The Waffle House Chronicles...

Monday, July 10, 2006

“Mark what time do you want to ride on Sunday?”
“I was thinking either 10am or 2pm”
“How about 8am”
“Meet at the lot at 9am”

From the lack of interest I figured it would just be Jerry and I. To our pleasant surprise, Mike also showed up but was on his road bike. Jerry sure did pull a fast one on him “Don’t listen to Mark, road bikes are fine” as even Jerry himself was riding a cross bike. It was already in the upper 70’s and humid out. Fortunately for me I have only one bottle cage mount on my cross bike so I packed up the camel back, 65oz of high quality H2O. Of course I spilled about 10ounces with a bit valve error. We were off and I felt like crap. My lungs felt good but my legs were sore from the Thursday crash and Saturday basketball. We get on to the military ridge after a couple short/steep climbs and once we get into Verona I flat. Great. We replace the tire and CO2 it but only get so far and we have to take out the pump. Reinflate, it seems to hold. In the meantime some guy is riding with his boxer, the boxer is constantly trying to bite the front wheel at like 12-15 mph. It was hilarious. We get off the military ridge and take some random roads into Mt Vernon. We climb out of Mt Vernon and all of a sudden I have legs. I bridge up to Jerry on the climb, ask him if he’ll buy me a pound of cheese if I beat him up and get dropped as fast as I bridged up. We rode for a while and Mike wasn’t himself. He kept asking how far to New Glarus and mentioning he was out of water. It was hot. Jerry kept saying it was like 2 more climbs or last climb. We took a wrong turn of course but he says that the wrong turn will take a climb out of the route. He failed to mention that the climb would be replaced by something of equal or greater value. I think both Mike and I know better at this point. Finally after a gravel road section Mike is about to die. I see a house with a spicket. I tell Mike we should hit that spicket, he was all for it. He actually thought to ask permission and the lady was totally cool. We practically showered under the hose, drank tons of water and filled up.

4 miles later we were in New Glarus. We stop at the bakery. This is where the ride got sketchy. As I was deciding which of 3 items I should get (I limited myself to only one) the others say they didn’t want anything. What? We had ridden almost 40 miles on “roads and not roads” and people are afraid of the bakery. I ate the best apple pie square bar ever (I almost drove back there after I got home to eat more) and they had nothing. I blame Mike’s dehydration and Jerry’s elitism, but really there is no excuse whatsoever. We then go to a gas station where they ate clif bars and drank Gatorade. If I am going to ride hard and long I am going to get some quality calories…ridiculous. I spent my remaining quarter on at Oatmeal Cream Pie and was good to go.

We wouldn’t see much more pavement from there. We head southeast on the Sugar River bike path. We go through a golf course and Jerry almost stopped to get a beer from the beverage girl. It was too tough to get over to her though so he declined. We get to the mystery section. Weeds like 3-5 feet high. Jerry simply said, this is the route and we went for it. First section sucked, my legs turn red with allergies/thorns/etc. The second and by far the best section was totally clear and awesome. We even brought lights for the tunnel and it was actually open too and I rode it with no dabs. Still sketchy but not as scary as last time (even though there were bats this time.) The next two sections sucked so bad that I had to stop to clear weeds and crap out of my cassette. Finally we get on to a road.

Jerry had some big route planned but then Mike needed water so we headed to Belleville. They knew some dude who lived there but wasn’t home. He was kind enough to lend his hose though so I tried to hose off the redness of my legs (it worked) and we filled up more water. A couple more road sections and then into some somewhat groomed trail. That was ok and we kept it steady (Jerry fading into a small orange dot on the horizon.) We get to a section near Paoli and it got worse and worse. One more road section and then the last section. It was by far the worse. The weeds rose above any sightline. Jerry in all his glory decides to drill it right through. This time I decided I am going to hold his wheel. I was scared the whole time but figured if Jerry wrecked I could slow myself to the point that I won’t necessarily crash on top of him. About 1/3 of the way in though he stopped, his cassette was jammed. I pass him and go on my own, even more sketched out than before. I get close to the end and all of a sudden the path I was taken was blocked by a huge thorn bush. I dodge right suddenly almost taking out Jerry who caught up and was passing. I tried my best to keep his wheel the rest of the way but he slowly pulled away. And then it was over. The front of my legs were 100% red. I only drew blood in 3-4 places. Mike caught up at this point and wasn’t feeling it. We towed each other in though, get to Mike’s house, take our third hose shower. This time we were greeted with beverages and snacks. Half hour of chill time and 2 miles later I was home.

-Apple Pie Square- New Glarus Bakery
-Stops at random houses
-Jerry claming that Coldplay was gay. I kindly explained to him that Coldplay was about 50th percentile on a scale of gayness of the music I listen to.
-Jerry claming that Ultimate Fighting is gay. Ironic coming from a skinny spandex-clad shaved-leg guy with a pony tail?
-I actually felt stronger each mile
-Mike riding things on a road bike that were sketchy enough on my cross bike
-Jerry pretending he didn’t care about Stop Ahead signs yet making sure he was first almost every time

Ride total:
Time not at home: 6:41
Time in motion: 4:33
Miles: 67.78
Avg HR: 135BPM
Avg Speed: 14.9
Max Speed: 45.1
Max Temp: 89.1
Elevation Gain: 5744ft (but it seemed a lot less, more like 4000)
Calories burned on the bike: Approx 4600
Calories consumed during this span: Approx 1246

I ate some snacks and watched Nascar and read the paper. We then went to Laredos and I ate all the chips. Didn’t save any room for my meal so I’ll have more Laredos tonight. A little Tour action and some sleep and it’s Monday morning….

Update (Monday AM): I went to the Pulmonary specialist today. I can now ride again! That is the good news. The bad news is that my asthma appears to be worse. Not that he knew what it was like before but given how I’ve been treated before he thinks it is worse. I guess I can inhale well but I suck at exhaling. Oh well, I can’t be good at everything right? Anyways he got me set-up on the right track so once I get going with all of this I should become reasonably healthy.


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