Greetings from Southern California! Fall has arrived, temperatures have dropped to the mid 80s, and we are one month closer to May!
The biggest news I have this month is that we have changed our Day 4 overnight stop. We will overnight in Limon, Colorado instead of Goodland, Kansas. This decision did not come easily, because we all love that Goodland layover. The citizens of Goodland and the program at Northwest Technical College provide us with a delicious supper and hearty breakfast, space for camping, facilities for showers, and space for a church service on Sunday morning. They decorate the gymnasium in red, white, and blue and their elementary school children contribute their artwork and letters. It is a reception that we all deeply appreciate.
However, by overnighting in Limon, we cut 109 miles off a very long day and add it to Day 5, which is a relatively short one. In my opinion, that ride through eastern Colorado and western Kansas is one of the most grueling stretches of the entire run. By postponing the last leg of it until Day 5, we tackle it first thing in the morning, when we are all fresher and the winds aren’t as strong. This change also gives us more time between our breakfast and lunch stops on Day 5. Some RFTW old-timers may remember that we actually used to overnight in Limon. Though I believe this change will make things easier and safer in the long run, an overnight change like this does require a huge amount of work from the state coordinators. I would like to give a shout out to Tom (Twitch) Brunette and Carl (Rusty) Brown for their persistent efforts.
There may be other gas stop or lunch stop changes along the way as our state coordinators finalize plans through their state. I’ll keep you apprised as our plans evolve. As a reminder, the hotel list for all overnight stops will be published around the end of the year, and the final itinerary will be completed in early spring. Last year’s itinerary is still available on the website. Speaking of the website, I noticed there were still some openings in our staging and fuel teams. If you were thinking of volunteering, I recommend you do it sooner rather than later, as these teams do fill up.
Last month I urged you to start getting in shape physically for our 2020 RFTW. This month I would like to encourage you to start working on riding skills. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken an advanced riding course, I strongly encourage you to find one in your area and complete it prior to May. It’s easy for us to develop and slip into bad riding habits. Rider courses help us recognize and overcome these. A consistent theme in our After Action reports was the complaint that some riders did not know how to ride in a pack. A way to overcome this and gain experience is to join clubs or groups that do ride in a pack, such as Patriot Guard.
You have a lot to do in the next 204 days! Get busy!
Tom “Boomps” Miller
Run for the Wall®
2020 Central Route Coordinator