shifting gears


Oh my. I ran out of gears. Montana is stunning with all the waterways, flora and fauna,  mountains and then more mountains in the distance. 

 This trip is physically very demanding on a daily basis for me. Some riders are like greyhounds and they are off chasing each other.   After riding over 50 miles we had 8% plus hills to climb and over 50 miles left.  My body was maxed on the climb so I stopped in a car pass area to take a short breather.  I thought I could hitch a ride from passing cars and trucks or if I had to make believe I fell perhaps a good samaritan would stop and give me a lift to the top. I did get help from another rider who physically helped push me up the hill.  Cars waved and I got by with the help of a friend.

 What are the choices when we are overwhelmed?   

Stop and rest, turn around and go back to the downhill or continue on with best effort knowing no hill or situation goes on forever.  Nothing lasts and how wonderful that we can make changes in our mental mindset to see the difficulites through another lens or to consider the options.  

Using the word problem sets off a negative chain of emotion for many.  

Example:  someone said "if it is windy and rainy on the hill we have a big problem".  I asked, how is this a problem or do you mean a challenge and we will find a way? They rolled their eyes.  

Step 1.  Is this really a PROBLEM, life altering event or or simply an annoyance or hard time? Is it difficult because it is not what I expected and believe it  shouldn't have gone this way?  

Step 2.  Set your "problem" down on paper or out loud and name the real issue.  Then move away from it mentally, simply observe it as an outsider.  You can view it  from a distance and  start creatively finding solutions.  At a minimum you can move to acceptance of the situation and see how best to get through it .  This will pass and simply be an experience. Something great is ahead. 

We rode across Idaho and now in Bozeman, Montana.  

risks and courage


On my jersey is a Bead of Courage pin from a wonderful program in Tucson.  This serves as a reminder that life is full of risks every day and to put it in perspective. More important is that it honors the courage of children hospitalized with serious challenges.  They receive a bead for every medical procedure and collect a long string of beads to acknowledge their courage in battle.  I can celebrate health by riding to  honor a child then write a story about the bead. 

Consider how you remind yourself to be brave and bold when you want to stop yourself due to worries.

Every day is unpredictable despite our best efforts to be safe.  A rider got hurt and then there was an awful accident with a car rolling across the road near our group of riders. This frightened us all yet we continued on talking about how we have to live wide and full and go for what we want. These events are powerful reminders of how fragile life can be. 

Today  I needed a sign on my back at one point: beware a  slow moving vehicle. There was a point it seemed like it would be faster to walk the bike than to slog along and this made me laugh.  We rode 102 miles from Thompson Falls to Missoula, Montana. Parts of the ride were picture perfect like in the movies, the Clark Fork River flowing,  tree lined winding roads, wild flowers etc....This area is known for the rough-skinned newt which describes most cyclists in the Southwest!  








Simplified Skillful Motivation

When you feel like quitting, think about WHY you set a goal

Here's a simple process I use for motivation to accomplish a goal.  

Motivation is an inside job.   Three to do's:

1.  Your mind needs a reason WHY to get you going.  State clearly and concisely what you plan to do and why.  The brain can lead the body to do it.  

2.  You need to renew it often.  A daily reminder of your intention keeps you focused.

3.  Use inspiration which comes from things outside of you to add to your motivation.  This can be done with quotes, reading about others accomplishments, photos, music, even looking around at nature and the wonders of our incredible planet. 

 We left Sandpoint, Idaho this morning  " one of the most beautiful small towns in the USA"  It sits along the the Lake Pend Oreille surrounded by 3 mountain ranges.   Lovely scenery as we rolled into Montana.  We are still averaging over 100 miles a day so being able to motivate oneself and find inspiration through others and the beauty that surrounds us keeps the  pedals moving.

The Long and Winding Road

The path may be  clear but we often see and create obstacles where really they may just be detours and potentially more scenic and to discover new things.

 While riding along the wheat fields today after passing through the Coulee Dam in Washington State  ( to arrive in Spokane)  there was nothing in the road at all.  I thought of how we go along and often expect it to stay that clear and uncluttered.   

