Day 30 Mt Pleasant TX

The 67 mile push into Texas was not so pleasant. We left Texarkana late because I needed to get a spoke fixed on my back wheel. The Berridge Bike Shop didn’t open until 10 am so we slept in a bit and then ate way more than our share of the continental breakfast. By the end of this trip I hope Shane will have learned to spray the waffle maker machine down with the non-stick potion before pouring the mix.

We hit the road at noon after a nice hour and a half at the bike shop. They were really nice and helpful. They even had a $25 long sleeved Garneau jersey which was usually $50 so I feel pretty good about that snag.

Today was definitely short sleeve weather. Highway 67 was bumpy and full of glass and other fun objects to avoid. It was inevitable that one of us would get a flat. Shane was the unlucky one who got a gash about the size of a quarter in his back tire. We put a new tube in and tried using a tire patch it in but as we rode another mile to a Shell gas station in the beating sun it became clear we needed a new tire for Shane.

With only 15 miles under our belt we had to call the Berridge Bike Shop which was about 10 miles back towards Texarkana. The owner was kind enough to drive a Continental Hard Shell tire out for Shane because he knew there wouldn’t be another shop until just outside Dallas. I too felt a warm welcome from Texas as I realized my back tire deflated during our wait at Shell. Once we finally had 6 pumped up tired it was almost 2pm. We rode 30 miles straight without a break because there wasn’t anywhere to break.

We are learning that in Texas everything is bigger. The stretches of absolutely nothing are getting bigger. It’s going to get more important that we plan out our water and food supply better once we pass Dallas and get into West Texas. Even though we only did about 67 miles we are still in good shape to arrive in Dallas by early Friday and spend the weekend there with friends.

I got word that UT at Tyler is playing Dallas in soccer. My high school club soccer coach Kenny Jones has been the head coach at Tyler for almost 10 years. I remember going on a visit to the school with Joel Amaro when we were seniors like it was yesterday. It’s going to be wild if I get to share our story with the team and maybe even inspire someone to use the sport we all love to make a positive impact on others through Street Soccer USA or some other youth based development program when they get out of college. Joel’s dad and Kenny are two coaches that had such a huge impact on my life and instilled this love far soccer in me at a very young age. They truly cared about each of us boys and for that I am forever grateful and hope I can be that for the kids in East NY and our adults living in the shelters.

Still hopeful that I’ll get to meet up with Jon Burns the founder of Lionsraw because they are doing big things with soccer for social change all over the world and he has done a cycling tour of his own! In a perfect dream world I would also get to hang with Danny Hoyos the founder of Play Soccer 2 Give and host a pickup game benefiting Street Soccer USA. It’s tough meeting up with all these wonderful people when you only have a day or two in their city. It will all work out for the best though and I’m so glad we will be in Dallas very soon!

It’s going to be highs of 90 degrees today so we are going to try to avoid it with an early start! We got to bed so early last night around 10:30 so we are up and ready roll out of this La Quinta Inn, who gave us a huge discount! We should start a little brand loyalty. It’s our second time in one of their room and they are awesome!