Day # 16 began with a beautiful ride over the Carancahua Bay near Point Comfort Texas on our way to Corpus Christi Texas. While the initial ride looked and felt good, that changed very quickly. As we began our longer rides outside of town we confronted the ongoing “gravel roads” with a healthy head wind. We were able to maintain a relatively good riding speed, however, the pounding of the ride on our bikes and bodies became quite demanding. At the end of the day, Eljay had to have his back wheel replaced because the terrain bent his wheel and damaged a number of spokes. Fortunately, Giant Bike provided us with additional wheels so Dick and Eljay were able to make the replacement so he would be able to ride tomorrow.
Before Eljay’s wheel was totally damaged, he took on the largest bridge of the entire trip. As you can see in the picture below, this was a very large bridge that extended for miles. The one thing that you don’t see is that Eljay only had about 3 feet to ride on the side of the road on the bridge. Eljay felt great about his accomplishment and told us of the exceptional views from the bridge. This was truly a special fete that is a highlight of the trip.
As we have trekked across the country, it is fairly common to see and meet many bikers of varying abilities. Of course, I am in the novice range while many of the other bikers are much further beyond my level. However, I met a young man today that is far beyond all of the bikers I have met on this trip. As I was riding through one of the small towns of Texas, I saw this young man riding on the opposite side of the rode with numerous bags on his bike. He looked like he was carrying his closet with him. I was quite intrigued with what I saw, so I biked across the road and asked if I could take his picture. He agreed and we began talking. It just so happens that his last destination was Matamoros Mexico, which is our final stop. As we continued talking I discovered that he began his ride in Denmark. I was even more shocked when I asked him how long he has been riding, and he told me three and a half years. I couldn’t believe it. Nicolai gave me his card with his website at www.worldtravellers.dk. I visited the site and found the following:
This is the story of my solo bicycle journey around the world. On April 10th 2006 I left Denmark, and I've been pedaling the world ever since, now on year 4.0. You can follow the expedition on a day-to-day basis in words & photos. We all have our dreams. This happens to be mine... Nicolai Bangsgaard
I certainly have met many wonderful and unique people on this trip. Nicolai is one that ranks right at the top for his riding ability and determination to travel around the world. It was a true pleasure meeting someone so unique. I wished him the very best as we parted and rode to our different parts of the world.
Our team arrived in Corpus Christi Texas mid to late afternoon. There are so many beautiful aspects of the city that are too numerous to share in this blog. However, one area that stood out that is worth mentioning is the Corpus Christi Municipal Marina that is the focal point of the city. It is on Corpus Christi Bay protected from the Gulf of Mexico by sandy barrier islands off the Texas Coast. The Ship Channel through Port Aransas provides easy access to the Gulf of Mexico. If you ever have the chance to visit South Texas, Corpus Christi is a great area to see. I have provided various pictures below that highlight the numerous things to see in this great city.
Our bike team is down to two days before we enter Matamoros Mexico and conclude our bike ride. We are very excited about getting to Mexico and we never imagined that this trip would go by so fast. I guess the more challenges you face, the quicker the time goes by. I am more ready than ever to ride my best tomorrow and Tuesday, because I am beginning to realize that this special moment in time is quickly coming to an end. However, it really isn’t ending because the purpose of this ride is to help the children in need at the orphanage, and the impact of that help will last a lifetime, even if this bike ride comes to an end. We are mentally and physically ready for Day # 17.