Monday, July 4, 2016

Segment 3, Summer

7-8-16: off day 3 - A lazy day off in Salt Lake City. Up early to go to breakfast with Matthew and Judah, and send them home. Greatly enjoyed having them riding with me this past week. Spent the rest of the day just hanging out at the church.

7-7-16: bike day 16 - Salt Lake City, UT: 84 miles (I rode 66.3). Finally another good day riding! And finally after 5 years, biking into Salt Lake City! A fabulous day. Looking at the "lake" was a blessing after all these years.

  The start of the ride was about 18 miles of climbing, so i decided to start by riding in the van to the first rest stop, to rest my knee. This of course, put me well ahead of the sweeps, but I had to start by climbing the rest of the hill, which I took very slow, and in my largest geezer gear. Matthew had helped me raise my saddle slightly, and I was feeling some pain in my knee getting to the top. But then after a very nice 7 mile downhill, I started to actually pedal, and soon found my knee to be 95% pain free. I HAD FUN BIKING AGAIN! 25 miles to the next rest stop with no pain to speak of. I kept telling myself to slow down, and pace myself, but I was having too much fun. Leaving the second rest stop I got a jolt of pain again, but it eased up quickly and I had fun the rest of the day. 

  So here’s the thing: I have been riding in the van to not hold up the sweeps, or because of the knee pain, or both. And, I have been debating the question of electric assist for my bike, and feeling guilty about getting it. Well, no more! I have greatly appreciated the support I got with this decision in a previous post, so thank you all for that.

 Today, being ahead of the sweeps, and riding well, I was actually able to stop, take pictures, admire the view, and most importantly, able to stop and enjoy a chocolate malt at Steak N Shake (9.0) and still not see the sweeps. I have never been able to stop before in 12 FCBA rides to be able to eat food, take pictures, etc. So, if I have an electric assist bike, and it allows me to still raise money for FCBA, and have more fun doing it, then it is a done deal, and it will be worth it. So, I’m guilt free, and have ordered the bike to be fitted with the electric assist.

7-6-16: bike day 15 - Logan, UT: 98 miles. I only did about 40 (the first 20 and the third 20). Knee was bothering a lot, from the first pedal strokes to the final painful stop at third rest stop. I have raised the seat a little to see if that helps, and will try to get my knee taped again. I drove the van to the last rest stop and worked the support there. Fun again to be supporting, but only temporarily!

  Tomorrow I will ride into Salt Lake City to complete this third segment, and to finalize the three weeks I missed in 2011. Finally, the conclusion of my ‘first ride’ with FCBA!

 This week I have had my son and grandson riding with us. And today Judah rode his first century ride,100 miles at 15 yrs old! The kid is great! Well, of course he is. Duh.

7-5-16: bike day 14 - Pocatello, ID: 80 miles (I biked about 60). Headwinds again guessing, up to 30 mph. I was moving under 10 mph for most of the day. I hate not being fast enough to get away from the sweeps, so I got in the van at the first rest stop and rode to second rest stop. This put me ahead of everyone, but not for long! Some of these ‘kids’ are strong and fast. Not any climbing today, but the winds were like climbing a 6% grade for 80 miles.

  Pocatello is a nice little town. Found a bike store less than a block from church, and about 12 of us had our bikes worked on. While waiting for my bike I just happened to find a source for a chocolate malt ( 8.0) so a nice wait. At the ice cream store I picked up a card, called, and made a reservation with massage therapist Darla Siler Johnson, who was fabulous! She worked my legs hard, along with the rest of my body. Highly recommend her. Unfortunately I don't know anyone else living here that I could refer to her. Since I missed our dinner Darla drove us to dinner and then back to the church. Enjoyed getting to know each other a little bit. 

  First Baptist Church is providing breakfast for a 98 mile day tomorrow.

7-4-16: bike day 13 - Rexburg, ID: 82 miles. A great start to the morning. As I was loading the trailer, my good buddy Blake Smith showed up and surprised me! What a great treat to see him again. He went whole way in 2011, and also did the West Coast ride in 2012. 

  We left early to try to beat the wind forecast for later in the day, but found fog, cold, and dark for the first miles. My glasses got wet, so it was hard to see the narrow area to the right of the white line and the rumble strip. Cleared up by first rest stop and I shed my rain jacket, so, of course, we started to get some rain and cold again. At the rest stop we got to watch a small plane practicing aerobatics; flying straight up, doing loops, etc. Fun to watch! 

  Made it to the second rest stop but did not get away fast enough, and got chilled. Tried to bike and develop body heat, but decided to turn back and get in the van to last rest stop. Missed a nice downhill but got warm again, and took off for the church. Matthew and Judah soon caught me. Judah biked on, but Matthew biked with me the last 15 miles or so. The wind did find us - I’m guessing maybe 20 MPH or more. Nate had gotten a bike and was biking with us while taking photos. Judah was riding strong, looking like a natural biker. Lots of fun! 

 Macy taped my knee last night, and either the tape, the day off, or both, seemed to help my knee, as it performed much better.

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