April 27.  Day 2. Warrior 100 K Ride With a ride start at 8:30, I was up early.  Today was a double loop of a 16 mile course on the GSL trail, the hardest course set up of the 3 day ride.  The good news was the temperature was in the 70's with a nice breeze.  President Bush showed up at 8:15, said a handful of hellos and said, "Let's ride,".   The course was the same as our Pre-ride the day before.  The difference was, there volunteers with blue shirts on, that were assisting riders in the difficult sections of the course.  I wiped out in the same spot I crashed the day before, but one of the volunteers grabbed my arm, before I rolled down a ravine.  I seriously thought about calling it a day, but being only 5-10 minutes into the ride, I thought better of it.  I continued, but got off the bike whenever I saw blue shirts or signs that said "Danger.". I slowly got shuffled back, as I let better riders pass me.  Eventually, I was the last rider and asked a blue shirted rider to go ahead of me, but Cary was a ride volunteer, the "sweeper", meaning she was in charge of making sure nobody was left behind.  After a while, I thought of her as my own personal guide, as she was giving me information about what was up ahead.  Regardless, I bailed after 9-10 miles of extreme mountain riding. I got picked and returned to the parking lot and waited for the riders to finish.  Before they showed up, I enjoyed a nice "Chuck Wagon" style lunch of pork tenderloin, baked beans and salad.  The only thing missing was BBQ sauce, believe it or not.  The President and Warriors finally arrived, with a little less fanfare, from the day before.  They were hungry and immediately lined up for lunch. Because I didn't do as much riding as I would have liked, I put my bike in my rented truck and took it back to the hotel and enjoyed an afternoon ride around Amarillo.  Tonight's dinner was at the Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, an unbelievable installation of bronzes, interactive displays and history of the Quarter horse.  Tonight's dinner consisted of the most delicious Tex-Mex I have ever had, including retried beans, Spanish rice, trays of beef, chicken and shrimp for fajitas, with all the sides.  President Bush spoke briefly and then passed the microphone to the other 10 Warriors that were not recognized the night before.  When they finished, President Bush grabbed the microphone and declared, he was tired and he was going to bed. Tomorrow's ride is 18 miles.  I'll give it my all, but I'll know when my day is over, because I don't want to get beat up anymore than the first 2 days.  Overall, this trip has been extremely rewarding, seeing our wounded Military challenging themselves with their injuries and the bonding that goes on with the 73 of us who have the privilege of riding with President Bush!!

April 26. Day 1  Warrior 100 K ride After arriving yesterday and finally getting to Amarillo, the day consisted of lunch, putting my bike together, taking a short ride checking it out, visiting with old and new friends and a nice steak dinner at a well known Amarillo steakhouse that features a 72 ounce steak that is free, if it is eaten in 1 hour.  Our dinner group consisted of 20 honored Warriors, staff from the George W. Bush Presidential Center, volunteers and other ride groups, including Ride2Recovery.  By 8:30 the night was called as everyone was anxious to begin today's ride. Breakfast started at 6:00 and the riders started talking about the challenges facing us and the joy of riding with President Bush.  The usual breakfast items were on hand, but there was a platter of wrapped burritos, with bottles of hot sauce I have never seen.  John Wordin, President and Founder of Ride2Recovery, scheduled a 10:30 meet in the lobby for our 40 minute ride to the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the venue for the Warrior100K mountain bike ride.  We finally arrived and you could see Police checking in all cars before we could  proceed.   Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the U.S. next to the Grand Canyon.  We proceed along the rim, before we traversed our way down to the bottom of the canyon. We checked over our bikes before John Wordin led us out for our morning Pre-ride.  We rode for about a mile, before we found a trail and headed into the desert.  The first mile was flat with wide trails, but before long, the climbs were rocky, narrow and scary.  The downhills were just as treacherous as they included sharp turns, cactus and rock.  Half way into the ride, I crashed and my clean white R2R jersey was now red on my left shoulder and back from the red Texas clay.  I was a little shaken up, but got back on the bike and continued.  After a while, I started to run out of gas and walked the bike up some of the tougher climbs and couldn't wait to get back to the parking lot to cool down and assess my injury.  After cleaning up in the air conditioned bathroom, I went back to the parking and waited like everyone else for the President. Before long, you could see an entourage of Suburbans and Denalis coming down the canyon and the President and Secret Service arrived.  The cheers began as the President got out of his car and immediately approached his 20 hand picked Injured Warriors.  He spent time with each, before he announced, let's ride.  The President took the lead followed by 5 or6 Secret Service riders, the 20 Warriors, a medical team, and the balance of the riders, for a total of 73 riders.  I eventually got shuffled to the rear of the group and before long we found the trail for today's ride which was different from the morning ride.  The first mile or so were benign, but before long the hill climbs started and the trails got narrower, with rocks and cactus. I eventually ran out of gas, and had to walk the bike up the difficult climbs and walked it down when I saw more rock and tight turns.  If you knew you were going to fall off the bike, you better find the high side, because the low side could take you into a rocky ravine.  At the 7 mile mark, was a water stop and that's when I threw in the towel and called it a day.  I was driven back to the parking lot in an off road vehicle and waited for the riders.  Before long, President Bush and the riders entered the parking lot wet, dusty and exhausted and even the President looked a little pale.  The President was handed some water and then posed for pictures for everyone.  He was as gracious to the first rider as he was to the last.  John Wordin then said Rob, let me take a picture with you and the President.  I said, why not and approached the President, shook his hand and said," Mr. President, what an honor to meet you and ride with you."  He chuckled and said "thank you."  What a thrill!! We made our way back to our cars and hurried back to the hotel, before a deluge of rain came down.  When we arrived, the Amarillo Police surrounded our hotel and that's when we knew the President was staying at our hotel.  Dinner was at the Amarillo National Bank, on the 16th floor in a beautiful space with a surround of windows overlooking Amarillo.  The President finally arrived and made conversation with us, before I pulled out my copy of, "Decision Points" the Presidents book of difficult decisions he made in his life, mostly in the White House.  He graciously signed the title page with a personal autograph.  Dinner was called, with speeches afterwords, before the President said it was time to go to bed. Tomorrow is 32 miles of ride.  I'll attempt to give it my all!!