When we learn to live with intention we can choose a way to be for the present day.  So no matter what pops up or seemingly blocks us from having a great day can be handled without resistance.  This is going with the flow of how the day unfolds and decide to ride along or be stopped and miserable by things outside of  us .   This is work in progress for me.


 Extreme Sport/Extreme Karma 




Day 2/ Monday July 18

This is the sign now appearing on my jersey.  Does anyone have a knitting group or competitive tiddlywinks I could join?

This is the sign now appearing on my jersey.  Does anyone have a knitting group or competitive tiddlywinks I could join?

What a memorable day

We rode  130 miles with 8,200 ft. of climbing over the Cascade Mts.  That alone was beyond me but to add in a thunderstorm and sleet at the 91 mile mark and you'll understand the photo above.   I bonked due to fatigue and cold temps but managed to limp into the town of Winthrop, which thankfully is quite charming.  

Along the way I needed an attitude adjustment.  Tired and  shaking due to the cold and rain,  can move one easily to complaining or quitting and yes I wanted to do both. Perspective can stop you in your tracks.  Is this hard compared to the tremendous suffering people around the world endure and all kinds of sad situations???  Get a grip and be glad this is the situation in comparison, deal with it the best you can as it is not a life altering problem.

The really nice part was the sun shining on the way to the mts. with orchards ( even the organic blueberries are humongous!), farms and all sorts of creeks and waterways. This area is called the American Alps which speaks to the beauty, snow covered peaks and glacial lakes and too many to count long "cascading" waterfalls. The views were spectacular with lupinesand larkspur lining the road with multiple look out points to see snow capped mts and aqua lakes below. This is considered one of the most scenic drives in America so perhaps an RV or anything with a motor would be advised.


Departure Day

Departure Day: 

Some of these people look seriously fit, a few as if they took a wrong turn and liked the looks of the group and one or two have that look as if their significant other is sending them on the “vacation” alone.  Oh my, surely this will be an adventure.  Some of them eye me suspiciously as I am sporting a silly grin as usual.  

 Day 1      Everett, Washington in coastal Puget Sound heading north to Sedro Wooley

Quite a "warm up" and ended up with 106 miles with 6,000 ft. climbing.

May you find things each day to bring a smile or sense of appreciation for the wonders of this world.  Such a variety of things to enjoy today:  adorable flower stands with an "honor" box to pay, children running on a beach, mountain views, wild flowers waving at us as we rode by and meeting the rest of the riding group and ahhh, 30 degrees cooler than Tucson at the hottest part of the day and having the health to ride a bike. 

The Ride : Because and Cause:  Rancho Feliz and the Road Warriors fundraising program      Extreme Sport/Extreme Karma




Torque setting

We humans are very well equipped to handle this up, down and all around life.  If something potentially life threatening appears we get a full on fear reaction maybe in our chest, heart rate, power to the arms or legs,  stomach churning or even scream in wild ways.  This protective mechanism can keep us safe and even sound of mind if stressed to the max.

For bikes we have torque wrenches to click and even beep to avoid over tightening to prevent screw ups. I bet the majority of us stop right away when working on an object but when it comes to us we tend to ignore the signals and override them. Ok, I admit it, I have been known to over-torque a bolt. We are funny creatures!

Today we are in Washington State putting bikes together to start the trek across the USA tomorrow morn.  My bike had a mechanical problem right away which we could not solve after an hour.  It is universally true that all humans hate to feel frustrated.  When we reach a point we will find a way out of the feeling  by letting out the frustaration by yelling, throwing something, or quitting.  

**  Be Aware  of your level of frustration. Your mind and body will give you a warning:  your energy will usually ramp up and can reach the shaking a soda can stage about to blow. My Tucson travel companions, Tim and Bill, were beautiful models of how to respond vs. react when things are challenging. Here's what can be helpful.  

**  Exhale hard, which is a normal physical response but add a few more on to slow things down inside.   Inhaling raises energy and the exhale relaxes the body.  I make believe I am blowing out candles on a cake or filling a balloon.

** Take a break, walk away and your mind will relax and creatively start to present options when you let go of having to solve it immediately.

