Friday, July 27, 2007

A Break From Training....

I took a little break from serious training last night to hang out with the family. We went out to dinner at Mr. Smiths (good stuff if you are ever in Vermillion) and then back home. The clouds sure looked like rain and a quick check of radar confirmed that threat. It was really humid and I wasn't keen on being 15-25 miles out and being caught in a thunderstorm. So, I volunteered to go on a family bike ride. Marissa and Carson took me up on it. I hooked up the kiddie cart to the cruiser tandem and away we went keeping an eye on the weather (it never did rain here).

After a quick toodle around town, we went "down the hill" to the bike path by the Vermillion River. This of course entails the obligatory stoppage to hang out at the rest area/fishing deck/multipurpose area. Normally I wouldn't blog about such a night, but Marissa started playing 20 questions with me (9 year olds are REALLY good at it too).

Question 1: Dad, why do so many people litter?
Answer 1: I'm not sure honey. Some people are either too juvenile or they just don't care about the beauty of the earth like we do.

Question 2: Dad, have you ever littered?
Answer 2 (uncomfortably): Well, I'm sure that sometime in my life that I have. Once I realized how wrong it was, I made sure not to litter anymore.

Question 3: (as she looked over some of the litter below the deck): Dad, do you drink beer?
Answer 3 (more uncomfortably): Yes dear, once in awhile, but not very often.

Question 4: Dad, why don't people take better care of the earth? I mean, it's where they live. Don't they want it to be nice?
Answer 4: Some people just don't see the beauty in nature like we do Marissa. It's sad, but unfortunately it's life too.

Statement 1: Marissa: When I grow up, I'm going to start a group called the "Nature Health Group".
Dad: Nature Health Group?
Marissa: Yes, I want to keep all of nature clear of pollution so nature can be "healty".
Dad: That sounds like an excellent idea Marissa. I love the fact you are so passionate about nature.

Statement 2: Marissa: I'm happy that you ride your bike most places.
Dad: Why is that?
Marissa: You are always healthy and by riding you are not causing air pollution.

Have I mentioned lately that my daughter has a heart of gold? I hope that she always keeps it. It's amazing how kids do as you do and not what you say. If you want your kids to change, look in the mirror first.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

UCI Debates Lifetime Cycling Ban for Brady Family

Vermillion, SD (AP) - The UCI is heavily considering a lifetime cycling racing ban for the Brady Family due to potential doping/steroid use. A search of the house was clean and recent testing was normal. Just as the UCI was about to leave the premises, 4 year old Carson came back from his workout and a full investigation is now in process.

The UCI is expected to hand down its final decision later this week. This latest setback for cycling has everybody wondering if cycling can ever truly be clean again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It Figures

Okay, as if I'm not stressed out enough about the 412 mile Gut Check bike ride/race an interesting tidbit of an email just hit my inbox from Josh Ellis the event organizer. But first a song. Yes, a song. Classic 80's song from Howard Jones called "Things Can Only Get Better":

And do you feel scared - I do
But I won't stop and falter
And if we threw it all away
Things can only get better
Wow wow wow oh, wow wow wow oh oh oh oh

Back to our regularly scheduled programming. Where were we? Oh right, the email. Without further ado, I give you "the email":

Location: Between Doland and Frankfort (MRM 319-327.33).
Project: Road reconstruction.
What to expect: Road closed.
Suggestions: Signs will direct traffic to use US281, SD28 and 406th Avenue as a detour.
For more information: Huron Area Office, (605) 353-7140.

I contacted the Huron office and the good news is that the detour is on all paved roads the "interesting" news is that the detour will add about 40 miles to this years Gut Check making it 452 miles. The detour goes 20 miles south on 281, 20 miles east on SD28, and 20 miles north on 406th Ave.


What 40 extra miles "means" in average miles per hour terms:

Josh seemed like such a nice guy when we had lunch. I used to like Josh.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Weekly Cycling Log - July 16 - July 22

Not a stellar week by any stretch of the imagination. It was the last week of ball games and Laura had to work Thursday night. This week I'm going to be ready to tear up the roads.

