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Monday, March 13, 2006

The First Sign of Spring

The Ride


According to a lifelong resident of Delphi, Indiana, the first sign of Spring isn't the robin arriving in Indiana! It's the site of a cyclist riding through Delphi with full touring kit, just passin' through! This year, that was me.


The route I was following was a section of the Fort Wayne- Evansville route mapped out by Charlie Meyer, placed online for free for cyclists by the Wabash River Cycle Club at http://wrcc-in.org/routes/fortwayne-evansville.pdf and the map is quite good. The only thing it doesn't cover is terrain. The average vertical rise and drop of the route is +/- 200 feet and runs generally uphill along the Wabash River Valley if you ride the route toward Fort Wayne. The section I rode, From Lafayette to Logansport, and then back, is mostly along the river, or along the old Wabash-Erie Canal and is quite beautiful, even this early in the year.

The Hay Bales


North of Delphi, along the ride, I had a farmer with a load of hay in bales pass me. The wind gusted and blew several bales,(Yes, it was that windy!), off the top of the stack. Needless to say, they landed in the road, rolling every which way, including loose as the broke their baling wire binders! If you ever want to have your HR jump to MAXHR in a literal heartbeat, try dodging rolling, breaking up bales of hay on a loaded bike! Especially in a STRONG crosswind. The farmer was truly apologetic, and was worried that I was OK but hell, I dodged them, so no hit, no foul! I reassured him I was OK. Who would have thought the wind could have blown a bale off a truck, much less several?


The Wind and the Calories


If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, the end of March should be pretty nice! The wind was averaging 25-28 mph and gusting to 50! Unfortunately, it was a head wind most of the time. I figured the caloric burn and came up with 19,516 calories burned with an input of about 3000 calories. I'm not sure how accurate this output figure is, as I used the caloric burn engine averaging a 0.5% positive slope and a headwind of 28 mph as the variables. Is it even possible for someone to continue operating with a 16,000 calorie deficit without collapsing? I know I felt pretty weird at the end of the first day, runners high doesn't even cover it! All of my nerve endings were humming, and I actually felt a little detached from everything. No cognitive difficulties, but I was basically on the ragged edge. I had hit the BONK!


I had planned to camp out for the night, but

1.

I was so tired, I didn't even want to pitch a tent. If the weather wasn't going to go bad that evening, I'd have just rolled out the sleeping bag and mat. I was carrying a small portable radio and with the wind, and how the sky looked, I found the local AM station just in time to hear a severe thunderstorm warning. I opted for a motel!
2.

I wanted a HOT shower and a Pollinex Massaging Showerhead almost badly enough to make a deal with the devil! I HURT!


Surprisingly, it wasn't my butt or legs that hurt, (Those were this morning!), but my shoulders, neck and back!


I can't imagine how I would have felt if I hadn't eaten 3 Clif Bars, 2 Zone Bars, and a Snickers, as well as a good breakfast, 2bottles of Gatorade, and at least 3.5 liters of good ol' H2O! Dinner was, of course, Tuna and Ramen Soup, and I wound up eating a second dinner an hour later(As soon as my stomach emptied!). One thing about post bariatric life is that if you need to take in a massive amount of fuel, you have to do it in deliberate stages when you have a stomach capacity of 6 OZ.! After Dinner, I was watching the Weather Channel, eating a bedtime snack of a Clif Bar(Yes, I was STILL HUNGRY, Blast it all!), seeing the continuing bad weather, and predicting snow for Tuesday, I decided to abort and head for home.


The Tail Wind


The forecast called for a NE wind and reasonable weather for the rest of the day, and then getting NASTY again last night. TAIL WIND, Cool! To take the best advantage of the tail wind I rode IN 25 from Logansport to Delphi. On my way through Logansport, I took a picture of a Stump Sculpture I had come across on the way through to go to the motel. I have a picture of it attached here to this post! I should also make the following statement to Burrows, Indiana: “I hereby extend and apology to the residents of Burrows, Indiana for setting every dog in town, (All eight of them!) to barking at 8:00 on a Sunday morning!”

