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journal-082Hi! My name is Bill Wagner and I live with my dog in rural NC. I hope to pedal my Mountain Bike from Banff, AB Canada to the US/Mexican border at Antelope Wells, NM in an effort to raise money and awareness for the MIMA Foundation.  MIMA is a small, grassroots non-profit that is involved in a variety of humanitarian projects in both Africa and South America.  I'm a Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and have worked extensively with their Surgical Program and can personally vouch for the necessity and quality of their work.  Each year MIMA screens hundreds of poor and remote villagers who need surgical procedures but have no means to pay.  If it weren't for MIMA, thousands of children and adults would be denied basic surgeries merely on the basis of access to health care.  Not a single member of MIMA receives any monetary compensation and EVERY volunteer has to generate the funds necessary to travel with the group each year.

Please join me in my adventure along The Continental Divide by opening your heart and your wallet for a great cause. The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) is the longest off-road bike route in the world. It is over 2700 miles long, has over 200,000 feet of elevation gain (equivalent to summiting Mount Everest from sea-level 7 times) and crosses the Continental Divide 30 times. Take a moment to explore the site if you'd like and I look forward to seeing or hearing from each of you! Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I'm sure I'll need them.

NO SPONSORS: Please know that I had to personally buy the bike, gear, maps, airline flights, etc for this fundraiser.  ALL the money goes to MIMA.

Blessings,

Bill

Day 54 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Wagner   
Monday, 23 August 2010 08:14
Day 54--55 Miles 

Today Steve and I made it to Silver City, NM. after 2600 miles of riding the Continental Divide I have 125 miles to go. Wow! It has been a long and increasingly arduous trip. NM has really challenged and hurt me both mentally and physically and I am not alone or unique to this phenomenon. Those few of us who have started in Canada have many miles and climbs in our legs and the terrain here continues to be almost brutal to ride upon. They have had unprecedented amounts of rain the past few weeks which have nearly washed away roads that were, well, not so great to begin with. The climbing is just something I do intermittently all day but the boulder-filled riding surface takes a toll on the body and mind. It can make the simplest of sections a literal gulag to try and navigate. All to add to the incredible adventure and experience. And both Of us (and I'm willing to bet most others) are truly exhausted at this point and look forward to the finish.

We will take tomorrow off to rest and figure out the somewhat dicey trip we need to take down to the border and the logistics of getting a ride back up here...and then to each of our final destinations. I got a flight out of Tucson and Steve is going to try and get to Albuquerque and then ride, yes ride, back to his home near Denver. Exactly, he is nuts!!

Tonight we ate at a salad bar...it was heaven to have something fresh and green to put in the stomach. We both almost get nauseated at the sight of candy bars. I'm certain that will be temporary for me!

We go to the bike shop tomorrow to get individual problems on our bikes repaired and to inquire about shuttle options. Baby we're almost home!

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Day 53 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Wagner   
Monday, 23 August 2010 08:13
Day 53--62 Miles 

the best news about today has been riding with Colorado Steve, I'm sure to his wife it's simply Steve? Another day in the saddle riding to the promised land which included too many rocks to count that were scattered amongst too many metric tons of sand to measure. At one point on one of the now- typical NM descents we almost mistook the stream/river/drainage field for the road, um, I guess you might call it a road? You simply had to be there, pictures will likely not do the justice.

there were some pretty scenes and ample cattle to dodge but riding with someone sure does help the hours and many miles more enjoyable. We also crossed the Divide a couple more times and that number now is somewhere near thirty. I'll likely be done in three days...Oh Our God!!

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Day 52 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Wagner   
Monday, 23 August 2010 08:12

Day 52--66 Miles

Another day closer to the finish.  Today was a hot one without any water sources to rely on.  But almost getting hit will take the cake for today's spotlight.  About 10 miles south of Pie Town and a pick-up nearly clipped me into the ditch.  Maybe he never saw me, maybe he should've been on the right side of the road?!  after that I was a little testy for much of the day.  I did pass through some more pretty countryside as all the rain that's been falling turns this otherwise brown desert landscape green and adds pretty wildflowers.

Today was a first I had to pump water out of a cattle tank...enough said.  but, it sure beats dehydration as that's too easy to do out here when the days are in the 90's without shade. And riding on the dirt-muck they otherwise call a road.

I stopped a bit early today as...hmmm...that's different, it's starting to rain.  got the tent set up just in time.  It ends up being the many little things that I continue to try and be grateful for.  It's really getting close to the end now...

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