Ray’s Page

06.11.11 – Hi everybody. Im so proud to have my own page. Six days and 445 miles and we’re still alive. Lots of motorcycles on the trip and they sure look smart to me. I think I can get Rusty on a trike. We did this new thing called rest today. It made me nervous. I hope it passes. More sidekick input tomorrow. Love ya, mean it…..

Sunday 6-12   Fun ride. Only 3300 miles to go. Steve Murray- when and where are you meeting us? Martin- answer your phone. Pete- join us. Joe- quit your job and meet us. Bost HD- send me a bike….quick… Lesson- never expect a tail wind. I’m on my way home honey!! only 7 more weeks.

Monday 6-12 Rusty woke up today and the guy that kicks my butt on 3 dog hill showed up. After I pushed the first climb, I got spanked for the next 72 miles. Most of my sight seeing involved his rear tire. At least he puts out a good draft and I was able to hang on. Another great day. We’re starting to get used to the altitude…a little. We love getting comments, so please make fun of us as often as possible. I made Rusty eat veggies today before I let him have his kettle chips. I think he’s having a reaction, but at least we’re avoiding scurvy. So far on our trip Nevada is in my top 2 favorite states… barely.

Wednesday 6-15 Hi Honey!! See you in 9 days!! Mike- I’m still waiting for a bike delivery. This things getting really hard to pedal. Randi- You could keep up with us running. Curt- You’d love the trails out here with the Jeep. They never end. Oh yeah the ride….. it’s hot and hilly with no oasis. I rode hard today out of fear of running out of fluid. Ran out of fluid and blew a rear tire…. sounds like fun huh???  Love ya mean it.

Thursday 6-16  I knew we were in trouble when Rusty spoke the forsaken words “gee, there’s not much wind today”….ow. 20-30 mile consistent wind in our face just about the time it was supposed to get easy. Now I know how it can suck and blow at the same time.  A big shout out to all my buds at the TBA convention in Chattanooga!! To my riding hero, Roy Herron, I’m trying to keep the rubber side down and I’m glad you’re healed up. Sam- good luck keeping the crazies in line.  Only a small climb tomorrow. This is harder than I thought it would be….

Friday 6-17 Hey guys! The map said 15 mile climb….dang map. It was 28 miles to 10614 feet. Don’t let Rusty’s sweet talk fool you. I almost tripped over him going to help our new friend Gene with his truck tire. What a nice guy and his pup. One week till our wonderful supportive wives join us! We’re moving the ball forward.

Tuesday 6-21 Hi all. Rusty posted that yesterday’s ride was tough, but there’s noway to explain the level of tough. Almost 12 hours, 130 miles, 1 store, a 50 mile continuous climb, and 2 walls with 10 to go. We both agree this is a one and done route. We made it and our rest day is much welcomed. A big thank you to all you guys offering support. It means a lot more than you know. A big shout out to my Harley buds at Bost; Mike, Curt, Brian, Jayson, Joe, Paul, Clint, Tammy, Dida, Brandi, Danny, Tim, Trevor, Ronnie, Josh, James, Young Josh, Jeremy, Art, Bill, all the new guys, and the real heart of the shop-Neil (who understands why old guys do crazy things). Also my pals at Bumpus who I think are following us now. This would be hard on a motorcycle. Bud- thanks for checking in on me. Also a personal belated Father’s Day to the Dads in my family- John, Joe, and Jim. 1150 miles in. I can smell the Atlantic???

Thursday 6-23 The tour started to take more shape today. Rusty took over the King of the Hill Jersey and still maintains a big lead in the overall and green jerseys. I still hold the young rider lead and plan to keep it….. We had a good day today with only 50 miles of climbing. Our wonderful wives join us tomorrow. Gail and Mary Ann have been our rocks for a lot longer than the trip and we can’t wait to see you. A big Hi to all the fam. I hope you all know I have the best nieces and nephew anywhere. Chris- Thanks for taking care of Gail and the house (I think the grass needs cutting??), Lauren- I think I’m going to need your PT skills soon. You would love it out here. Jessica- The world’s greatest soccer player. I’m trying to play as hard as you do. Meggie- I know for sure I need your nursing skills!! I love you all. See you soon. Only 2500 miles to go….

