Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Day 38 Napolean to Sandusky 92 miles

everyone had a jumpin' good time except for james. Top Left to right - Simon, Reuben, Noah, Me, Joe. Bottom l to r - james, nick, ed, steph, rachel.

We woke up super early in the morning for the ones who wanted to head out to cedar point amusement park. The only thing, no one really wanted to go until 5pm when patrons pay $26 for admission. so i really didn't understand the early wake-up call. Typically, james and steph arrive into camp 1 or 2 hours after the seventy year old doctors, but not today. They blazed through the 92 mile day with a breeze. I never seen them so motivated.
We all had a hop in our step at the beginning of the day but drained and hungry by nights end. overall, a wicked experience. the rides are bigger, faster and crazier than the ones in Cali. check out the video...and sorry for the profanity...but if you ever experienced the maverick you'd understand. (my voice sounds strange in the video, i have this grunting, husky voice and then i scream like a sissy.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 37 kendalville to Napolean 70 miles

color photo of boat on lake near our campground
b&w of the some big riders me taking a picture of the wind turbine and another cornfield
relaxing at the local pool. joe smoothed talked the manager into letting us in for free.

Sorry, I can’t remember much from this ride other than we went to the local swimming pool. Chad won on who could swim the farthest with one breath.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 36 Valpo to kendalville 109 miles

a nice change of scenery (something other than corn)
even better though was the ice cream shop

tony and steve can attest to that.

Ed pulled most of the way because the ride was flat and had no wind. I have no problems pulling him, but if he doesn’t give me the cue he’s done (wiggling his elbow back and forth- this allows the rider to keep his hands on the handlebar and still communicate), then I’m not pulling. Some 90 miles later he’s still in front but only this time we’ve got four others who hop on the “Ed train”. The only thing that slowed him down was the ice cream parlor 12 miles away from camp.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 35 Chicago Rest Day

"take me out to the ball game...."
"Play ball!"

Chicago Skyline

me at wrigley field

Ed and I took a boat tour of Chicago, where we saw the old post office used in the film “the dark knight”, sears tower of course, and learned some cool facts about Chicago.
Factoid: What is the Native American translation of Chicago?
Is it: a) Da Bears
b) Stinky Onion Patch
c) Land of many winds
d) Home of the Deep Dish Pizza
The answer found at the bottom of today’s blog.

After the boat tour, we cabbed it to Wrigley Field and caught the game. The second we get in Alfonso Soriano blasted a shot over the fence for a 3 run homer…Cubbies win the game coming from behind 6-1. We met up with the others who decided to watch the game at Goose Island Pub when the game ended. I finally got my sushi fix satisfied at Tsunami where I indulged in a Lychee Martini, Ahi Tuna Tartare, 4 salmon sake and their special maki roll. Ed ordered a huge plate of sashimi and a chicken fajita burrito at chipotle because he was still hungry.

If you guessed A, you must love your sports and should read something other than espn
If you guessed B, then your mama raised you right
If you guessed C, you were fooled...guess again, buddy
If you guessed D, you must love food and morbidly obese

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 34 Cole City to Valpo 86 miles

me and rachel salivate when we have 8 scoops of ice cream in front of us
ed starts to salivate when he sees either a beer or a girl dancing in front of him.

Getting to valpo as fast as possible so we can catch the 4 o'clock train to Chicago was my only motivation. And Ed and I completed the ride in 4.5 hours. We wanted to do laundry and wash up before we left to Chi-town, but the truck was late and we didn’t know exactly which dorm we were sleeping in at Valpo University. Long story short the twenty-somethings caught the Chicago-bound train where we stayed in Joe’s apartment just outside downtown and 1.5 miles from the train station. In between, you can find everything that you need; tons of department stores and restaurants. Mexican food, Ghiradelli, H&M and $200 later we make it to joe’s apartment. Not an hour passes before we are out the door to experience chicago’s night life. We essentially missed the street fair going on in Lincoln park, but gave us the opportunity to live it up in Grand Central, where ed dropped $100 on his beer tab. The tax is outrageous here. I think it was in Wyoming where there are no taxes, in Chicago it’s 10.25%.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 33 Belvidere to Cole City 100 miles

getting ready to flip or dive all without jumping (don't ask - it's one of the rules) fun
us breaking all the rules. hahaha

