Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Day 37 - Ludington to Mount Pleasant - 115 miles

Day – 37 – Ludington to Mt. Pleasant, MI
A great riding day with Gerard, Steve Bennett and cameo appearance from Derek Miller. The three of us managed to hook up (Steve and Derek caught Gerard and I at the first sag stop) and rode out in front all the way to Mt. Pleasant at a very pleasant clip. Derek took a rain check on the last leg at the last sag stop and Gerard, Steve and I rode the rest of the way in.

Euphoria Meter (1-10): 8
Not because of the scenery, although it was very nice if you had to be in Michigan. The 8 was because of the fun ride at high speeds due to some tail wind, the level terrain and great riding buddies who pushed things along. It is also kind of exciting because we now have less than 1,000 miles to go!

Ride Stats:
Distance: 115 miles
Riding Time: 5:45 hours
Max Speed: 34.6 mph
Average Speed: 20.0 mph
Total Miles traveled: 2,696 miles
Miles to go: 933 miles

Weather:
Well, today it finally happened. I counted them all. A total of three drops of rain hit me today while riding. I got hit with more sweat shrapnel from Gerard and Steve Bennett than I did rain, so I don’t think I can count today as a rain day. It was overcast. It did rain around us. We did ride on some wet pavement for an hour or so. But, the beginning of the ride was no-wind for the first hour and a half. Headwinds were on us for the next hour, but they were mild, less than 10 mph. The balance of the ride was glorious tail winds that pushed us along between 20 and 30 miles per hour.

Incidents and Rider Report
Tucson Jan was having seat issues and sagged. Derek Miller was thinking about it, but a good breakfast caused him to rally. The tri-motor took a day off and Will rode his single bike. Rich Simpson said he took a low speed tumble. He was stopped in soft sand, people were looking at maps and Rich’s ego took the biggest hit. Peaches suffered no injuries; Rich scraped his leg just a bit but was otherwise ok. All other riders seemed to have a good riding day today.

For some of the things I saw in Manitowoc, click this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdIi2ltzgqM

How I Feel (1-10): 10+
I think I am in the best shape I can be in now for a ride like this. I woke up feeling good both physically and emotionally eager to ride. My rear end did not bother me a bit. Today I only donned one pair of shorts and I’ve switched to just body glide and that seems to be doing the job nicely. All boils are in remission.

Stuff that happened:
Not really much to report, just a fun fun ride. Gerard and I started off together and rode pretty much side by side for the first 30 miles to the first sag at a fairly brisk, but easy pace. At the first sag stop, while we were lally gagging around Steve Bennett and Derek Miller came in 10 minutes or so behind us and they were not going to let us leave without them. Steve is the master of the quick sag stop. At each stop you may recall, we are obligated to 1) Remove our gloves, 2) wash our hands, 3) sign in, 4) eat as much as possible and 5) fill our water bottles with gator aid and water. All of that takes Steve about 1.5 minutes. That makes a big difference when you are trying to make up time on a long ride. Riding at zero mph really hurts your average mph rate.
A day like today gives you a lot of time to think… You get to concentrate on all of the issues of the pace line, staying within inches of the wheel in front of you, watching for cars, riding at the right pace when your turn to lead comes up (pushing a little but not killing yourself), drinking enough, etc. etc. But in between those moments I get to think about my family and friends that I miss and how much I look forward to getting back into the swing of the “normal” life I left behind for this amazing event.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ralphie, How many bike riders are still on your trip? Has the
Governor of Idaho been riding the whole time? Glad you are feeling so good. What a trip!
Catherine

Ralph Antolino, Jr. said...

We have only lost 2 riders so far, one to a knee injury and the other a spinal injury. All of the other riders are still with us. Every now and then one or two may ride in the sag wagon, but for the most part everyone else is still riding. Most are living the dream to "ride every inch" across America!
- Ralph

Bette said...

Keep up the good work.