Saturday July 2. Hi guys. I’m back. First, thanks for all the great comments on the blog. It’s good to hear from friends. Robert E- Thanks for pushing us along. We need all the help we can get. I’ve learned (or remembered) several things also.

  1. Never ever talk or even think about a tail wind.
  2. Any 2 large trucks passing each other in opposite directions on a deserted highway will pass each other at exactly the same moment they pass you.
  3. Climbs are hard, but fun.
  4. Flats are boring, but also fun.
  5. Cold Gatorade is better than hot Gatorade.
  6. It is possible to gain weight on a 4000 mile bike ride.
  7. Bumpy roads hurt your butt et al.
  8. Did I mention the wind?
  9. Family (especially Gail and Mary Ann) will love you no matter how many stupid things you attempt.
  10. Rusty smells funny…….
  11. Bark less, wag more. (stole this one)

Wednesday July 6th. I’ve never been so glad to see hills in my life. If anyone ever told you Kansas is flat, it was an understatement. I get bored easily. At least Rusty tells enough jokes to keep me entertained. We’re in the flint hills now and getting ready for the Ozarks. I haven’t posted much because I’m usually asleep when Rusty tries to hand me the computer, but I’m still learning lessons.

  1. Try to ride down wind of feed lots (bad…..I mean real bad)
  2. If another bike rider is coming the opposite direction, sitting up, waving and smiling, it’s not a good thing.
  3. The John Hazen rule: Don’t let the bastards get you down. Rusty calls this the 98% rule. (98% of the people are great) A truck driver actually flipped us off today. I was impressed with his bravery.
  4. A “buck stove” burns hot enough to burn anything you put in it. My belly is not at the buck stove stage yet…….

You guys rock!!! Thanks for the support. We get to see our girls in 9 days!

Friday, July 12 Hero. Back in 1984 when I qualified for my 1st Kona Ironman it was big news in town. Both the newspapers (yes, we had 2 then) and local TV interviewed me about this new crazy person sport. One of the reporters asked me what seemed like a standard question- “Who is your hero?”. At that time there were several people who ran through my mind. My wife Gail of course who had put herself through Vandy Law School after teaching special ed for 2 years. Walter Thompson who was a racing legend and often kicked my young butt. Bob Alt, who was responsible for the birth of triathlon in the middle Tennessee area (Mach Tenn in Tullahoma) and also kicked my young butt. My constant training buds, Rusty and Steve Rundberg and several others. I told the reporter it was John Hazen. John was a retired guy that could swim, bike, and run with anybody. I wanted to be like John when I was older so John was my athletic hero. I’ve often wished I had said my true hero. I think about him every day. His Dad passed when he was 12 so he had to quit school to help work for his family of 3 sisters and a brother as they were surviving as sharecroppers. That’s just the tip of the iceberg so ask me sometime. I’m sure you know I’m talking about my Dad, Doug Ashworth. Today would have been his 89th birthday. We lost him in 2000. Happy birthday Dad. You’re my hero. I love you.

July 30, 2011

 

There is so much I want to share and so few words that I can use this will be tough. Most of you know I’m not much for waxing poetic (I leave that to my travel partner) so here goes.

  • Thank you infinity to the many friends that helped make this journey possible.
    • Cliff and Jamie. What a start you gave us. Your hospitality and warm spirit really made our first days easy.
    • Lucas and Whitney. I know your dad is proud of you Luke and so am I. It was great to have you guys in our corner. Your dedication to a life of health and fitness is an inspiration to us old guys. It’s pretty cool that you’re fast too.
    • Clint, Amanda, and Brayden. It was so great to see you Clint. Your dad is equally proud of you as am I. Amanda seems like a wonderful young lady. Like me, you married up. The ball of energy called Brayden is an amazing kid. I know you guys are super parents.
    • Karen and Tommy. It’s easy to understand why Jonathan is such a great guy after meeting you both. Your hospitality and gracious welcome to your home were overwhelming and genuine.
    • Walter. You’ve been my inspiration for most of my life. Your energy is endless and has helped me through more than you know.
    • Pete. You’re a goofball, but you’re my goofball.
    • Martin. There are few people in this world that will drop everything at a moments notice to help me with no questions asked.
    • Jonathan, J.J., David, Eric (and Derrick), Jeffrey. You guys really made a few days more fun and easier than they would have been without you.
    • Carli and Becky (and Cassie). How awesome is it to have your own cheerleaders. You were a real inspiration to us both. Your encouragement and friendship was priceless.
    • Pete, Dave, Gary, and Phillip. Old guys like us have to stick together. Congrats on your great accomplishment. It was really nice to have you as brothers in arms.
    • Mary Jane Ann Lou. I don’t have the words. You’re family.
    • Raymond L. I never knew I’d met my best friend in 1972.
    • Gail. My #1 hero. I love you.

