Monday, November 29, 2010

Welcome Home

Join Children's Miracle Network as we welcome Norb and Ann home!

You are invited to an Open House Reception to celebrate the Bagleys' cross-country bicycle trip.

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010
3:00–4:30 p.m. (special presentation at 3:30 p.m.)
Cox South, 7th Floor, Pediatrics Waiting Room
3801 S. National Ave., Springfield, MO 65807

Come hear stories from the road and view pictures. For more information, call 417/269-6853.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Official Photographer, Michelle Westhoff

Saturday 11/27/10 As we sat on the terrace outside our hotel room in San Diego enjoying our view of Mission Bay, we had difficulty believing our ride was about to end. We still had the habitual urge to look at our maps and to check the air in our bike tires. We had one very short ride left that would take us to the pier in Ocean Beach, the official end-point of the southern tier. As we rode toward our final destination, sea gulls, pelicans, and cormorants flew overhead. What a transitional sight when only 3 days ago we were riding through desert and mountains. We cycled past Dog Beach, to the eclectic community of Ocean Beach, where the chosen mode of transportation appeared to be skateboards. We saw surfers in wetsuits carrying their boards to the water. Some of the grassy areas had camps of people who appeared to be homeless or had just chosen to live outdoors near the ocean. Michelle Westhoff met us to take some photos of our finish. What a welcome sight to see her. Michelle's sister, Melissa, is married to our nephew Nick. Thank you Michelle! So, after 2 months and 8 days, with 10 flats and 2800 miles, we documented with camera that our ride had ended. For those of you who have supported us with thoughts, words, and prayers, we thank you and wish you love and adventure. Team Bagley


Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor's Center

Friday 11/26 10 Our plan today was to navigate the multitude of twists and turns through a string of bedroom communities that would lead us into San Diego. It was a day of urban riding with some nice descents and a few surprising climbs. As we rode, the green & brown mountains of the area were never out of sight. Summer flowers that have ceased blooming in Missouri's onset of winter are still vebrant here - geraniums, roses, and shasta daises gave no indication that the season has changed. Only the cool air and red/yellow leaves of maple and cottonwood trees, hinted that fall had arrived. We rode a short stretch through Mission Trails Regional Park on the Father Junipere Serra Trail that parallels the San Diego River, which over time, has carved a deep gorge. We saw lots of runners, bikers, and hikers as evidence that this beautiful park is a popular place. We stopped briefly at the Visitor's Center before exiting the trail and merging again with traffic. As we rode past the San Diego Chargers Stadium, the traffic intensified. Holiday shoppers clogged the bike lanes in Fashion Valley on Black Friday forcing us to ride on the sidewalk. A traffic cop apologized for the inconvenience as she was slapping tickets on the vehicles which she stated would all be towed away. When we stopped at Mission Bay Park to look out over the blue waters, we experienced a wave of emotions. There was no celebratory whooping or dancing in circles. We just hugged each other tightly in a warm congratulatory embrace, relieved that we had reached our desitnation and thankful our journey ended safely. We thought of Roger Grooters whose life ended tragically on his ride three days after we met him. We hoped that other riders we encountered who are still on the road were in a safe place today. Together we have created some incredible memories on this trip. Like paintings in our minds, we will remember the inviting front porches of the deep South, shaded by enormous live oaks draped with Spanish Moss....the beautiful hill country and lonely western deserts of Texas....the rugged desert mountains of New Mexico and Arizona that captivated us with their jagged peaks and changing colors as the sun moved across the sky....and finally, the green valleys of California, where summer seems eternal, and its' mountains that made us earn the final leg to the Pacific with challenging winds and climbs. More memorable than the scenery are the many remarkable people we met along the way. They gave us the privilege to learn about them and their corner of this world. Their generosity was humbling. For several, it extended to making a donation to CMN. We are honored that our ride is somewhat of a catalyst to raise funds that will assist children in obtaining healthcare. We feel a connection with the walkers in Springfield, those that motivated us with comments on the blogspot/e-mails, and those who took on the last 100 mile challenge. For those who silently followed our ride on the blogspot, we appreciate you for taking an interest. Tomorrow the Coast-to-Coast Miracle Ride will officially end when we dip our front tires in the Pacific.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Fence on U.S./Mexico Border
Border Fence

