

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 Best Western Gillette  109 North Hwy. 14-16 Gillette WY 82716 307-682-5105

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 Super 8 Custer  W Mount Rushmore Rd Custer SD 57730 605-673-2201

Sun, Jul 21, 2013 Best Western Rapid City  2505 Mt. Rushmore Rd. Rapid City SD 57701 605-343-9670

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 Graham's Best Western  West 5th PO BOX 78 Murdo SD 57559 605-669-3139

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 Super-8 Mitchell  1700 S. Burr, Hwy. 37 & I-90 Mitchell SD 57301 605-996-5339

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 Travel Lodge  2015 Humiston Ave. PO Box 68 Worthington MN 56187 507-372-5301

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 Country Inn & Suites  2214 East Main St. Albert Lea MN 56007 same as phone

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 Courtyard Marriott Hotel  500 Front Street La Crosse WI 54601 608-796-1827

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 Super-8 Portage  3000 New Pinery Rd. Portage WI 53901 608-745-0167

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 Econo Lodge  908 Washington Street Manitowoc WI 54220 920-682-1020

Mon, Jul 29, 2013 Snyder's Shoreline Inn  903 West Ludington P.O. 667 Ludington MI 49431 231-845-4441

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 Quality Inn  3301 Highland Drive Hudsonville MI 49426 616-662-5000

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 Super-8 Coldwater  600 Orleans Blvd. Coldwater MI 49036 517-278-2347

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 Howard Johnsons c/o Jeff  1920 Rochman Ave. Lima OH 45804 419-221-2604

Fri, Aug 2, 2013 Holiday Inn Express  23911 U.S. Route 23 South Circleville OH 43113 740-420-9181

Sat, Aug 3, 2013 Red Roof Inn  3714 East 7th Street Parkersburg WV 26104 304-485-1746

Sun, Aug 4, 2013 Super-8 Elkins  350 Beverly Pike Elkins WV 26241 same as phone

Mon, Aug 5, 2013 Best Western Harrisonburg  45 Burgess Rd. Harrisonburg VA 22801 540-433-6485

Tue, Aug 6, 2013 Hampton Inn Ashland  705 England St. Ashland VA 23005 804-752-8445

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 Econo Lodge Inn and Suites  119 Bypass Rd. Williamsburg VA 23185 757-220-9117

My address is as following:
Chris Phelan, PAC TOUR
Hotel address from above list
Figure out the days to get it on time.

Easy. That’s it. Simple. Done.

Last night I got to meet Roger Schramm, the organizer for the Spokane Ride Of Silence. Six other people also attended the chance to talk at Spaghetti Factory, including the local super woman bike organizer, Erica. Hank took pictures, sat next to me, and asked great questions. My voice, unfortunately, was torched. So I strained to be heard over the clatter of the restaurant. But it was great. It inspired me to hear THEIR stories, when they wanted to hear mine. Sincere, grounded, active. Good people. I’m VERY appreciative of these people. I’m glad Roger put out the word.

I think I’m only meeting one other organizer during the entire 3600 miles, and that’s in western Virginia. …Sure wish there were more to meet…

It’s windy and cool outside. Got a massage on the high hamstrings. Today’s another short day before we begin the 130 mile days.

Ride on, ride on, ride on…



Crooked Tan Lines: July 9, 5:30pm, Grand Coulee Dam

Well,…that sucked!

128 miles with a 40 mile climb. Are you serious? Dude!  Shoot me, kill me, run me over. “Isn’t this great scenery,” one of the other cyclists asked. I didn’t really notice while coughing up a lung.

I am definitely not feeling well. Swallowing is like shoving swords down my throat. So I didn’t swallow today. I’m leaving a mucus trail across the state of Washington. With the many mountains, passes, and valleys, my ears won’t pop due to the congestion. When I cough, it feels like razor blades. I scare small children while my voice is more of croak. Then I gag, and out comes a green slime resembling something from the school cafeteria line. My head has a high school marching band inside it playing John Phillip Souza. Nice.

Tomorrow night I’m supposed to meet the Spokane Ride Of Silence organizers and participants. I hope they don’t mind me sharing my DNA.

I was dosing off on the bike in this section where you could see 30 miles of the road you were on, in both direction. There was the  head wind from hell, the equivalent of someone holding you back with their hand on your forehead as you swing wildly. Or in our case, pedal. Lance was over joyed whenever we made over 5 MPH. He call 7 MPH “sprinting.”

