Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 8: Are we there yet?

The prospect of doing a century doesn't scare me, what does is doing it in 95 degree plus weather. However, the fact that we woke up this morning to a brisk 65 degrees gave me some hope. The moment I stepped outside I knew it was going to be an interesting day.

I put one foot out the door of the high school and was immediately swarmed by about 50 mosquitoes...not a pleasant wake up call. I headed back inside grabbed my bike and literally rode out the door in order to avoid being eaten alive. We headed down for breakfast at the local diner and hit the road around 7:30. The first thing that occurred to me when I hit the road was "ride damn fast, you don't want to be stuck in the heat." I took off and left the other riders in the dust.

About 30 miles in, what seemed like only an hour, I started to get a little tired. I needed to get pumped and power forward, so I put on my ipod and blasted some heavy metal. Before I knew it I was motoring away at 23mph uphill.

By the time I hit the lunch rest stop it had already hit around 90 degrees. Everybody was taking their time and shooting the breeze, eating a little food and kicking back. Me and two other guys looked at eachother and said, "fuck it, lets go." Unfortunately for them, when I hear the word go, that means go. After about five minutes I was on my own again.

The hardest part of the day was the 4 mile climb. When I hit the base of it I was thinking, "oh this isnt that bad, it almost looks flat." Man was I wrong. Maybe I was just tired, or maybe the headwind was starting to get to me. But within a mile I bonked and had to stop every five minutes just to keep from cramping up. Luckily I was able to make it to the top of the climb without too much pain, and man was it worth it. I stopped to look and see if anyone was coming up behind me only to see the most magnificent view of a winding road and a snow capped mountain in the background.

Once I started back up again my right glute cramped up. Fortunately I had a nice steep 2 mile downhill right in front of me. I started hammering away to try and pick up as much speed as I could; I hit the down hill at about 25 and managed to get up to 45 by the time I hit the bottom. What a rush after a long grueling day. That downhill was just enough rest to get me to the end of the ride.

I pulled into the university dorm to be welcomed by some cookies and pink lemonade. I have never been happier to see store bought cookies in my entire life. After eating a little food I went up to the receptionist and asked for the closest masseuse. I called and set up a 90 minute appointment with, "the biggest, strongest, mountain dwelling masseuse you have on staff." I dont think the receptionist knew what to make of that, but she ensured me that I would enjoy my massage.

Well, its off to bed.

Until then,
-Ride Hard

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 7: Heatwave

When they said it would be hot, I didnt think that it would be this hot. One of the bank signs we passed today said 111 degrees! Holy Shit! Aside from that it was a truly beautiful and great ride. Well...maybe aside from the constant headwind. The morning started off with a great ride along the side of a mountain shaded by trees. The entire first half of the ride was riverside with great views of the mountains and wildlife. We saw 3 moose today.

Later on in the day we passed a rider, somebody that wasnt in the group. He had a makeshift trailer, along with a dog and what looked like 60 pounds of gear. We caught up with the guy and asked where he was headed. "Well, im going to fort collins,CO. I started out in Fairbanks Alaska though." Holy shit, this guy is serious. "Ive been pulling 70 to 100 mile days, my dog usually runs 50 along side me. Then I just crash along side the road or pitch my tent in peoples back yards." Apparently you can do this kind of ride without any plan and a road in front of you.

That is about all that I can recall right now from the day. Im going to go fall on my face and try to squeeze in 8 hours of sleep before our century tomorrow.

Until Then,
-Ride Hard

Saturday, June 28, 2008

day 6: headwind, headwind, and more headwind.

Today was a breeze! I think once you get past 4 80 mile days in a row, everything seems like a piece of cake. Me and the pack made it to the first rest stop (20 miles in) after what seemed to be 20 minutes.

There was a running joke before the ride even started that some riders go so fast they miss the giraffe on the side of the road. Well today there was a giraffe on the side of the road! Not to say that it was real, but a 10 foot tall iron giraffe on the side of the road is still pretty striking.

Another 20 or so miles in, I realized how we really were in small town America. In the middle of the interstate there was an American flag...I couldn't miss this photo op. I climbed to the top off the hill to find that this flag was a 9/11 tribute. Wow!

At the second rest stop we finally hit a big city. Unfortunately we were blocked by traffic for 2 miles back due to the parade that happened to be going on. My biggest regret of the trip will be missing a photo off the sign on the side of the road reading, "slow, rodeo crossing." we decided to stay and watch the parade for a tiny bit. It consisted of a lion king float, miss teen small city, and a 4x4 bearing a confederate flag. I started heading back to my bike only to find that I had a flat. "god damnit! 6th day and I already got a flat." I suppose I'm doing better than some people who have got 3 in one day.

After we got back to camp and settled in for the night we decided it was time for some more pranks. Some of the girls on the trip, nick named the god squad, went to mass. So me and a couple friends took all 3 of their bikes and string them up from the trees...priceless.

Well that's all for the night. I hope everyone is doing well and is less sunburned than me.

Until then,
-ride hard

Friday, June 27, 2008

day 5: say goodbye to numbness

Nothing to exciting to report today, besides the fact that I bought a new saddle! Hooray! It set me back 90 bucks but I've been assured it will eliminate numb crotch.

Blog List

I just added blogs from others riders. I thought it might be nice for you to read different view points. Some go more in depth than others, some give an actual description of the course for the day. Enjoy.

-Ride Hard

Come on Flickr!