16-Jul24.32Spin Class(10) + Commuting(14.32)
20-Jul33.45Commuting(4.34)+ Elk Point(29.09)
22-Jul52.38Commuting(2.04) Elk Point-Jefferson(50.34)

 Weekly Totals:YTD
Total Miles:193.155371.45
Projected Miles-20079658.03

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Aebleskiver Ride Recap

Although not nearly as many stories as last year, this year's Aebleskiver Ride was definitely a success and tons of fun. It didn't necessarily start out that way however. Craig D. and I were planning a 5:30 meeting at Bunyan's on the edge of Vermillion so we could get a quick 10-15 miles in before catching the rest of the group. Problem was, it was a little dark leaving home. I rolled out and was only about a half mile from home on main street when I seen something on the road, but it was too late. BOOM! Front tire was flat in a heartbeat. I called Craig to tell him to wait to see if anybody else was going to show up and if they didn't to head to my house as I was going to walk my bike home and change my flat.

On the way back through the "crime scene", I was more than upset at some juvenile behavior. Somebody, or more likely a group of somebodies, broke what appeared to be 6-8 beer bottles all over the road along with a few eggs in the mix for good measure. I contacted the police department to let them know about the mess on the road so other didn't endure my fate.

I got home and went about fixing my flat. I went in and got a new tube and put it in. Craig was helping me pump it up when BLAM! the damn thing blew up inches from each of our ears. Even though I had felt the inside of the tire before putting in the new tube, I had missed the fact there was a huge hole in my sidewall. I am guessing that the tube went through the sidewall, enlarged and pinched and the impending BLAM then took place.

Now I was upset. Stupid juvenile behavior had now cost me 2 tubes and a fairly new front tire. I am now out about $38 due to jerks (yeah, I wanted to use stronger words, but I like my blog to be a PG rated blog). I grabbed the front wheel from my other wheel set and away we went on a "shortened" version of our initial ride plans.

After a quick "airport loop", we were about to head north when we seen a couple of cyclist heading our way. I told Craig that while they were coming I was going to grab a snack at Pump N Pak. When I came out, Caitlin and Cathy F. were preparing to roll north on their hybrids to give the ride a go. Craig and I left and rolled north with a nice push from a SE wind. We maintained 22 without much effort at all. We caught Angie W. just short of the 7 mile corner (7 from Wakonda, 7 from Centerville). As we hit 7 mile corner, Chad P. from Alcester was rolling in from the West. We waited a few minutes and Craig and I went to meet the rest of the riders coming from Wakonda. We only had to go a mile before we seen them coming up the hill. After waiting a couple more minutes, Kwen S. rolled in from Hub City and away we went to Centerville.

In Centerville we picked up 3 Beresford-ites and continued to on to Viborg as we had Aebleskiver on the brain at this point. Still having a nice tail wind, the trip to Viborg was a quick one. Then the scary moment: As we were pulling up to the Methodist Church, the ambulance was carrying an older lady out on a stretcher. Could it be Aebleskiver poisoning? After the smoke cleared, we decided to take our chances! Ah yes, it was as delicious as we can remember! Don't ask me why it's so good. It's basically "pancake balls" and I'm not a real pancake fan. But for some reason, these are REALLY good. Below you will notice my plate is already Aebleskiver-free as I mowed through them rather quickly.

Below is a photo of "most" of the rollers who went along on the ride. Kwen, Cathy, Caitlin were not in yet and Kary G. mysteriously managed to stay out of the photo.

We went West out of Viborg until we turned South to go to Irene and that is when the nice tailwind that we had, now became our unfriendly nemesis. We had to battle it six miles south to Irene and then another five south until we turned West towards Wakonda.

It was all worthwhile though as when we hit Cathy's house there was Summer Shandy on ice and turkey brats in the roaster. That, along with some awesome salsa and "Mexican Caviar" made all the hurt from pounding into the wind go away.

I was pretty convinced that I was riding back to Vermillion. So much so that I even told Holly S. that I would. She took off ahead of me and was expecting me to catch her. Problem was, we kept talking and talking, and eating, and pretty soon I didn't want to ride. I felt guilty. So guilty that I took a different route back to Vermillion so I didn't have to pass her in the Ford Deathstar (she figured out I wussed out anyway!).

Another great Aebleskiver adventure complete. It is definitely an annual event now. The legend grows....

