Wednesday, June 18, 2008

“No guts, no glory!” (days 14 thru 19)

Now for the second of our two overdue blog entries…

So for the third time this trip, after our sore legs and raw backsides ordered us to tap out for the day, we have found ourselves saying “that was my hardest day on a bike, ever!” More hot steep climbs through the canyons of Utah without so much as a gas station for up to 75 miles has run us pretty ragged, however, these have also been our most glorious days. Our dad used to always say “No guts, no glory!” and riding through the 97 degree desert heat while towing our gear up monster peaks for 8 hours a day over 80+ plus miles has been both gutsy and glorious. We hurt like hell at night, but we look back on each day and smile while we deliriously laugh (and binge on ice cream) about how hard the day was. We are lovin’ this. The hard part is what has made it great.


Before I forget, we have to talk about the stars – wow. Living in the northeast may sometimes yield some pretty nice star-gazing nights, but they don’t even compare to the ones we have had in the cloudless, smogless skies of Utah. For those who don’t know, there are a lot of stars up there. A photo wouldn’t even do them justice. It feels like we earn the spectacle every time we camp out under the stars.


All of the recent desert riding has paid off and we crossed into “The Colorful Centennial state of Colorado!” yesterday. A pretty easy day, and by easy I mean we burned only a mere 4,200 calories riding, as we cruised into Dolores, CO. Along the way we had two flat tires and another wipeout. Jamie, I am publicly thanking you for providing me with one of the funniest things I have ever seen. You can blame me for the flat tires, but the spill you took today made me laugh so hard that I nearly wet my spandex. Clearly, Jamie is OK because otherwise I wouldn’t be publicly humiliating him; It was shortly after we crossed into Colorado and Jamie accidentally rubbed my back tire with his front tire. Seconds later, Jamie was face first in a bush and his bike was in the middle of the highway. He bounced back up in a fit of laughter and I’ll never forget the look on his face. For the record, Jamie would like to attribute his faulty steering to the lack of sleep the night before due to the cacophonous diarrhea emanating from the poorly insulated bathroom of the Belgian tourists in the lodge next door.


After our arrival in Dolores, we were informed that the Ride the Rockies annual bike ride through Colorado had left just a day prior, which was probably a good thing because there were over 10,000 cyclists participating in it this year. After a big pizza and some friendly conversation about our fundraising adventure with a few locals, one man (Mike – you absolutely rock) offered to take drive our heavy gear and trailers over the Lizard Head Pass (10,222 ft) and into Telluride. Needless to say, this made the climb into Telluride much easier.

Stay tuned as there will be a lot more to report from Colorado…

And please keep the comments coming – we really appreciate ‘em!

6 comments:

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
judy said...

Dear Justin and Jamie, I read with great interest and admirtion of your cross country bicycle trip, which honors your parents. It was my privilege to know both of them through my work as an oncology social worker (at that time in New Rochelle...now at the Cancer Support Team in Mamaroneck). I know how enormously proud they would be of each of you, and I wish you the best of luck in your adventure.
Warm Regards, Judy Delehanty

Miz Chiz said...

Hi guys! LOVE the updates - I know what you mean about the stars - glad you are appreciating the natural beauty around you and are not too exhausted! Jamie - you will have to replay that facial expression for us! Diane C

molly said...

Lately I have been thinking, "Wonder what has been happening in the lives of the Merolla's?" So, upon Googling you, this is what I find! Honestly, I am not surprised. I always knew you all would do great things. I miss and love you!
Keeping you in my prayers,
Molly

mary said...

You guys leave me speechless with ...admiration and love! Jamie, so glad you were not hurt on your "spill".

Mary

Kristen said...

I am so proud of you guys this is the most amazing thing you are doing. I've been following up on you guys. Come home soon hope you had a good time in Annapolis. Come home soon you guys, pedal fast!!!!!!!!!!

Love you Just and Jame!
Kristen