 

I’m sure I’ve forgotten folks so please forgive my old guy memory. For all the people on the trail, Godspeed to you all!

 

A final challenge. If you can imagine it, you can do it.

 

 

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Responses

  1. Gail just passed along the blog. Looking forward to keeping track of you guys. Awesome trip!

  2. AWESOME, Ray! I shall see you when you get to Colorado.

  3. Meow!

  4. Gail said she was coming in on the 24th and going to Montrose. I can go down and meet you in Telluride on the 23rd or meet you in Montrose on the 24th or even hang in Gunnison (but I am not sure why anyone in his right mind would “hang” in Gunnison) on the 25th and 26th. Or, I could do all or any combination. Just let me know if you need some assistance.

  5. Hi Fellas- I was tipped off to this adventure and your blog by Rusty’s son Lucas. I just want to say, hats off to you both. We’ve never met but I’ve been logging in every day since before your journey started and your posts both inspire and entertain! Keep on pedaling!

  6. Just discovered you have your own page! Why not you are a school teacher. Keep up the fun times!

  7. Ray, Jim and I had a wonderful visit with Gail on Monday evening when she came to dinner. She regaled us with descriptions of the start of your trip and we’ve been following the blog and enjoying the photos as you continue across the continent. We are just in awe of you and Rusty! We wish you many great and good adventures! Andree

  8. keep it up.

  9. You guys are rocking along… I love reading about you and peewee’s Big Adventure. Stay safe and at more veggies!

  10. Ray. You guys are awesome. I hope you have a blast and no more flats! Saturday is my last day at Bost (for a while). Stay safe and I will see you at some point when you get back.
    -Jayson

  11. Ray, in response to your 6/15 comment: Riding hard is always the best method of perserving fluids… especially if you ride hard enough to pop a tire. You guys are stronger than I’ll ever be. I’d still be back in Austin on my rest day(s).

  12. Look forward to the blog every day. You guys are awesome!

  13. Hey, Rusty – my wife Lisa & I met you and Mary Ann last summer on one of the Trace group rides. We ran into her last weekend at the Warner Parks and she told us about your (& Ray’s) big adventure. We found the website & have been following along every day since. Your updates are not only entertaining, but inspiring as well. You & Ray keep it up and ride safely. This is your very own epic quest & a lot of us are along for the irde through your blog! Thanks so much for sharing with the rest of us.

    Sincerely,
    Matt & Lisa Taylor

  14. Hey Ray,
    You guys are great!!! Let me know where you want to trade that bike for one with a motor!!If not – you only have about 6 weeks left to ride, so be safe and hurry home!!
    Mike

  15. Ray,
    according to your schedule, today is the looonnnngggessttt ride of the trip… on a monday… seems like poor planning to me, i’m just sayin’ 🙂

    just remember how jealous those of us who can’t go are of you guys.

    ENJOY and i’ll be watching for more posts.

    Tim

  16. Great hearing from you Raymond. Sounds and looks grueling. Next year we will go out there and run the same route, or not. Have you had any fat tires to go with those flat tires? I will be posting you from here on out. Stay safe.

