Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day 5 -

Gerard goes for the Gold

Ride statistics
Distance: 117.1 miles
Average mph: 18.0
Ride time: 6:30 hours

(one heck of a ride and I gave it my all)

Injury Updates
Allison with seat issues...took the day off, rode with the Box
Kelly with achillies issues....rode with the Box
Jennifer watching over mom....stayed with mom while dad rode single bike
Derick Miller back on the road completing the 117 miler today
Ralph Antolino… a little soreness in the quads and lower back, loosing voice in evening (dry air??)

Severe Clear
Cool in beginning of today’s ride…65 Degrees
A dry heat of 92 degrees at the finish

Stories of the day:
This morning Gerard invites me to join a pace line being formed by Steve Flowers from Dallas. We start with a group of four, me, Gerard, Steve and John Huber (American Airline pilot from Connecticut). We are the very last of the group to depart for the biggest ride we’ve had yet, after four days that worked us pretty good. The first 12 miles are flat and the pace line works well. After the warm up we begin a gradual climb of about 3,000 feet of elevation over a 12 mile stretch. We stay together and pass many riders with Steve’s disciplined approach. The four of us share the workload every 60 seconds. The scenery is probably the best we’ve seen yet. Didn’t I say that yesterday? There really aren’t enough adjectives in my vocabulary to describe the awe and wonder of what we rode through today. Also, with Steve’s disciplined approach there wasn’t a lot of time for photo opp’s. Sorry about that. This was a serious ride and everyone seemed to take the same approach. We limited our stops to very short ones. From start to finish we were out 7.5 hours and had cumulative stops of 1 hour total. Part of the fun of today was that Gerard, John Huber and myself were the first three to finish today’s trip. John and I agreed that Gerard should get the “yellow jersey” for today based on his extraordinary effort today. He was the very first in followed closely behind by myself and John. We all did our share, but he came through when John and I were pretty tired. Not that we were competitive or anything, but Draco has been the first in every day so far and today the other Dutch phenomena, Gerard took the honors. That made it kind of fun.

This evening Mike and Pam Smith arrived and I got to have my second big dinner with them. For once I think I am going to bed with a full stomach and not too much later than my roomie who is already asleep as I type this. He has an amazing ability to sleep (or at least fake it). He puts his head down and he is out cold. But better yet, early in the morning he pops up out of the bed like he has springs on and is dressed and ready to go before I have even pulled back the covers. Rich has such great energy and enthusiasm for life and this adventure in particular that I feel really blessed to be sharing it with him.

I fell asleep while trying to write this and gave up and went to bed. I think I need more rest and recouperation than I have been getting. While riding I seem to feel pretty good. The cold weather has taken a toll on me a bit. I underestimate 50 Degrees and sunshine and how quickly the ride will warm up.

Today was a really tough ride and I was happy with my performance.

Not many pictures because we all took this major climb and distance day very seriously. I was happy to be in by 2pm and get a message. Mike our leader said many woulding get in until 5 or 6 pm.


Russ Morgan said...

GO RALPH!!! Good day!

shawn martin said...

The BIG DOG just keeps on going... Great Day Ralph!

Catherine said...

What a terrific experience you are having and how lucky we all are that you ae sharing it with us. I have been using "Utter Cream" for years on my feet. You can buy it at Walmarts.