Friday, July 20, 2007

Excitement Looms for the Aebleskiver Ride Tomorrow

Doesn't this look like a great reason to ride? Viborg, SD has Danish Days this weekend and the local Methodist Church makes Aebleskiver. It's sort of a "filled pancake ball" for lack of a better term. Last year, Cathy L., a fellow Lane Hog from Wakonda came up with the idea for this ride and it's a great one. So great that people will be coming from all directions. Some will leave from Wakonda, some from Vermillion, one from Alcester, some from Beresford. Riders are coming down from Sioux Falls even.

In only it's second year, the ride has become legendary! The subtitle for the ride this year is Tandems and bikes and trikes, OH MY! All credit for that goes to Cathy, but I thought it was cute. A couple from Sioux Falls is riding a tandem and another guy from Sioux Falls is coming with his trike. Laura and I might ride from Wakonda back to Vermillion on our tandem as well. A full report of the ride will be posted after the event!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Game Called Due to a Strange Liquid Falling From the Sky

Had it all planned out: Get home from work, take a quick nap, head to Austin's last baseball game and do some night riding to get over being nervous on the bike at night in preparation for the Gut Check. On the way home from the game a little lightening started and it was starting to sprinkle. A quick check of the radar changed my plans in a hurry.

I'm so happy to see rain that I don't even care that it's keeping me from the road. It's been a very dry summer here and what few thunderstorms have come through all seem to miss us. Maybe it's God's way of saying I need a little break anyway!

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Commuting Day Revisited

Man it was hot here in Vermillion today. Did that stop me from my appointed commuting? Not a chance. When the day was over and I went to log my miles for the day, I couldn't believe my odometer. Even in the fairly small town of Vermillion I managed to put in 14.32 miles. Miles that most would drive in a car, especially in this heat. I had to recap my day to try to figure out how I got so many miles in. A breakdown:

1. Commute to work: .9 miles
2. Home because I forgot work out clothes to teach spin class at the dome: .9 miles
3. Dome to teach class: ~1.6 miles
4. Back to work: ~.7 miles
5. Bike shop to check on Tandem: ~.6 miles
6. Hospital to do work at OT Department: ~1.3 miles
7. End of day, home from hospital: ~.4 miles
8. Family (4 bikes) to McDonalds for dinner: ~1.5 miles
9. McDonalds to Austin's baseball game: ~1 mile
10. Home from game: ~2 miles
11. Unhook Kid Cart, Hook up Grocery Getter to go to store: ~2 miles
12. Back from store $101.01 lighter in the wallet: ~2 miles

Hey...that's a pretty good guess. I totaled that up to 14.9 miles so I was a little high with my guesstimate over "reality". I'm not sure why I even blogged about this other than to prove that you really don't need to drive this time of year. Even the family commuted via bike which is really cool. They are into the travel by bike thing now too.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekly Cycling Log - July 9 - July 15

9-Jul46.31Commuting(6.98) + Spin Class(10) + Elk Point(29.33)
10-Jul22.05E. Main/Timber Road (20.23) + Commuting(1.82)
11-Jul37.99Mulberry Point(18.65) + Tandem-Spirit Mound(19.34) + Commuting(12.08)
13-Jul11.08Commuting(6.34) + Mtn.Tandem(4.74)
14-Jul79.15Centerville-Viborg-Irene-Wakonda + Errands(1.06)
15-Jul31.09Obert,NE(26.41) + Commuting/Errands(4.68)

 Weekly Totals:YTD Totals
Total Miles:243.585178.30

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another Tandem?

I got home from a LONG day at work. I left town to go to Watertown at 6:30 am and returned at 4:30 pm working straight through lunch. So only five hours of work, but it's the five hours of driving that kills me. I am just not a traveler anymore. I'm a homebody. This on top of working in Sioux Falls all day yesterday and I was just beat.

So, I pulled in a little after 4:30 and Laura told me that Sally (the custodian for our building at the U.) stopped by to tell me that there was a tandem for sale at a garage sale not far from our house. Of COURSE I had to go check it out. The couple (Skitch & Chae Donald -- as in Chae's restaurant in Vermillion) were selling a "cheaper" tandem. It's a Crestline mountain bike tandem that he said cost about $480 new. He rode it once with Chae and his kids rode it a couple times. It looked dirty and had been out in the elements a little and the tires had dry rot and needed to be replaced. Other than that, it looked in good shape. He held up the back tire while I shifted through the gears and the shifted without issue.

