Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Day 27 –Shenandoah, IA to Corydon, IA

. Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It was an early start today (5:30 AM) as it would be a long ride today. Sleeping in a bed two nights in a row really did my body good. I felt refreshed, invigorated, and ready to hit the road. We had a little surprise waiting for us when we first started out – some of the thickest fog I’ve ever seen. It was kind of neat being able to feel the fog against your skin. It was thick enough that it made seeing the road difficult. Not that the roads in Iowa are bad, but one had to pay extra attention to not run over a pothole because visibility was so bad. We also had to be on the lookout for cars approaching from the rear. The fog eventually burned off after we were about an hour into our ride.

Chip, Jim, and I took it easy to start off with and upped the speed considerably once the fog burned off. We eventually caught up with Lauren (from NYC). She was in a hurry to get to Corydon because her boyfriend (a doctor) was making a special visit to see her there. Lauren was a pretty good rider and she had ridden with our group previously for short stretches. Being the gentlemen we were and knowing that Lauren was in a hurry to see her boyfriend, the three of us formed a paceline and towed her all the way into Corydon. We had Lauren always stay at the back of the paceline so as to not have to make her work at the front.

I mentioned this in a previous post but I was shocked at how hilly Iowa was. This ride was the third hilliest ride of the entire trip. Everyone was feeling fresh coming off the rest day, and we had a nice little breeze at our backs. The entire route was like one big sine wave – constant and even ups and downs. It was so cool because we were all able to maintain our momentum from the downhill portion and push on up the uphill portion without ever really needing to downshift. It was a magical ride. It was a day that you felt strong and invincible. Once we picked up Lauren, I think we just rode all the way, full-speed ahead to our final destination.
It was a real sense of accomplishment to have another century ride under my belt. Even more so given the fact that there was so much climbing involved, yet we still averaged over 20 mph. We would have another chance to complete that same feat tomorrow.