Thursday, July 12, 2007

Day 25 - Over the hump...half way to the Atlantic

Day – 25 – Pierre to Chamberlain, SD
An 84 mile “recovery” ride

Euphoria Meter (1-10): 8
It was a nice ride. It started a bit early (4am by yesterday’s time zone). Great rolling hills (long climbs and descents. They were not as long as the Rockies and Tetons, but longer than Southern Ohio, but not as steep. Again, very limited signs of humanity along the route.

Ride Stats:
Distance: 84.12 miles
Riding Time: 5:32 hours
Max Speed: 42.9 mph
Average Speed: 15.2 mph

Gee, we had some cloud cover today, but no rain. The clouds kept things pretty cool for our 6:00am box load, 6:30 breakfast and 7:00 departure. I was second shift. Another group (all but 5 of us) left at 5:50 am. Temperatures started at 67 degrees and rose to 77 by the end of the ride. Unfortunately winds were out of the North East at 20 mph and made big stretches of the ride very discouraging.

Incidents and Rider Report
Today one of our top riders, John Hubert, American Airline pilot from Connecticut had to drop out of the ride. He had an issue with his left quadricep. Perhaps it was triggered by the hard ride he and Steve Bennett completed yesterday, dusting everyone on our 117 mile event.
The tri-motor went all the way today! Even up the very challenging climbs we had as we followed the Missouri River and its various cliffs and hills that abutted its shores.
Bud from Ohio has a numbness in his lower back and leg that is really bothering him today, especially when he walks. However he said after about 5 miles on the bike he is ok, but not when he walks.
Alfredo took the day off again for seat issues.

How I Feel (1-10): 7
I feel pretty good. I am a little worn from yesterday and loosing an hour due to our time zone shift and getting up at the equivalent of 4am (ouch). All my body parts seem to be cooperating with one another nicely. Just a little tired today.

Stuff happens:
We sure saw a lot of nothing again today. The views and the scenes were really nice. We are getting a little used to seeing wide open beautiful spaces.
The big excitement of the day was making it over half the way across America. We still have a long way to go, but if you round up we’ve practically made it! The story is the ride gets a little more interesting and more variety of things and towns to see along the way. I’d guess the weather won’t hold up either, but here is hoping.

I ended up spending most of the day with Gerard again. I’m learning a lot about Holland as we ride along side by side and chat. He is a very nice and interesting person. Gerard speaks something like five languages and his English is pretty good. However, every now and then he asks for an interpretation of something we read or say. For example, the other day we passed a small building in the middle of no where with a fairly large sign that said, “National Varmit Hunters Association” and he wondered what a varmit was. I tried to explain, but suggested he watch Caddy Shack to get a better idea.

This is getting to be serious work.

We are staying in only Triple A rated motels! Our 25th different bed so far.

Tomorrow we arrive in Mitchel SD and everyone is excited to tour the "Corn Palace". I guess it is really something. Mike Munk (our tour leader who has done this 40 times) said he's never seen it and encouraged us to knock ourselves out.
Finally, Russ Morgan, I really appreciate your regular comments patronage and feeling like you are with me. You have always been an outstanding bicycling companion and we've had a lot of great rides together. This one has your name on it.


mom said...

Hurrah, halfway

Russ Morgan said...

We leave for Colorado in about an hour, but I just wanted to check in before we leave. Congrats! It's all downhill from here.