Before I start, I finally tracked down one of the pictures I photobombed! Here it is:


Alrighty. On to today. Today was our first rest day, so what do we do? Go on a bike ride! Duh. Here’s some pictures:




















I also have a short video of our ride on my Facebook!


Here’s the GPS route we took: Dean (our host) led us on this ride on parts of the North Carolina Greenway and we took a relaxing break in the river. Then we rode to the dam to take some pictures. This is Dean:


A little more about him: Dean is friends with Nicole who works for 4k. He lives in Raleigh, NC and when the San Diego team from last year came through Durham, he insisted on meeting with them to share his story and to hear theirs. If you ever happen to meet him, his story is utterly inspiring. After meeting last years riders, he insisted that he host the San Diego team next year. No exceptions. He’s been absolutely wonderful to us! Last night, he told us his story and asked us to share ours with him. We each took turns and it was a very emotional hour with lots of tears, smiles, and laughs. It was a great team bonding activity and I couldn’t think of a better time or setting for it to happen. To lighten the heavy mood afterwards, we spotlighted riders for good things they had done in previous days. We do this about every other day and it’s a great way to lift the mood of all the riders. It’s always nice to hear good things about yourself and a lot of times you’re surprised at what things people will say about you!

This morning I woke up and was delighted to see that Dean had tea! Plain old black tea! I was REALLY happy about that. Some of our previous hosts have had tea but it’s always some weird lemon herbal chai honey ginger rose tea infused with cinnamon, orange peel, and extracts from hibiscus flowers, ginseng petals, cactus fur, and a touch of pixie dust. Bleck. Good ole Lipton and sugar is what I like! We had a nice breakfast chatting with Dean then we went on our ride! It was a beautiful day and I got to climb in trees, swim in the river, and play in the dirt.

When we got back, Max had secured us some Jimmy John’s for lunch! Thanks Max! After lunch, we took the vans into Raleigh. We made a stop at an REI where I got a North Carolina sticker and some chapstick. Other people got energy goos, beans, gels and all that other stuff that tastes funny. Not for me, but whatever gets you through the day… Then we went to Chipotle because they wanted to donate 25 burritos to us! After that we still had some time left, so we went to a nearby margarita bar for happy hour!

When we got back to Dean’s house, we had some time to kill until dinner, so I took a nap. Courtesy of Brianne (gotta love her!), this is me:


Hot. How am I still single? Hah! Anyway, when I was woken up for dinner, we had pizza and pasta and garlic bread! It was really good! We saved the burritos for tomorrow in the van. Then I forced everyone who hadn’t cleaned their bike chain to do it and we had a quick organizational meeting for tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be our longest day: 82 miles. So we’re going to get up early and get out! We’ve set some plans in motion to avoid the mistakes of yesterday, so everything should be smooth sailing. We have a few hills I think, but in general, the ride is downhill!

Let me know if you like certain pictures or have any requests for specific pictures or videos! I prefer taking a lot of candid ones as you can probably tell! Hey Gayle! I’m a little concerned that you haven’t added me on Facebook yet! Also, I think I failed to mention that for a while now I’ve had a nickname! Since I’m one of the mechanics, they call me Tooler! Not everyone uses my nickname, but the ones who think they’re funny do. Remember to comment on my stuff and tell me things!