Day 12 – Ride Across America for GTG, Dalhart, TX to Liberal, KS

…my greatest honor throughout my career has been spending my days supporting the students transform their pain into healing and hopelessness into hope.    – Growing Through Grief Counselor

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In previous years, today was always a “recovery ride”, according to Mike. That is, an easier ride to help you recover from a strenuous ride. Today was not that. We started in the light rain at 39 degrees headed into a 17 mile per hour headwind. I thought I had enough warm clothes, but I was wrong. It was an arduous, very cold and long day. While the rain stopped by lunch at 12:30, the headwinds picked up for the rest of the ride. The temp rose to 44 degrees in Liberal, at the end of our ride. The one silver lining was the generous help of Marco, Todd and Morten – they took turns leading the pace line and pulling us through the rest of Texas, the Oklahoma panhandle and into Kansas. We stopped at several gas stations to warm ourselves with hot chocolate and found refuge indoors at our sag and lunch. Jen had to stop riding due to knee pain. Our leaders complimented us on staying together as a group – something not seen in previous years. I have no other photos – the landscape was unremarkable except for little change in elevation and I felt no need to take pictures in the town of Hooker ( or buy a t-shirt). The usual ride of 112 miles takes 6 hours – for us, it was nearly 9. At our destination, they arranged a hose and we washed our bikes and lubricated the chain.

Tomorrow, we wake up to 38 degrees and a lighter headwind. Our goal is to get to Dodge, KS before it starts to rain – predicted for 2 pm. I will dress warmly and add a windbreaker on top of the 3 layers of clothing i wore today.