Monday, June 17, 2013

Some excitement ...

We hit a strong thunderstorm at the end of the ride today (or, it hit us). High winds, blowing rain, some hail, and lots of lightning. The faster riders made it to a Subway just in time to miss getting soaked like the rest of us. One civilian stopped and picked up four bikes and three riders in his truck, which allowed room in the van for the other riders. First group loaded, up the road, stop for the next group, jump out, open the trailer, load bikes, in the van, on to the next group. Bikes stacked on top of bikes, hot riders steaming up the van windows. Three others had found shelter so we could make a trip back to get them, since we were out of room in the van and the trailer. All great stuff since everybody made it to the church safely and on time.

Because I had been pacing myself nicely to make the whole 101 miles today, I was disappointed having to make the pick up, but, it just wasn’t safe in that weather. I did make it to about mile 88 when the storm hit.

We have a tough 6 days of riding this week. Today, 101 miles, then 60, 80, 80, 80, and another 80 before we have a day off.

Blogging really has been hold---my iPhone crashed, and I drove to Birmingham, 90 miles, to the Apple store to beg for a slot to have them check and fix it. Finally got a manager involved, and my phone was replaced quickly. My hearing is so bad that using another phone that does not Bluetooth to my hearing aids makes using it almost impossible. So without my phone, I’m not in communication, and get very frustrated. Who'd a thunk it?

So, a little catch up: Our first training ride was from Tybee Island to Savannah, a ride of about 18 miles. Having trained in about 9% humidity in Colorado, I now was biking in Georgia in about 90% humidity, with high temperatures. I thought I was riding within my limits, but kept wondering why my heart rate was registering so high, when I wasn’t riding that hard. Turns out, after downloading my bike computer, that with the head wind, temperature, and humidity, I was riding much too fast. Net result was I ended up with extreme shoulder pain, weak pulse, and blurred vision (good thing we had an MD riding sweep). EMS was called and I ended up in the ER. After an EKG in the ambulance, and another one in the ER, fluids via IV, chest x-ray, cat scan of my head, some other tests I don't remember, nothing was found wrong (really good thing). My good friends Krystal and Michael beat me to the hospital, and stayed with me the entire time. The ER doc told me he didn’t know what caused the symptoms, but I should take it easy for a few days, then gradually start riding again. I asked the doc if I could get a second opinion of the rest days, and Michael said, “sure, you are a jerk”. What are friends for, if they don’t make fun of you?!  What happened?: I pushed too hard for conditions, dehydrated myself, and caused symptoms that could have been heart related.

Following many conversations with our bike adventurer Dr Scott, and emails with my MD in Colorado, I changed meds to help get me back to riding like I want to be able to ride. So my two days off were spent driving the van (which worked out well because our van driver was late getting to the ride); one day riding only 40 miles, because it was cool, and gradually working up to today, where I could have made 101 miles if not for the storm. I was surprised that I enjoyed driving the van and supporting the ride for two days. It was a challenge and I seemed to be up to it (glad I didn’t have to back the van up though). 

It’s been good speaking at the churches, at Melissa’s request, and I’m happy to share the Fuller story since I’ve been doing it a while now. We had quite a few others who spoke in Montgomery. It’s a good mission to share!

First week is over, and we are now down to 19 riders, and two support folks, with16 riders going the entire distance.

We’ve had numerous injuries on this trip already. My visit to the ER; Caleb, our 15 year old rider, went to ER (he dehydrated much worse than I did; van driver, Nadine, fell off a wall, badly scraping the back of her thigh; Doc fell thru the roof of a repair project house, scraping his shin; and Louis crashed, hit his head, and also ended up in the ER. All are doing fine, but this hadn’t been the best start of the first week to a long ride.

My malt ratings: A very good malt at a place a couple miles from the Montgomery church the other day gets a solid 9. And, not a bad shake at Jack’s after the ride tonight, but only an 8 because it was not a malt (they used Blue Bell ice cream, so it had to be good!).

Peace and love,

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