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, June 14, 2007


I was talking to Pavak about screw compressors. Engineer stuff. When the phone rang -- actually, when it made one of those unnatural sounds that passes for a ring these days -- I turned around and looked at the info screen. An 800 number. A nuisance call. We kept talking. Then an email notice popped up on my computer. Something caught my eye: the words "Flight Cancellation Notice." Our flight would not leave for 36 hours; what could this be about? I looked at the message. Well, well. It was our flight. Later I would discover that phone call was from Northwest with a computer generated voice breaking the news in that special way only a computer generated voice can. Saturday morning's La Crosse to Minneapolis leg was cancelled. Thirty-six hours, a day and a half, before scheduled departure. You must be kidding. We were rebooked already, though. On the 6:37 PM flight. The Seattle leg scheduled to arrive there at 11:40 p.m. That would work; arrive at the airport, collect the bags, including the bikes, make arrangements for transportation to the school in Marysville, Washington, get to the school, set up tents in the dark. Then get up at 5:30 a.m. to start a day-long ride with something like 5,000 feet of climbing. Yep, that works.

I called Northwest right away. The agent I spoke with was very helpful and the situation was not her fault. Still... sheesh! Looking at options (there were few) we decided to drive to Minneapolis. I worked this out with the agent, getting back our seats on the morning flight to Seattle. After a bit we finalized the plan. Drive to Minneapolis on Friday night stay in a hotel near the airport then fly out to Seattle at 8:00 a.m. We drive back to La Crosse after returning from Missoula. This is a good start, and we haven't even started yet.

Later, I took the bike up to Bill's and we started the packing process. First, we remove the pedals. No sweat, since they are not put on tightly. Except for one, the right pedal on my Trek. I thought we would never get it off; we even talked about getting the bike to the shop tomorrow. But finally, I got the pedal to break loose by tapping on the wrench with a hammer. In the process, I managed to whack my thumb and now have a wonderful bruise to show for it. We get the bikes packed, I go home, finish the other packing. What a day.

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