  17. Well, I can’t help you with the PT but I can help with some OT 🙂 I bet you’re wishing you had one of those ENO hammocks about now! (Will’s cocoon)

  18. Hang in there honey your domestique is on the way!

  19. I trust Telluride was fun, Ray. Melonie and I are looking forward to seeing everyone in Montrose tonight.

  20. It was fun seeing you in Mintrude and eating supper at The Red Barn.

  21. Well, that should have been Montrose (I really do not like the automatic editor with the iPhone at times). We had a great time today in Gunnison. It was fun having a few beers at the brewery and then eating at the the Ol’ Miner restaurant. Have a great journey across America!

  22. Go Ray!

  23. You’re a beast! I’m 22 and I couldn’t dream of doing what you’re doing. Pedal faster so you can hang out with me and Gail in Nashville!

  24. Go Mr. Ashworth! This looks awesome!

  25. I’m so proud of you 2 oldies but goodies! Keep cranking.

  26. There is a lot of wagging going on here at the Mother Ship! Keep on truckin across Kansas- the Tour “day” France TTT is in your future tonight! Love, Gail

  27. I hope Rusty is not still telling you Cliff’s penguin joke… how about some more of your a man/dog/skeleton/whatever walked into a bar jokes? I know you are looking forward to Ozark country soon but I can’t wait until you hit the Bluegrass State! See you soon!

  28. Keep it up Ray. Maybe you and Rusty need that Church Group that cured your knee in Ironman… they could pray over your butts and make them feel better. LOL. Also, Rusty has always smelled funny. Can’t wait to see you all.

  29. Happy birthday “Pop”…

  30. I like your hero, Ray! Once I called him on the telephone because I got his number from information when I was trying to reach you. He talked to me for a long time that day about all kinds of things. It was a blast.

  31. I know that Pop is very proud of you. He loved this country and he loved to be outside everyday enjoying life- your journey is a great tribute to him.

  32. Hey Ray, Lolita and I are very proud of you. Gail told us about the blog and we wanted to wish you and Rusty the very best. You can scratch this off your bucket-list of things you wanted to accomplish in life. Lo and I want to be like you when we grow up. See you when you return to Nashville!!!

    Richard & Lolita Smothers

  33. Hi Ray – Gail just sent me the link to your blog. Keep pedaling, see you both in September.

    Ellen

  34. I enjoyed your 7/12 post about heros. Just know that you guys are someone’s hero, too!

    • Finally got around to finding Ray’s page. Just want you to know that perfect strangers are enjoying all the posts and pictures. I’m watching the Tour everyday and wonder if their legs are turning to Jello too. Pack those old bones in ice at night and keep pedaling. Stay safe and well. Rita Rotramel

    • Finally got around to finding Ray’s page. Just want you to know that perfect strangers are enjoying all the posts and pictures. I’m watching the Tour everyday and wonder if their legs are turning to Jello too. Pack those old bones in ice at night and keep pedaling. Stay safe and well. Rita Rotramel.

  35. This weekend brought back a lot of fond memories…. Was great fun. Keep up the fun Guys.

    Wally T

  36. Keep up those bogs Ray. Don’t know how you have the energy to post anything after riding all day. Glad you got to catch some of the Tour de France. I tape it everyday. More for the views than for the riding. Never can figure out whose in front with the Polka Dot shirt, the Yellow Jersey, the Green Jersey, Man of the Mountain shirt, etc., etc. A bit too complicated for my brain. Looking forward to the Alps next week. There are a lot of tactics involved. You just have to draft on Rusty! Stay cool.

  37. Got the fruit basket. Thanks guys. It was greatly appreciated. Not much longer fellas. See you back in Nashburg soon. I am getting ready to go back to school soon. Oh joy.
    Randie

  38. Ray, I was 4 yrs old when you went to Kona. That’s like 27 yrs ago…. and you’re still kicking butt. Dude you’re awesome!

  39. Ray do you want me to bring the Beastrider tomorrow so that we can go back and pick up “Highway” and bring him home on the bike to Izzy and Oreo? He is a cutey and would definitely fit in with the brood!

  40. It was so good to meet you and tag along for those great six days. Congrats on finishing such an amazing trip!! I hope to run into you again some day 🙂

  41. Ray – Thank you for your inspiration. It’s been a blessing getting to know you this year. I look forward to being your friend for years to come.


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