Price tag: $50. Sold. Yeah, that's right. Another tandem. But one that we can put the cart behind and take Carson for a ride. A bike that we can hook the grocery getter up on and go to the store together. I already changed the tires, gave the bike a bath and put on a bike computer. Total cost of project is now up to $110. Took it for a short spin with Laura while pulling Carson. It needs a very slight truing of the back wheel as it has a little hop in it, but it rides pretty good. Overall, it's a worthy purchase.

It has been discussed that I can no longer give my motor-head brothers any crap about the number of cars they own. My hobby still is a "carbon free" activity however!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tour De Kota Photos - DeSmet

I promised to post pictures of the day I tried to kill "the kid". Well, here they are, with a few others from the Madison to DeSmet day on the tour.

80 degrees, long sleeves, long pants...must be Joe!

Laura brought her massage table along and became an instant celebrity. Here Cathy enjoys a little leg work.

What do you think, does Ashley look like she's in heaven on the massage table?

After dogging poor Jim for nearly a 20mph average for the day, he was dead to the world. During all the massages, he put his hands inside his pillow case and crashed hard.

Saving the best for last. If you blow the picture up, you'll see that the boy is not only in lala land, he's in drool land.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Night at the Movies

Took tonight off to enjoy Ratatouille with the family (plus 1 extra) at the theater. It was another well done animated show. It's getting so I look forward to the "kids" animated shows more than any others. Is that sad?!?!


In the early morning hours on Timber Road riding with Craig D., I rolled over 5,000 miles for the year. On pace for 9592 miles for the year as of the end of the day yesterday, I'll have to step it up a little over the next 2-3 months to put myself in a solid position for 10,000 for the year, but I have a good feeling about it. I don't know why this has become such an obsession, but I really want to break 10K at least once!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Weekly Cycling Log - July 2 - July 8

Back to posting the "boring" weekly miles. Notice however there are TANDEM miles now! Next year I'm going to revamp the worksheet with many more categories: Indoor vs. Outdoor miles, Tandem miles, Commuting/Errand Miles, Road Miles, Mtn. Bike miles. If you have any input or awesome spreadsheets, feel free to send them my way!

4-Jul81.56Bridge-Dalesburg-Nora-Elk Point
5-Jul27.73Commuting(5.51) + Bridge-Clay Co. Park(22.22)
6-Jul19.76Commuting(4.26) + Tandem(15.50)
7-Jul75.04Laurel, NE
8-Jul16.21Spirit Mound-Tandem

 Weekly Totals:YTD Totals
Total Miles:236.254946.80
Projected Miles-20079553.34

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I Think I've Been Sassed!

I think I was sassed tonight. Let me check, yes I WAS sassed! Maybe somethings shouldn't be said in blogs, but then again that is half the fun of rambling on here.

I pick on Craig a little. Oh wait, maybe more than a little. Okay, okay, a LOT. Giving him crap for his "day off" on the Tour de Kota when he rode with the ladies (which got backlash from the ladies as well---I just can't win). One of the only times that I finally got a comment out of him via the blog was about whose gastric disturbances were nastier on the Tour (his were worse, mine had more casualties).

Moving on...remember the scene in Men In Black where the Bug (in his "Edgar Suit") says "Ever pull the wings off a fly? Care to see the fly get even?". Well, that night was tonight. After blogging about my struggles in training for the Gut Check, along with my newly acquired affliction of unknown origins, I received the inevitable phone call this evening from Craig. Highlights of the call (in no particular order):

1. Man, you're getting old
2. You do sound horrible
3. Maybe you should bag the Gut Check
4. Maybe we should do it as a team
5. Maybe we all should bag it and just go on a biking vacation
6. Through your blogging we see a chink in your armor.

#4 & #5 sound like AWESOME options, but I've told too many people and I'm way too committed this year to back out now. Next year maybe I can be persuaded to do something else, but don't mess with my Gut Check in 2007. I've got to do this, if for nobody else, for me. I just have to see if my body can handle this or not. If not, fine, I'll admit my defeat. It will make me MORE likely to try it again though! If I make it, mission accomplished (again, not in the GW Bush kinda "mission accomplished"). The chances of me walking away from the Gut Check, at least as an individual, would greatly increase if I can complete this solo in the alloted time.

