Will the real Floyd Landis please stand up?

April 11, 2010

Early on in this journey some of the riders began to refer to me by an alter ego while riding.  Apparently I bear a striking resemblance to Floyd Landis, a professional cyclist best known for being stripped of his 2006 Tour de France victory after being caught doping.  Being a person well used to being called a variety of names, I think it a kind of honor to be compared with one of cycling’s giants, albeit one who relies on performance enhancing substances…

So here is a comparison, you can be the judge.

I think the resemblance is striking!

So today I was on support, and Tim and I were marking the day’s route for our bikers.  We stopped at a Quik-e-Mart in the middle of nowhere, where we were going to set up the lunch stop.  While I was there I happened to meet a very friendly Apache woman named Arlena (sp?).  We talked for a while about what we were doing bicycling across the country, and she was trying to tell me about her experiences with healthcare, and how she would often be deferred to the Reservation clinic, even though she did not live on the Res.  Some times she couldn’t remember a word in English, and she actually asked me if I spoke Apache!  This was humorously sweet of her.  It would be nice if I were able to speak to people in their native tongue, but she’s probably the first person I’ve ever met whose primary language was Apache.  She was very interested in what we were doing, and said she would look up our website online and look for her new friend Andy.  She also said she would pray for me (at which point she made the sign of the cross) and that she would also perform some sort of Apache ritual for me.  So I got that going for me, which is nice!

The second people I met were a couple of motorcyclists we met at an A&W at the next exit.  We talked a bit about motorcycles (one of them was on a Triumph, my favorite motorcycle) and also about what we are all about.  They listened politely, but didn’t seem quite as interested.  They were very nice, but were mostly interested in putting some miles on their bikes over this beautiful Arizona weekend.

Our third memorable stop was at The Thing?, which is a roadside attraction at Exit 322 on I-10 in Arizona.  Like many of the great attractions in this nation, such as Wall Drug and South of the Border (both of which I had already been to) this attraction is advertised for miles around.  My NOLS instructors from a year ago had tried to take us there with no avail, but I was able to make Exit 322 our second water break of the ride (it worked out perfectly, being approximately 20 miles from Willcox, AZ where we are staying).  I convinced Jerry, the manager, to waive the $1 entrance fee for R4WH team members.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise for any future Continental Drifters, but you pass through 3 sheds of artifacts whereupon you come to what is presumed to be “The Thing”.  It was a humous event, and I was heartily laughing as Tim and I explored the exibits.  To think yesterday we were at the Senora Museum outside of Tucson!  More importantly than anything, it provided my riders with something to look forward to near the end of a long ride.

Tonight we are staying in the Gymnasium of Willcox High School (Go Cowboys!)  Willcox is a nice little Arizona town, where apparently Warren Earp was shot in days of old.  The high school reminds me of something out of an eighties teen movie, like Footloose or Red Dawn.  I expect to see kids lined up at an arcade on a Saturday night playing Space Invaders or the most recent Pinball machine.  In some ways it is too bad those days are over.  Willcox High School is a nice little school, and I hope its students take pride in where they come from.

As we drift across this country, we have the pleasure of interacting with incredibly interesting people and staying in very unique places.  I am getting used to the idea of waking up each morning and moving on to a new location and a new town to experience.

Wherever you are tonight, I hope you’re proud of that place, and the steps its taken you to get there.

&.

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5 Responses to “Will the real Floyd Landis please stand up?”

  1. Jackie said

    Bill Clinton!

    Glad to read that your experience has been amazing!

  2. Matt said

    The resemblance is very striking, especially with your mustache (not shown in the picture)…although Little T prefers Uncle Andy to Floyd “The Computer Hacker” Landis.

  3. PaPa Nybes said

    If you bacome as good a Doctor as you are a Writer the World will be a better place! Thanks for the wonderful commentary along your route. God bless!

  4. njbayly said

    I agree. He’s just a little more handsome;-)

    How do you like your bike? I’m looking with longing on carbon bikes on ebay and the internet.

    We’ve had several good weeks here. Easter was beautiful. Scott and Jason are well on their way to ordination after exams on Friday.

    I’ve started riding again, but SLOWly…. With the wind on Saturday I struggled to average 14.5 MPH on a 24 mile ride.

  5. njbayly said

    By the way, somehow this thing is logging me in as Nathan, but it’s David Bayly writing here. Don’t know how to fix it. Love you, man.

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