Debbie and I are proud to be members of the WDA Pedal The Plains team. Our adventure included the VIP dinner on Thursday September 15th. We met our fellow WDA team members, ate a delicious meal, and had a glass of chocolate milk.
Ready, Set, Go!
Lost my bike had to ride a horse.
Day 1 – September 16
Our day started with a walk around Conestoga Park in Ordway before the opening ceremonies. The football team wore their jerseys proudly as they helped park cars. Local transport was by horse drawn wagons. As always, we enjoyed our cinnamon roll provided by Ardent Mills. Temperatures were perfect for the twenty-four mile ride. Stops along the way included Bobby’s Animal Farm with many animals from camels to zebras wandering the farm. History of the area provided at the Crowley Heritage Center and Fowler Historical Society. Refreshments served at the local churches in Fowler. Enjoyed walking the neighborhood with Leslie (host family) as she showed us the house she grew up in, the houses her husband built, and shared the history of Fowler. Leslie shared a story about a friend of the family, who is now in college would say “this sucker tastes like a lollipop.”
We had one of these in our house.
We visited a neighbor that raises sheep, goats, and pigs. Eight baby piglets were just born, they were so cute. That evening three other riders that stayed with us shared stories of past bike rides, and families. There was a beautiful full harvest moon, crickets chirping, and quiet, peaceful air. It would be a great night of sleeping.
Refueling after arriving in Fowler.
Day 2 – September 17
Had a wonderful home stay in Fowler. Enjoyed a glass of milk with a homemade cinnamon roll. Ate a wonderful breakfast at Fowler HS. Stopped at Leslie’s house before heading out of town. Stopped at the Larson’s Apishapa Ranch. Learned many facts about the beef industry. Picked up a free resource in the Colorado Reader provided to classrooms teachers. I use it with my garden club. (www.growingyourfuture.com) Remember the boy and the lollipop? Met his uncle Luke, who shared facts about the family ranch. The biggest attraction at the ranch was the young people handling and talking about the tarantulas that migrate through the area looking for mates. Those that were brave could have one walk on their hand and arm.
Really, it won’t bite!
Don’t think about it. I’m the KING of this hill.
Picture Day at Hirakata Farms.
Day 3 – September 18
Getting ready for the longest ride of the day, 71 miles. Before I left La Junta had a flat tire. Thanks to the bike crew that helped me out this morning, as well as to all the bike crews at each aid station. Chatted with Gus from FFA and Steve, a local cattleman, about how to bring and share the agriculture world to the classroom.
No crying in this onion field.
Waiting for the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
Besides the wonderful educational signs along the ride, this was the best sign ever. Never thought we were strangers as so many people from host families, fellow bikers, police officers, community members, volunteers, 4H, and FFA made us feel so welcomed. Thank you random sign maker.
Thanks Western Dairy Association for the chocolate milk at the end of each ride.
The chocolate milk for lunch and at the end of each ride was a great way to refuel. Many riders mentioned to Debbie and I that they looked forward to the chocolate milk. Riders loved our jerseys and wanted to know how to get one. Thanks to WDA, riders have a chance to win a jersey by taking a creative picture of themselves. Good luck to all those that enter.
A big thanks you to the Western Dairy Association for this experience.
Matt and Debbie