Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 34: Quincy to Springfield -- Day of Discounts in the Land of Lincoln

Pictures are here.
Miles: 110
Total Miles: 2590
Time: 6:23
Average: 17.2
Max 42
Flats Today: 0; Total flats:8
Climbing: 1700' of climbing. Inclines were more gradual than they've been and second half of ride was flat. Made for close to 18mph average for first 100 miles today, until we got into Springfield.
Weather: Scattered TS forecast that never came
Body: Rode harder than I had intended. Legs were mush at the end and backside is a bit tender.

First let me share an email I got yesterday from Chris Ray, the fellow beating his CP by taking on the challenge of the Bicycle Tour of Colorado. Here is his note after he had to drop out because of how sore he was where seat meats seat.


Unfortunately, I was not able to ride anymore. After stage 4 I saw the medics. A doctor looked at my saddle sore, tried to lance it to no avail. He advised me not tor ride until it healed,. Jane wound up not finishing either due to an upper respiratory infection. Once it was clear we weren’t going to finish Rick & Kate decided to abandon the tour as well. We were very disappointed, so we went back to Rick & Kate’s in Boulder. What’s so frustrating is all the work I put in and to lose out on something unexpected like a saddle sore. But life goes on. On back home training again. I have every intention to go back to Colorado next year and finish the whole tour!! It’s been a dream of mine to ride across the country to raise awareness for CP. I was thinking maybe 2011. I’d like to do a supported tour like you’re doing but they are expensive. I see your ride finishes in Massachusetts. When do you plan on finishing?

Take care, Chris

Determined and gutsy guy for sure!

Not too much to report regarding today's ride since it involved a workman-like 100+ miles that I did by trading pace line leads with Chuck and Judy. The hills we've been on since the Missouri River, gave way to flat farm roads. The overcast cool of morning with threats of rain and a spitting sky gave way to a warm sunny afternoon. And the monotony of endless miles of corn everywhere you looked gave way to urban Springfield. Springfield, capital of Illinois, has a real bike shop, a stately capital building, tree lined streets, some run down urban neighborhoods, as well as several Lincoln historical parks.

I found my way to the bike shop but not to any of the Lincoln Landmarks. By the time we got to Springfield my biking shorts had a large hole worn in the left leg. This was the result of repeated contact at every pedal stroke with the small piece of stray Velcro around my seat post holding on my bike repair bag. Eventually, the rubbing produced a small hole and by the time I realized what was happening the riding shorts were ruined. Fortunately we passed a bike shop on the way into downtown that had a good selection of shorts and I bought two pair. Got the special XCountry riders discount.

But by the time we had checked out the bike store and chatted a bit with folks there, we were altogether too ready to be done riding for the day and just wanted to get in to the motel, rehydrate, get out of our biking duds into clothes with no salt, no sweat, no holes, no pockets in the back, no padding in the seat, no clunking cleats and no bike seat to return to. Consequently we passed by the Lincoln Home & Tomb and the Lincoln Memorial Gardens.

When we got in at the Days Inn, we were ready to head across the street to the Steak and Shake for a cold ice cream based drink and a little lunch with real food instead of the crackers, bars, fruit and crackers we had consumed at the two SAG stops. Misty, our waitress who also managed the Steak and Shake, kept asking us about our trip and stuff associated with it. Finally, when it came time for the bill she said she had to make this one on her. She had never heard of anything like this and felt we deserved a free meal. We did not argue, but we did tip her generously. Similarly at Bob Evans for supper, the manager waved us off even though our desert had put us well over the $12 food voucher Michelle gave us. Nice folks here in the Midwest!

Should be ready to go again tomorrow for another century (97 miles are advertised) with a non trivial amount of climbing. It will get me that much closer to Indy where Marcia meets me!


  1. Ok, you call it enjoying---I call it a bit crazy to crawl into the corn field, with your helmet offsides and grinning like a Halloween pumpkin---nobody can say you don't get down and corny--ha ha
    Glad you found a REAL bike shop---and got some shorts and a backup---those holes seem to creep up on you:) Glad you made it thru and signed in as #1 on the list---every little goal helps, eh?
    My roses still beautiful---up and at em at 6 for me tomorrow am---Monday's coming fast XOX

  2. Glad you got some new shorts! And free ice cream...doesn't get much better than that!