There wasn’t even wild life out there. It was as if the land had gotten shaved and just a stubble was coming in. There was nothing over 2 feet tall. (How do we have an overcrowding problem when all this open space exists? And, despite there being 360 degrees of unobstructed sun, I did NOT see a beach bunny catching sun from a lawn chair. Why not?)

Found out there’s a doctor here. “Bill” took a look at me out in the parking lot just now. (I think I hear the Calvary bugle to save the day.) Thankfully, he wasn’t told I was due for my prostate exam. I’m not sure the other guest would appreciate it.

Here’s a couple of thinks you don’t want to hear from your roomie on such a trip. First, “Hey, can come take a look at this?” It be the anatomy lesson you didn’t get in school. Also, “Can I use your Vaseline?” Uhhh,…no double dipping pal. I know where I use the Vaseline. You need to get your own then go wild.
So, turns out buddy Lance brought a pharmacy with him. What a guy! “Bill” said amoxicillin three times a day. Lance’s stuff is from Mexico. I’m hoping it’s double (triple?) strength with the occasional hallucinogenic flashback as a bonus.
So, the good Lord willing and the creak don’t rise, I should start feeling better…tomorrow or the next. Wonderful. Only 170 miles separates me from feeling like death warmed over and paradise. Hope I can make it.

Today… Geez! What a beating. Over 100 miles. We went from 50 degrees to 107-108. The fever of the sun was in my face. Oh, and there just happen to be a 10 mile uphill after the first mile this morning. Then, several other 4 mile climbs. (You can see the problem my ears were having.)

Man, I was looking for the hotel. Hard to enjoy the…“scenery” when you’re dying.

Once here at a hotel less than half a mile from the world’s largest dam that powers nine states and waters several others, I found it ironic that my shower had less of a stream than I did after 70 miles on the bike. How is that possible? You can’t run a tube from the dam? How ‘bout a straw?

My butt’s barking at me. I need to show it some attention but there doesn’t seem to be an opportunity to stretch, roll, etc. I’m getting concerned. The bursar sacks are inflamed on the pelvic bone. This halted my training in mid-March, a critical time. I don’t need it to halt this ride.

To add to my frustrating day, other than American Express sucks (Do NOT use this company. No one since leaving Dallas takes it. Had a fellow rider pay for dinner tonight. Don’t know HOW I’m going to get through the remaining 28 days for food! Janalou: send a new credit card or money. People who don’t know me are lending me money from day to day. I can’t imagine what they think.), my phone isn’t working (Thank you Metro PCS. Think you could build a shack with a tower somewhere between Seattle and Chicago? No? How ‘bout two cans and a string? I’ll gladly take that at this point.) and the Wi Fi in the hotels isn’t connecting either. Geez! You’d think we lived in 1870.

Yup, only 3600 miles to go. 
Happy, happy, happy.



Crooked Tan Lines: July 8, 2013, 8pm, Sedro Woolley, WA

Opening day for anyone is always filled with nerves. That first game of the season, or the first time back after a lay-off. No one is immune to it. All of us go through it.

The first mile of even the most veteran of marathons is where the athlete finds his rhythm, and himself. Will his expectations be met today or will they fall like rocks off a cliff?

I was looking forward to today, our first ride (98 miles, Everett to Sedro Woolley, 5500’ of climbing), to shake things out. To get in the saddle and do what I do, what I’ve been focusing six months for, what I’ve been planning six years for, and what I’ve been dreaming about since before I was 6 years old. To quote Alice Cooper, from Hello Hooray, “I’ve been ready.”

The 30+ riders weren’t jocking for position as much as trying to find their comfort level, to learn who they should ride with and not ride with. Some are better and more experienced riders who’d prefer not to risk going down because of someone less experienced. Likewise, a less experienced rider doesn’t want to get sucked in over his head at a pace he can’t maintain. So it works both ways.

After crossing on a ferry to an island, we hit a bunch of different types of riding. Empty roads along the ocean with wide shoulders and crowded boulevards with no shoulder. (At one point, we went over Deception Pass Gorge. Beautiful view where the “jumpers” go the local policemen told us.) But in all cases, the drivers were considerate and the roads were a dream!

