Dolly's Bike Blog

Musings about fun between my legs

2013 Southern Route USA

Since at least 1997, I had yearned to attempt a cross country bike ride. That summer, my friend Warren rode from LA to Boston. He called me from Winslow, AZ; I rode with him when he passed through Indiana, and I celebrated his accomplishment when he returned. But I, too, wanted to “explore” the USA. I had always loved Charles Kuralt and his tales of small towns off the interstate. What better way to see our great country?

With children, a job, and a widowed mother in failing health, the dream was put on the back burner of life for 15 years. Early in 2012, when I asked my husband if he was interested in such an adventure, he declined without hesitation. And I “discovered” WomanTours – a wonderful “girly group” that seemed to have great support (before and during the ride) and reasonable daily miles (reasonable if I train well).

So in March 2013, the dream – and adventures – began!

I turned 65 while on the ride – it seemed like a fitting way to celebrate – in El Paso, Texas, where my 100 year old mother passed away in December 2011. I think she would have been nervously excited for me.


  • December 1, 2012
    Wow! It is December 1st, the thermometer hit 60 degrees, some sun, plenty of wind.  Don and I rode our singles to the start of the CIBA (Central Indiana Bicycling Assn) ride, then selected the long route (33 miles), knowing that we would cut off somewhere before the end to ride home  I ended up ...
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  • December 23, 2012
    The sun was shining, though the thermometer read 35 degrees. On the main roads, the snow and ice from two days ago had melted, so I decided to head out for a ride. I definitely wanted to stay away from ice; no desire for injury as I prepare for my upcoming “adventure.” ...
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  • December 30, 2012
    There is a foot of snow in the Indianapolis area, but Don and I have escaped to The Villages, Florida, warmly welcomed by our tandem friends Ray and Linda Cannarella. On December 26th, it snowed all day, dropping 8 inches.  We completed errands on Thursday, then headed out of town early Friday morning.  The dusting that ...
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  • January 1, 2013
    Happy New Year!  I hadn’t been paying close attention to the calendar, and the number of days until the start of my adventure.  But now it is 2013, and the countdown really begins: 31 days in January, 28 days in February, then 7 days in March until I meet up with the other cycle adventurers! ...
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  • January 2, 2013
    When I first started “regular” riding in the early 1990’s, I sometimes rode with Terry, a very strong rider, who had tried RAAM (Race Across America). He always said “the wind is your friend.” I have never been totally convinced, unless I am enjoying the joyous push of a tailwind. When we start riding here in ...
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  • January 19, 2013
    Late Wednesday afternoon, Don and I returned to Carmel, having driven from The Villages to Atlanta on Tuesday.  After spending the night with friends Gary and Lisa Lancaster, we got an early start Wednesday in the rain.  The temperature fell as we headed north, with the showers continuing, fog, freezing mist on the trees, and ...
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  • February 9, 2013
    Since we returned from Florida, I have tried to maintain a regular exercise schedule: Monday evenings, cycle fitness class for 90 minutes Tuesday early mornings, boot camp at church (55 minutes) – aerobics and weights, plus core Wednesday evenings, cycle fitness class Thursday afternoon, exercise class again, more core and weights, a bit less aerobics Saturday morning, extra ...
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  • February 17, 2013
    On February 6, I spent several hours composing and sending an email out to a first group of friends, from my bicycle foundation colleagues, and my church “sisters”. I asked for their support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as I ride across the Southern Tier. Over the next 10 days, as time permitted, I ...
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  • February 24, 2013
    Prelude to my ride
    This week seems like the prelude to my ride: On Monday, I took my last cycle fitness class (I began those in late October). This last class I sprinted hard for 3 minutes ten times, with a 3 minute rest in between. Saw some pretty elevated heart rates! Tuesday, after 7 am Boot Camp (more sweating and ...
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  • February 28, 2013
    On my way....sort of
    Monday, February 25: The morning was spent with last minute errands; we were actually ready more than half an hour before son Tim came to pick us up. Flight was on time departing, and arriving in Phoenix. It is hard to imagine that I won’t be back in Indy until almost Mother’s Day! Met at the ...
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