Friday, May 24, 2013

Riding Every Mile-No Cheating!

With Dylan at the game. The Brewers
gave me a ball signed by Ryan Braun.
I gave it to Dylan. He deserved it!
We left Milwaukee and instead a 100 mile day, today was only 75. That's really all we have to do to get to Minneapolis by Monday or Tuesday. It sure will be nice to have the rides end early. Today, the wind was about 25-30 mph from the north. We had two long stretches heading north, and the wind made it tough. When I was going west, the wind didn't affect me as much. Tomorrow, the weather channel doesn't even give me a wind direction, it says "light and variable" so that is a good thing.  Seem my rides are either barely 13 mph or more than 16 mph, with the wind against me and with me respectively.

We made it through crunch time with so many games successfully! Had a great time on my two days off in Chicago, and an even better time staying with my future sister in-law in Antioch, IL. Mary Aliff (Kat's sister) has a beautiful home and attended all three games (Cubs, ChiSox and Brewers). We got to Mary’s house around midnight and we all stayed up until 1:30 am talking about the ride.

One question I got from Mary was a little surprising was "isn't it really hard to not get in the van and just drive it? I mean, in the middle of nowhere, no one would know." It's a legitimate question that no reporter has asked me yet. I responded by saying that once I cheat, why would I want to ride another mile? Although riding can be hard and sometimes the only thing I look forward to is my next break, I do feel proud at the end of the day. If I cheated one mile, it would make all of the other miles that much harder because I would have so much less pride in myself. Plus any time things weren’t going well, like a sore ligament, a clicking bottom bracket, etc., it would make it that much easier to just give up and get in the van.

There were two occasions I came close to cheating:
  1. When we were on the way to New York from Philly, Jack and I were having a hard time with the route and the congestion. Well, actually, Jack was alright, but I was having hard time navigating the near-constant turns with my new smartphone. In one of the more turn-filled segments, Jack told me just follow him for a while. So for about 5 miles, I rode right behind the van which got my speed up to over 35 mph. When we finished the stretch, Jack was laughing saying "I kept looking back and was surprised you were still on." In a real bike race like the Race Across America this kind of thing is against the rules. After this episode, I told Jack we wouldn’t be doing it again because it would really be cheating.
  2. I didn't ride over the Peace Bridge from Buffalo to Canada because I thought I wasn't allowed to. That was a .2 mile cheat or less.
After staying up until 1:30 am, Mary still somehow had time to wake up earlier than Jack and I, do my laundry without asking, and make us a huge breakfast. Thanks Mary!

My Milwaukee experience was good. I have yet to be honked at in Wisconsin. Fox 6 is seemingly going to make a great story on the ride. I was filmed and/or interviewed by them for three consecutive days. In-depth coverage will definitely be a real game changer for the ride.

The Brewers gave me a ball signed by Ryan Braun, which I gave to Dylan, the 9 year CI recipient who raised $650 for the ride by going door to door. That felt good. The Brewers game was a long one. The Polish sausage won the sausage race.

Tonight I’m following the O’s game. Kevin Gausman made his first start. I was so much more looking forward to writing about this two innings ago. Now the O's are down 8-3... But Kevin Gausman was throwing 95-99 mph with movement. That's good! More later…

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