Lance and I educated the rest of the riders about riding with Dallas drivers and a chip sealed road surface that rattles fillings loose. And while they told us about hills and mountains (“We have overpasses,” we’d say.), we told them about the ever present wind and infernal heat of summer.

This morning, I wore my winter cycling clothes. Ear covering cap, gloves, tights, jacket, arm warmers, and two extra layers. It was cold and this is July. This hasn’t helped my sore throat and sniffles.

Tomorrow’s 128 miler is supposed to be cold at the start again, and then probably when we climb, too. (The climb is 40 mile climb over Rt. 20 that starts at Mile 60 on the way to Winthop, WA.) We may not feel the warmth of summer until Wisconsin or Michigan.

I met one of the crew after dinner last night who knew Larry Schwartz, one of my inspirations for doing this ride. Steve told me stories about Larry I hadn’t heard when they both rode the PAC Tour together.

Larry Schwartz was struck and killed by the mirror of a passing school bus while cycling outside of Dallas, May 4, 2003.

Two days later at the funeral, I suggested the cycling community do something to memorialize Larry, who had set national endurance records. There was not a lot of motivation by those I looked up to as movers and shakers. All were non-committal, probably for very good reasons. I was primarily a runner and therefore outside the cycling circle. Certainly being an outsider, I wasn’t the one who would band cyclists together.

But Larry was a friend. Very humble himself, he rode with anyone, at any time, including me, a pseudo runner and triathlete wannabe.

Frustrated after the funeral, I waited until 10 p.m., Sunday, May 11 for an announcement of a ride or meeting of some sort, anything. I felt someone would do something. Surely, somebody out there was as frustrated as I was. There was nothing. Angry that no one appeared to be doing anything to mark Larry’s senseless death, I sent out a few e-mails in defiance, stating I was going to ride around Dallas’ nine-mile rim of White Rock Lake in silence, 10 days later, on Wednesday, May 21. (Initially chose a Wednesday so as to not interfere with any of the cyclists’ weekend racing or training plans. Later I learned it’s a good news day.) “Hope you can join me,” I wrote half pleading and half with indignation.

White Rock Lake is where Larry used to train and enjoyed meeting up with other cyclists.

Someone wrote back and criticized me, saying the ride was useless and unsafe. I responded, in part, “If I am alone, or if a million people attend, I will be OK with either scenario.”
It was not about me, my friends, or my critics. It was about those who have been killed and who can’t speak for themselves. Believe it or not, I still get those e-mails every year.

As it was, my wife, Janalou, and a friend, Mike Keel, joined me to ride to my designated starting place. No doubt they came because they were worried no one would, and felt embarrassed for me, looking a little out of place at Dallas’ premier recreation spot for runners and cyclists, riding silently and slowly alone.

We drove over the final rise at T. P. (Texas Pacific) Hill on the west side, and, lo and behold, there were over 1,000 cyclists gathered, waiting to be led around the lake in a procession of silence. I was overwhelmed, not just emotionally, but logistically, as well. There were no plans, amenities, cones, or announcing system in place.

This could have turned ugly very fast, as traffic was grid locked. The local TV news stations and newspaper also got in the act trying their best to understand, then explain, what was happening. There were helicopters in the air. The police came by and wanted to know what the problem was. I explained, quickly.

Officer Perry Skidmore called for backup. He asked if we wanted an escort.

During the ride, one could hear a pin drop or, at least, sniffles and sobbing. I was choked up thinking about Larry and hearing the passion of these people I was riding along side.

The ride had no fees, registration, or disclaimer. It was totally grassroots. A bunch of people getting together to ride, that’s all. For the most part, it has remained so ever since. It is still run entirely by volunteers without any cash flow or budget.

I was so thankful the entire ride went off without a hitch. But, life changed immediately. Today, I wore my Ride Of Silence shirt and socks today for the ride, the same ride Larry once did.

I'm hoping to raise awareness of The Ride Of Silence and its cause by riding across the U.S. I hope to meet and talk about as I make my way to Williamsburg, VA. Stay tuned.



Crooked Tan Lines, July 7, 2013, 4:45 am, Everett, WA

Day 1.

And so…it begins.



Crooked Tan Lines: July 6, 2013, 3PM, Saturday, Everett, WA

We had check-in at 9am. While getting stuff, we also check in stuff. (Reference George Carlin’s take on “Stuff.”)