3rd century in as many days and my body didn’t cooperate with me until after I had a nap on the 75th mile. The only thing keeping me going the first ¾ of the ride was the off the wall topics reuben and steven were making up, so off-the-wall I cannot mention it on this blog. It’s only worth mentioning because that’s the only way I could’ve completed this ride. Today I ate at least 8000 calories. For breakfast 2 packets of oatmeal, 2 bananas, 2 glasses of oj, my multivitamin and calcium tablet. 1st rest stop – Dehydrated Apples, Trail Mix, Gatorade, apple and banana. 2nd rest stop – 2 pbj’s, 1 powdered donut, banana, 24 0z Gatorade. 3rd rest stop 48 oz Gatorade and a 10 minute nap. Pre-dinner – Chili dog, Pastrami sandwich and double cheeseburger. Dinner – 1 bowl of mangoes and papayas, 2 bowls of mango and papaya juice, 5 glasses of lemonade, salad topped with onions, croutons, tomatoes and papaya, 2 pieces of garlic bread, 1 heaping plate of spaghetti loaded with parmesan. 1 rude trip to the bathroom.
After all the food digested, the guys went out to the lake to do a little r&r after a hard week of riding (there's still one more day of riding, i can't wait until the rest day comes).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 32 Madison to Belvidere, Illinois 100 miles

l to r : Reuben, Scott, Jim, Ed, and me with our MGD...thanks Joan!
Golf course - Me, jim and scott filling up on candy and gatorade

ed patiently waited for me to finish loading my bags into the truck before we left on the 2nd century in two days. We caught up with jim and his buddy scott, an ophthalmologist, yacht racer and a category 3 bike racer (that means he’s a very good rider). He allowed me, jim, ed and Rueben to draft him the entire ride. He seriously pulled us about 95 out of 100 miles. We got slowed because ALAW changed up the route to avoid heavy traffic areas and instead got the most of the riders lost. Lucky for us, Jim and Scott are from Illinois and had the general sense of where to go. Reuben’s GPS phone confirmed their male intuition and we were on our way to Belvidere. We rode in so fast we missed the sag stops. Fortunately, we found a golf course that served us free beverages, candy and topped off our water bottles. A life saver. Jim’s wife, Joan, snuck passed us and strategically placed cans of MGD on the road leaving a cookie-crumb trail that lead to her and a truck full of goodies.
For entertainment, we splashed around in the pool, played some ping pong and shot some bball. Rachel and I challenged noah and simon to game of 2 on 2 up to 7. Noah wanted to beat me so bad because he hasn’t beaten me at anything yet, including me putting an ass whoopin’ on him playing ping pong left handed. Rachel and I go up 6 to 3 and had 7 shots to win it…none of them dropped and noah and simon beat us on a backdoor play where I tripped and fell on my ass and simon makes a gimme layup basket but only after he missed the 1st attempt.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 31 Viroqua to Madison 109 + 8 miles = 117 miles Happy Bday dad

from top clockwise: Super Slo-mo Speed Racing techniques- Superman (me), Ballbuster (Rueben) and "drunk man throwing up out of driver window" (me), the Mermaid (noah) and fetal position (me), "drunk man" (simon, creator of the drunk man)
Our century day took a little longer because we had one mental lapse and missed our turn. We rode uphill and back down before we realized our mistake. The biggest news about the ride wasn’t the mileage. It turns out our ride leader has been relieved of his duties for various reasons. The rumors started brewing when we all saw sharon driving the big white truck instead of Dan. Ed and I believed that Sharon driving the truck doesn't mean Dan got canned. when we reached the following rest stop, Nick, the mechanic, told us otherwise. The day didn’t end smoothly for the faster riders (but it probably ended better than our former ride leader) because there was a change in the location of the campground, which happened to be one road before the original site. Me, ed, noah and simon were gassed from all of the super slo-mo speed racing (the rules are simple- no pedaling and man to go farthest without pedaling wins) and plopped on the bench and rested for about 30 minutes before we made any attempt to find the new campground. I saw my first firefly. There are more than just fireflies in Madison, we cannot escape from the freakin’ mosquitoes. It ruined our dinner as most grabbed food and seeked refuge in their tents.

L to R - firefly, sunset of the campground, me patching up chad's and g-regs tent while catie overlooks my hem job.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day 30 Winona to Viroqua 66 miles

ed getting his carboload fix.
Kate Meyers interviews both ed and noah during the rest stop.