** Ask for help. People are incredibly helpful when asked for assistance.  Not only did we find a bike shop (Bicycle Centres Everett)  that would take a look right away they didn't even want to charge us.  Wow!  Our tip matched our gratitude. 

The Ride : Because and Cause:  Rancho Feliz and the Road Warriors fundraising program

 Extreme Sport/Extreme Karma 





   Prior planning for peak performance

This business concept can be useful  in all areas of your life and in a holistic way.  

What can I think and do to maximize getting a great outcome?

*  Look at all areas:  mental, physical, emotional, financial and spiritual preparation and ask yourself  the questions below.

 For those of us who tend to leap, then look for a landing, we may not prep enough or only in certain areas of your life.

The Physical:  If Well-being is the goal, what am I doing today to head in that direction? Leaving in mid - July for this trip  means hot and hotter in Tucson, AZ so long rides may be hazardous to health.  So concentrate on what you CAN DO that fits with the theme of well-being.

What can we manage? Healthy eating, decent training, rest and a balanced life with work,  fun activities, friends and a variety of interests.  

The Mind:  Am I thinking in a factual and positive direction or making up negative things and believing them? Become aware of your thoughts, where they lead you and choose good ones. See the difference in your mood and energy level right away!

The Spiritual:  Am I thinking, acting and living according to my values and beliefs?  How do I  contribute to society in a positive and productive way that feels purposeful ?  Does how I live and give match my core beliefs?  Uhhh, what do I believe about this life and how does my goal align with  this ?

The Emotional/Social Aspect:  Are you excited and getting the support you need to succeed? Check in with how you are feeling. It will be related to what you are thinking. When working with clients I have them use a scale to gauge how they feel about a path they want to take and we can makes changes right away to get to WIT ( whatever it takes) or realizing this is not the right time to take something on.  

Who can you count on for help, a boost, someone to shine a light when it seems too dark or scary?  Who is fun and inspiring? We can add new positive thinking friends and be a great friend and a fan of others.

The Financial:  How do my decisions affect me financially?  When making an investment of your time and money you'll want to get a good return.  What can I do to maximize a good return?  


Please  join this journey and donate  to Rancho Feliz

The funds go directly to them as I am paying all my expenses .  THANK YOU

one day at a time

3501 miles      average 115 miles per day 

Poco a poco se va lejos
Little by little you'll go far


Life and riding a bike takes focus and paying attention to what is happening right now.  Look backwards and you can't stay present and be aware.  Look too far ahead and you may miss was important right in front of you now.

Because:  It is a totally challenging adventure

The Cause:  Rancho Feliz and the Road Warriors fundraising program

 Extreme Sport/Extreme Karma


This link takes you to  their site and my goal to help them.




  Northern Transcontinental Tour/Itinerary  

                 Poco a poco se va lejos                    ( Little by little you'll go far)

                 Poco a poco se va lejos

               ( Little by little you'll go far)


Back Pedaling/ Playing What if

      I suddenly didn't want to go forward with  the trip.

 Most of us have the tendency to look back at some decisions with regret and consider the choice we made a “mistake”. Now who intentionally makes a wrong decision???  Looking back makes it hard to stay present and plan a better way forward yet this nervous feeling kept creeping up .

Self doubt  creeps in and a sense of dread with the WHAT IF’s pop up in my thoughts:  this is too much for me, all kinds of excuses and doubts gushed forward.  I have never ridden even 7 days in a row now 30???!  Our minds have a way of heading down the slippery slope of negative thoughts and dark imaginings.  Telling others and listening to their worries was like taking in smoke.  Thoughts alone were  choking off the GREAT POSSIBILITIES of this incredible opportunity to experience this trip. 

With continuous practice I have learned to catch myself and  play WHAT IF in a fun positive direction.  

WHAT IF  I make this the coolest thing, have a blast with these people, see incredible sights, learn much about myself, and  find ways to creatively solve whatever challenges arise....  What if this is such an opportunity that I MUST go and make it great.

    The preparation for the trip begins here with affirming the vision of completing the trip with a sense of adventure, curiosity and gratitude for it all, whatever may come.

**  Have a clear good intention, give it attention by doing whatever it takes  and then expect it to happen successfully.