It’s really a nerve racking time because of all the anticipation. Self-doubt creeps in like an order. You  don’t know it’s there until…IT’S THERE! If you can remember dropping off your bike at your first Ironman, or packet pickup at your first marathon, you’ll understand.

Simultaneously, you’re checking other entrants equipment, clothes, fitness level, nutrition, anxiety level, etc. Not to necessarily compare yourself with them as a competitor, but more importantly to know that you’re at least in the same ball park as others. That you have a chance of finishing.

What I still found astounding is the number of people doing this who have done MULTIPLE cross country tours. One guy has done AT LEAST one every year for 14 years! That’s VERY expensive. And time consuming. “Geeez, buddy! Find a hobby.”

This is very different from my other endurance events because of its expanse: miles and days. I feel like I packed up my house and brought it with me. This organization, however, has a limit. ONE BAG. 40 POUNDS. That’s it.

Right now behind me, all my stuff is spread out over my bed. One to find stuff (Carlin), and to repack. I think it’s a sign of my psychosis at present, otherwise known as… “FREAKIN’ OUT!”

Another sign is how I feel. How, you ask? Fat, soft, heavy, weak, not toned, and not fit.  I don't feel I'm eating right or have done enough. I know sitting in the car for 3 days didn’t help.

But, I also have faith (below, July 4, 6 am) that once the riding starts, I’ll feel normal again. Fit. If not at the end of the first day, then certain by Day 3. (Day 1 is “only” 98 miles and 5500’ of climbing.) Today’s pre-ride, a kind of systems check, we rode out to the ferry that will carry us tomorrow. It was only 14 miles but 1500’ of climbing!

I can tell Lance, like me is getting anxious, too.

I met Lance Shelton while we were both doing our first cross state bike ride. It was Mike Keel’s BRAGALOT ride (Bike Ride Across Genuinely Awesome Land Of Texas) 2004. Yup, it’s a mouthful.
I had been hit by a car and banged up pretty good. Keel suggested I come along to assist to him, to work the ride, and if the feeling struck, to get back on the bike for some of the trip. It was 7 days and 700 miles from south Texas to the Oklahoma border.

I ended up riding all but the first couple of hours of the first day. IT WAS AWESOME!!! I met up with Lance who was continually in the front. He has a wicked sense of humor. I’m surprised, as he is, he hasn’t been fired from his teaching-coaching position in Dodd City where he lives. He could make conversation with the devil. Great southern humor. Slow and easy laugh. Funny, funny, funny. And hates football. We get along like peanut butter and jelly. If he’s the Lone Ranger, I’m Tonto. He’s Minneapolis, I’m St. Paul.
I remember us discussing the cross-country ride then. I credit him with setting an arbitrary year, 2012. Suddenly, we both started working toward that goal.

We met at a number of bike rallies since then. My endurance would assist him in getting him in good position to sprint at end and do very well. He was/is a much better sprinter than I, so it only made sense that I would help him. As I said above, we’re a good team.

He had a slight set back a few weeks ago in his train, while I had mine back in mid-March. In both cases, it set us back in our training and question our abilities going into this ride. While my situation is still touch-and-go, he seems to have recovered and will be fine.

We have a final meeting in 30 minutes, at 3:30. Dinner follows immediately after. 

Then, I have to clear off my bed!


Crooked Tan Lines: July 6, 2013, Saturday, 7am, Everett, WA

Home. This is the longest period in the past few days or for the next four weeks, I will have been in the same place for more than one night. Two over nights. Whew! I got a chance to unpack…a bit.

Washington state is interesting. If southeast Utah is a giant box of kitty litter, and Oregon is dramatically rolling farm land, Washington is also defined by its mountains. It’s the mountains that set its weather pattern and economy, and the attitudes of its people.

In each of my past visits to Seattle, I’ve found a great number of similarities to Boston, the place of my heritage. From weather pattern, house architecture, land geology, the ocean port…yup, it’s like being back in the northeast. Only the sun is setting over there! What’s up with that? Hmmmm.

We over nighted in Caldwell, OR, on Thursday night, unable to stay up for the fireworks. Heck, we nearly didn’t even make the sunset which was 9:45 local! I remember hearing the pops of the grand finale just before slipping off to dream land.

This morning, scratchy throat, congestion. No sniffles yet. …Drag! 



