Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Hello Again...It's Been A While, 200 Mile Day

We lost our DSL connection at work a couple months ago and it seems my devotion to my blog went with it. Not that I was posting much but it really dried up to nothing. Anyway, I hope to begin writing with some regularity.

I've been doing some long distance riding this year in preparation for a single day ride from Lakeville to Tammy's parent's home in Babbitt, Mn...245 miles away. I've done several rides of 110 miles plus but yesterday I did my longest ride ever at 202 miles. I really didn't plan on going that far but when I reached 150 miles and still had 3 hours of daylight left, I figured, why not.

I started out from home at 8:00am and headed out County Rd 5 into Burnsville. It was a beautiful day with a wind out of the southwest at 10 to 15 mph. I headed southwest on Hwy 13, past Valley Fair and into Shakopee. As I was waiting for the light in Shakopee I was thinking how I love the flags at Perkins restaurants...how they're so majestic and so big. The flag was at half mast in recognition of Reagan's death...what a good man he was by the way.

I was 20 miles into my ride when my cellphone rang. I kept riding and fumbled with it until I could figure out it was my sister, Claudia. She was concerned because Mom was feeling ill and complaining of a numb lip and terrible indigestion along with a restless night. She had put in a call to my wife, Tammy at work to get some direction as to what to do. Tammy is a nurse in an Alzheimer's wing and extremely overworked. I told her I didn't think we should bother Tammy with this and that if we felt she needed to be seen, we should get her to the hospital. I was 20 miles from home so Claudia rushed over to see her. While she was heading for Mom's I had turned around to see if there was anything I could do. I stopped and phoned Mom to see how she was doing. She answered the phone and said she was talking to Bryan (my brother) long distance and would call me back. I waited a few minutes and stood looking at the field of grass in front of me. I waited several minutes and called her back. I said that I was concerned about her and that we thought maybe she was in danger of having a stroke. She said absolutely not. She was fine and that she just had a restless night and not to worry. I told her I was on a ride but I could be there if there was anything at all she needed. She assured me that she was fine and to continue my ride...and so I did.

I turned back around and rode Hwy 169 south out of Shakopee. I thought I'd maybe ride to Mankato again as I had an aborted ride there a couple days earlier...on Saturday I was on my way home, riding out of Mankato when Tammy called to say they needed me for overtime at work. She met me in Bell Plaine and drove me home with only minutes to spare to make it to work in time for a 4:00pm shift...but not before I'd put in 110 miles. Anyway, I thought about going to Mankato again but the lure of Hwy 19 got me and I headed west on Hwy 19 and rode it into Henderson.

The winds were getting stronger and I was in desperate need of some fuel so about 5 miles west of Henderson I turned around and went back into town to find something to eat. I spent about 15 minutes off my bike and headed back where I'd come from. I had this nagging feeling that I was going to break another spoke and be stranded and if that were to happen I wanted to be on Hwy 169 so I could thumb a ride easier. Last week I'd planned an all day ride only to have it ended early after 130 miles by a broken spoke. I've got these very sweet wheels (Mavic Ksyrium's) but if you break a spoke you're screwed as the wheels are under a lot of tension and one spoke broken renders the wheels useless. Anyway, I was a bit concerned that I didn't get too far off the beaten path so to speak so I wanted to head back in the direction of home in case I needed to be rescued.

I picked up a tail wind for the first time in the day and found some nice speed on my way back toward home. I picked up Hwy 13 and rode that through Eagan and into St. Paul where I eventually made my way to Hwy 110 and then to Hwy 3. I took Hwy 3 into Farmington and then Hwy 50 into Lakeville. I stopped at Mom's and got a bit to eat and drink. She supports me in my rides but she worries about me. I can always count on her prayers to help see me home safely. It was when I was getting close to Mom's home that I began to think that I could extend my ride to turn it into a 'double century' as it's known in bike speak.

I headed toward Prior Lake and figured I'd put 25 miles into the wind and then have a push on the way home. I got 20 miles out and I had to stop and take a rest as my feet were getting a bit sore. I laid my bike down and did some stretches and massaged my feet which helped a lot. I got back on my bike after 5 minutes and head toward home. I went to an area which was pretty much void of traffic when I got near home and did several loops on a 1.3 mile circuit till I had enough miles in to reach 200. I got home just as the sun was setting and was so grateful to God for seeing me home safely and giving me the strength to do the miles.

I got home and Tammy had dinner all ready for me...I just had to shower and hit the Whirlpool for a quick recovery bath. I was quite wiped out and made it an early night even skipping my usual glass of wine.

No comments: