We're biking across the United States to raise money for Gallaudet University's Personal Discovery Program, a 501(c)3 charity. If this is your first visit, please read our welcome page and how you can help page.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More on Discovery, Less on biking

Yes, we did it, but our adventures are not over. I still have things I
want to share about our trip. I have visions of me continuing to be a
prolific writer and having our blog be something that people look forward
to reading everyday, even though we are not biking.

I was planning on taking some time today in the computer lab here at
Gallaudet and typing up a post. Unfortunately, I am stuck in bed right now
and I don't think I will be doing much moving for the next 12 hours.

As you know, immediately after we arrived here at Gallaudet, we joined the
discovery staff for a rock climbing trip. (remember, our site is bike for
discovery... well so far we have only touched on the bike part and not so
much on the discovery part. Here is our chance to talk about discovery and
why we did what we did. Ok, enough of this and back to the point). While
rock climbing we got a chance to get to know some of this year's staff
members. As usual, it is a mixture of undergraduate and graduate students
plus Heather and I now. The group is nicely balanced with some leaning
more to the responsible side while others are a bit more mischievious.
Sort of like Heather and I, guess which side I fit with. Heather and I had
two difficulties while rock climbing that are directly related to our
cycling. First, Heather is still using her cycling shoes. She found it
difficult to climb with a steel plate sticking out of her shoe. I made the
comment that her shoes stick to the rock face like a hot stick of butter on
glass. I think that aptly describes the situation. The second issue we
had is that riding all day everyday on our bicycles has left our upper body
woefully neglected. Or, in other words, we have weak little twiggy arms
now. Regardless, we still had a good time.

I have been making a conscious effort to reduce my food intake now that I
am not burning 6,000 calories a day. Luckily for me, McDonald's has
stepped up to the plate and really helped me out in this area. On our way
home from rock climbing, at Maryland's Rock State Park, we stopped at
McDonalds for dinner. Being health conscious I ordered the Sante Fe Salad.
Afterwards, I did not feel very well but I decided that was just because I
was tired and sore from working my arms so much. Turns out I was wrong.

Shortly after we got back to Gallaudet I ran to the bushes and became
violently ill. What a great way to get to know the other staff members.
"Hi, my name's Dana, nice to meet you... *RALPH*!" Needless to say, I was
a bit embarrassed but that was tempered by the fact that I felt pretty
awful. Of the group of staff members, I am the only one who is hearing
this year (excluding Jean, who is the director). So while I am holding
myself up with one hand trying not to keel over into the bushes being
violently ill, a few of the other staff members were asking me questions
out of concern. Things like "Do you need some water?", "Are you ok?", "Are
you throwing up?", and "Do you want us to stop talking to you now?" To
which I answered no, no, yes, and yes, respectively.

Well lucky for me, this trend continued throughout the night. I was able
to eat some eggs and OJ for breakfast this morning, but every thing went
down hill after lunch. So I would lke to thank McDonald's for helping me
to reduce my caloric intake so quickly. Nothing curbs an appetite like

Thankfully, Jean arranged for us to have a dorm room that Heather and I can
share. This has given us a place to settle into while we are here for
staff training.

Today in staff training, we spent the day painting and repairing some old
equipment. I spent my time moving very slowly setting up some rappels and
belays from a forty foot tower. I was depressed to see I had forgotten
something. Thankfully Jean was there to refresh my memory. I hope it was
just because I was not feeling well but every time I looked over the edge
of the tower I got a little dizzy.

For those of you who have no idea wat a rappel or belay is, I will explain.
Basically, they are the same thing, it just differs in who has control. A
rappel is when you have a rope attached up high and you slide down that
rope that's is attached to a harness, using some kind of braking system to
slow your descent. A belay is the same thing except your climbing partner
or instructor has the braking system and you are lowered by them.

When we set up drops off the tower at the ropes course we always have a
rappel for the climber and a belay for safety. That way, if the person
sliding down the rope forgets to brake, then the instructor can use their
brake, and no one gets hurt.

Well I think my stomach is entirely empty now and I am feeling just a bit
better. Heather went to the vending machines here and got me a ginger ale
and some crackers. I am going to end this post here because I will attempt
to eat them now. If they do not agree with me, I would rather not have to
come back and type some more.

Goodbye for now. Keep checking in because after I get to a compuer I will
write a post with some pictures demonstrating how our weight distribution
changed through the trip.


PS: we did not even touch the bikes today!

PPS: I just wanted to point out again that on Saturday, I biked 117 miles
to get to Alexandria in a day. That is the furthest I have biked in one
day this entire trip and I wanted to brag one more time. So toot-toot goes
my own horn, I'm done now, thanks for listening.

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