Crooked Tan Lines, Thursday, July 4, 2013, 6 am, leaving Gunnison, CO

Lance Shelton, my bike buddy, is driving the mountain alleys as the sun rises behind us, as if a giant bedroom shade is being lifted across the sweep of pasture and craggy ridges. There’s beauty on the banks of Black Canyon reflecting the rock centurions that guarded these spots for centuries. We remark how this is how it will look when we start our journey in three days. My ears pop from the altitude.

Our bikes are sitting on back seat behind us (it’s a rental!), and our body-bag size luggage is in back. Packing for a month on the road is tough if you’ve only got one bag.

After the initial hoo-rah of starting that is familiar to anyone who’s done a large athletic event (marathon, bike rally, etc), I envision the ride becoming rote, a job, another day in paradise, or in the saddle as the case might be. For example, I expect when we pass the inspiring Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, we’ll casually glance over at it, but be more concerned about making the hotel to rest and eat. When passing the glorious wheat field oceans of the mid-west after three weeks of 100+ mile rides, we’ll have a road-weary look of veteran road warriors. When looking out over vistas of majesty that’s taken millions of years to carve and create, we will pass by in an almost disrespectable instant, bemoaning the climbing, grade, and the “miles we have to go before we sleep.” Like a soldier in the trenches looking gritty and a little beaten up with a slight jadedness, we’ll adopt that look and attitude naturally. It will be apparent when “The Thirds” (those coming on to ride a third of the distance with us) join our group. They’ll have the excitement and energy of a recruit, or new puppy. We’ll just give them a blank stare of an old dog.

Janalou gave me a journal the night before I left. She tucked in under my pillow. In it, she wrote something for me to read every day. VERY cool, not to mention a lot of work. She also left a blank page after each entry for me to write in. On the inside, past the cyclist on the cover, Janalou wrote a bunch of cycling quotes. Pres. Kennedy, writer Ernest Hemmingway, and poet Robert Frost are included (referenced above in quotes). Janalou’s a good wife. I’m very thankful.

But that wasn’t all. She gave me a necklace with two small charms on it. One is just the word “Faith.” The other is a bike with an inscription on the back: “Faith Journey, PAC Tour, 2013.”

A few months into the concentrated training for this trip, I was injured. It was a critical time in the middle of the build-up that I didn’t have time to repeat given the time line I was on. I was out for at least four weeks that had me questioning how this ride would be completed if I didn’t have the necessary training. I told Janalou it was have to be on faith. Faith that I would heal, faith that I would be able to continue the training, and faith that I would get to the start line, and then be able to finish. A faith journey.

Out the window, the giants are still standing guard over their valleys and peaks.

….How will the mountains celebrate our 4th of July tonight?



Crooked Tan Lines: July 3, 5:20am. Start Driving

I have thought about, read about, asked about, and talked about this ride for almost as long as I can remember.

There’s the anticipation of Christmas, the excitement of one’s birthday, the worries of starting a new job, and the nervousness at the feeling of not having done enough training. One more long ride. One more fast ride. One more hill ride… Never enough.

It’s like the SAT’s. You’re either ready or you’re not. There’s no faking it. This isn’t the weekend 5K.

I’m of the thought that if one has done the work (trained) and is able to arrive at the start line, then they have already stepped out and (almost) achieved their goal.
Though the idea for this sojourn has been with me since I was kid, focused preparation has been building for since 2007. Lance Shelton was a big part of actually moving the idea off the table with a conversation centered around “when.” I remember he said he had arbitrarily picked out five years (2012) because it was enough time to gather resources.

Let me begin by saying that as a four year old kneeling beside the cracked open window in the spring and listening to a distant train’s lonely whistle after each sunrise, I dreamed of far off places.

I listened to my dad’s romanticized stories of hitch-hiking around the northeast, between New York City and Boston in post WWII. I sat in wonder and looking around my bleak “no-where’s-ville” town and thought about these great adventures he had.

I began hitch hiking while in high school one day trying to make my way back home after going the winter car races on a lake in the next town. It was “do or die” and not being late for dinner. I stuck out my thumb and it started. Since then, I’ve hitched from the North Carolina border and up the east coast to the Boston area, the length of Illinois, and from the Atlantic to Lexington, Kentucky. I’ve stood under a street light in the middle of the night not knowing what state of the U.S. I was in. Scary!

Many years later, I would travel by train across this great continent, and even later, by plane. I’ve also driven and ran in every state but Montana.

