Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Day - 30 Worthington to Ma

Day – 30 – Worthington to Mankato
I spend the day with John Knapp

Euphoria Meter (1-10): 6
I only picked a six because I felt good and had a nice ride with John. The ride itself was nothing but corn fields, grain elevators and very small towns we pass through. Not much inspiring to take photograph.

Ride Stats:
Distance: 103 miles
Riding Time: 5:47 hours
Max Speed: 32.9 mph
Average Speed: 17.8 mph
Total Miles traveled: 2,160
Miles to go: 1,469

Another fantastic biking day. Tempuratures started in the high sixties, ended near 90 and very humid now. It was the kind of biking that a guy like me from the Midwest really enjoys. You start sweating before you get on your bike and you don’t stop until you get out of your shower and relax in an air conditioned room.

Incidents and Rider Report:
Today was a pretty calm day. Big Mike is still waiting on his new bike. He hopes to get it today. Alfredo, the tri-motor, John Hubert and everyone else were out there getting the job done today.

How I Feel (1-10): 10
All my systems seem to be working just fine. That is, despite everything hurting just a little. I think I am now in shape for this ride and I am doing well.

Stuff that happened:

Last night at dinner something really unusual happened. Steve Bennet and I ended up being fitst in line for the buffet! This only happened after we jogged for a 1/2 mile to beat the line of hungry bikers that were chasing us on foot and in shuttle vans. It is the little things in life some times. Odly enough, although I was first, the garlic bread still tasted like it had been sitting out for 3 hours.

The photo on the right is of the line of folks behind Steve and I. They were deep in the restaurant and lined up way down the sidewalk outside!

We started pretty early today. The sun rising over our hotel parking lot below.

Blow this up or click on the link below for a great article by the Worthington Daily Globe about our ride:

The most interesting thing that happened today was opening the Worthington MN daily paper, the “Daily Globe”. On the front page was a great photo of yours truly and my riding buddy Gerard. It was accompanied by a long, very detailed article about our group and the ride. It was my 15 seconds of fame. Here is a link to the article:

I made a tactical error at the beginning of the day. I awoke early but decided to take the breakfast at the hotel instead of the one down the road at the buffet. Only four others made the same choice. We were forced to wait a half hour until they opened the restaurant and then we were served behind a group of customers who came after us. Anyway, it delayed departure by an hour. I ended up having to take a serious trip to the little boy’s room and I start out all by myself.

Here is a pretty view I had of Lake Heron on our way to Mankato today.

Eventually I catch up with some others. John Knapp rides at a good clip that is similar to mine. We hook up after the first sag stop and ride together for the rest of the ride.
John is a very interesting person. He lives in Minneapolis, he has extended family in Maine and San Diego. John now teaches math in high school, but had a previous career in the restaurant business. One of his children recently graduated from the Air Force Academy. He rides strong and we work together to ease the effort of this long hot day.
The Holiday Inn we are staying at in Mankato is one of the nicest hotels we’ve stayed in since the Kah-Nee-Ta resort in Oregon.

Above is a scene that was repeated over and over on our ride. Large fields of corn and periodic grain elevators that seemed enormous. The entire ride reeked of farming prosperity.

Tomorrow we get to go for another century ride that everyone is anxious about.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ralphie, I am soo impressed with your descriptions and your photos. Terrific! What a great memoir. Love, Catherine