Monday, July 18, 2011

A Solo Double and Then Some

We spent a few hours at Foci Thursday afternoon working with some larger diameter pipes than we're used to. The biggest difference other than the size of the gathers is the amount of heat radiating off the glass onto your arm. Kevlar arm sleeves for protection become a must at this point.

My focus is still on bowls and tumblers with the occasional vase that results from a tumbler gone bad. I could easily spend the next couple of months working on just these forms striving for consistency but I suspect Steve will encourage me to push myself and try other stuff. I'm thankful for his promptings.

A couple days of heavy rain recently have left us with some nearly unbearable humidity levels the likes of which fog up your glasses when leaving the comfort of whatever airconditioned space you've sought shelter in. I was running an errand Friday afternoon and had to double-back to catch this video of some rain runoff.

It never seems to fail that the week of the Sonshine Music Festival in Willmar is plagued with hot, humid, stormy weather. Rachel and her friends met there on Tuesday afternoon to set up camp for the concerts that would run from Wednesday through Saturday night. It didn't take long for the storms to find them.

She had loads of fun but with the bugs, the rain, the heat, and humidity, by Sunday she was ready for home. She texted me yesterday morning: "On our way home. Been on the road for about 45 minutes." I replied, "Cool...we have no hot water or air conditioning...both hot and miserable is so mad...sitting with ice packs :( " To which she responded "that sucks". I let her mull it over for a couple minutes before texting her back, "yeah, if it were true! ;-) " Her reply isn't suitable for this G rated blog. I couldn't resist.

I got an early start to my ride Saturday morning, not really sure how far I'd go. I've been putting in some longer efforts with intentions of doing a double century ride (200 miles) in the next few weeks. I felt there was an outside chance that I'd go for it on this ride but with temps forecast to be near 90f (30c) and dewpoints in the upper 70s, I was trying not to be overly optimistic. But still, there's that determined side of me that tends to take over and throws caution to the wind. And that's pretty much what I did. I headed south and didn't look back until I got to the Iowa border.

Typically on a long ride like this I'll try and remain within 50-60 miles of home knowing that if things go wrong it's much easier to bale-out on the ride from that distance rather than putting myself 100 miles or more away from home where I've got no choice but to either finish or call for help. Did I say "call for help"? Sorry, that's not an option.

Within the first ten miles I knew I was going for it and that if I kept home within reach (considering the heat and humidity) there was a good chance I'd pack it in early and I needed to remove that option—so I got busy.

I was 104 miles into the ride before turning back north but I was feeling fine. It wasn't until somewhere just west of Owatonna on the return that I found myself really having to dig deep, out of water in the 90-degree heat. I'd actually been doing a good job of staying hydrated but I skipped a chance to refill in Waseca and paid the price. I recovered nicely once I got to Owatonna.

Tammy was able to follow my progress on Google Latitude. I'd told her before I left (while she was mostly asleep) that I may be gone a while but I gave her no idea just how long. This way I could ease her into it. I don't like her to worry.

I finished with just over 208 miles/335 kilometers and averaged 17 mph for the distance, which given the conditions and the fact that I was out there solo (not drafting), was alright by me. I'm sure I could've improved on that speed had it been cooler and less humid.

Sometimes a lack of common sense and good dose of determination are what's needed but I can't discount the prayers said along the way either. There were many.

1 comment:

Marielle said...

Say what? Call for help? Haha ;-) love it.. Good job you!