So, sass away, I deserve it and I'll take it like a man. Oh, by the way, ill or not, I still got in 16 miles on the tandem with Laura tonight. I'm liking the tandem very much. With the wind at our backs Laura and I hammered the pedals for a short bit and hit 34.8 on the flats. Just wait until she gets stronger, this is going to be dangerous!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Is somebody trying to tell me something?

Forecast for today was 100 degrees. To be honest, I'm not sure it made it as I didn't get out of the house much after 11:00 am. I was, once again, going to try to ride at LEAST 100 miles and hopefully 150 or so, and I wanted them to be tough miles in preparation for the Gut Check. I got out on the road a little after 5:30 am and was intending to go to Wayne, NE which is about 55 miles away. I noticed when I left that I had a pretty harsh sore throat. The first 10 miles was "sinus cleansing" time, which isn't unusual, but this time it was a little worse than normal. As I approached the climbs of Nebraska, I was feeling "okay", not spectacular, but good enough to hit the rolls of Highway 15 south to Laurel.

One good surprise, the first six miles from Hwy 12 to the Hartington turn, which used to be moderately brutal with decent sized cracks is in the final stages of being resurfaced. It's as smooth as a baby's bottom now and I loved it! I rolled along at what felt like a snails pace into a slight wind and finally made my way to Laurel. When I stopped, it was only 8:00 in the morning but is was already nasty hot.

I went into the Cenex and grabbed a couple Gatorade Rain's and a breakfast burrito that was one of the best I've ever had at a gas station. Then, much like my last trip to Laurel and my conversations with the locals at the Pizza Ranch, a gentleman came right up and started talking to me asking most of the usual questions: "Where ya from?" "What time did you leave?" "How do you battle this heat?". Finally I invited him to sit down with me and we chatted and ate for about twenty minutes. I told him that I better get going and that I was abandoning my thoughts of going to Wayne as my sore throat seemed to be getting worse. He thought that was a good idea anyway with the heat.

I cruised on back home with the wind at my back and more downhill than up. Just before the bridge crossing into South Dakota I caught up with Holly S. and rode back the rest of the way with her.

Upon arrival, I sat around for a bit trying to decide if I could do a couple more loops to at least get 100 miles in. I decided that I was done for the day shortly thereafter as my throat was still hurting. I showered and then it was downhill from there. I was feeling worse. My head was stuffy, I didn't feel like moving, and just lacked energy. I tried to take a nap with Carson and that didn't go well as my head plugged up and couldn't breathe.

For the most part I was a slug on the couch watching movies with the kids today. Sometimes those are nice days, but not when you feel like I did today. I am probably feeling better now at 10:30pm that I have all day, and that still isn't saying much. All these recent attempts for long rides are being thwarted in one way or another. I have to wonder if these are all "signs" to give up on the Gut Check. Yeah well, I'm too stubborn so you know I have to give it a go at this point!

On another front, I just set up the kids road bike for Laura so she can ride to the bridge in the early morning. She is getting hooked and I love it!

Profile for today's ride is below. Other info from the Garmin can be found by clicking HERE.

Night Rider

No, not the cheesy television show from the 80's, but rather cycling at night. You see, I need to have the potential to ride at night for the Gut Check coming up in a month so I thought I would give it a test run with a light I borrowed from the LBS. The light worked "decent" and it was a pitch dark night so it was a good night to test it. The darker it became, the more spooked I became over little things.

I went out to the Missouri River bridge and was eating bugs like mad on the way out. It was like a slow motion car comes the bug and there is nothing I can do to get out of the way. Then there was the large buck that went across the road, close enough that I could hear his hoofs hit the pavement in front of me. Then when I turned my head, and hence my light, he spooked further and mistimed his jump over the fence and did a less than graceful flip on his way over. I turned around at the base of the bridge and shortly thereafter I spotted a few turkeys in the ditch. I gave them a hearty "gobble gobble" and they ducked deeper into the ditch. It wasn't a mile more up the road and four raccoons scurried across the road in front of me. It was becoming a Wild Kingdom ride and I was on a bicycle safari! There was one more doe off in the trees that I "froze" with my headlamp. Other than that, the rest of the ride out to Clay County Park was pretty mellow.

