Saturday, July 14, 2007

Day 27 - Mitchell to Sioux Falls SD

Day – 27 Mitchell to Sioux Falls, SD

This could have been a North Western Ohio ride

Euphoria Meter (1-10): 3

No big exciting climbs or descents, just flat corn and soybean fields. It was a very nice day for a “crank it out” easy 72 miler. We all considered it sort of a rolling rest day.

Ride Stats:

Distance: 74 miles

Riding Time: 4:33 hours

Max Speed: 31.9 mph

Average Speed: 16.1 mph

Total Miles traveled: 1,988

Miles to go: 1,641


I think we have all died and gone to heaven. Today we woke up to more sunshine, 65 degrees for our departure, 78 degrees in Sioux Falls when we arrived. Not a sign of a cloud anywhere. We have not had a drop of rain on us for 27 straight days.

Incidents and Rider Report:

The ride is taking its toll on some folks. Rich has a knee that is not what he’d like it to be. John Hubert is still babying his quad. Jean took the day off for seat issues. Allison has strep throat and didn’t ride. Alfredo was in action today and seemed in good spirits.

The tri-motor did the whole ride however!

We have been spending a lot of time on narrow two lane highways. The big trucks going the opposite direction from us have smacked me with wind and road debris like I have never been smacked before. It is hard for me to imagine that someone isn’t going to get knocked over by one of these wind hits before we get to Portsmouth. I hope it isn’t me! I’m not sure if it is an advantage being my size or the size of one of the little ladies on the ride, but so far we’ve all made it without incident. This ride is not for sissies.

How I Feel (1-10): 10

The only way I could feel any better is if Cindy were here with me. For the first time since week 1 my rear end has felt just fine. I think I now have alligator leather where I used to have skin. It plagues everyone and there is no end to the suggestions for how to feel better. Here is what seems to be working for me… Bag Balm on both my first pair of inside out bike shorts and my skin. During the ride I wear two pair of shorts now and rotate them. One inside out, the spandex up against my skin (less friction) and a second pair right side out. Desetin is applied following my post ride shower. Bag Balm is applied before bed. Iron man trainer extraordinaire Bob Duncan is shipping me something he told Cindy is better than Bag Balm according to his experience. I will fill you in later on this hot item.

Stuff that happened:

A pretty uneventful day. The most exciting thing is that I am slowly figuring out how to work photoshop and videos. This should allow me to spend less time futzing with pictures and make it easier to update my blog in a higher quality way.

When I reflect back on the day, we spend a fair amount of our time eating, checking out of the hotel, riding, checking into the hotel, eating, prepping for the next day. This is a very serious task and a no-nonsense tour. Since I don’t have any excitement about the riding itself today, I thought I might share with you some of the great equipment I have been enjoying on trip that has treated me very nicely so far:

Shoes: I have been riding in the best pair of shoes I have ever had. Rocket 7 shoes that were custom made for my size 15 feet. They have soles of carbon fiber, extremely stiff and molded exactly to the unusual curves of my toes and arches. These along with the egg beater peddles I am using have been very enjoyable for all 2,000 miles I’ve ridden so far.

My Bike: What a dream come true. I have never had a bike that fit so well, rode so responsive and produced such a smooth and efficient ride. I really have to thank Mr. Bob Duncan, Dave and the rest of the crew at Wheelie fun for the great design and fitting for this Bob Parlee all carbon fiber bicycle. The frame weighs 2.8 lbs. The entire bicycle (without water bottles) weighs 17lbs. My previous bicycle which I really enjoyed weight literally double that. It does make a difference. Thanks again for the nice fit and the nice ride guys! So far so good.

Mavic Wheels: Flawless so far. I’ve hit all kinds of bumps, cracks, wholes, sticks and you name it. These things just keep rolling along very smooth and true. I’ve been told I will pull a spoke through the rim before I break a spoke or get the wheel out of true. You may recall earlier in the blog the story and photo of big Mike Heitz doing just that (6’12” 300lbs is a lot of torque).

Specialized Armadillo Tires 700 x 23: I can’t say enough about these tires. I have pulled out 16 wires, pieces of glass and goat head thorns from these tires. Zero flats so far. Steve Bennet has had 9 with a competitive brand x. The tri motor has had 11 flats. The leaders maintain a flat score sheet that is hung up and updated every evening in our hotel lobby.

Cateye Computer: Works like a charm, the wired version. Bob Duncan convinced me it was more reliable and so far so good. It is very important for navigation. Some days we have lots of turns and the mileage on my computer matches extremely close with the mileage on the navigation sheets we are issued.

Bike Clothing: You may have noticed in my pictures I tend to favor my “Team Monex” uniform. Chris and Michele Caribini of Laguna Hills gave me a couple of these outfits as a pre-ride gift. The outfit fits like a glove. Great wind resistance, sweat removal, nice pockets and an incredibly good seat pad (my favorite part). They are made by in Italy by Parentini Bike Wear. I can’t say enough good things about the outfit. The ladies that refer to themselves as the “SanFrancisco Treats” (from the land of fruits and nuts) really like my color coordination when I wear the team Monex outfit. Thanks again Carabini’s!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Ralphie,

I have written you many times but apparently have not sent the messages correctly. When you were in Rapid City, I wanted to know if you remembered the times we were marooned in Rapid City waiting for the VW part to arrive via your parents?

Love Catherine

Cindy said...

HI. I am here with my girlfriends watching your video. Great work! Everyone likes your hair. Makes you look extinguished, no, distinguished!

Ralph's Ride Across America said...

How could I ever forget that fateful trip with you Aunt Catherine! Thanks for the comment.

Cindy, you and your girl friends should get back to your knitting.

Anonymous said...

I am finally getting ti read and see your trip! You do a good job. Keep it up. Linda Zoretic