Thanksgiving Day 11/25/10 It was a cold morning when we left Jacumba. Our Thanksgiving blessing was no wind. We decided to climb the remaining 6 peaks in one day rather than the original plan of 2 days. We were motivated by the cold and not wanting to risk encountering another wind storm in the mountains. Initially we rode parallel to the big steel fence that defines the U.S./Mexico border. At times we were less than 20 yards from this enormous structure. We saw some homes on each side of the wall that had their backyards separated by this monstrosity, certainly eliminating any neighborly backyard barbecues or friendly over-the-fence conversations. Without wind attempting to blow us off the mountain, we were able to take in some scenery between climbs. The hillsides and peaks were piles of huge brown boulders precariously piled on top of each other with bits of desert vegetation that seemed to hold everything together. We had great vistas of continuous mountain peaks that stretched to the horizon, We could look down into deep green valleys where small settlements appeared to be miniature houses clumped together. As we continued on Old Hwy 80, we spotted a small cafe, partially hidden in a grove of trees, just east of Buckman Springs. By this time, the cold had seeped through our clothing making this little establishment an oasis of warmth. After several cups of coffee and the best pancakes either of us could ever remember eating, we headed back into the cold. We had one major climb remaining before dropping 2000 ft to warmer weather in Alpine. As we descended, we felt as though we were exiting a meat locker. A raven gliding low in front of Norb, guided us part of the way down the mountain where the community of Alpine welcomed us with beautiful orange pyracantha bushes and a hillside of red geraniums. As the sun was setting, we walked to the Alpine Inn for a Thanksgiving buffet where we ate as if it might be our last meal on earth.

Friday, November 26, 2010


The Unendearing Motel Patio
Bridge over Devil's Canyon
Old Highway Cafe

11/24/10 Wednesday We could hear the wind outside our room the moment we opened our eyes. It sounded strong enough to snap a kite string. Since our motel hadn't endeared itself to us, we pumped up our tires, loaded the bikes, and walked through the gravel RV lot to the Old Highway Cafe for breakfast. The owner, Ed, told us the wind would mellow out in about 3 hours. Later we learned Ed isn't always right about everything. It took us one hour to bike the first 4 miles. The wind app on the iphone registered 32 mph in a nanosecond. We left Hwy 98 to merge onto Interstate 8 where we encountered 2 high bridges with no shoulders that spanned deep canyons. The wind was so strong that we had to walk our bikes across by hugging the railing. Since leaving Brawley yesterday, which lies slightly below sea level, we found ourselves today in the midst of climbing to an elevation of 3200 ft., before dropping 200 ft to the town of Jacumba (pop 400) where we had booked a room at the Jacumba Hot Springs Spa Lodge. (The word "spa" immediately grabbed Ann's attention) We rode past signs suggesting that cars turn off their air conditioners and several locations providing radiator water. Both were good indicators of the steepness of the mountain. As we gained altitude, the wind gained strength. At 2000 ft, we began feeling some spritzes of cold rain and winds so powerful that we could not stay upright on our bikes, let alone maintain any forward momentum. So we put our heads down and pushed the loaded bicycles until reaching a temporary lull behind a hillside when we would then ride some more. At 3000 ft, the wind became fierce, forcing us to walk almost as much as we were riding. We managed a total of 13 miles in 4 hours before exiting I-8. We saw a huge lot advertising truck tires and a towing service. We pulled in and met Charlie. He came out of his trailer to greet us by shouting over the wind, "You people must be crazy". He offered to drive us the remaining 6 miles to Jacumba as soon as a customer arrived to pick up some tires. As we sat in his shop trying to warm up and get acquainted, a radio weather report, informed us we had been battling winds that reached 55 mph. Thank you Charlie for that short ride! After a hot shower, we hooked up once again with Sue & Ken Yerex. We had last seen this Canadian couple in Wickenburg Az. It was great to see them again and we traded wind horror stories that we have all encountered since entering California. The Jacumba Lodge is an old rambling complex that has a mineral spring which people have utilized for medicinal purposes since the 1920's - much earlier for Native Americans. The Lodge is only 1/4 mile from the gigantic steel fence that separates the U.S. from Mexico. We saw Border Patrol vehicles and helicopters patrolling nearby. We felt comfortable at this old lodge located in this tiny mountain town and were elated to be out of the cold wind. Until today, the strongest headwind we had encountered was in North Dakota when we biked the Northern Tier. Today, the wind that roared down the Jacumba Mountains, headed for the Imperial Valley, certainly trumped our N.D. experience.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Norb cleans mud off his shoes after sacrficing himself for a cabbage picture

Ocotillo RV Park

Tuesday 11/23/10 We had a late start out of Brawley after a short shopping trip to WalMart. Ann researched the temps in some of the mountain towns and daytime highs were predicted at 49 degrees. The nights would be in the 20's and we each needed a warmer top under our jackets. Hwy 78 connected us to Hwy 86 until El Centro where we took S80 to Ocotillo. Brawley, Imperial, and El Centro all sort of run together connected by shopping centers. Behind these commercial webs are miles of fields that grow an assortment of crops that we tend to take for granted whenever we enter a grocery store. Most of the fields were plowed under but we did see green alfalfa and a cabbage patch that seemed to grow clear to the horizon. At Seely we stopped at La Pasadita, a small restaurant with beautiful bougainvillea growing outside. We ate the best fish and chicken tacos ever. The owner, Nellie, was a lot of fun but would not share her recipe, that she said was often requested. We thought about filling our bike bags with enough of Nellie's tacos to last for the rest of the trip. The pavement of S80 was rocky and riddled with large bumps and cracks. Just east of Plaster City, we had a short smooth section that ran to a turnoff for a state prison. The town is little more than a few old mobile homes and some makeshift shacks. We thought that if anyone paroled from the prison and walked through Plaster, they might turn around and beg the warden to take them back. A few miles beyond, a huge plant aroused our curiosity because it was just out there in the middle of nowhere. We walked to the surrounding fence and spoke with a plant worker who said they manufactured sheetrock from gypsum mined 25 miles away in the desert. Until the investment bankers crippled the housing market with their mortgage schemes, the plant employed 400. Today only 200 work here. We had 8 miles remaining to Ocotillo when the Wicked Witch of the West flipped a switch and surprised us with a powerful headwind. Ann used the wind app on her iphone that recorded the force as a steady 27mph with gusts up to 42mph. It took us one hour and forty minutes to bike those remaining 8 miles. We arrived at the Ocotillo RV/Mobile Home Park at 3:30 and were happy to be off the road. Our motel room was somewhat below humble but it was warm and sheltered us from the howling wind.

