Dolly's Bike Blog

Musings about fun between my legs

A shaky start

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Don’s brother Ralph delivered us to Dulles Airport 2 1/2 hours before our flight time.  With the tandem, we know not to be in a rush..

At the ticket counter, the agent Terri was a bit harassed, but we remained calm.  The printer was out of stock and when filled kept jamming, so the process was quite time-consuming.  The tandem case weighed 82 pounds; we just paid the surcharge and proceeded to security.

Our TSA-Pre had no effect there, long serpentine lines.  And the TSA dog took a liking to Don, resulting in a full pat-down (I really wanted to take a picture…) and unpacking of his carry-on backpack.  Again we stayed calm.

We had day passes for the United lounge, which was full.  We walked to a second lounge, snagged some food and headed to our gate.  Overseas flights start boarding an hour before departure.

Once onboard and settled, the plane slowly exited the gate and wandered to the runway – and stopped.  There was a thunderstorm threat in the area and all take-offs and landings were delayed for an hour.  No clouds that we could see, but there we sat.  Final take-off delayed almost an hour and a half.

Flight generally uneventful, though the mild sleeping pill I took did not work, so little sleep for either of us.  We landed in Amsterdam around 9 am local time, retrieved our luggage and the infamous tandem case and were met by Jan, driving a large Ford van, big enough to hold the case and our luggage.

We are staying 2 nights in Abcoude, maybe 20 miles outside of Amsterdam. We will put the tandem together, explore the area, and get “settled” before we embark on our Dutch adventure.

“On the road again”

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Don and I are busily packing our tandem and duffels for another trip across the ocean.  We depart Indy on Tuesday, drive to Fairfax, VA (where Don’s brother lives), then fly from Dulles Airport to Amsterdam, where our latest adventure begins.

With the assistance of Tulip Cycling, we plan to ride solo (can a tandem ride solo?) to several cities and towns in the Netherlands, leisurely pace, flat terrain, hopefully reasonable weather — this for 9 days.  Tulip Cycling has planned the routes and hotels, and will transport our luggage each day, so we just pedal and explore.

Then on September 24th, we meet up with other 14 tandem teams and enjoy Belgium with Pennywise Tandem Tours (we did Barcelona to Toulouse with them 2 years ago.) We will be back in the US on October 9th.  We will end our trip with a visit to New York City for a reunion of Don’s graduate school rugby team.

I hope to write regularly about our adventures and share photos.  Thanks for joining us on the road once again.

It’s Not Too Late

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It has been 2 weeks since I completed my Pacific Coast bike ride, also 2 weeks since I have been on the bike.  First, Don and I had to drive over 2,000 miles to get back to Indiana, then I encountered colder fall temperatures once home.  I miss my bike – and my biking friends, but currently I am busy preparing for several large family gatherings for Thanksgiving.

This past Sunday I attended our church for the first time in 12 weeks and received lots of welcoming hugs.  Best of all was the hug from Jim, for whom I had dedicated my ride.  He looked so healthy, good color and a full head of gray hair  (see below)!  That hug was the almost perfect ending to my six weeks of biking.

But I must say I was/am disappointed with my fund-raising efforts.  I had set a goal of $5,000, but my combined total (Crowdrise and direct donations) is just $3,000.  It’s not too late to make a donation, to celebrate my successful bike ride and to celebrate Jim’s remission.  I rode 1800 miles and managed 72,000 ft of elevation gain; Jim withstood months of immunotherapy and radiation to achieve remission from melanoma.  Won’t you help?

Please consider a donation: crowdrise.com/dolly-bikes-the-pacific-coast1
Since Crowdrise (the fundraising host site) charges some fees, you might also consider making a donation by check to Outrun the Sun, Inc., 8435 Keystone Crossing #175, Indianapolis, IN 46240 (please write Dolly on the note line).

Outrun the Sun is dedicated to building awareness of melanoma and other skin cancers, educating communities about preventive measures that reduce melanoma’s incidence rate, and raising funds for melanoma research, leading to treatments and a cure.

Maybe you don’t know Jim.  But I am betting you or a family member or a friend may have been treated for basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, maybe even melanoma.  Let your dollars help to build awareness and maybe find a cure.

Happy Thanksgiving!  

 

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