Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day 31 - Mankato to Rochester MN

Day – 31 – Mankato to Rochester, MN 989’ elevation

Bennett blasts off...

Mankato Sunrise

Euphoria Meter (1-10): 4
A pretty tough day. Lots of hills, all cornfields and a few little towns. If there was good scenery, I missed it. I hooked up with Steve Bennett and Gerard today. Steve was in a saddle blazing mood today.

Ride Stats:
Distance: 100
Riding Time: 5:50 hours
Max Speed: 32.6
Average Speed: 17.2
Total Miles traveled: 2,349
Miles to go: 1,280

MUGGY, high humidity, 90 degrees, East winds at 10 mph (headwinds) but still no rain. I was praying for rain quite a bit today. Actually it did rain, or might as well have rained sweat. I was soaked from head to toe. My shoes and socks felt like I was peddling in a swimming pool. All this from the sweatiest I have been. I drank 12-32 ounce bottles of water and gator aid on the ride and it wasn’t enough.

Incidents and Rider Report
Mariah and I took a hit today. Steve, Gerard and I were navigating through a small town. Steve is leading and sprints ahead, I follow suit and then decide to look down at my route sheet fixed on my handle bars at the same time that Steve decides to slow down and do the same while a large truck is roaring up behind us. I look up to find myself about to collide with Steve who decided to cut left and I go down on the pavement.
Damage to Brake shifter.
Damage to arrow bars
Knee injury.

I have a little mantra I try to play in my head regularly, which is “All my attention all the time.” I took my eye off of Steve for too long and the bike and I paid the price. Fortunately, the truck behind us was the “Box” hauling our luggage driven by our ride leader’s wife Barbara. Don’t worry mom, beyond my ego, I was not the least big hurt. Miriah however picked up a few battle scars and needed a slight wheel adjustment, but she made it through the rest of the ride without any further issues. I was the talk of the dinner tonight.

I really have to hand it to Steve today. He put on a very steady pace, would not let me or Gerard lead early on at all. Gerard dropped off from our little group, probably because he was bored with riding in the back and wanted to let Steve have his fun. I decided to see how long I could ride with him.
We ended up considerably ahead of the pack and finally Steve lets me pull him for a few miles. I eventually get dehydrated and fall apart around mile 90 where the hills got steeper and the wind got stronger, but Steve slowed down a bit for me and pulled me and Miriah into our new Holiday Inn.
Rich made it in ok, but he said the ride took a lot out of him. He went solo from the second sag stop and only had two people pass him, John Knapp and Rich from Seattle. It was a very challenging day, especially after the last two days. We have three more big days and then things ease up for one day and THEN we get another rest day.

How I Feel (1-10): 10 at the start, 6 at the end of the ride.
Today I ordered room service in my Triple A rated motel for the first time! Two turkey sandwiches, soup, two chocolate milks (recovery drink of choice on this trip) and cole slaw. I then filled the tub with cold water, got a trash can full of ice and filled the tub with ice and got in to soak my legs. I took a 45 minute nap and now my legs and the rest of me feel pretty good. Apparently this technique is used by tour riders and NBA players and works pretty well. As a result, I think I am back to a 10.

Stuff that happened:
Today was really all about the ride. Not many photo’s sorry, nothing caught my eye. We did go by the Mayo Clinic which appears to dominate the town of Rochester. It is a BIG place with buildings that go on and on, buses that apparently haul workers and visitors to and from parking lots.


Anonymous said...

What a trooper!

Anonymous said...

I know I hit "other" both days. It keeps coming up anonymous. I don't know why. Catherine

Marlene said...

Knee didn't look bad on outside I hope inside is ok.

Russ Morgan said...

I have missed keeping up on your progress. I am writing from the Fraser, Colorado library now. Hope all is well with your body and especially your bike.

Anonymous said...

Is it me, or is Ralph pointing to a cut on the top of his head? Just kidding! Keep those legs in shape Ralph!
Shawn & Susan
Kent, OH

Ralph's Ride Across America said...

Shawn you are too funny. Good to hear from you!