All in all, everyone I met along the ride was pretty cool!


The Homecoming!


I got home about 4:15 PM, 53 miles in a bit over 6 hrs. Not bad for as heavy as my bike was! On arrival, I called my Aunt, who was the “Designated Call of Shame Recipient” if I blew up on the ride and needed to be picked up and carted home! I was determined, though, that if I made that “Call of Shame”, it would be to pick me up from whatever hospital I landed in! Other than that eventuality, or a catastrophic bike failure, I was determined to pedal this trip under my own power! Here's a roughly paraphrased transcript of my call to Aunt Debbie(Relevant portions only), to let her know I was home:


Aunt Debbie: Hi Tom! (Caller ID!)


Me: Hi Aunt Debbie, You are talking to one pooped cyclist


Aunt Debbie: How's it going then?


Me: Well, my legs blew up, you're going to have to come pick me up!


Aunt Debbie: Where are you? I'll be there as quick as I can drive there!


Me: About 6 inches from my front door! I made it home OK, Aunt Debbie, I just couldn't resist!


Aunt Debbie: Unprintable,- Expletive deleted!


Actually, I'm kidding on the last line from Aunt Debbie, firstly, she's too much of a lady to say unprintable, and expletive deleted kind of things! She actually got a kick out of the 6 inches line!

The Wife!


On my arrival home, My wife did three things. First she helped me get the bike in! Then she gave me a hug.......and promptly said “YOU STINK!” And then fed me some of the best tasting Chicken and Noodles I've ever tasted!


It must have been bad, when she took my cycling jersey, shell and shorts to wash them, she was wearing a Racal biohazard level IV spacesuit!

Most of the photos resolution leaves something to be desired.....they were taken with a cell phone camera! Made more sense to get the pics that way than to carry a $400.00 digital camera on the bike! I've included a sattelite view of my ride route along with a map view!

7 comments:

Peg said...

WEll, you might not have made the destination you wanted but you sure as stuffing made a great post!! I is all smiles, how cool is this?? T, you is cool!! Brave!! And one crazy nut!! ;-0} And I envy the living daylights out of you!!! :-0}
Am glad you decided to turn around, we have been having wacky weather also and who knows whats gonna bust loose!!
Good Job!!!!!

Tom Stormcrowe said...

No problem, Peg! You know what I am thinking about? Rather than Key West, I am thinking about PA, WV, Ky, Tn and back! Same miles and a lot of friends along the way! Whatcha think?

Tom said...

I would of done the same thing.
All weekend I've been hearing about the crazy weather. You'll get it next time.

You still did a helluva job with the miles.

seeya
tommy

sister celtic said...

WHOAH MY GOODNESS TOM I'M TOTALLY IMPRESSED YOU MAKE ME WANT TO JUST CONTINUE THE LIFE GOD HAS CALLED ME TOO AS SOMEDAYS I JUST WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN AND FORGET EVERYTHING.. YOU ARE A REAL MOUTHPIECE OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND A GIFT FROM GOD.. YOU WIFE IS THE PROVERBS WOMAN LAST CHAP..WHAT A FINE LADY...AND MY IDEA OF CAMPING IS WHEN ROOM SERVICE IS LATE SO YOUR TEACHIN A OLD DOG NEW TRICKS..GOD BLESS.HUGS TO YOU BOTH

sister celtic said...

OH AND AS FAR AS PLANET HEE-HAW WHERE I LIVE BALES OF HAY ARE A GIVEN JUST BOUT ANYWHERE..

Christa said...

Now that sounds like one hellova ride...lol..geez...
The good thing when you beat a challenge like this is that it feels so darn good afterwards, with the muscle pain and everything. It's like riding a wave :D

Tom Stormcrowe said...

Got it in one, Christa! It felt great!

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