IT'S A LONG WAY TO..............................BRAWLEY

Does this look like a big goldmine to you? Us either!

Monday 11/22/10 A full white moon was disolving in the sky as we walked to the motel lobby in Blythe for a continental breakfast. Today we opted for biscuits & gravy rather than Raisin Bran. We had a long ride ahead of us to Brawley, Ca, with only 2 watering holes on our route, that is Hwy 78. We cycled past fields of cotton and alfalfa that received water provided by irrigation canals fed from the Colorado River. The brown Palo Verde Mountains to the west were an artistic accent to the white cotton and green alfalfa. At several canals we saw snowy egrets which we took as a good sign that we were closing in on the Pacific Ocean. After 25 miles, we stopped briefly in Palo Verde (pop 236) to top off our water bottles. We then encountered a series of climbsw for the next 20 miles. Although the climbs were short, a number of them were steep enough to conceal oncoming traffic until a vehicle suddenly popped over a hill surprising us like a Jack-in-the-box. The traffic tended to come in waves of 6-8 vehicles, mostly big trucks and RV's. Ann questioned if anyone was even making regular size vehicles anymore. We rode past the Chocolate Mountains near the Naval Reservation Aerial Gunnery Range before descending to the small settlement of Glamis: home of a very large gold mine and the North Algodones Dunes wilderness area. After a quick roadside snack, we had a long gradual climb out of Glamis. We rode near tall and wind sculpted sand dunes that stretched for 7 miles on our route. Although the map identifies the dunes as a "wilderness area", it obviously is not. Dune buggies, ATV's, and dirt bikes, that looked like toy cars next to the giant dunes, were
everywhere. We were told that over the coming weekend over 100,000 people would be here to recreate. A few miles east of Brawley, we began cycling through the Imperial Valley, an area famous for its agricultural bounty. We arrived at our motel with some daylight left, and our camelbacks and water bottles drained. It was a good day and our longest ride on the trip-87 miles.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Sunday 11/21/10 Hey Sports Fans, for those of you who have read our blog, you may or may not have noticed that we attempt to recount what has transpired rather than what is anticipated. Ann suggested this early on. Although we usually have somewhat of a plan, it is never set in stone and we try to stay flexible. (literally & figuratively) However, we are declaring for a San Diego arrival on Saturday 11/27/10. We are excited that CMN has thrown down the gauntlet for a 100 mile challenge that coincides with our last 100 miles. We want to take a short commercial break to say: If you haven't made a donation to CMN but have been meaning to do so, there is no time like the present! Back to todays ride.....An Ozarkian poet might describe this morning as "A stiff wind be blowin' from the direction we be goin'." So, we put a tiger in our tank with a plastic bowl of Frosted Flakes at the Super 8 continental breakfast. While we were loading our bikes and pumping tires, we met David Bean who is an over-the-road trucker from North Carolina. He had a lot of curiosity about our bikes and our trip. During our conversation, we were impressed with all the places his work took him including Vancouver and Springfield, Mo. He wished us safe travels as we headed west on Dome Rock Road , a frontage road of I-10. At times the interstate seemed to be a figment of our imagination as we rode past RV's randomly scattered about the desert. Signs instructed a maximum stay of 14 days. No hook-ups or bath houses here. As we popped over a hill, I-10 again became a reality. Have we mentioned the wind? We wanted to get an early start as winds were predicted to gust to 40mph in the afternoon, making this another short day. That short day involved arriving in our 8th and final state. Ann felt reasonably relaxed on the wide smooth shoulder of I-10 and found herself glancing along the roadside hoping to spy a nice piece of azurite or other colored gemstone. Norb, meanwhile, was contemplating names other than Mariah for the wind. Once we arrived in Ehrenburg, we exited the interstate. A short jaunt led us to a pedestrian walkway over the north side of the Colorado River Bridge--the state line. The river is lovely variations of teal and dark aquamarine. (Ann loves trying to come up with appropriate color labels, it is an Oliver thing) Holding the camera steady was a difficult task as the wind buffeted us about on the bridge. We exited the bridge onto the next in our series of frontage roads. It took us past several vintage motels. Blythe was our stopping point for this windy day.