Saturday, August 16, 2008

Challening Day

Today the ride was from Shoshoni to Casper, 101 miles according to my bike computer. There are no towns that can really be described as towns between Shoshoni and Casper on highway 26. Yes if you look on a map you see town names, but I think these are more of a wish than a reality. My first sag stop was Moneta, 40 miles out. Everything was out of business. Fortunately, Mary was there with food. My last sag stop was Waltman, which consisted of a trailer house, an old half painted house with sheets over the windows and a post office drop box. This gave us two choices, either I bike 101 miles or I bike less, Mary picks me up and drops me off at the same spot tomorrow. Unfortunately, tomorrow presents a variation of the same problem. Either I cut it short at 50 miles or again bike 100. The same is true the following day. I attempted and succeded the 101 miles today. I'm going to try for the 100 miles tommorrow, which should go better. Then we'll see what happens in the future.

However, today was challenging both physically and psychologically. Physically, I want to be as strong as I was prior to the accident and I'm not there yet. So the pace was a little slower and on the last 50, I had to take a break every 10 miles or less. I had adrenaline and excitment yesterday. Today I wasn't as stong. Psychologically, I just want to be out of Wyoming. I was here too long the last time and now I want to move ahead. The Nebraska sand hills won't be that much different, but I grew up in Kansas and it will be more familiar. Plus, we drove the route coming out here and there's a little more to see, like small farms and small communities that still exist versus those in Wyoming that are just a name on a map. The terrain today wasn't challenging except for a little head wind. It was cloudy and cool. The problem was the huge vistas. I'd climb the crest of a hill hoping for something new and instead there would be another 4 to 6 or more mile view with the road going through it and off to the east.

I do know I could have shortened the day. I have to admit part riding the full 101 miles was a personal recovery test. Every biking part of me is sore, butI passed the test and I'm glad it's done.

One final thought on mountains. Driving west from Shoshoni to Dubois, I was disappointed to see the Rocky Mountains. It reminded me that I've only completed 1/3 of the ride. However, I decided they made a clearly marked stopping and starting point, versus wiping out in the middle of Michigan or even Iowa. Then there would be no clear change in the vistas. It wouldn't be the same and the story wouldn't be as interesting.

Also today I had a nice telephone conversation with Officer B from Dubois. He was the policeman on the scene of the accident and filled in a few gaps in my memory. He told me how glad he was that I was wearing a helmet and he really appreciated the update on my recovery and the ride. It was good to talk to him.

1 comment:

S HAL said...


It is great to see you back on the road. I know that it has been dream and then a trial to get it accomplished. I will see you when you get to Grand Rapids!
You and Mary are in my prayers as you finsih this journey.