Monday, July 23, 2012

Crazy?...No...Hot?...Absolutely!


Today in the shade
I am often asked by people if I am crazy when I tell them that not only am I planning on riding my bike across the State of Iowa in July but that my family is going to accompany me both riding and supporting, along with a few hardy souls who we can still call friends…well today, although very, very, very hot – I still have the same answer – there is just something really special about challenging yourself to do something that is extraordinarily hard, preparing, training and then accomplishing that goal – no competitors, just Mother Nature, myself and that voice that tends to talk to me a little louder after 50 miles kicks in…(I lovingly call that my “altered state”). Well – I am pleased to report that once again, Mother Nature threw her best shot and I and the entire team, including the support crew survived – all a little tired but completely intact and we are stronger for that. We all did an exceptional job of taking care of ourselves, tucking into the limited shade, drinking, drinking and drinking and then pouring water for the coolers over our heads upon arrival at the overnight town – off to the pools, showers, dinner, and we are ready for tomorrow – which is supposed to be the most difficult day on the ride, especially for those of us who will be riding the 100 – it is supposed to be even hotter than today and we are becoming adept at really taking great care of the wonderful machines that are our bodies (oh and our bikes too…).
So with that update I want to share a little bit about yesterday, the first day of the ride, which was really a special day – we had both of our daughters with us and our oldest rode in her first RAGBRAI (our youngest rode a few years ago and is a terrific support crew on this ride) successfully completing the entire ride (54 miles)…with a little help from Al’s Oasis…which really wasn’t Al’s Oasis – that was actually 1 mile down the road but since her name is Alison and the experience turned out to be an oasis – we have renamed the site.  We had 12 miles to go and were really getting hot, okay we were beyond hot and looking for shade when off to the left we found some and joined other riders. A wonderful woman named Suzie came up along beside us and asked about the activity that we had been watching…a bouncy slip and slide…after watching a few more riders go through, she told me she would do it if I did, to which Alison said she would go and away they went…it was great, cooling, fun and truly a rejuvenating experience, they went over and over again and earned some beads from some passerbys (those same people had suggested that they would go faster if they took off their tops…but they earned their beads with doing that!) It was so much fun and brought our core temperatures down to a level that allowed us to finish in good shape – and today, Alison is talking about riding another day this week – very awesome.

I will share with you that we did see many more ambulances on the road going out on calls, and heard on the news that a rider had a heart attack but was revived an d kept alive by the riders around him until the paramedics arrived…with each siren, we worry, but that further instills in us the need to be very, very careful and take care of each other.

The food has been crazy good and I am embarrassed to tell you that the best thing I ate yesterday was a desert breadstick from Pizza Hut…some people sitting next to us apparently saw that we were hungry and almost as soon as we sat down, they delivered to our table half of their food order which had just been delivered to their table…I am almost embarrassed to say this but the food was devoured before we could even say thank you! I did go over to their table after wiping the frosting dripping on my shirt to tell them we had just finished the RAGBRAI ride…but I think they kind of figured that…gluten free was easy on the course – more difficult after the ride…but tomorrow Stan will sample 3 different kinds of gluten free pies in Luhrville, so will report tomorrow. We are working hard to stay cool, successfully so far, are injury free and the car is starting just fine. It is just so hard to eat in the heat, so we are drinking our way across Iowa right now. Still lots of fun, we are all feeling accomplished and looking forward to tomorrow. From our family table to yours…

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