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, November 22, 2007


For as long as I can remember, one of Atlanta's Thanksgiving traditions has been sportswriter Furman Bisher’s column on things he is thankful for. As he notes, there is “a bit of whimsy” in his list, but in the end, he succeeds in showing you that you can be thankful for just about anything. His 2007 column can be found here for a while. After reading it, I thought I’d give list-making a try. As it is with Mr. Bisher’s, the list not complete, just representative.

I’m thankful for our family's visit to Atlanta. And, that I did not spill the beans to Shirley, who was truly surprised at their appearance.

I’m thankful that I got to see the Georgia Tech basketball team beat Notre Dame. But not so thrilled at the Falcons’ miserable showing against the Colts. And how 'bout them Packers?!

I'm thankful that my sore throat isn't any worse than it is. I needed to be in top form to keep up with my grandsons at the zoo.

I'm thankful that I'll able to watch Saturday’s Georgia – Georgia Tech game with Dan and Wendell although I doubt it will have a good outcome for Jackets' fans. Update: It didn't. Have a good outcome. 31-17 Georgia.

I’m thankful that those who couldn't be in Atlanta made it to Illinois for Thanksgiving with their family; and, a little sad at the same time, that they are not here.

I’m thankful for Shirley and for the time we have had in Cincinnati and Atlanta.

I’m thankful for Atlanta’s November weather with breezes to rustle the pine straw that is everywhere around here.

I’m thankful for bicycles. And Bag Balm.

I’m thankful for good friends.

I’m thankful for the big family gathering at Ann’s. I miss Glenora’s rolls, but I am thankful that Shirley discovered the Kings Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls as a replacement.

I am thankful for the challenge of missions trips. For being able to make a difference.

I am thankful for being able to sit in a Waffle House where the waitress calls you sweetheart and you can get real grits. And thankful too that the local Dunkin' Donuts has a drive-through.

And I’m usually just thankful that I’m here. Wherever here is.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Bike

I had entertained the idea of shipping or carrying my Trek here to Atlanta for the Thanksgiving holidays. Spending 4 days at the Missionary Convention in Cincinnati was a complicating factor as was the fact that we are staying in a hotel near Shirley's parents' home. So, I opted out. But, this is not to say I didn't have a plan for riding. I would just get a bike for the stay in Georgia. Here it is:

Nice, huh? Some time ago, I wrote about how I rode and rode and, after thousands of miles in the seat, still found myself at home in La Crosse. Well, this is a whole new level of getting nowhere on a bike. Then there is the scenery. While at home, I can ride along the Mississippi River, the stretch from La Crosse to Stoddard being as scenic as it gets. Here, I have water too look at too:

Oh well, I suppose it is better than not riding at all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


My mission now is to ride 5,000 miles this year. It will take some extra effort. And good planning. I know, for example, that there are 48 days left this year. Taking into account planned trips and holidays, I think I have at most 28 days of riding left. Needing 263.8 miles to reach my goal, I figure that’s 9.5 miles per day. Doable, but not a slam dunk. Or whatever the bicycling equivalent of a sure thing is.

Part of the plan for chewing up the miles is eschewing the hills*. Riding down the river to Stoddard gives me 20 miles in a bit over an hour. Riding up Bliss road or County K and I can only count on 14 or 15 miles in the same amount of time. So, I’ve taken several tours downriver (and back) these last two weeks. This includes a 57 mile ride down past Victory, Wisconsin last weekend.

Eschewing to chew.

Total for the year is 4,736.2 miles.

* Just to show the hills I haven’t forgotten them, I have ridden up Bliss Road twice this week.