Blowing west on a tailwind

While Jeanie, Chelsea, and Stephanie were rounding out our Austin visit with their visit to Kristin and Ryan and an early morning bike train and ride to San Antonio, Jane went on to San Antonio Thursday night after a fun dinner and brief reunion visit with Air Force friends and mentor Suzanne and John Shore.  Thanks for hosting me on short notice John and Suzanne!  Steve arrived at San Antonio airport Thursday night in time to attend the Friday retirement luncheon celebrating good friend and tireless USAF advocate and Spurs fan, Nancy William-Sykes completing 23 years of service to country and the USAF.  Great to see Nancy, her daughter, Kelly, and many USAF friends and colleagues. 

Friday night's dinner at Adelante in Alamo Heights gave us a chance to catch up with host/cyclist Dan Soder and enjoy Debbie's delicious Tres Leches cake as a delayed birthday celebration for Steve.  The best Tres Leches ever!

Steve had been busy back in DC before joining the team in San Antonio as he attended the National Bike Summit sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB).  Steve learned how to be an even more effective bicycling advocate.  He met LAB President Andy Clarke who mentioned our trip and mission in his talk at the plenary session and "tweeted" about the trip.  Steve also met Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, a strong supporter of Complete Streets and improving cycling and pedestrian infrastructure nationwide.  Secretary LaHood's staff is continuing to communicate with our team and plans to blog about our ride on the Secretary's blog.  Steve brought us many informative handouts and notes from the three day Bike Summit, which should help us improve our bike advocacy work.

Saturday night we enjoyed a reunion potluck dinner with our friends from the Alamo Group of the Sierra Club at the lovely home of Peggy and John Day.  Thanks to all friends who were able to join us on short notice and update us regarding the ongoing successes and fun achieved by the group during the past 3 years. As supporters of sustainable transportation, the Sierra Club was interested in our cross country bicycle adventure.  It was great to reconnect with other good friends Abbey Walker and Machelle and Greg DeStefano over the weekend.

Sunday, we sent Steve back to DC and gave Stephanie a fun tour of the San Antonio Riverwalk and Alamo.  We are impressed to see the San Antonio bikeshare stations: B-cycle.  Also, great updates from a visit Friday by Jane and Steve to see Mary Thomas, Maggie Thompson and their team at the San Antonio Health Department Communities Putting Prevention to Work office: San Antonio now has a number of very bike-friendly programs: the year old Bike Share, a hugely successful Ciclo-via day twice a year- the most recent event on March 4, saw over 40,000  San Antonians enjoying Broadway free of motorized traffic and filled with pedestrians, bicycles, and  vendors allowed to sell only healthy food.  Other great bike friendly improvements include more bike lanes on major roads, a  program for low-income citizens to earn bikes, and several schools with new Safe Routes to School programs.

Monday morning found us at Woodridge Elementary School in Alamo Heights, Katie, Jeanie and Chelsea's alma mater.  We were able to give two presentations to the entire fourth and fifth grades.  We were glad to see our friend and Jeanie's high school basketball coach, Coach Poarch, and our good friend Jeanie Hickey, another wonderful Woodridge teacher.  The Woodridge students were very enthusiastic and asked some of the best questions of any schools we've visited so far :  "Why did you decide to do this ride?"  "What do you eat?" "Do you ride at night?".

After a second breakfast (see the pattern continuing?) at Taco Cabana on Broadway, we headed out to Uvalde, Texas, with a wonderful TAILWIND!  We arrived in time to enjoy a delicious vegetarian dinner prepared by Tina Quintinilla, at the home of her parents Agnes and Mario- enjoying another reunion with this family of our good friend and USAF colleague, Vicky Zamarrippa.  Thanks for hosting us and also finally fixing our van auxiliary battery problem! 

Another wonderful day with a tailwind blew us along a quick 87 miles from Uvalde to the Laughlin Air Force Base campground at the Southwinds Marina on Lake Amistad.  Today, we met 5 other cross-country cyclists- three of whom stopped at the same lunch spot with us in Brackettville, TX.  The three were coming west to east and warned us to carry plenty of water and watch out for dust storms near El Paso.

Steph captivating the Woodridge 5th grade

Chels taking a turn with the 4th graders

Coach Poarch

After a super tune up the cassette looks shiny and new!

Head-to-head on the old bike rodeo course

Lake Amistad

"Icing" the legs after a long day
Posted by Jane


  1. So you are not in Mexico, but you can see it from the front door of your tent? Glad you had a tailwind after so many days of headwind. It never seems to even out for me. Or is that a memory trick, when I only remember the headwind times? Here is the link for San Antonio's wonderful bike event: http://siclovia.org/ Also several cute home videos by riders at this year's event on Youtube. Looks like a giant step in the right direction for the cradle of Texas liberty.

  2. Glad to see you coming our way! I note you're riding Las Vegas to San Francisco April 17-28. That's an awesome time to be coming through Monterey County! The Bicycle Leadership Conference and the Interbike IBD Summit are both in town April 17-19; and the 22nd Annual Sea Otter Classic (bike festival, expo, recreational rides, races, and more) takes place here April 19-22. Also in the Monterey Bay area April 14-16, the California protest ride about distracted driving, led by Bob Okerblom, whose teen son was killed on his bike by a texting driver.

    BikeMonterey.org has details on the above, along with the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County 20-section guide and much more.

    Our current local Safe Routes to School efforts--Cities of Monterey, King City,and Soledad--are highlighted there too. http://marilynch.com/blog/what-support-is-provided-for-kids-biking-to-school.html

    Local media will be interested in your arrival; contact me for details.

    Happy riding! And thanks for your help in bringing more attention to SRTS!

    1. BikeMonterey - Looks like we might just miss Interbike and the Sea Otter Classic! We plan to stop in Monterey on Apr 26 - we'd love to promote our trip to local media and connect with your group while we're in town. Please call 401.241.8559 or email me your information so we can connect! I'll track down bikemonterey.org in the meantime. Thanks.

  3. Have been following along from the safety and comfort, but wishing i were part of this adventure. Maura

    1. Maura- the incredible adventure continues. Our generous hosts all along the way have been wonderful to 4 women biking across the US! We are in southwest New Mexico heading for some of the biggest climbs so far- tomorrow a pass at about 8200 feet.
      We think often of Larry and Candace's bike adventure from Oregon to Pennsylvania, and hope to complete the "northern tier" route someday as well- after a few months rest at least!
      Glad you are following us! Jane

  4. US Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood used your Woodridge School photo in his blog this week. http://fastlane.dot.gov/2012/03/four-women-riding-over-5000-miles-for-safe-routes-to-school.html

    Keep on riding safely and for safe routes, ladies. You are inspiring.

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