Thursday, August 9, 2007

No internet yesterday. Blog Report for Wed. Aug. 8th follows. I am just too tired to write tonight. Hopefully can do tomorrow:

Today, I pedaled a total of 101.47 miles and climbed a total of 3500 Feet in 8 hours 42 minutes on the bike. As Jim Fitch is fond of saying, the issue with hills is how they present themselves. Today, because they were on major roads, the grades were much milder and the hills easier most of the day. The weather varied from drizzly to beautiful. I think we agreed that these were some of the best and most scenic biking roads of the trip with some really great downhills. The Oregon coast just glistened as the sun poked through at the end of the day.

With all my discovery channel stuff (hat, jersey, vest, and bike), the clerk at our hotel in McMinville this morning asked me if I was a member of the team. Imagine, that, over the hill towards 50, living with the threat of the return of GIST, taking all kinds of meds and being confused for someone on a Tour De France team! I set him straight and told him about what we were doing. He seemed quite interested and will hopefully check in on this escapade on the internet.

Erica and Deanne actually saw whales at one of our stops! Typically, the driver parks the truck at a pre determined location and waits until we’ve each checked in and then moves on to the next point. So this happened while Deanne was checking in at our final stop of the day. She really screamed today, apparently overtaking Andy from what I understand.

My crown as the tortoise remains unchallenged. Most importantly, I have completed the entire trip to date, save for the last three miles of yesterday (two flats yesterday, everyone having to wait for me to drive from the finish to the hotel, time to get the message). I changed my tire (as opposed to the tube) today which seems to have helped since I got no flats. Both Eric and Andy flatted.

Andy’s crown as the hare got a good threat today from Deanne, as I am told she overtook him.

Yesterday, I decided to name these days in the middle of the ride the “Days of Doubt” because this is when it is the toughest—the fanfare is over, you are well beyond the limits in your training, and the end is nowhere in sight. As I flailed physically in parts yesterday, I really suffered mentally. Yep. Wanting to quit. I have psychological and more practical boosts to help me through those times. One of which are jerseys signed by family, friends and fellow riders supporting me. I think about them at times like those and it helps. Another is a miraculous little concoction called “gu.” As the bikers know, gu is a concentrated concoction of things like sugar and caffeine (I am not sure what is in the various varieties) designed to give you a quick energy boost. Happily, my gu kicked in as I was climbing a hill and feeling really lousy. More successful on the hill, I felt a lot better. I really did not have those kinds of psychological difficulties today. On big hills though, my legs feel like lead. As the trip odometer reads 365.3 (or over 35% of the ride) and by my calculations, I’ve done about 20% of the climbing, I’ve still got a lot of leg leaded feeling in front of me.

Hopefully tomorrow will be equally as scenic with better weather. We are scheduled to have another television interview in Coos Bay. What an excellent way for the Johnsons to finish off their ride.


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