Pedal, pedal, and pedal! That’s what we’re often told when we’re on our daily bike trips. Thanks to my bike computer, I know had to pedal 42,497 times to make it to Del Rio, Texas from Sanderson Texas! But sometimes, it takes more than just pedaling to get to our destination. That’s what each riding day reminds us, and this was especially true on our ride to Del Rio, Texas.
The trip covered 108 miles and took 7 hours and 47 minutes, the longest time we have ever been in the saddle. But what made the trip more challenging was the wind. Headwinds were present 84% of the time, and tailwinds were 0%. We had to deal with maximum winds of 24 mph while climbing 3,675 feet. (All the statistics for the rids are available on my Strava: Day 19 – Sanderson to Del Rio, TX). Climbing hills is usually rewarded with a descent, but the wind took away that reward. We had to pedal down the hill after reaching the apex, which was a real disappointment. At least the wildflowers are all blooming.
After 60 miles of battling winds and hills, we arrived at Langtry, Texas, where we hoped to refill our water bottles and eat real food. Unfortunately, the only place in town, Jesse’s Wagon Wheel Store, was closed. I loved the name but although the sign said open, it was closed with no sign of life. We were short on water and food, and had no cell service to contact the support team. But a motorist looking for gas gave us a bottle of water, which gave us hope that we could make it to Comstock, Texas, where a gas station was reportedly open. The problem was we had another 28 miles to go. Getting there was the first time we felt hunger pains and real thirst. Despite the challenging ride, we still tried to take in some of the sights.
We took an extended break in Comstock, knowing this would cause us to get to our destination late, but we needed the rest. We ate like we were starving. We had sandwiches, pizza, pickles, candy bars, and Gatorades. We needed all the fuel possible because our next stop was the finish line, but it was another 20 miles away, and the wind was picking up. The remaining 20 miles ticked away slowly, and the daylight was disappearing, but we made it—exhausted and relieved that the day was behind us.
Our experience today reminds us that it takes more than just pedaling to get to our destination. Sometimes, we need to deal with the elements, including the wind, hunger, and thirst. But if we have the perseverance and determination to push through the challenges, we can achieve our goals. And when we do, the sense of accomplishment and relief makes the effort more worth it.
We “Pedal for a Purpose,” which is to empower kids to overcome challenges and achieve their goals through cycling. We hope today helps drive donations, so we can fulfill that purpose as we continue to pedal, pedal, and pedal!