Monday, May 5, 2008

173 mile weekend Ride, 4 hours of riding in the dark = White knuckles

The ride from Mitchell to Chamberlain was a challenge to say the least. I'm glad I did it because I need to get some consecutive long miles in. I wasted about 40 minutes Saturday morning, still in panic mode, because I could not find my prescription riding glasses. When I got home and unpacked, of course they were in my bag, exactly where I put them.

I took off from Sioux Falls around 10:15 and drove interstate until the Spencer exit. I was expecting Snakebite to be in Mitchell and was worried he was going to have to wait for me. I called him and he was in Salem. Yikes, it was slow going with the 20+ mph winds. I waiting for him at Spencer and then drove on to Mitchell. I had some hours to kill so I drove around Mitchell for a while, re-living my childhood days, of dragging main street and partying in the town that is 25 miles North of where I grew up.

We hooked up and rode through Main Street and headed North. We stopped and had lunch at a family diner and then off to the not-so-races. We received bogus directions from the farmer/cook, dude who was very nice but talked too much for a couple of dudes wanting to snarf down the chow. We ended up riding too far North and turned left and rode past the National Guard unit. More memories for me as I used to work on trucks there. It only put us about 4 miles out of the way and gave us the chance to ride around lake Mitchell.

The ride was slow going and I did not anticipate riding that many hours in the dark. I only brought a cheapo helmet light with me and I wish I would have brought my Blackburn. It was really weird riding up and down hills in the dark because you can not see the horizon and you can not tell what was coming ahead. Meeting cars blinded me and sometimes I just stopped. There are a lot of bad rodes without shoulders and I wish there could have been a better choice for the TDK.

We arrived around 1:00 AM and back up at 5:30. I had breakfast and then fell asleep for awhile. It was much better coming back as we had a tailwind. After fighting through some rollers and falling way behind Snakebite I told him to leave me as he had way many more miles to go than me. It was decided through his logical thinking that we would both be hosed if we broke down. I'm glad we rode together as I don't think I would have rode as fast on my own.

I think we are both comfortable as solo riders as there was not much conversation as we were both concentrating on our own things. A lot of our responses were, YUP. I think it would have been difficult to ride with someone who would want to hold a conversation for 10 hours straight. It's not that I don't enjoy conversation, I just don't know if I could do it for 10 hours.

We made it to Mitchell and I was totally wiped from riding and lack of sleep. I had to pull over at the rest area before Salem for 30 minutes to rest my eyes. I arrived home and fell asleep at 5:30 pm. I woke up only once and then was up and feeling refreshed at 4:00 am this morning. I rode into work this morning and although I am sore, I feel great.

BTW - I weighed my bike fully loaded and it weighed in at 50 pounds. I think Snakebite's bike weighed considerably more.

-Peace and bike love