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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June & July Ride Roundup

Rode a lot of miles in June and went on vacation for 2 weeks in July, so I had little time to work on the Blog.

Nixa St. John's Clinic Ride on June 6

Tom and I rode the 70-mile route out to Aurora and back. It was a pretty challenging ride. Fortunately, we had a tailwind for the big hills on the way back. The ride was free and the support was great!

Tom Leaving a Rest Stop

Edwardsville, IL, 600K on June 13
I went up to Edwardsville with Judy, and we stayed at a motel close enough to the start so I could ride over while she slept in. The ride went pretty well until after we left Belle Rive. I became extremely sleepy and began taking some caffeine pills to stay awake. I was riding with John Jost, Dennis Smith and Scott Thompson, but I could not keep up with them as we left Thompsonville. I caught up with them just as they were about to leave Creal Springs. They waited while I bought a bottle of chocolate milk. We rode six miles of big hills to the bike path that would take us to Vienna. It was almost dark as we started down the bike path, and it seemed like it took forever to ride the 15 miles of gravel trail sprinkled with twigs. I stopped a couple of times to get a drink because it was too difficult to try to drink while riding. I was exhausted when I pulled into the motel about 10:00PM, and went to bed after a shower and part of a salad from MacDonald's. Unfortunately, I had stopped taking electrolyte tablets on the trail, and I woke up with severe cramps. I took a couple tablets and went back to sleep. When the alarm went off at 2:00AM, I turned it off and laid there with the intent of getting up, but I went back to sleep. Judy woke me up again at 2:30AM, and I went down to the motel lobby, where John, Dennis and Scott were ready to go. I told them, I just didn't have it in me to go on, and I went back to bed. I think the problem was that I had not gotten enough sleep going into the ride. For a variety of reasons, I only got about 5-6 hours of sleep the three nights before the ride.

John Jost giving instructions at the 4:00AM start

Dennis Smith and John outside Breese

Dennis and me on the Loafers Bench near Bluford

Scott Thompson, Dennis and John at Wilkey's Cafe in Belle Rive

Edwardsville, IL, 600K on June 27

I went back up to Edwardsville to try the 600K again. I made sure I had plenty of rest, but no other riders showed up because of the predicted high temperatures, so I just rode a 106 miles with John Jost, the RBA, and headed home. I tried using Sustained Energy to keep me going and it was working pretty well until about the last 30 miles when I began to feel bloated. I ate a sandwich when we stopped in New Baden, so that may have contributed. I have tried Spiz and Perpetuem in the past, and I always became sick to my stomach after a few bottles. I am going to try a lower concentration of Sustained Energy, and if that does not work, go back to solid food and chocolate milk, which worked well for the 210 miles of the earlier 600K I rode.

I spent Friday night at The Innkeeper Motel in
Hamlin, IL, and even the motel had a garden.

MS Pancake Ride on July 25
Tom and I rode the 52-mile route. I rode 12 miles to the start in Battlefield. It looked like a rain cell was moving in, so Tom and I left about 15 minutes before the ride was suppose to start. It started raining, with some lightning, shortly after we left, and we were some of the first riders to arrive at the pancake breakfast in Republic (10 miles). One of the staff told us that they had held up the riders at the start because of the weather and told the riders they could drive to the breakfast if they preferred. We continued on as more people started showing up in cars and on bikes. It pretty much stopped raining after the third rest stop, and we saw very few riders along the route. It appears most riders either did not ride or they rode the 30-mile route. We made it back to Battlefield about 10:30AM. I got a free massage and chiropractic adjustment, before riding the 12 miles home. Unfortunately, it started raining again couple miles from the house.