Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The excitement is building

Thank you so much to all of you who have already made a pledge or otherwise sponsored the ride with money or supplies!

Time is flying and I'll be off to New Orleans before I realize it. I've been training diligently, but trying to be careful not to overdo. I don't want to start the trip exhausted; I want to be prepared. The weather was uncooperative last week, so I spent a lot of time in the gym riding a stationary bike and lifting weights. I had to work in Kansas City early this week, and I was able to do some lap swimming at the hotel. I'm trusting that the variety of training efforts will keep me interested and work different sets of muscles .

Last Saturday I rode 43 miles in St. Charles county. The recent rains have caused a lot of flooding there along the Missouri River, so it was interesting to see. We even had to ride over slightly flooded roads at times. On the paved surfaces I was able to maintain a speed of 18-19 mph and it felt great. But when we were on gravel with a fierce headwind, my speed dropped to 8 mph and it was hard work. The average speed of the day was a respectable 13 mph, and my muscles weren't the least bit sore after my first long ride of the year. I'm feeling pretty strong.

Today after work I'm going to ride from the office downtown to the arch, south to Soulard, west to Tower Grove Park, and north to the Central West End, and west to the Loop. It will be about 30 miles.

I've been working on the food committee for the trip (anyone wanting to make donations of gluten-free foods, please tell me!) and I'll also be the chaplain, offering some daily spiritual nourishment. The MORCRC staff has been working hard to find sponsors to support the trip.

Everyone going is feeling excited, terrified, anxious, and up to the challenge. We're gathering spare tubes and water bottles and protein bars. But the most exciting part is how much we're going to learn about the geographical realities of access to reproductive health in America. I know that the work of MORCRC will be enriched by the stories and ideas of activists from other states.