Moving On

The original purpose behind The Fourteen Percent Ride has long since been fulfilled. So, I've decided that Mighty Proud will be the last posting. It just seems right.

But, don't worry. Or maybe you should. In any event, I plan to continue. I'll keep riding. And writing. Click here to come along in my new blog ~ The Long White Line. <-- check it out!


As I've ridden for the last two years, I've picked up on the fact that Shirley, my darling wife, has been more worried about my safety than impressed with my "accomplishments." How do I know this? Well, when I'd come back and tell her, for example, that I'd hit 53.6 mph going down FO, she'd reply, "I don't want to hear it." Being the sensitive sort I figured out, after many such comments, that just maybe we were not on the same page here. But last week, she told me that she would "greatly reduce her focus on the 'fear for my safety' issue." We talked about the tour, looked at some maps, researched nutrition suggestions on the internet, and so on, just enjoying the idea of the ride. How nice is that? Thank you, Shirley!

Thursday, May 3, 2007


I've spent a fair amount of time contemplating things from behind the handlebars. Leaning over against a stiff wind or struggling up a climb, I have opportunity to examine the finer details of asphalt, watching as little spots of perspiration leave a trail on the dark, pebbled surface. Or to try and find the right gear, so I can "spin" up the hills. Or attempt to get more aerodynamic with a device that threatens to dump me over instead. Equipment, training -- all to be more efficient. So I can ride faster, farther. Spend more time with the wind, find another hill or two. Looked at this way, I guess I am nuts, as has already been suggested. If all I want is excercise, Shirley has observed, I should just get a 35 pound, fat tire Schwinn (my Trek weighs less than 18 pounds and has hard, narrow tires) and drag a rock around the block a few times.

So why in the world do I do this? Challenges. When I first started riding, I thought, "If I can ride up Bliss Road to the top of the bluff, then I can hang up the bike." I did ride to the top. I did not hang up the bike. I set my sights on the steep climb at the top of county road FO. Then it was ride 100 miles. Did that -- and the 100 mile point was during an FO climb. Why? Things I did not think I could do. The hills; the wind; the clock. Challenges. I'm apprehensive about the upcoming ride. I think it is going to be hard. Very hard. I am not a good climber. And we'll go across two mountain ranges. Bill, a much better rider than I am, is encouraging. But, I'm apprehensive. Yet, I'm also excited, eager to see what it is really like. Will I hang up my bike after this challenge? No way. I don't know what the next challenge will be. But I'll find one...if I survive Seattle to Missoula.

Busy, busy day. No riding. Total ~ 756.4 miles

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