Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gas Light

Last Friday morning, my gas light on the Ducati came on. I was heading towards Asheville in the afternoon with plans to stop at a gas station in Fletcher that I often get fuel. Riding up HWY 25, things are great. Then the engine dies. Yep, I've run out of fuel.

Things were fine because I was right in front of the gas station and I could coast into it. I had timed it perfect... I was a genius! It was only when I got into the gas station that I saw that it was closed for renovations. No gas! I ended up having to walk 1/3 mile back to get gas for the bike.

Don't we do that a lot? Ride the gas light seeing how much we can get out of the tank of fuel. Just like me, when the tank is empty, we find we are not in a place to refuel. So what do we have left? Only a empty tank and nowhere to go.

Here's what went through my mind when I was fueling my bike:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mekong to Tennessee River

On the weekend of August 28, my family and I made the trek to Knoxville to attend a family reunion. It was to mark the 30th year that my family has been in the United States and we celebrated with the families that brought us to the United States. I've written before about what a leap of faith it was for these individuals to step out of their comfort zones and welcome total strangers into their lives.
All of us!
It really was a great weekend. As always, we had great food. There were laughs, tears and stories. It was the first time in over a decade that we've all been together. So much has changed throughout the years. I am no longer a toddler. My siblings speak great English. We've grown into professionals and some have started families. There are children and grandchildren. And we-- Keans, Uy, Headricks and Smiths-- are all family.
My Best Friend
Here is the article in this week's Blount Today about the reunion. It's full of errors about facts and names and some other things. But it does get some of it right. Hope you get to read it. I owe a lot to these families that brought us to America, but I also owe a lot to the ones who love, believe and support in me everyday.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

By the numbers

Some numbers from the bike trip:

2 sock monkeys that finished the trip

2 Tires replaced – 1 rear tire on bike and 1 trailer tire

2 gloves lost in Vale, Oregon

4 flat tires patched

7 number of rest days

8 days over 100 miles

13 states traveled through

14 pounds lost

17 other cross country cyclists met

31.3 shortest travel day (Grand View to Mountain Home, Idaho)

54 days traveled

66.2 average daily miles (76.1 not including rest days)

100 Counties travelled through: Oregon (10), Idaho (10), Montana (1), Wyoming (6), Colorado (7), Kansas (18), Missouri (12), Illinois (5), Kentucky (4), Tennessee (12), North Carolina (1), Georgia (7), South Carolina (7)

125.3 longest travel day (Colorado Springs to Kit Carson, Colorado)

3, 578.5 miles logged

3,600 estimated average calories burned per day cycling (based on 14-16 mph for 5 hours)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


sad or depressed from a longing for home or family while away from them for a long time.

It's been nearly a month since I've been home from my bike trip. It has been great to see friends and family. School is off to a terrific start. But I'm roadsick. Understand, I love being home. But I miss the road. I miss meeting new people. I miss getting up at 6:00 in the morning and knowing I was going to be in a new town today. I simply miss moving. I am roadsick.