But I am just a pilgrim on this road, boys
Until I see you fare thee well
-Steve Earle, Pilgrim

Sunday, September 14, 2008

SW Missouri MS150 & Ike

The MS150 started and ended yesterday after Hurricane Ike came through the area last night and dumped 4 to 6 inches of rain. It was not raining when we left Clever High School on Saturday, but it started about an hour into the ride. It stopped by the time we rode into the lunch rest stop just before 10:00 AM. The rain started again after we finished the century loop that broke off from the main route about 35 miles into the ride. Like most riders, we got lost on the century route, but we did not add any extra miles. About 5 miles from the finish in Joplin, one of the volunteers noticed my tire was a little low. I stopped and added some air. I made it in about 3:30 PM without a problem, but after inspecting the tire closer, I found about a half inch slit. Josh at the Sunshine Bike SAG did not think it would make it another 75 miles the next day, even with a boot, so I had Josh install a new tire. Unfortunately, I did not need it because they canceled the second day due to flooding concerns at low water crossings. We did cross a number of low areas on the way to Joplin, so it was probably a good idea. The ride back on the old school bus was not the most comfortable, and we had to stop about 20 miles from Clever when one of the other bus drivers noticed the bus I was on had some type of leak. It was not the radiator, so we continued on after about 15 minutes and made it back without a problem. Overall it was a typical MS 150 because it rained as it has the last 5 out of 6 years, but we also had a great route and great support from the volunteers who were out in the rain with us.

At the start

Doug & Tom racing a buggy in the rain

Pirates took over this rest stop

One of the few sunny moments on Saturday

Doug, Rae & Tom racing past the sunflowers

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tour of Missouri & an Indian Motorcycle

The 2nd stage of the Tour of Missouri came to Springfield today. There was a great crowd downtown where the stage ended after completing two laps around a circuit in the downtown. We saw the racers three times at our location on the circuit. The finish was more exciting this year because the entire peloton came through at the same time. Last year there was a small breakaway group with George Hincapie winning the stage. Today, Mark Cavendish of Team Columbia repeated his win of yesterday's first stage. I also saw a nicely restored Indian Motorcycle.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kevin Umlauf Celebrate Life Ride

The ride started in Battlefield at 7:00 AM, but Doug, Rae, Tom, Neil and I rode to the start, which added over 12 miles for me each way. I rode over to Doug and Rae's house and arrived at about 6:10 AM. The skies were clear but it was cool, and I wore my rain jacket hoping to ward off the rain forecasted for later in the day. Doug and Rae then decided to bring their rain gear along too. Tom showed up about 6:15 AM and we headed out. Neil caught up with us about halfway to Battlefield.

We rode into Battlefield about 6:55 AM, just in time to register and take off my rain jacket because the rising sun had warmed things up. We headed out about 7:05 AM into the hills and fog south of Battlefield towards Nixa. From Nixa, we headed west to Clever and the second rest stop with boiled potatoes, pickles and home-baked cookies. We continued west through Billings. Just west of Billings, the 50-mile route headed north and the 70-mile route to the south. Neil had to get back early, so he headed north. At Tom's urging the rest of us headed south. Marionville was the western most town on the route, and there was another rest stop in the City park. We passed back through Billings before it started to rain and I put my rain gear back on. The final rest stop was at the Republic Community Center where there were more boiled potatoes and pickles. It was still raining when we pulled into the finish back in Battlefield. The Unlauf family treated us to great lunch of pork chops, deep-fried new potatoes and green beans.

The rain had stopped when we headed north for home. Doug had a slight mishap on a slick bridge on the greenway trail and Rae had a flat tire, so we were delayed getting back. Overall it was a great ride.

Chris the tri-athlete

Riding east through the fog

Doug, Tom, Rae and Neil

Buck, Tom and Doug passing through the Marionville Square

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Verb to Be by Les Barker

Not really about cycling, but similar thoughts pass through my mind riding long brevets at night.