Friday, December 23, 2011

Tale of Two Rides


My plan was to get a rock solid long ride in. I didn't feel the energy, and was slow getting started. I started out with a series of grassy hills, and spun out with the frost on the first one, and again on the second hill. That was with a Nate on the rear, I think the best hill climbing bicycle tire manufactured. 
After the first series of hills, I swung out onto the gravel roads for a route that is either going up a hill or back down. I started feeling fluish, almost to the point of turning around but I decided to stay on the level trail and put my head down and just ride and get some base miles in.
My cell phone rings, it is my 87 year old papa. He says my brother Al, my baby brother, the youngest of us 5 kids, is meeting him out on Heritage Trail at 4:00 to go hiking if I am around. Well I haven't seen Al who lives out of town in over a year, I miss him. Al and I spent several  years Power lifting and competing together in the 80s, lifting in my basement together 4 times week, and traveling all over the Midwest together competing. We loved what we did, but it came to an end. Al needed to start earning a decent living, so he went away to school, graduated and got a good job out of town.
I got another lifting partner, but it wasn't the same. A back fusion of L4 and L5 ended competing anyways.
But we all met on the trail, my papa, Al and his lady Suzi. I rode along slow for a couple of miles while they hiked and we talked and talked. My dad doesn't show his age and walked briskly along with all of us. By the time I got home it close to 7:00 p.m. and spooky dark.

There was this note on my messages on FaceBook when I got home. It was from Lance Andre, who is putting together Dubuque lands biggest snow bike/ski/run race together this Jan 15th. 62 bike, and 31 or 26 miles ski or run.

"Ride tomorrow morning?"


And we rode, and rode and rode. 8 hours, on every surface imaginable. Fields, gravel roads, county roads, and the killer ride, soft muddy, lime, trail. The frost was coming out of the ground, the wet muck would stick to our tires, and act like suction cups, standing going 6 mph is torturous.
After 6 hours, I was sucking on Lance's rear wheel, now wheel sucking doesn't help a whole lot aerodynamically when you are plowing mud, but somehow there is a 'psychological pull' that goes along with it. Lance turns around to me and says "How about you but I am exhausted" Now I was dying and trying to hide it. I am 16 years Lance's senior and he is a highly competitive bicycle racer, so I wanted to answer, "Heck this is a piece of cake" NOT!!!!! Actually I had no free oxygen available to even speak.
We also spent some time marking out 2 1000 foot spans, to begin the certification of the distances for the Triple D route. This Saturday I hope to make my frst runs with a certified counter for the half and full marathon runs.

OK, OK, I did say "Tale of Two Rides" but Wednesday was good ride worth mentioning. About 65 miles through some real sticky riding, the gravel roads and crushed lime trails were 'sticky' and made pedaling a hard push in most places. Stopped and had some "Iowa Ribs" along the way. Everything, every square inch of me and bike were coated with the 'lime spray'  

So plans are to ride the country during the day and do the family holiday gather tomorrow and Sunday.



Dan O said...

Cool to see your dad still enjoying the outdoors.

Those, ah, ribs - look a little overdone....

mrbill said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours, hope yall have a great one.

Steph said...

Merry Christmas! :)