Monday, July 18, 2016

Segment 5, Summer

7-22-16: bike day 28 - York, NE: 83.1 miles. I did 75, ran out of battery at mile 74; the support van on the way to church came by a mile later, so I didn’t have to bike the remaining 8 miles pulling a very heavy bike.

  Today I rode in a pace line with 4 other riders, and averaged 18 mph for the 75 miles. A very fun day using my new power, and getting a better idea of how long the battery will last doing different speeds and power settings. It looks like we have a shorter 60 mile day tomorrow, so I’ll have power all the way with no problem. I got away at the back today, and caught a light, but then put on some power, ran at about 25 mph and soon caught up to the group I wanted to ride with. Interesting, because 25 is about as fast as I like to go on the downhill areas, sometimes up to 30, but only if I can see that it’s a clean road. Running flat, on a rough road at 25 with the sun in my eyes did not seem dangerous. Hmm…

  Dinner on our own tonight, and the birthday girl wants Mexican food. Hopefully they will have something I can eat (like a hamburger). Then the plan is to see a movie after dinner (but will I stay awake?). Hmmmmmmm…

7-21-16: bike day 27 - Kearney, NE: 61 miles. I swept them all with Lesly. I swept them all with Lesly. Had dinner with the lovely Anne Troyer Winkel and Nelson tonight. Pacemaker lasted entire trip and worked great. Ready for a day off in two days.

7-20-16: bike day 26 - Gothenburg, NE: 91.0 miles. I did 93 miles, but I need to subtract about 8 miles because we were forced to take a detour on a sandy gravel road. I managed to ride about 2 of the 10 miles of gravel, but decided I break too easily to continue and take a chance.

  So after the first rest stop, I hooked up with Stephany and Rosie. They were kind enough to let me pull them all the way to the last rest stop. We were running at about 19 mph and I was having a ball. The pink stallion was performing wonderfully. I could cruise at 19 mph or 24 mph (which I did for a little bit) with about the same effort. Just put it in another gear and pedal the same. Lovely!

 They left me at the last rest stop, telling me to just catch up. So when I left a little while later, I kicked it up to about 22 mph, they had dropped back to about 17 mph, and so I had about caught them about 7 miles out, when I noticed that my battery was now about 8% and dropping fast. So, I backed off the speed, nursing the battery, but still about 5 miles I was again biking with no battery power, but still made it to the church, with an average of 17.8 mph. I wish I could ride like that without the pacemaker, but nevertheless, this is fun. Now I need a second battery to be able to swap out.

7-19-16: bike day 25 - Ogallala, NE: 67.0 miles (I did 44.01 miles).
So it seems I have a learning curve with the pacemaker. Charging it last night everything looked good. I went to bed and the battery was almost fully charged. This morning everything was dead. Or, more to the point, everything looked dead.

  So I rode the van to the first rest stop, where I had time to get my other bike off the roof of my car, get it set up properly, and rode it the rest of the day. (In planning ahead, I did not take my new bike home when I picked up Pink for this very possibility…wanted to make sure everything was working properly.) Got to ride one segment with Lauryn Kostopoulos, but she had trouble riding slow enough to stay with me! Nevertheless, a fun ride for me. 

  Rode the last segment with Lesly again, and had trouble staying with her also. Seems the kids keep getting stronger but I don't get stronger at the same rate. Hmmm …

 I talked with the bike store, and was told hopefully it was just a switch that got turned off, and everything will be fine tomorrow. I did a practice ride (to A&W Root Beer, settled for a float) and everything appears to be all charged up and working just great. Back to the pink stallion tomorrow to ride as long as the battery lasts.

7-18-16: bike day 24 - Sidney, NE: 102.2 miles. I did 97.3. The pink stallion was marvelous! I rode mostly with Lesly again, keeping a rein on the stallion. After the first rest stop Lesly left before me, so I took off, and let him have his head. I was cruising along at 30 mph in 5th level of 9 levels of poser. And, I was not even working hard. Caught Lesly easily, and then later in the day I was racing a train, but the train won. 

  At one point we had a tricky turn that was not marked well; I was following my GPS, so I had no trouble, but then decided to go back and mark the turn properly. E-assist allowed me to be able to do that. Mostly a fun day with the pink stallion and his pacemaker.

  After the 3rd rest stop my battery was depleting. So I cut back on the power level and started nursing the battery. About 5 miles away from the last rest stop I turned the power off and rode into the last stop under my own power (“powering” a bike that now weighs about 50 pounds). I thought about getting in the van at this point, but decided I could tough it out even if I lost all power. So I left, using only the 1st level of power, and was able to nurse that until about 15 miles from the church. At that point I was completely out of battery power, and was again pedaling this 50 lb bike on my own. Did I mention it was also hot? I began getting sick to my stomach, and finally had to call for the van to come get me with only about 5 miles to the church.

 So, I will totally love the pink stallion with his e-assist when I’m able to procure a second battery for the longer mileage days.

7-17-16: off day 4 - Cheyenne. Breakfast before church this morning, then lunch, then an ice cream run. I think I’ll skip dinner, and just make the group meeting before bed. After this lazy day I’m ready to stretch out the pink stallion tomorrow for 102 miles! Good test for my battery for distance.

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