Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Day 12 – Lavina, MT to Hardin , MT

. Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Temperature: 94°F
Conditions: Clear
Wind: SE 8 mph

Ride Info
Altimeter Trip: 2,540 ft
Altimeter Odometer: 31,770 ft
Maximum Speed: 45.0 mph
Average Speed: 18.4 mph
Distance Trip: 104.8 miles
Distance Odometer: 953.8 miles
Elapsed Time: 5 hr 31 min 08 sec

The temperatures quickly climbed as the day progressed. By noon, it was well into the 90s. Besides the day heading into Coulee City, WA, this was the first day when the heat was really a factor. Even though the thermometer read 94F, it didn’t really feel that hot (all things considered). The humidity was so low that it almost felt, dare I say – comfortable.

Chip, Jim, and I started off slower than normal leaving Lavina and rode a bit with some of the other people in the group. After an hour or so into the ride, we were soon running on all cylinders. Looking at the map, I assume we must have grabbed some lunch in Billings. We had to stop a little more frequently than normal in order to refill our water bottles. Everyone tried to make sure to get plenty to drink given how hot it was. We would easily go through a 20 ounce bottle every hour. I typically drank plain water because I was too cheap to buy Gatorade. With all the drinking, we did a lot of peeing too. Guys could just pull to the side of the road and take a leak right there. A lot of times, there weren’t any “woods” or “bushes” to hide behind. It didn’t matter because you could see for miles in the distance and tell when a car was coming. But some of you already know the special talent I have for taking a leak while still on the bike. Just pull the front of your shorts down, whip it out, cock your hips to the side, and let ‘er rip. After lots of practice, you get pretty good and avoid peeing down your leg.

Applying sun screen was another absolute necessity. I would always apply sun screen before starting out, and I always borrowed some from Chip since he brought a bottle along with him. Speaking of sun screen, I forgot to mention how earlier in the trip I developed some “blisters” on the tops of my fingers. I think I noticed them back in Spokane. For those who don’t know, cyclists wear special padded gloves sans fingers. I must have not put sun screen on them and got a little sun poisoning. The weird thing was that my fingers didn’t look red and sun burned at all. And the blisters weren’t oozy and full of puss either. The blisters went away after three or four days.

Anyway, back to the ride. I don’t remember a lot about the particulars but I remember I felt really strong, and there was a lot of competitive riding between the three of us. I think this was the day when I did an awesome bunny hop across two sets of railroad tracks. There was a nice slight downhill and a little “ramp” leading up to the tracks. I sprinted for all I was worth, and timed it just right to clear both sets of tracks. More importantly, I stuck the landing.

One of the reason why the three of us were pushing so hard was because tomorrow would be our first rest day (a Sunday). We were staying at a decent sized high school in Hardin, which was good because of the facilities a school provides.

After showering up and cooling off after such a long, hot ride, you would think that we’d take it easy the rest of the day. Nope! There was a volley ball net set up in the gym so a bunch of us played volleyball the rest of the afternoon. It was actually quite competitive. One thing I just couldn’t get over was the carpeted gymnasium. I can sort of understand it in an elementary school but at a high school?

Day 13 - Rest Day
It was great to be able to sleep in this morning. Even though my body was ready to go at it again, it was still great to have a rest day. I took the opportunity to clean my bike, write letters to Laura, and just hang out. There was a corner store just down the road that I just grabbed a bunch of junk from for lunch. A pretty nasty thunderstorm blew into town in the late afternoon. The wind was blowing so strong, it looked like the flag pole would snap off. It was cool being able to see all the lightning too. Fortunately, the storm quickly passed and it looked to be another clear and hot day tomorrow.


gabriel said...

Good job on the *bunny hop* especially *sticking* your landing!

Question about p'ing while riding...what about people behind you?

Boo said...

You fade to the back so no one is behind you. It's great to do it on a slight downhill (or at least a flat stretch of road). You also pee to the right to minimize flashing on-coming traffic. It's funny seeing a 100 yard stetch of pee.