Saturday, July 9, 2016

Segment 4, Summer

7-16-16: bike day 23 - to Cheyenne, WY: 48.1 miles. Zero miles for me on this relatively easy ride, more down biking than up today, for the rest of the Blue riders, while I am still at home, tending to the pink stallion, which is now ready. He has been through his paces, and is fully recovered from his pacemaker surgery. The pacemaker is a Bafang 750 w Mid Drive motor with a Luna Cycle 52V 13.5Ah Battery. It has a full color display so I can monitor its performance. It operates from my cadence pedaling, rather than using a torque system. He is quick and responsive, wants his head, and is hard to hold back. I may just have to let him run for a while. Now it's a matter of how long he will last; he may tire out before the end of our longer rides, and I may have to nurse him to the church at times.

7-15-16 bike day 22 - Laramie, WY: 65.4 miles. Absent from this route also, while I have the Stallion out for some recovery riding at home, putting final touches on him to have him ready to rejoin the Blue ride tomorrow.

7-14-16 bike day 21 - Walden, CO: 102.3 miles. The bike route was over Rabbit Ears Pass. Since I was home taking care of the Pink Stallion's recovery, I missed biking the pass this year. Recovery is progressing nicely and I took the Stallion out for a short easy ride. Lauryn helped me by riding with me on a borrowed mare.

7-13-16 build day 3 - Craig, CO: I missed the build day as I went home to be with the Pink Stallion as he got his pacemaker.

7-12-16: bike day 20 - Craig, CO: 87.4 miles. I skipped the second segment and ended up only doing 70 miles. Another tough day of hills and wind, but the wind was not awful like it has been. Even had some tailwind on the last segment.

  Rode with Lesly again, except she skipped two segments, but she did help me with my second flat tire. The first one was flat in the church, so it was easier to change, but this one was on the road, just after the last rest stop. Found a piece of glass that I could not feel on the inside of the tire, but it was where there was a hole in the tube. I love it when I find out why, hate it when I can find no reason, which means it will probably go flat again until I find out why.

  I am exhausted tonight, but enjoyed a delicious cookout at the park, provided by the local chapter of FC. Since I am completely beat, I would have preferred to grab some fast food and come back to bed, but the cookout was great. And, as soon as I finish this, I will be off to bed.

  Tomorrow is a work day here in Craig. Unfortunately I will be getting a ride to a car rental and be on my way home. I’m having the Pink Stallion fitted with a pacemaker (electric assist), and plan to ride it the rest of the way. I like my new bike, but love the Pink Stallion, so it should be fun getting back on him with easier pedaling. Got word today that parts have arrived, so I’ll drive to Boulder to check on the operation. If all goes as planned, Friday I’ll have it serviced and ready to get it back to work. Lois will then drive me back to the Blue ride in Cheyenne Saturday. I’ll be missing three bike days, as well as the build day, unfortunately, but will be ready to pedal to Nebraska when I ride again July 18th.

7-11-16: bike day 19 - Dinosaur, CO: 62.9 miles. I did it all!!! Started out fairly strong, staying ahead of the sweeps, the knee only bothering me a little for the first 7 miles or so. Rode with Lesly (spelled correctly this time) again. However, when we got to the last rest stop, Lesly started talking about getting in the van. I told her she could not do that, as she would miss the chance to ride into Dinosaur, CO with a dinosaur. That convinced her to get on her bike and finish the ride with me. Well, we both struggled the last 24 miles, all uphill to some degree, but we made it.

  Then Lesly made me stop at an ice cream place less than a mile from the church. We ordered food, and of course I had to order a chocolate malt, just to save face with the other riders (9.5!). This is at least my third time stopping in Dinosaur, and it is fast becoming one of my favorites. The previous stops here we were at the school; this year we are at the Baptist church, the school having closed. This church is great, and is now the smallest church I have stayed at with FCBA.

 Only saw the sweeps briefly at the rest stops on today’s ride! A beautiful day for riding, weather was great, only a little wind for a while today, no major steep climbs. Another great day of riding for FCBA. And, I may even have time for another malt after dinner. ;-)

7-10-16: bike day 18 - Roosevelt, UT: 99.6 miles (I did 91 miles). Leaving the church, I thought I had my Garmin and my iPhone with "Ride With GPs" all set and working. Well, I forgot to start the Garmin, and my phone had yesterday’s ride, not today’s ride. So first I stopped and got the iPhone working, then noticed the Garmin not working, so stopped again. Then I noticed the iPhone was on the correct route, but had yesterday’s mileage in total miles, so stopped again to try to fix that. Thought I had it, stopped again and decided I was just not going to make it correct, so rode on, mad! Before starting, I had decided that I would try to ride the entire distance today, 99.6 miles, but now just 5 miles into the first climb, mad, and with the sweeps on my wheel, I decided to just do whatever. I was going to get in the van at the first check point, about 10 miles into the ride. Besides, my knee was hurting a little. So, now mad, and trying to get my head on right, my core started to get cold, so it was an easy decision to stop at 10 miles, which I did. Will the child in me never leave?

At the first rest stop, about mile 20, I am warm. I hooked up with Lesly and started to ride again and was starting to get out of my funk, and together Lesly and I talked each other into riding the rest of the way, and so I only missed the 9 miles of the first climb. Lots of hills and lots of wind today, both headwinds and crosswinds. I actually prefer the headwinds, because the crosswinds can gust and knock you down, especially if you are going too fast downhill. As we were heading toward the last rest stop we had been trading the lead, with both of us trying to slow us down as we fought the winds and hills. With about 15 miles to go we made the last rest stop very short, and Lesly took the lead, determined to slow us down. Well, she did a great job because we were very comfortable just cruising along for a while, when I looked down at my computer and saw that we were going almost 20 MPH. Hey Lesly, we finally caught a nice tailwind, and we relaxed and floated into Roosevelt, UT. So, except for the first section, another nice day on the bike!

7-9-16: bike day 17 - Heber City, UT: 41 miles. A short day of miles, but bit of a tough day with all the climbing and then headwinds. A fun day for me, as I managed to ride it all, with my knee about 95% pain free (hurting some after the ride, but not bad). About 16.5 miles to the summit with the grades running mostly between 5% and 6%. We left the church, made a few turns, and were suddenly looking at a very steep climb. Not long, but I registered it as a 15% grade, which got a lot of us working very hard. My knee held up mostly all day, and I was riding strong.

  During the climbing out of the city we had this rather long incline, and I found myself riding about 5 feet behind a jogger who was on the sidewalk with a dog on a leash attached to his belt. Now I could keep pace with him, but I could not catch up, let alone pass him. I told him he had an advantage because his dog was pulling him, and after telling him what we were doing and why, we hit a flatter area and I was able to get ahead of him.

  I have been (mostly teasing) all the people that I ride with about making “friends with the headwinds and the hills”, and today I actually found myself enjoying “my friends”. Riding strong all day, through the hills at the start, and then through the hills and headwinds later, I found myself totally enjoying the ride. It obviously slowed me down, but gave me more quiet time to have deeper conversations with myself, looking at the large lake we came upon, and enjoying the beauty of the Rockies (from the other side of geezerville).

 Peace, and love to all.

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