Yesterday was a half day of
riding and half day of relaxing. We rode 40 miles to Lubbock and thought about pushing through to Littlefield but our generous mechanic at the bike shop offered up his couch so we decided to stick around and avoid the chance of getting stuck in a storm on the side of the rode again.
While the guys hung out at the bike shop I went to meet my moms step father and his wife at their retirement home. I can’t remember the last time I met Rueben or if we have ever even met before. My grandmother remarried so Rueben was not in my life much. I had to ask around the dining room to see of anyone knew who my grandfather was because I didn’t even know what he looked like.
I found a little shop next to the dining hall and asked the cashier if they knew him and of course they did. I soon realized that he knew everyone around there. He came zooming up on his walker and showed me to their table. This man is in his 80’s and I could barely keep up with him!
We had lunch with his wife and their two friends. It was great to share our stories about cross country touring because they have done their own trip across America and a few tours in Ireland! His wife Barbara’s son used own the bike shop where the rest of the crew was at. There’s a sweet photo below of him on a beautiful single speed track bike.
After lunch I found Don, Shane and David hanging with our new friends Grant and his dog Luke at Broadway Bicycles. I’m glad we stuck around because it was good to hang out with Don one more night before he caught his bus home to Missouri at 6:45 am Saturday. I can’t believe he has bee on the road with us from Dallas to Lubbock in just 5 days! I’m sure he was thinking and feeling a glimpse of what we will feel on Oct 31 when our trip ends in San Francisco. He said that he bets we cry when it’s over and I bet he is right.
This short blog post doesn’t even begin to describe the significance our stop in Lubbock has added to my personal bike touring journey. Spending time with my grandfather and his wife and parting ways with an old friend has left me thinking a lot about the journey that awaits me after this touring life is over.
It’s going to be a cold, wet 100 mile day to Clovis, New Mexico today!