Wednesday, August 25, 2010

catching up (rides 17-20, I think)

Oh my word, I haven't written in days. So sorry. I've had some glorious rides with wonderful people.

After biking to school and back (which I count as two rides) on Friday, I rode with my friend, Dawn Martin, along the Columbia, a flat 12-miler on Saturday. It was later in the afternoon, and so, we had the bike path mostly to ourselves. Riding side-by-side is a great way to catch up with a friend. Unfortunately, though, there was a strong headwind on the way home. That can certainly add stress. But Dawn's good spirits pulled us through.

That ride capped off an extraordinary day. Cheryl had surprised me with an overnight to Skamania Lodge for Friday evening, and then, as we had planned, we went to celebrate my birthday on Saturday morning by going on a sternwheeler cruise along the Columbia, leaving from Cascade Locks. Unbeknownst to me, my brother and a good friend from Houston flew in to surprise me. They held the door open for me at the dock, and I practically fainted. My body recognized them before my mind did. What an incredible gift.

The picture shows my joy at seeing my brother. Even though my brother was with us the next day, I did do the Portland Half Century, not the whole century. I'm a wimp. The "extreme climbing" of the middle 50 miles scared me for the second year in a row. And frankly, it was a good idea to stop at the split.

My equipment is showing a bit of wear. A bolt had fallen out of my shoe, and so, my clip did not unclip. Yes, that was scary. I had to stop, take my foot out of my shoe, and force the clip out. The next 22 miles were a challenge--keeping my foot on the pedal and pushing metal-to-metal but a half-inch raised. By the end of the 50 miles, my right quad was complaining.

My friend, Linda Brumder, was kind enough to join me on the 50. While it was a flat course, there were challenges, but she didn't show the strain. She could have gone another 50, I'm sure.
Luckily, we had a great meal after. That's the thing about doing 8-9 rides in a row: you get a bit hungry.

While I don't have my list in front of me, I think I have 30 more rides to go. My word, what have I done to myself? Some of the best things about this challenge are people dusting off their bikes and coming along, seeing great sights, and more. I'll ride just about anywhere with just about anyone. Want to ride?

Right now I'm in Connecticut with more relatives, and not riding. When I return on Aug. 30th, I will be focused on training for Cycle Oregon. I might not be riding just once a day or just flat rides for a couple of weeks. After CO from Sept. 11-18, I'll be back to riding a diverse schedule. Wanna come along? I'd love it. Thanks for all your support.

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