My mind did start playing tricks on me a little though. I started thinking that if a dog came out, I would never see them in time. What if another wild animal decided that the "chase" was on? Suddenly this night riding thing wasn't as peaceful as it had started. Overall it was fine and a good experience, but there is a good chance that when it's REALLY dark on the Gut Check and I need to ride, that Laura will be behind me with the Ford Deathstar (oops...Windstar), following along slowly.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Car Back

After Austin's 11th Birthday gathering at our place yesterday, we eventually went over to the Stewart's (my sister-in-law/husband) house to hang out before Vermillion's fireworks display. The kids were running around in and out of the street when I heard my (almost) 4 year old yell, "CAR BACK". Safe to say that I take him riding quite a bit!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Monthly Mileage Update

I'm now 4 weeks behind on my weekly mileage and unless somebody whose life absolutely hangs in the balance of my weekly updates, I'm just going to start again this week. I WILL however give you my monthly recap now.

MonthTotal MilesAve/DayTraining MilesCommuting Files

Tour de Kota - Saturday - Lake Kampeska Loop


1. Abandoned idea of trying to ride back to Vermillion
2. Left shortly before we were supposed to, almost beat our "road guard" police officer to his location.
3. Had a police officer escort behind us the whole way so I *sorta* turned the fun ride into a time trial.
4. Stopped in Sioux Falls at Spoke-n-Sport and bought our new Tandem!
5. Sleeping in my own bed at days end.

Day 7 Stats (via my Garmin)
Miles: 28.55
Ave pace: 17.1 mph
Temp Ave: 66.2
Temp High: 69.8
Wind Ave: NE 6.9
Wind High: NE 9.2
Start Time: Jun 16, 2007 6:51:23 AM
Finish Time: Jun 16, 2007 9:04:42 AM
Moving Time: 1:40:18
Elevation Gain 677
Elevation Loss 677
Net Elevation Change 0

Tour de Kota - Friday - DeSmet to Watertown

1. Was going to ride solo and hammer hard all day. Put head phones on and was averaging right at 20mph for the first 20 miles.
2. Caught Craig and Jim and decided it would be much more fun to hang out and ride in with them.
3. Being chased by a BIG, FAST dog who luckily couldn't gain good traction on the pavement near Watertown.
4. Spending the night in the hotel as the rains came pouring in wave after wave.

Day 6 Stats (via my Garmin)
Miles: 72.02
Ave pace: 18.8 mph
Temp Ave: 72
Temp High: 77
Wind Ave: S 7.8
Wind High: S 9.2
Start Time: Jun 15, 2007 6:05:24 AM
Finish Time: Jun 15, 2007 11:00:32 PM
Moving Time: 3:49:21
Elevation Gain 1,793
Elevation Loss 1,766
Net Elevation Change 27

Tour de Kota - Thursday - Madison to DeSmet

1. Craig wusses out - Craig wants to save his legs and ride with the ladies a little. True meaning: he's had enough of me. I'm hurt and still in counseling.
2. Jim however, DOESN'T wuss out. Kevin attempts to kill said child on the road.
3. Kevin Weiss's parents put out signs for me at their farm near Sinai. As the Logue's would say later: "He really doesn't need more encouragement". I stopped and chatted for awhile and then hunted Jim back down for the next 25 miles or so before Oldham.

4. Karaoke in Desmet. Nothing better than singing where nobody knows you!
5. Taking funny pictures of Jim after attempting to kill him off riding.
*check back - have to download those pics!*

Day 5 Stats (via my Garmin)
Miles: 63.42
Ave pace: 19.5 mph
Temp Ave: 66.8
Temp High: 69.8
Wind Ave: SSE 10.1
Wind High: SSE 12.6
Start Time: Jun 14, 2007 5:52:27 AM
Finish Time: Jun 14, 2007 9:55:00 AM
Moving Time: 3:15:00
Elevation Gain 1,719
Elevation Loss 1,682
Net Elevation Change 38

Tour de Kota - Wednesday - Dell Rapids to Madison

Okay, summer is keeping me real busy so I'm only going to hit the highlights of the last few days of the Tour de Kota so I can finish my blogging.

