Hello family and friends,
It has been two weeks since we completed the Ragbrai event in Iowa. It has been a busy and eventful two weeks which I will summarize here.
At the completion of Ragbrai, we headed southwest toward Texas since we were expecting the birth of our first grandchild any day now. On Sunday (7/31) we were passing the southeast corner of Kansas. Since we had never ridden our bike in Kansas, we decided to stop and ride a short section of Historic Route 66 which pass through the corner of Kansas. There are only about 16 miles of Route 66 in Kansas and we rode out and back over a 7 mile stretch so 13 miles round trip. It turned out to be an interesting section of route 66.
We started at the Old Riverton Store which was a deli/ice cream shop with lots of antique decorations.
There was one of the original bridges on the old route.
In the town of Baxter Springs there was one of the original Phillips 66 gas stations.
Of course on Sunday evening everything was closed. It was somewhat refreshing to ride on quiet deserted roads after the week on Ragbrai.
At the end of our ride we had a great Mexican diner in Gelana, KS witch is another small town trying to make a come back on route 66.
On Monday (8/1) Manny stopped to visit a business client outside Tulsa, OK and then we traveled on to Dallas, TX. In Dallas we stopped to visit our Son Troy’s in laws, Bill and Diggy Pagels. We visited for two day and joined Bill’s bike club for the Tuesday night ride. It was a fast flat ride and a good workout to keep up, but it felt good.
Wednesday (8/3) we traveled to Lake Jackson, TX and the home of Troy and Laura who are expecting any day now. Well that any day came on Thursday (8/4). Lucy Marie Menendez was born at 9:56 am and came home that very afternoon.
Here she is a happy girl to be home in her bassinet and brining joy to our lives.
Bill and Diggy Pagels of course were also visiting so Bill and Manny took a few hours out on Friday morning for a bike ride with the Braszosport bicycle club (BBC). It was a great ride at again a fast pace on this flat coastal area.
On Saturday morning (8/6), Marsha and I decided to give the kids some time to themselves with Lucy so we pulled out the tandem to join the BBC for there morning ride. We made it to the start just as the riders were pulling out so we fell in behind for another fast ride. It was basically the same route as the day before but faster. After 25 miles they took a rest stop at a convenience store were we got a chance to catch up and introduce ourselves to everyone. One young woman in the group turned out to be a co-worker with Troy. We went another 5 miles after the rest stop before having an unfortunate accident. We were riding right with the group but last in line on a very wide shoulder. A drunk driver came up behind and decided to use the shoulder to pass another car. Marsha and I did not see any of this coming nor do we remember any of it. All we remember is waking up in a fog and people talking around us. Fortunately we were the only bike hit and we thank God to be able to tell this story.
Although the driver who hit us did not stop, many others did and along with the BBC cyclists were all wonderful. We both suffered concussions and multiple cuts and scraps from our slide down the road. Marsha took the brunt of the hit being on the back of the bike. She had a very deep cut on her left elbow requiring 9 stiches. We were taken together by helicopter to a hospital in Houston. I was released Saturday afternoon, but Marsha was admitted and released Monday afternoon.
We are both recovering remarkably well at Troy’s home. Our cuts and scraps are healing well, but we are still a bit slow particularly getting up and down. Instead of being a help to the new parents we are somewhat of a burden. Our oldest son, Eric, has come in to stay a couple of weeks to help us out. We are very grateful to Eric and his employer for helping us out. Nathan, has also come in this weekend in route to a plant next week. It is great to have everyone together. Unfortunately Kelly (Nathan’s wife) could not join us this weekend – somebody actually needs to do some work.
As for the driver that hit us, another motorist did follow him and call police so that he was apprehended. The police held our bicycle for evidence, but I can pick it up this week.
I did see a picture of the bike which just reinforced how thankful we are to God and all the people who helped us on the ground and through prayer. Here we are a week later recovering well and enjoying our family and especially our newest member, Lucy!