Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mount Pleasant to Burlington (43.2 miles, 1145 feet of climb)

I started the day with a flat tire. I hate that. Stupid slow leaks. It was on the front, so it wasn't the new wheel, which was good because it meant the back wheel wasn't exhibiting a pokey spoke issue. I had two flats that day. After we'd been traveling for a few blocks, I tapped my breaks and didn't stop at all. Which is how I realized my breaks weren't on. So I reclipped them and got going, not realizing I'd clamped them too tight. 41 miles later I had a flat and when I went to pull it off the rim and spokes were so hot I almost burnt my hand and the spokes were rattling a bit because of the heat working. Felt like a right git. A nice kid in Burlington brought me a portable compressor to fill my tire, however, so things weren't as bad as they could have been.

I don't think I've pointed out yet that my sister's mileage is probably closer to the real amount. My odometer was off by about 40%, so I just gave up watching it, and we added a bit of mileage here and there because of where campsites were situated or because we biked back to the car from the end point. What I have listed in the titles is the official line.
Our last breakfast of Chris Cakes. The real weight killer isn't RAGBRAI, it's finishing at RAGBRAI, going home, and still eating pie and a plate full of pancakes every morning despite not riding 50+ miles a day.

A patriotic turn out in New London.

Just after Geode State Park. I came down a hill not too far from here just as a guy was starting up the left hand side of the road, yelling at people to slow down and get to the right. As we turned at the bottom onto the dam, there was a guy sprawled out on the road with a dozen people around him, clearly bleeding from several locations on his head, only one of which was his nose. He had that disturbing breathing pattern that is sort of hitching, sort of slowing, and absolutely unhealthy sounding. As there were plenty of people to assist in first aid, I concentrated on getting up the hill and out of the way before the ambulance and cops came through. Which they did, the cop going about 70 in the opposite direction of the riders which is really scary if you're familiar with RAGBRAI.

Based on the hill (danger, falling rock), I guessed the guy to be going close to 40 if he was all out by the time he got to the bottom, and a comment on a newspaper article later asserted about 39. LissyJo sent me the article stating he didn't make it.

Snake Alley in Burlington. I almost bypassed it as I had just fixed my flat, and then I did what this guy does, which is double back to tackle it. I just couldn't bring myself to pass it up and worry that later I'd regret it. Think fired bricks, laid on their sides at varying heights, going back and forth up a very steep hill. I made it to the top, sitting bolt upright on my hybrid while around me, to the left and right, road bicyclists with their clipless pedals fell over, almost bumping into me as I climbed at about 3 mph. A fun way to end a huge ride.

End of the ride and the tradition of dipping your tire in the river. I didn't go to the official spot. I went a block down where there weren't any people so I could get to a corn dog faster.

Proof the tire is in the water, and Lamby has completed the journey.

A nice man took a picture of me with the bridge in the background.

On the way home we stopped in Riverside, future birthplace of James T. Kirk. Here's a shuttle. I had an eye out for Yeti. You can't know for sure now that I'm not a potential ancestor of our most famous fictional starship captain.

And here's me inappropriately touching the Riverside NCC-1818. Who would have ever thought I could extend that hobby to starships!

1 comment:

Loubna said...

Nice post. I was looking like this. Really it is very useful and informative post. Thanks for sharing. Thanks again!