4:30 am wakeup. 4:35 CRACK (read: thunder). 4:45 rain. 4:55 stopped...take tent down. 4:56 tent partially down, rain some more (dammit). For the next hour or so we hid under one of the park shelters, ate breakfast and cursed our luck. Finally, we decided to just go. It rained for the first hour or so of our journey. We only took two stops all day, once for a church group who set up in the middle of the country with goodies (how can you just ride by THAT?!?!) and once at the lake before Madison at the country club because I had to go wee.

Highlights: We passed the same guy three times. He was with the Air National Guard and he admitted he didn't unclip all day as he didn't want his buddies to catch him. He said they were stronger, but he wanted this one little victory!

Laura shows up!: My wife joined us in Madison for the duration of the trip.

Free Food: Madison made a free supper for the riders and $8 for non riders. It was a good meal and my favorite kind: FREE!

Day 4 Stats (via my Garmin)
Miles: 49.78
Ave pace: 17.3 mph
Temp Ave: 67.6
Temp High: 69.8
Wind Ave: SE 8.4
Wind High: SE 13.8
Start Time: Jun 13, 2007 6:37:33 AM
Finish Time: Jun 13, 2007 9:44:25 AM
Moving Time: 2:52:14
Elevation Gain 1,567
Elevation Loss 1,343
Net Elevation Change 224

A Bad Weekend Start With Great Results

Whatever can this crazy man mean with this title?!?!? Well, one could have been totally depressed by the way my Saturday started, but I was not about to let that happen.

It started with great intentions. I was going to try to ride 150-200 miles in preparation for the Gut Check ride coming up in August. I woke up at 4:30am, got dressed, ate breakfast and was on the road early. I started hearing a "click" on my bike so I decided to check on it closer. My first thought is always my clips as they are the first thing that usually make noise. I unclipped my left foot and let the pedal roll over and I ran a few pedal strokes and that did seem to be the issue. I decided to deal with it for awhile to see if it would go didn't. I went to unclip and tighten my cleat and it came out WAY too easy. Then I noticed it, part of my cleat had fallen off! I'm barely 3.5 miles into my 150+ mile journey and this has to happen. To top that off, I switched pedals to Look Keo so the cleats are different from my normal Look cleats. To top that one step further, I actually ordered a back up set of Look Keo cleats from Performance bike, but when the order arrived there was a note that they are on backorder until mid-July (DOH!). Murphy's law in full swing. I turned around and ventured home to find my pedal wrench to take off my Keo's and put on my old Looks so I can still venture out. Murphy's law #2...there ain't no way in h-e-double hockey sticks I'm going to find that wrench when I need it. I searched and searched, tried to think of who I might have possibly lent it to, and nothing. Suddenly it's 6:30. I'm supposed to be meeting others for a ride at Hy-Vee now after my "warm up". I frantically look for my wrench one more time and still nothing. So, what do I do when faced with such adversity: I cleaned up a little and crawled back into bed with my wife.

Yeah, I could have been totally upset and let it ruin my day, but it turned out that there was so much that needed to be done that it was probably a good thing I didn't ride. I took two trips with the grocery getter to the recycling center as I was a little behind on recycling (especially cardboard). Then a family trip to Taco Johns by bike, another one to Walmart and I had over 13 miles of errands on top of my 7.5 miles of failed road biking. Needing a mere 25 miles to have 1000 for the month, all that was left was a little convincing of the wife to get on the tandem for a ride. Mission accomplished (and not in the GW Bush kinda way...I actually ACCOMPLISHED it). She was excited to get out on the bike with me. Then came the proposal: How would you like to go out for ice cream? At Edgars in Elk Point? Laura's longest ride to date: ~15 miles. Edgar's and back: ~32 miles Laura's craving for Edgars: Priceless.

We made the trip with only mild complaining about a sore rear towards the end. I'm very proud of Laura and her willingness to give this a serious go. I love being able to spend the extra time alone with her as my biking time does not normally mean "Laura" time. Official Garmin Stats: 31.66 miles (I think we forgot to turn it on for a bit after one of the stops) with a 16.4 mph average.

Marissa was in summer theater so we watched her play at 7:00. When we got home we decided to try out our new 30" fire pit and it was the perfect ending to a day that I could have been a grumpy gus about.