Tuesday, June 27, 2017

And Either Way, These Days We're Not as in Control as We Think

So, I'm going to try really hard to play catch-up with blog posts this week. We'll see how that goes...

On June 10th and 11th we rode TOMRV with our friends. It's a long touring ride up and down the Mississippi River. 106 miles with 6,000 feet of climbing on the first day and 90 miles with 4,000 feet of climbing the second day.

This was the 4th time I did TOMRV and it was a doozy. Most of our group had some kind of issue. One of the guys crashed on his bike the week before and had stitches that he wouldn't quit messing with, the other guy pulled his hamstring doing farm work, I got my period for the first time in a couple of months and I was weak and in pain. John was fine, though. So, one out of four ain't bad?

The first part of the ride was just great. We had a nice tailwind and the the big hills didn't start until later on in the day.

We made it to Sabula (the only island town in Iowa (on the Mississippi River)). We decided to stop and get ice cream and it was a brilliant decision.

I had to stop and get a photo on Broad Street. I'm sure all of us broads have to.

We crossed the Mississippi for the first time that day without a hitch.

We stopped in a little town right before we got to the bigger hills. One of the guys and I split a very large bottle of chocolate milk that seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned sour once we were trying to ride up very long and steep hills.

I was able to get an album cover shot photo of the boys on the stairs of a motel, so that was good...

By the time we left the ski resort and started heading for Galena, I started to lose it. Lose my strength, lose my emotions and lose my ability to function properly.

I was hoping the rest in Galena would help, but even after a salad and some iced tea, I had some serious struggles on the way to Dubuque.

My legs were so weak and my breathing so shallow and labored, that I wasn't sure if I was going to make it up even some of the smaller hills. I did have a bit of a panic attack at one point and that was a lot of fun...Or not. Then, when we got to the bridge to cross the Mississippi again to get to Dubuque, there was a crazy cross wind. So, we are riding a highway bridge with semi's passing us at over 60 mph on our left side and a strong wind trying to blow us over the railing and into the Mississippi River on our right. Another time in my life that I was glad I weighed 15 lbs more than I did last year at that time.

Anyway, we made it to Dubuque, ate good food and I passed-out around 9 o'clock.

Sunday was another day. I wasn't sure how I would feel and if I'd be able to ride after Saturday. We got up, ate breakfast. Fixed the slow flat I got on Saturday, in addition to everything else that day, and headed out.

The hills were crazy at the beginning of our ride. It was about 95 degrees out and a strong headwind. I was able to ride okay at first. We met a few other friends and at about 29 miles in, we reached the town of Belleview. It is gorgeous and right on the Mississippi River.

We found this great place to eat called The Flatted Fifth. It was an old Mill and it was right on the river. As you can see, it almost looks like a little Irish Cottage by the bike racks.

Our friend, Mr Heck, was having problems with his ankle that had the stitches, so he decided to get a ride back home with our friend, Burne's girlfriend. The rest of us headed back onto the road

We rode another 20 miles or so, when our friend Burne just turned his bike off the road and rode to a farm house with a big tree in front. My foot was killing me by then. I think it was just swollen from all of the water I was retaining (pretty) and so John and I followed him and sprawled out for a bit to collect ourselves.

When we got to Goose Lake, my goose was cooked. I told John that I was going to take the sag wagon to the end and wait for him there. When I asked the driver if he had room for one more, out friend Burne yelled, "Two! Room for two more." I asked John if he wanted to still ride or hop on the wagon and he said he'd keep riding.

We made it back to the end in Bettendorf and some other friends of ours, who also stopped in Goose Lake showed up to get their cars.

We had a nice talk about how brutal the heat and winds were and then they took off for home.

Burne went to the store and got some beer, and gatorade and ice cream, so that John would have something when he got done. He finished up and told us his riding stories and said it was tough riding the whole way back. Then a few women racers we know showed up. They had ridden the whole thing too, but said they were dying. We all sat around and told stories about our rides and drank a beer and then we packed up and headed home. 

Will I do TOMRV next year. Sure. Probably. Hopefully, the winds and my hormones will control themselves and it will be a better weekend.

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