Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach
Thank You Katie, Mary, Caitlin and Brian

Sunday, May 15, 2011

15 May Fast America Day 22

Springfield, IL to Tuscola, IL

Mileage:                     78.46 miles
Riding Time:              4:58     Riding Speed 15.8 mph
Total Time:                 5:30
Climbing:                    1114 ft.
Flats:                           0

Mama said there’d be days like this. On paper, today was the easiest day of the ride – shortest and flattest. BUT – on the day that the opening stage of the Tour of California was cancelled because of a snowstorm, we rode on through 50 F weather in the rain. Once I’d warmed up everything was OK, but walking outside at the start and again after lunch (we cowered inside a convenience store to eat at the SAG stop) the 15 mph N wind just knifed through my jacket. Most of the ride was due E, meaning that the wind was a pure crosswind, but there was one two mile stretch due north at the end that was pure torture. It was also a precursor for tomorrow; a 120 mile day which starts out with 13 miles directly into the N wind which is predicted to be 18-20 mph.

But it was another good day for me. My average HR of 116 bpm was the highest since Day 2. I started out in an 8 person paceline, which soon sorted itself out to just five of us. After 16 miles, though, I wisely decided that the effort of concentrating on the wind and rooster tail of water in front of me at 21 mph was too much, and I pulled off and slowed down to about 18. The decision proved to be wise as a little later one of the riders (Lee) went down when he caught his tire in a seam between the road and the shoulder. I rode the rest of the day alone on beautiful car free country roads (but not dog free!). I did have a momentary scare, when I realized that most of the cross streets did not have stop signs in either direction. Visibility was two miles in either direction, but I am told that if I come back in two months, the corn will be ten feet high, and you will not be able to see a car coming into the intersections.

Yesterday’s off day turns out to have been necessary, as Clay used it to get a new bike. Remember Missouri State Road E? It proved too much for his Trek Madone, which ended the day with a cracked chain stay (Clay thinks that the crack may have started when he went down on Day 2).Judging by Clay’s performance today, the new bike is a winner. Shelley got a new bike on the Albuquerque day off so the America By Bicycle people seem to have things calibrated perfectly.

I have mixed feelings about the day off. I would have ridden20-30 miles, but the weather was just too awful, so I went for a 5-6 mile walk instead. Some people went to the Lincoln Museum, and gave it very high marks. But I just got caught up on my e-mail and was generally bored. I stayed up late last night (11:00) but still woke up 10 minutes before the 6:00 AM alarm this morning.

Safety: Mike facilitated an interesting discussion on safety this afternoon. It seems that a number of people are uncomfortable riding with more than one or two other people at a time. My opinion is that a number of the riders have very, very strong legs but limited paceline riding experience and, probably more importantly, they are unclear on their motivations for joining a paceline. Riding in an efficient paceline can significantly increase the average speed without burning anyone out. Some people want one for this reason, but others simply want to ride the same speed that they would solo, while using less energy, while others want to prove that they are stronger than the others. Because of these varying motivations, it is hard for an experienced person to coach the others, as happens naturally in the cycling clubs to which I belong. Mike is very sensibly trying to discourage people from riding with more than 2-3 others especially while riding unfamiliar terrain.

Roommates: The cost of the ride is a significant function of whether or not you want a single room. I have a single room because I snore loudly, and I read the instructions which said “Please do not sign up for a double room if you snore loudly”. Apparently, not everyone read those instructions. One roommate pair is under great stress because one of the guys snores and likes the room as cold as he can make it with the air conditioner, while the other is kept up all night with the snoring (Although ear plugs reportedly help) and tries to sleep shivering under a pile of covers. Anther pair consists of Oscar and Felix from the Odd Couple. The pair that seems to get along the best had a trial separation during the two days in Springfield; they simply each needed their own space. I can’t imagine sharing a room, because within five minutes of checking in, I have covered every available square inch with stuff, and of course I want the desk or table to do my blog.

Here are two more blogs:

(check out his Missouri Amish video; I exchanged greetings with several Amish during our time in Missouri)


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