So apparently I cant organize my photos into batches because I have a free account. That means that all of the photos from my trip will be lumped together. No way to separate them into days. But you can still enjoy the many good shots.

-Ride Hard

Thursday, June 26, 2008

day 4: "thunderbolts of lightning, very very frightening"

I think the long miles back to back are finally starting to catch up to everybody. After about 5 minutes of the road, we broke into a round of bohemian rhapsody...with full musical breaks. This was followed by a little lion king theme music and Barbra Anne. a truly musical day. The townurs fifty miles away could probably hear is coming.

After a delicious lunch break of waffles and bacon at a local b&b we hit the road. About a mile in we passed a very unusual or crazy site...depending on how you look at it; there was an RV on the side of the road completely engulfed in flame! Not something you are everyday.

After 4 straight days of riding it is finally time for a much deserved rest day. So while all of you are at work, ill be kicking back in my hammock drinking a beer at the lovely catholic school we are rooming at.

Until then
-ride hard

day 3: let the games begin

Have you ever had a dream that you were driving down a road that never ended? Today I biked that road. Today was by far the hardest bike ride of my life. I spent a good 70 miles counting down the miles. Everytime we went over a hill there was another off in the distance. Well there you go, that was todays ride. Not to say that it wasn't fun, it was just long.
Later that night, after the ride the real fun began. I was walking back to my tent after using the bathroom only to find that it was no longer there. Unfortunately my ride mates thought it would be funny to relocate my tent. Ha ha. Luckily I found it...and then I stole the pedals from the bikes of the riders that moved my tent. Payback is so sweet.

Until tomorrow

-ride hard

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 2: "and on the 8th day god created speed"

Today started with a ride awakening. Imagine what a choking rooster would sound imagine that blasting through a megaphone at 5 in the morning. Not a great thing.

Breakfast consisted of tea, oatmeal, and bananas. Delicious! After breakfast we had a few short announcements from our trip leader - did I mention he only has one leg and bikes with us everyday - and then we hit the road. 1 mile in my ride partner blew a flat. We had to stop on the side of the interstate - yes we are biking on the interstate - to change it. We finally got going and 3 pedal strokes in he blew his second flat...good start to the morning. Now we were in a bad mood and 30 minutes behind the lead pack. For the next 40 miles we were playing a game of catch up. It wasn't until the 2nd stop that we were able to catch back up. Luckily we successfully wore our selves out before the real fun began...a 15 mile climb followed by an 11 mile descent! Oh yeah!

Nothing to exciting about the climb, just that it was long. But at the top was a wind farm. By far the coolest sight of the day. Then the real fun began. You know that part of the rollercoaster ride when you reach the top of the drop, and get a huge rush? Imagine that for 11 miles straight. I can't really describe the sensation of pulling inbetween 45 and 60mph on a bike. Its just fucking fun! That's pretty much it for the day. Hope everyone is doing well.

-ride hard

Monday, June 23, 2008

day 1 brings sore throat and numb crotch

Oh the memories I have already created. You can't imagine the rush you get from starting out a 90 mile ride with a fever and sore throat. To top that off I managed to lose all feeling in my lower extremities! Hooray! Despite these minor setbacks, the ride has already been truly remarkable. The sites are absolutlet amazing: I only had to travel 15 miles outside of Seattle before I saw parts if the wilderness that looked as thougt they had been untouched. What truly struck me today was the sense of group. Here are 40 strangers biking across the US that are interacting with eachother as if they were childhood friends. Well that's all for now. Ill get pictures from today up as soon as possible. Ill leave you with a feww words from today. "when we met we were nothing but a bunch of people in spandex."

-ride hard

Saturday, June 21, 2008

More Mountains

Originally uploaded by BRAA2shoes
Maybe a more realistic path?

-Ride Hard

The Road that Lies Ahead

Originally uploaded by BRAA2shoes
I got a pretty good view of the path ill be taking the first couple weeks. Bring it on.

-Ride Hard

Not Bad


OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Just Because They're Little Doesnt Mean Theres No Fight

Ive been trying to psych myself out for this trip the past few days. But so far this has been the most helpful. Thank you Anna Rodell for this link.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Post A Comment

If you have some time, feel free to post a comment to one of my blog entries. It would be nice to hear from you all. In order to do so, you have to have a gmail account. Its free and only takes a minute to set up. Click the following link to do so.

-Ride Hard

Did It Work?

I Just tried adding my flickr account to this page (on the right hand side). It should work. If it doesnt, let me know. I will try to upload photos from my trip as much as possible. If you click on the picture below "big ride photos" it should take you to the webpage.

-Ride Hard

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Where In The World Is Rueben?!

I forgot to add this to the thank you letter. This is a direct link to the route map and route itinerary for the trip. If you happen to be in one of the towns while I pass through, stop by! We will have a drink and discuss things of deep emotional importance that I have come to realize along my trip.

-Ride Hard

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Almanzo 100

What a ball buster of a ride. 100 miles on rural gravel road. Lots of dust, lots of vicious farm dogs, and lots of fun. Thanks to everyone who put it together and everyone who showed up to make it a truly grueling experience. Out of the 59 riders that raced I managed to place 16th with a time of 7hrs and 4min. Considering that I got off to a horrible start (my frame pump fell into my front wheel knocking me off my bike), I managed to make up time and pull it off. I managed to place 3rd in my bike class (fixed gear)! Hopefully ill be around town and up for the challenge next year.

Until then,
Ride hard