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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

SAG Ahhhhhhhhh

So last night after our 20 mile detour last night into Hutchinson, Heather was exhausted and I had pulled my left calf muscle. I really wanted to keep going, but Heather, in her infinite wisdom, put her foot down and firmly (obstinantly is more like it) said "No". So I went to the nearest motel and negotiated the rate down by 20 bucks.

We tucked in for the night and both agreed we would get up at 5 am to leave. We did get up at 5 am and I realized why it was such a great idea we had a hotel tonight. Seems as I woke up at 5 am (shortly afterwards I did go back to sleep) I was comforted by the gentle sounds of a raging thunderstorm. I did not even bother rousing Heather. I knew there was no way we were leaving with all that thunder and lightning (especially the lightning) going on out there in the plains. We did not end up leaving until 8:30 (which was nice because we were able to take advantage of the free hotel breakfast) in the morning.

As we walked out the door we got a call from Mary (that's Heather's mom) and Larry (her dad, of course), saying they were on the way and wanted to know where we were. After giving them a description of our route we headed off.

I sometimes laugh at times that other people feel is not appropriate. My philosophy is I can either laugh and try to enjoy life's experiences or I can be depressed/upset. Well, I choose to laugh (most of the time). There is a reason I share this with you. What I describe next I just want you to feel free to laugh (I was laughing wholeheartedly) at our pain.

Remember what I said about the demoralizing effects of a headwind. With our detour yesterday we had 7 unexpected miles (20 mile detour altogether) straight into the wind. This was tempered but the knowledge that tomorrow (today actually) we would be heading back north with the wind and it would be an easy ride. Guess what the storm brought in? You guessed it, the wind changed by 180°. So for our 7 miles north we got to head into the wind again. SO NOT FAIR!! (oh yeah, this is the point when you laugh, I'll wait). Just as we were getting back onto our actual route (I missed the turn and kept going for almost a mile), Heather's folks pulled up.

Boy were we glad to see them. Yes, of course they fed us well and took all my weight, but really it was just nice to see them. Heather and I do really enjoy each other's company but it is nice to have other people to talk with. Heather was really tired after two days of headwinds (in opposite directions) so she opted for a ride with mom and dad. I was eager to try the bike on flat ground with no weight.

At first I though my bike was damaged. As I pedaled uphill, my front tire kept jumping up off the ground. Eventually I figured out it was because I was pedaling with so much force I was lifting the tire. I changed my pedaling style a bit to adjust for the absence of the trailer and boy did I take off. There were high winds today but mostly cross winds. I was booking it. Crusing at 25 mph a lot of the time. At one point I was biking through Newton, KS and I happened to be going with the wind (meaning easily going between 30 and 35). I passed a cop at a stop light (yes it had just turned green), and kept my speed up to stay in front of him. After a mile or so we came to a light togther (I was turning left, he was going straight) and he rolled down his window. Oops! I thought for sure I was in trouble. To my surprise, he said "I just wanted to tell you, you really know how to ride that thing. I'm impressed". Really made me feel good.

I kept going and the last 12 miles I was a bit tired, hungry, and cold, but boy was I in a really really good mood! I knew I had Heather and her family just a few miles a head. I started playing games with my pedals seeing if I could go faster uphill than downhill. The answer is not quite, but pretty close.

I pulled into the city park and got a shower in their camper, a warm meal, and great conversation. In fact, right now I am sitting at the table warm and cozy with my shoes off, all my electronics charged, my stomach is full, and man, do I feel great. Heather is in good spirits as well. We will get an early start tomorrow and Heather will go until she is tired. I will go until my body says enough is enough.

Speaking of enough is enough I have some interesting news for you. Today (as you know) I rode mostly without weight. My seat (in combination with the shorts my dad and brother sent me) felt great. I don't mean no pain, I mean it just disappeared. I did not even feel the seat. The lesson here is that the seat I own is great for racing, but it is not meant for weighted touring. If only I was doing RAAm (Race Accross America) instead of weighted touring.

Ah well, such is life. Well, I am heading off to sleep now and get ready for a fun-filled day of riding without weight. YIPPEE!


oops almost forgot we did 84 miles today and are in Cassoday, KS

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am writing to tell you (atleast in S.D.) The wind is dying down. It was gusting up to 40 miles an hour here all day yesterday and there is no wind this morning. Glad you met with M and D. Am going to Grandpa's tonight and will try to write tomorrow for him.