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Another medical clearance road bump led to an afternoon of cycling on a very bumpy road. The other day, I received an email from the Peace Corps stating that I was missing blood work. Seeing as how I had checked, double-checked, and triple-checked my medical forms, there was no way I thought this could be a possibility. A follow up call with the Screening Nurse for the Peace Corps did indeed confirm that my doctor had ordered a wrong test. Well huh, I am in Arizona, work pretty much everyday, and have no wheels of my own for transport.

What’s a girl to do? She does everything possible to get ‘er done in the timeliest manner possible. I didn’t want to delay this application process anymore, especially considering this whole shebang began in September. So I spoke to my boss, and we figured out a game plan. She would drop me off in Green Valley, Arizona, a retirement town that, due to its silver-haired audience, has plenty of medical facilities available. After my blood work was complete I would then bike back to Tucson, PAC Tour’s final destination for the day. Great plan, except for the whole biking 25 miles thing.

Once my blood work was done, Parker and I stopped at a Mexican restaurant to fuel up for our bike ride. I made sure to eat very slowly as I was attempting to delay the inevitable bike ride back. I knew this was a sink or swim ride. I was getting on Old Nogales highway – the whole way back. After I purchased a fake tattoo for 50 cents from a vending machine meant to entertain 10 year olds, and sucked at the last driblet of my soda, I could delay no more. I put on my helmet and off we went. I kept my focus ahead of me and attempted to ignore the semi-trucks zipping by me at over 50 mph.

The intense headwind did not help much with getting the deed done quickly. I could average a 15 mph pace, not very fast at all, but this headwind slowed me down to a slothful pace of about 10 mph. Add the crossing of the interstate and the sight of two dead and bloated cows on the side of the road, and you can probably imagine the state of my nerves. My solution, count down the miles. Every mile marker we hit, one of us would scream out the number of remaining miles, en español. Imagine my contentment when we were down to cinco, and then the glorious uno. Pulling into the hotel, I really hoped this was the last attempt to gain medical clearance.

The twigster,

Josephine

PS: I found out today that I am medically cleared for the Peace Corps! This has been quite a long stage in the process, now all I can do is wait…

PPS: Read more about my medical clearance process here.

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At every rest stop, while arranging the smorgasbord of cookies, potato chips and granola bars, a cyclist would ask, “When are you going to start riding?” A fan of cruising at a nice leisurely pace and terrified of biking on highways, I kept promising that I would start the following day. Apparently, the cycling world is inhabited by very committed and passionate people, who want to share their infatuation with the sport. Needless to say, the pestering never ceased. Finally, one day at lunch, I decided to hop on that most uncomfortable saddle. I strapped on my helmet and rode on slowly but surely as 60 year olds zoomed by me, always with an encouraging smile of course. I had to stop about every 7 miles for a butt stretch, but I did indeed ride the 25 miles in from the lunch stop to the hotel. The nudging stopped, but the burning began. I picked a section with a massive mountain climb for my inaugural cycle. My poor bum.

The twigster,

Josephine

PS: Cycling really is a beautiful way to see the world. Interested? Check out PAC Tour.

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