Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 22 riding ...

Daytona Beach, FL to Melbourne Beach, FL
Staying at Saint Sebastian by the Sea Church
93.16 miles today, average pace 12.0 mph
Mostly flat again, but a "good" headwind
"My friend, the wind” finally visited us today, thanks to Tropical Storm Debby. We left in the rain, ended in the rain, and had a little riding without the rain. But the wind was against us all the way, varying in intensity from roughly 5-10 mph to maybe 15-30 mph. The good thing was that it did not gust very much, and the only crosswind we had was when we crossed the causeway to get to Melbourne Beach. It's about time we had a bit of a challenge, eh?
Three new riders today: Scott and Heidi on a tandem, and Susie. That means we have 11 bikes now and 12 riders heading for Key West. I rode most of the day with Susie. She had a minor fall because of a tangle with an asphalt crack or ridge, but fortunately lost just a little skin to the pavement. She’s a good rider, but a little nervous about some of the traffic and narrow shoulders we had today. She has only been doing some short 20 or 30 mile rides, and today was her longest ride. She told me she did a century when she was a young teenager, but I told her that didn’t count because it was too long ago. She was a trouper and hung in there the entire ride.
As a group we had a phenomenal 14 flat tires today. I had a 1 1/2 inch finishing nail go into the top of my tire, and out the sidewall like it was shot with a nail gun. The tandem riders had 5 of those, and Carmen had her 15th flat. As explained by a RAM participant tonight, the rain puddles turn the objects off their sides and point them up, just waiting for our tires.
I have never had much desire to meet celebrities, or to get autographs, etc., but tonight I was thrilled to shake hands with a RAM participant, a celebrity to me. He rode about 2,400 miles of it last year, but had an accident going over the Rockies, and just could not recover fast enough, so was removed from the race. He is planning on doing it again next year. I told him we had just finished watching a documentary a few nights ago. I greatly enjoyed talking with him. He owns a couple of bike shops, and was even kind enough to stop by and donate some tires and tubes for us.
Our hosts are fabulous, as usual. They had not committed to serving dinner, but 4 or 5 church members were here cooking and caring for us. The host lady even took us out for ice cream. 
***Unfortunately the malt was only rated a 6. It did have "malt" and good flavor, but it was way too thin, as I only needed one straw to drink it, and could not shovel it into my mouth using two straws like a spoon. ;(
Began to wonder today if anyone has done a study to see if a headwind can be compared to hill grades. For instance, if there is a 20 mph headwind, is that equivalent to a 5% grade; and a 30 mph headwind equivalent to an 8% grade? Just wondering.
Peace ...

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