Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pedal Day 10 - Strength.

"When I'm on my bike I forget about things like age. I just have fun."
-Kathy Sessler

"Doctors can tell if they're operating on a cyclist just by looking at the internal tissues -- they're strong and flexible, there's more muscle and less fat."
-Thomas Dickson

"Knees have always been a cyclist's nemesis -- the weakest link in the power train. Like a pitcher's elbow or a runner's hamstrings, when knees fail the activity can't continue."
-Andrew E. Slough

Jonathan had a flat tire today.
Jonathan had a flat tire today.
Jonathan had a flat tire today.
Jonathan had a flat tire today.
Four of them! Yes! Four flat tires in one day! Guess what! He knows how to change them now! In fact, he's outside right now fixing his last one which occurred at the 19 mile marker on route 200 East. We still pedaled 55.85 miles and are happy with that. We are no longer riding on I-90 as you can see. We did a total of 115  miles on I-90 and were ready to get off. At exit 109 we turned onto route 200 and are now headed to Great Falls. Before we get there we have to climb one more pass, Rogers Pass, on the Continental Divide. The elevation is 5,610 feet. We will probably go over the top tomorrow. Do you know what that means? That means you better be on your knees talking to the Lord about Barry and Jonathan!
Speaking of knees . . . I mentioned that my knees were rebelling when we were going up Washington Pass. I haven't even told them about Rogers Pass and they still are rebelling. They won't even talk to me. BUT . . . they have decided that we are in this together and if they ever want to see the porch swing at 1131 Lee Circle again they'd better get with the program. I also told them that I know a lot of people that have been replacing their knees! I think that put the fear of God in them. So I made a deal with both knees: they could have all the rest, epsom salts, Ibuprofen, and Walgreens Ultra Strength Pain Relieving Patches they wanted on this trip. The more they cooperated the quicker they would see the porch swing in Georgia. Today, I think they finally got the message. Even the right achilles tendon worked with them and we did a really good day of pedaling together. I'm thinking that tomorrow when we get over what looks like the last real mountain in the Rockies, both those knees and that tendon are going to be thinking they can do almost anything. They sure better because, as the quote above says, if they don't the activity can't continue. Doesn't matter how strong the legs are, if those little hinges in the middle won't work, we're in serious trouble.
I've thought a lot about strength on this trip. Jonathan and I are still doing the, "Pedal smarter, not harder." method for the trip. That helps considerably. I've never considered myself to be athletic. I do like to be active but have never been one for throwing a ball, pumping iron, or running a mile. One of my goals this year is to run a mile with Daniel Washington (at my pace) and still be breathing when we finish. I don't like to run. It's not a strength of mine and never will be. If I had thought only about strength and the total distance we have to ride on this trip I could have gotten really discouraged real fast, especially when my knees decided to go on strike. I know, however, that my inner strength is greater than my physical strength because of where it comes from:
"I look up to the mountains -- does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth" (Psalm 121:1-2)!
"For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).
"Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10b).
Tomorrow, my knees and I are going for a ride. We are going over Rogers Pass together and we're going to be singing "The joy of the Lord is my strength." We're not depending on muscles alone. In fact, joy may have more to do with it than muscles anyway!

Thought you'd like to see Margaret's choice for our accommodations tonight! We are in Seeley Lake and on Seeley Lake in Fisherman (That's the name of our cabin.) at Tamaracks Resort. Margaret's brother, Jim, would love it here. Joyce, his wife, well . . .


  1. Be careful that your knees don't do a little dance when you get over the Pass. I would hate for word to get out that a Baptist preacher was dancing!! :)

  2. Interesting fact you may or may not know... There is a web cam on top of Rogers Pass. Praying for those knees.

  3. Thought I would google some knee quotes for you. Here's what I found.
    "My knees are ticklish." Juliana Hatfield
    Oh well.
    I love keeping up with you and Jonathon and Margaret so much that I click on your blog every 3 hours, just to see if you've written a "mid-day" blog, you know, while you're pedaling. Oh well, wishful thinking!
    We miss you and Margaret SO much! Keep on pedaling, keep on pedaling. You'll get somewhere sometime soon. Love ya'll!

  4. Praying hard for those knees today!! You can do it. I am also praying for no more flats--good grief. I hope that once you are over this pass that you have a strong tailwind and either flat or downhill riding. No pressure but I don't want to hang out at the Minneapolis airport for days! Ha! Ha! You guys are going to catch up, I know. Love you bunches! Mom, too!

  5. Hmmm...Jonathan's continuous flats seem to me to be a silent cry for help. I think he's secretly wanting you to leave him sleeping in his tent tomorrow morning while you inconspicuously sneak out and go on your way. We are charting your progress on our wall size map of the US that is now taking up space in my bedroom, so please go faster so I can put the ugly thing back in the garage. That cabin looks more like an outhouse to me - are you sure Margaret stayed in it willingly? I'm thinking maybe she was unconscious for the night.

  6. I loved the part where you said "pumping iron." I laughed outloud. I can see you saying it now, cuz its definitely something you do NOT do. I'm glad you don't look like Rick Flare anyway. Although, I could change that with a quick hair color called bleach blonde, just give me the word! Love ya and praying for you!

  7. Barry,Margaret,4FTG(Four Flat Tire Guy),
    Guess the latest pray reguest is NO MORE FLATS!!! The Flat tire saga might qualify for the Guiness Book of records(Ha-Ha).Sounds like
    you are all having a great time. Wish I were there with you. I told Bill I will drive him across America so he can fish or run just so long as I get to go. I have the cross America
    blues and I bet you know the cure. Be Safe...

  8. P.S.
    I forgot to comment about the knees. I REALLY
    know how to pray for you in that category. Hope
    you only have to learn from my experience and not actually go through it.
    Barracuda(New Knee)Queen

  9. Poor Jonathan...FOUR FLAT TIRES!!!Where are you taking him Barry!! I can only imagine your poor knees, your body is sending you a message!! Mine would too!! But as they say, "that which does not kill us makes us strong." You are one strong man!!
    I'm praying for your knees and your safety as you journey on. God blessyou all!! Cheryl