DAY 49

May 2, 1999

Well, I decided not to cycle in these plains with heavy rains and lightning. The severe thunderstorm warning is in effect until late afternoon. It was 8:30am and there was only light rain. I got dressed and went across the street to Roger’s Café. It’s the place where all the locals go. Inside I sat on a stool at the counter and hung my wet jacket on the back of it. I ordered an egg white omelet with vegetables, toast, and decaffeinated coffee. A big stalky black guy walked in and sat to the left of me. Curtis is a local and frequents the café to get oatmeal for breakfast. He is very large, like a football player, probably 280 lbs. As we engaged in conversation, he refused to believe what I was doing. Curtis has not been exposed to bicycle touring and continued to question me like a detective questioning a suspect. After hearing many details he seemed to accept my story. So he gave me the direct line phone number of a friend of his that works at the local newspaper. Then he asked if he could stop by to see my bike after he got out of church. I said sure and gave him the room number.

Arriving back at the motel, I paid for another night and got a discount, $31.97 total. I decided to try the phone number Curtis gave me and a guy answered the phone, identifying himself as Tony. I told him who I was and how I’d obtained his phone number. Tony informed me that he is in the wrong department for my story, he’s in advertising and it was only by chance that he had to go to the office for a few moments today, a Sunday. He was excited about the story and wanted to get the information to someone in the news department. I asked him if someone would be able to do an early morning interview so I could get on the road by 8:30am. He said he’d leave messages and have someone call me first thing in the morning.

At about noon I heard a honk outside my window. I looked out to see Curtis in the parking lot. He got out of his car and walked to the window to talk to me. After seeing my bike through the window, he wanted a closer look so I invited him in. "I guess you really are telling the truth." Curtis hung out for about 45 minutes and remained in awe over the whole concept of what I was doing. He checked out my front suspension. I have Judy XC’s that are at their firmest setting until I hit the rough terrain of the Dalton Highway. He also turned on the headlight, pushed down on the suspension seat post, and inspected my clipless pedals. Which by the way, what should I call it when I put my feet in them? Don’t I clip them into place? Or maybe I just "click" them into their attachment. What about those pedals I had on my tricycle? They didn’t have a clip or strap, so wouldn’t they be "clipless" too?

Anyway, Curtis asked many questions and one thing he couldn’t understand was how someone could be celibate for 4 months. He wondered if I visited any clubs along the way and picked up any girls. "You mean you’re not getting any trim?" Before Curtis left he asked if I could send him a postcard from Alaska to see if I made it. He had spoken of his interest in the Kodiak bear earlier and asked if I could also send an Alaskan T-shirt with a Kodiak bear on it. When he asked for a picture of me with my bike, I directed him to my web site. He said he could print one from there. He said he was going to a friend’s house that has a computer with Internet access since he doesn’t own one and doesn’t know how to use one yet.

The rain stopped around 4pm so I went for a walk. There were mostly fast food and motels around here. The mall was only about 4 blocks away so I decided to go there and wander around a bit. It was a very small mall, maybe I should call it "The Small" hehe… Inside I found the GNC store and bought more food bars. They had some "Genisoy" bars so I bought the last 5 they had and some powerbars.

I ended the red meat habit after my college nutrition and physiology courses. So with what knowledge I do have of nutrition and exercise physiology, I’m trying to maintain a healthy balance.

Today - 0 miles
Total - 2537  miles


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