I’ve done three 140 mile Ironman triathlons, swam the 5 miles across Lake Ray Hubbard three times, crossed the state of Texas by bike three times, and climbed Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro over eight days. Now it’s time for another adventure, easily my longest yet.

On July 7, I will be among 31 other cyclists who will bike 3600 miles across the country in 32 days. I’ll start in Everett, WA, Saturday, July 7, and finish in Williamsburg, VA, Wednesday, August 7. The longest single day will 149 miles, with a typical week will be 930 miles. Generally, I’ll be averaging 112 per day. On the biggest climbing day, we will ascend 9,500 feet on Day 29 of 32. Not everyone will make it...



Crooked Tan Lines (CLT), 7/2/13, 6PM

Ride of Silence Founder Cross-Country Trip Starts in Everett July 6
By Barb Chamberlain | Published June 17, 2013

The founder of the worldwide Ride of Silence will be crossing the United States between July 6 and Aug 8. Chris Phelan will begin his journey in Everett, WA, July 6, and end in Williamsburg, VA, Aug 7.  He’ll be one of the participants in the PAC Tour Northern Transcontinental Cross Country.

He will be riding to raise awareness of the Ride of Silence and with hopes to meet as many ROS event organizers as possible. Because he needs to average 112 miles per day for 30 days, he realizes he may only get to shake a few hands and say thank you while guzzling a Gatorade in the shade at a 7-Eleven on a corner. But, to him, it will be worth it.

If you can visit him along this sojourn that will include Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia, please come out and cheer him on. Point him to your favorite pizza place. Buy him a beverage.

In Washington state at least three rides took place for 2013: Seattle, with 36 riders; Spokane, with 40; and Wenatchee, with 40. If your community participated and you haven’t reported it yet, let Chris know so he captures the full reach of the event.

Chris’s schedule is listed below with dates and cities that he should be passing through.  If you’d like to meet up with him send him an email to let him know; include the date and city so you can coordinate: Chris.Phelan@rideofsilence.org.

In Spokane, Ride of Silence organizer Roger Schramm is putting out the call to get local riders to meet Chris. Contact rogers@garcobuildings.com if you want to participate.

Dates and Cities List
Sun, Aug 4, Elkins, WV: Super-8 Elkins 304-636-6500
Mon, Aug 5, Harrisonburg, VA: Best Western Harrisonburg 540-433-6089
Tue, Aug 6, Ashland, VA: Hampton Inn Ashland 804-752-8444
Wed, Aug 7, Williamsburg, VA: Econo Lodge Inn and Suites 757-253-1663

Crooked Tan Lines - Ride Across America


1. Thank you’s
If all goes well, this will end the same way it starts..with thank you’s.


Janalou: wife, friend, life partner; "Particular and Peculiar!" "Eat and Run!" Cool.

Mom and dad: memories...

Lance Shelton: the man who put a date behind the idea

Mike Stieglitz: always my coach, mentor, and friend

Bob Rubey: officially introduced me to proper cycling while rooming together at SIU

Dave Morgan, Darren & Rebecca Durrett, and Young Life; great people for a great cause!

Duct Tape People (Dr. Randy, Dr. Dr. Himmelsehr, Dr. Palacios, Dr. Sherman, Logan Sherman, John Sutherland, Darci West): those attempt to keep me from falling apart, but when I do, put me back together…physically and psychologically.

RBM: Jim Hoyt, Woody Smith, Jack G, Joe Howard, etc, etc.

Mike Keel: a voice in the wilderness of Dallas

The Core: Michael Montgomery, Tracy Cleveland, Michael Smith, Mike Gibson, Khai Harbut, Jamie Shaw, Joseph Murphy, Art Fairchild

Team Z: Terry Zielger, Victoria Piper, Chris Hughes, Jane Zeigler, and company

TNT-Tuesday Night Track: runners all, triathletes some, but all of open hearts

Builders (McEvily's, Eggert's, Balch's, Weaver's, Fletcher's, Ronan's, etc, etc,...and the back row!)

The support of those who believed and stuck by me… I’m sorry for those who chose not to.

AND OF COURSE…The Ride Of Silence. Those who keep it together (Tim Potter, Elizabeth Adamcyzk, Benoit Valin, J. Steve, Mark Hagar, and every local director around the planet!) and the thousands who have lost their lives legally sharing the road with the motorist that killed.