Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I MADE IT ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Well, Tuesday is behind me, and I have to say that I am feeling better today than I did at the end of yesterdays ride.

At dinner on Monday night, the fearless fivesome had made arrangements to leave at 7:30 to begin the longest and toughest day of the trip. Morning came, we got breakfast, put our bags on the truck, gpt our tires filled with air and our water bottles filled with water, and I looked around at 7:05 and the other members of the group had left. Joe and Barbara had left with a big group at around 7:00 and I saw Rolland and Mike heading down the driveway and turning left onto Rte. 302. I made a mental note to give them all a piece of my mind (if I had any left at the end of THIS day) at dinner.

I headed out alone. I know some of you are thinking "Awww, that's so sad" but in actuality, I rather enjoy riding by myself sometimes. There is no pressure to keep up, or worry about gping too fast... OK, I have never had that worry, but you get my point. Anyway, I headed towards the first climb of the day. It would put me on the other side of the White Mountains at a place called Crawford's Notch. This climb was the topic of conversation at dinner the night before. There were tales of how steep this climb was, and that it was like climbing a wall and so on. Well, although it was not a "wall" it was certainly one difficult task to carry my butt over the top. My plan going onto the mountains was to ride until the legs and lungs were on fire, stop, take a breath, drink some water, eat som Sports Beans, get back on the bike and get back to pedaling. I did that on Crawford's Notch and I made it over just fine. The downhill from there was AWESOME. If you look at the Garmin data (click the details button) you will see that my max speed was 41.5 and that happened on that downhill.


A few miles down (and I do mean down) the road, was the first rest stop. Everyone's spirits were pretty high having just crested one of the two big climbs for the day. I saw Barb and Rolland and Mike. Mike was not looking to good. The Tour de Cure jerseys that they gave out this year were green, and Mike's face was very close to that color. Barb, Mark and I set out from that rest stop and left Rolland and Mike to wait it out to see if Mike was going to be OK.

The three of us hit a considerable head wind as we headed to rest stop #2, so we each took turns leading the group to give the other two a break from the wind. The up coming rest stop was at mile 52, and just about mile 48 or so, here comes Rolland and Mike chugging along. We formed the fearless fivesome again and rolled into the rest stop in great form. Mike seemed to be fine and enjoyed a BLT at The Brick Store at rest stop 2. Apparently, this place cures their own bacon and it is to die for. Rolland claims to have dreams about it year round. There was an Ice Cream shop next to the brick store and Barbara got herself and ice cream cone from there. I am not sure how these people can do these rides and just grab some 'random' snack and jump on their bike and ride off.

Leaving Rest stop 2 we had a rather large group, because Rolland has become famous for the way that he leads the pack. Everybody bought their tickets for the Rolland train, and we were gone. Now, as far as trains go, Rolland would be considered the engine, and I would fill the role of caboose. It is not that I can't keep up, it is like I said in a previous blog, I have only ridden with these riders for a few days now, and now there were riders in the group that I had never ridden with, so being at the back of the pack, I have the opportunity to evade any silliness that may occur. Well, as we were chugging up an incline I saw Mike slow down suddenly and move all the way over to the right. As I went past I looked at both of his tires to see if he had a flat, which is typically what would cause someone to pull off so suddenly. Both tires looked fine so I looked back and Mike was getting sick on the side of the road. We made enough noise to get Rollands attention at the front of the line, and we all turned around to render assitance... well actually to just stand around and wathc Mike throw up and make jokes. I mean, how much assistance can you really render at that point? The SAG van came and picked up Mike and his bike and transported them to the next rest area, which was only about 6 miles up the road. Turns out he has been battling some GI issues over the past week, and his Dad guessed that with the amount of exercise that he is doing it just all came up at that time. I saw Mike tonight at dinner and he seems fine. For those of you concerned about the care that we would recieve should something bad happen to us on the road I want to assure you that Mike was in better care with the group that was there then if he had been taken out of an ambulance. In the group standing around cracking jokes at poor Mikes expense were a orthopedic doctor, and eye doctor and an emergancy room pediatrician. We are in good hands.

Coming out of rest stop three Mike had decided to pack it in for the day. He was still not feeling well and thought it best take the rest of the day off. So, after taking care of business at the rest stop, Joe, Barb, Mark, Rolland and myself headed out to the other big climb of the day. This was a 6 mile uphill, steep in some places, but for the most part it was just a constant UP. I made it up about halfway, and I stopped. Changed the headband, ate some sport beans, drank some water and then finished the climb. Folled by another amazing downhill. Unfortunately, the roads for this downhill were not as nice as the ones coming down from Crawford's Notch, so the speed suffered a little.

At the final rest stop, which was only about 9 miles fom the ending point, we all regrouped and rode into Montpelier, VT. I was SO excited to finish Tuesday!!!! I felt stronger at the end of this ride today than I did at the end of yesterday's ride.

I was just listening to my room mate talking to his grandmother on his cell phone telling her that tomorrow is a short day, only about 70 miles? I thought to myself, "When did 70 miles on a bicycle become a "short" day." All things are reletive I guess. He was right, tomorrow is about a 70 mile ride, with a fairly steep 5 mile hill into Killington, VT. It is my understanding tha the downhills out of Killington on Thursday morning are spectacular. I'll let you know.

Just a quick note, Thank you to everybody that is reading this blog and leaving comments. It is my little slice of hime while I am away. It was also a great motivator to me during the ride today. My biggest fear was having to do a blog entry tonight explaining what went wrong that prevented me from finiahing. It means a lot to me that these words are being read. Thank you.

In response to Robert Frost's poem yesterday... I have travelled many miles today, my butt is going to bed! Good night!

I just posted the Garmin data for yesterdays blog, and here is the Garmin data for today. The elevation gain on the Garmin's is suspect at best, and two other bike computers came up with closer to 7500 feet. Suffice it to say, It was a LOT!

5 comments:

  1. You're more than half way thru, keep those legs strong and finish with flying colors. Great reading tonight and every night. Happy trails to you....until we meet again. Like that???? Love ya..

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  2. "Some random snack." I'm getting a sense of deja vu all over again.

    Sounds like you're over the hump. Keep rolling.

    MBx

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  3. Your adventure is inspiring and amazing. So glad you had a successful day and tomorrow will be another one. I love your writing and look forward to each entry. Miss you and love you, Beverly

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  4. Beverly (Beazie) Your #1 SupporterJuly 13, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Inspiring and Amazing. I enjoy following along on your adventure and always look forward to the next report. The pictures are beautiful. I miss you and love you, Beverly

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  5. LOL @ 70 miles being a short day. Glad busted out those climbs, and sounds like you're hitting your stride. Microsoft respected your efforts and didn't hose us on an update Wednesday while you were out (though it is still early ...).

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