Monday, July 21, 2008

100 Miles

Here it is 7:00 PM and I have ridden 100 miles today and I feel great! Those 1,000 miles of training are paying off. More on the day's ride in a minute, but I need to tell you about last night.

The rumors were flying around the campground that severe weather was headed our way and would arrive in the middle of the night. The skies were clear as we climbed into our tents around 9:30 PM, hoping to get a good night's sleep before our Century Day. I woke up about 2:15 wondering who was talking so loud outside of my tent, only to realize that it was a police cruiser driving through the campground with the officer making an announcement to seek shelter because of severe weather bearing down on Harlan, Iowa. So I grabbed my fanny pack and rain coat and we went to stand in a shed that was quite near our tent. We were crowded into this shed for almost an hour as the wind blew and the rain came through, but the biggest part of the storm went to the north. We didn't get the hail that was predicted, but several big gusts of wind blew through, breaking several tents. I was back in bed by 3:20 AM, hoping to get some more sleep, which I did.

We were up at 5 AM and on the road by 5:45 under cloudy skies. After 6.7 miles of riding, bikers needed to decide if they were going to ride the Century Loop or just continue on for the 85 miles to Jefferson, Iowa. This was our longest day of riding even without the extra loop. We rode under mostly cloudy skies most of the day which made it very pleasant. The first 67 miles were very hilly, but the reward for climbing all those hills is that there were some magnificent down hill runs. We stopped at all the little towns we went through to re-fuel our bodies. The best treat out on the roads today was a delicious fresh peach. It was perfectly ripe, and the juice was dripping off my hands onto my biking gloves! It was heaven!

We got to the campground by 3:30, feeling quite pleased with ourselves! I then took a cold shower, which actually felt better than the hot, humid shower I had yesterday.

Shortly after getting back to my tent, the thunder and lightening that had been in the distance, moved over the campground and we got some rain. I just laid in my tent and read my book while the rain fell on my rain fly. It was quite restful!

We are grazing at all the food vendors who are in the town square around the courthouse. Jefferson, Iowa has a huge bell tower that we were able to go to the top of for some photos of the area. That was interesting.

I had a nice rib-eye steak sandwich for dinner and some free french fries that were fried in soy bean oil. Before we head back to camp I am going to buy a cinnamon roll that is made by the woman who has won 2 blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair for her cinnamon rolls. Do I spend a lot of time talking about food? I am burning a lot of calories with all this riding!!

Yesterday I forgot to mention that July 20th was the one year anniversary for this blog. Thank you to all of you who read and comment on my ramblings. It is a fun and learning experience for me and I plan to continue writing The Empty Nest!

That's all for now. We are going to walk around and look for our friend, John K.

Hope all is well.

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