Daily Archives: June 29, 2009

Woman Rides over 3600 Miles Across America To Support Our Military‏-June 29th Update

Jeannie on the  Road

Jeannie on the Road

Hello everyone!  This is our 8th day.  We did 65 miles today, from Ontario, OR to Boise, ID.  We passed into Idaho today, which was really awesome, that was just shortly after we left our hotel.  We got onto Route 30 and crossed the state line into Idaho at the town of Fruitland.  It was a nice peaceful ride out, not bad at all.  Once again we saw a lot of railroad tracks, a lot of cattle and fields with lots of beautiful horses.  Our first stop was at 32 miles, a good little stop at a large Shell gas station with enough room to have our stuff off to the side.  The weather has been really hot today, started off in the 60s and now around 91.  It’s been a hot ride and we’ve had to be sure that we’re drinking a lot and that we eat enough for energy in the heat.

It’s been a really good ride today, and I have to say, breathing a real sigh of relief and a sigh of joy.  After riding 8 days solid, we will finally get a day off tomorrow, which I’m really looking forward to.   Coming into Boise, after some of the desolate areas we’ve seen, it was really interesting to start seeing the groomed lawns and the estates and the townhomes and condominiums.  Really beautiful golf courses and groomed grass, I smelled fresh-cut grass today, which I haven’t smelled since I left home.  So that’s been really, really nice.

Just before we got in to our hotel at the Courtyard Marriott in Boise, we stopped off at a little café on the side for all of us to get something to eat.  The service was extremely slow, but it was still nice to just relax and rest and visit with everybody.  I talked with different people there and gave out the OLT cards and talked to them about our troops.  I talked to some technicians that work with doctors in the hospitals around here, talked to some women who were coming in to pick up one of their moms who has had some chemotherapy for cancer who lives about an hour out.  Nice, nice people that I’m meeting along the way, genuinely interested in seeing us riding across America.  It’s all been really positive.

It’s almost 4 o’clock.  We have what we call mechanics, which is going over anything on our bicycles, checking anything out that might need to be fixed or changed.  So far I’ve really been fortunate, I just had to have a valve changed because it got bent when I was filling some air, so they changed the tube with a valve for me.  So far I haven’t had any flats, and I’m really thankful for that, very safe travel.  I’m really watching the road, really being very careful.  Today the people I was riding with were riding really, really fast, so I was kind of pushing it today.  I got a true workout today, really “hauling it,” as we would say!

I won’t be doing every day like I did today, but it’s nice to know that I’m that strong.  I was kind of riding in the lead of all the women today, was always kind of a step ahead of everybody.  There are 11 women on the trip, and all are basically pretty good riders, but most of the time I happened to be more in the front for women.  So I guess I’m riding pretty strong, which is really nice to know.

I’m thankful to all of you out there, and I hope everyone following this that you’ll rally your friends and neighbors and relatives, because by you getting the word out for people to know about Operation Life Transformed and send in pledges, it really makes a big difference.  It definitely makes my ride worthwhile.  I’m enjoying this, but it still is a lot of work, riding all the time, it definitely is wearing, but it’s very exciting.  I really do appreciate your pledges, for any of you out there who are pledging for our troops and for their wives and families.  I really want to thank you with all my heart, I really appreciate what you’re doing.  I appreciate you trusting in my abilities and pledging for what I’m doing.

I have tomorrow off, but I’ll still call in and let you know at the end of the day some of the sights I’m going to be seeing.  I’m not really sure yet, I’m going to be checking with some of the other cyclists to see what I’m going to be doing.

God bless you all, and God bless America!

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Jeannie Benton’s Ride Across America for Military and OLT June 28th Update

Jeannie wearing her OLT Jersey! (2)

Hello everyone!  I am now in Baker City, OR.  We are only at 2153 feet of elevation.  Today is Day 7, and it has been a beautiful, beautiful Sunday, a peaceful day, a quiet day, surprisingly enough.  I thought it was going to be a really tough day because we had to get on the interstate highway, and I was a little bit nervous about that.  But it turned out, because it’s Sunday, there was less traffic and it was beautiful weather.  We started out with fairly warm weather, I believe it was in the upper 50s, then it warmed up to the 90s, really, really hot today.  That made it a little bit tough, but I can honestly say that today was not a hard ride.  It was the easiest ride that we’ve had since the beginning of the trip, because we didn’t have to do much climbing.  We went 84 miles minus 7 miles, because we were on Route 7 and then Route 30 East, and we had to be shuttled for a small section over to the other part of the highway because there was highway construction and there was not a way for us to be able to ride our bikes on that section of the road.  It was too broken up and under construction.  So we did miss that little part.

I can tell you an exciting thing today.  We were going along the railroad along Route 30.  It was a slight downhill but we still had to pedal.  Because of the low-grade slope and the way that the road meandered parallel to the railroad tracks, we were riding the wind today.  It was absolutely beautiful.  For the first time in my life I went 30 mph consistently for almost 30 miles; I’ve never done that before!  It was really exciting.  I was really in the groove, I really was feeling very strong today.  I can tell that I’ve strengthened a lot on this trip from doing all the climbing, so my legs are just really ready to roll.  I just sailed through!

We got to the little town of Huntington, at the 46-mile mark, and we had a lunch at this little café/deli place, which was really nice.  We fueled up and went on to do our 84 miles.  It was a beautiful day today.  I’m very grateful that we were all safe, that’s always a great blessing.

We are headed to Boise, ID tomorrow, which is what we’ve all been waiting for, because tomorrow after we ride to Boise we actually have a rest day.  After tomorrow we will not be riding the next day, and that will be fun for all of us.  Some of us need to get a few cycling things.  I need to get some new gloves with some gel in them, because my hands keep on going numb and keep on falling asleep.  Also after I’ve done about 50 miles my feet get kind of numb, so I need to find some kind of sole support or something I can put in my shoes that will make it a little bit more comfortable, they tell me.  Those are a few things I’m looking for.

I want to say the truckers are definitely being nicer on the road, for the most part.  It was great seeing the cattle and horses and miles and miles of railroad track and the prairies.  We started going along a river that looked more like a lake, the Snake River, for part of our trip, which was actually very pretty.  We looked down over a whole wide section and saw a lot of people fishing, I guess for catfish.  People come from all over to go cat fishing here, so we met a lot of fisherman and families vacationing to go fishing.   To Danny, my brother-in-law, that should excite you!

I hope all is well with everybody out there, family and friends.  It’s really incredible that I’ve done a week of riding, and still all of us are loving being together.  We’ve got a great crew, the food again has been really good, the weather has been perfect, we couldn’t ask for anything more.  Several people do get flats within a day, but we all have our tubes and everyone has their equipment to be able to fix their flats.  So there isn’t anything that’s happened that’s been really difficult in any way as far as any problems.  Everybody has been pretty healthy and we’re all doing well.

I want to thank you again and hope that you all had a blessed Sunday today.  As I was riding I was saying my prayers and just thanking God for the great blessing for me being able to do this physically and that there’s this time in my life that I’m able to do this at this age.

I’ll be talking to you all tomorrow as we head into Boise.  It’s only about 67 miles tomorrow, which now mileage in the 60s sounds like a cinch!  But we still always have to be really, really careful for debris; there was a lot of debris on the side of the interstate, which is why it’s so easy to get flats.  We have to really watch where we’re riding all the time and being really careful of all the cyclists around you, always paying attention and always being on.  That’s something that I never will take for granted, we all always have to be careful.

Thank you so much, God bless you all, and God bless America.

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