corn fields a very familiar site for the past 10 days

A super easy day before the dreaded 3 centuries in a row. About 20 miles into the ride, the Meyers family welcomed the big riders. In fact, they open their home to ALAW riders since their grandfather passed away from emphysema. They made tasty homemade treats for the riders, like carrot cake, espresso and chocolate raspberry muffins, ice tea, and punch. When I first rode up Kate Meyers comes up and asked me to autograph her baseball card of…me (I have my own baseball card and same with all of the other riders). I never knew I had a fan in Minnesota. In fact the family is so enthralled by the riders they had pictures of us on their personal computer’s screensaver. Any other time I’d find that a little stalker creepyish, but the Meyer’s family gets a pass in my books. They were very hospitable, making sure we were well fed and entertained. They even conducted interviews with some of the riders and can be found somewhere on the web (if I knew I’d tell you). If you participated in an interview you get a bracelet/anklet or necklace.
Poor Letty, a lactose intolerant suffererer, had a carrot cake muffin with the slightest bit of cream cheese frosting and gave her a not so good feelng in her tummy. Although she said it was worth the tummy-ache. (note to meyers family - the carrot cake muffin (and frosting) was awesome. I ate at least 3 of them and 1 of each other muffin. Yum, thanks a lot)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day 29 Owatonna to Winona 90 miles

alumni sag stop

Ed and I arrived first into Alumni sag stop. Ane, last years alumni rider, happened to be a couple miles before the rest stop and alerted us of the surprise break, where we ate sliced fresh fruit, brewed coffee, donuts (jelly-filled kind too.), all this for free. then 5 miles after the rest stop we discover 2 little kids selling those Dixie cups you find at the dentist to pour mouthwash into filled with lemonade for $0.25 with no refills. Idk how these kids can stay in business with a product like that. McDonalds didn’t become the largest chain restaurant in the world selling Dixie cup full of sodas with no refills. I would’ve supported the tikes but i don't carry cash and they didn’t take credit card or atm.

lemonade stand...the con artists disguised as little children...don't be fooled by their cuteness.

After we rode through some more cornfields and into Winona, Steve bitched at me for overlapping his tire. But I didn’t and I proved it. I went up to his tire and asked him if he considered that overlapping and he said yes. I quickly served to the other side of his tire to show that i wasn't. He flipped out and told me to “never F’n do that again or I’ll intentionally run over you.” I’m gonna stop because he could beat me in an Indian leg wrestling match. (Although he's known as "the rocketman" he should be renamed “quadzilla” because he's thighs are almost as big as catie's). Speaking of catie, she had a bike accident. Idk what exactly happened, but she'll be fine. Rumor has it, she pulled a "noah" and clipped the side of the elevated pavement and went tumbling. She's not quite as gummy as noah and couldn't bounce up off the ground like him. So, she has a slight sprain in the right shoulder and level 2 sprain in her wrist.

noah, me and steven...steve and i kissed and made up after a slight discrepency in riding/personal space

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 28 New Ulm to Owatonna 72 miler

We played our version of frogger and pacman to entertain ourselves during the ride. The frogs come from the marsh on the side of the road and don’t quite make it past the shoulder. We counted 253 dead frogs. We were stuck on 198 for about 4 miles, thought that we’d never get over 200 and then outta no where…a frog massacre. There have been complaints about a mystery rider dropping fruit in the middle of the road. It could be dangerous if someone isn’t looking and slips on a banana; not very likely to happen, but, nonetheless not safe. Ed and I passed most of the riders and wanted to reach the next check point to narrow down our suspects. So “the serial fruit dropper” better beware. Sheriff Simon and his sidekicks are after you. We stopped of at one of the original dairy queens for a rest stop to scope out our suspects. Exhausted after our frantic search for the evil-doer we chilled at one of the rest stops with a lakeside view. They might have gotten a way this time, but we'll get them next time.

l,c,r: sheriff simon, frogger -most frogs didn't look like this. In fact, most could only be identified by a frog toe or a bulging eye. the usual suspects

If we played pacman, we'd score major points with the fruit we picked up.

The bad guys got away. So we just kicked back and enjoyed the view of one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 26 Tyler to New Ulm

on my way to a rest day

The fog burned off by noon and Ed, Joe and I wanted to get to New Ulm quickly to rent a car and drive to Minneapolis to eat decent sushi and party with the girls from the big ride. But no luck because in all of new ulm not a single car rental agency can be found. Just a bunch of people wearing polka stuff. Instead of getting’ down on the dance floor, we watched “The Dark Knight” in a theater that had half of the chairs broken. We bought one large refillable bag of popcorn amongst the 10 of us and only managed to finish 2.5 bags. Great film. It's a shame it would be Heath Ledger's last.

Since there wasn't much to do in New Ulm, we managed to entertain ourselves by climbing, hanging, hitting things and playing more practical jokes on big riders.

simon hangingjoe climbingpatty hitting

G-reg and Chad (the pranksters)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 25 De Smet to Tyler, Minnesota

Dinner in the church's basement that gave a few others the poopies, including me

Weather forecasters predicted a thunderstorm during the middle of the night and clear up by morning. That didn’t happen. In fact, it started pouring rain after I woke up and went to the bathroom. Here I am stuck in the bathroom stall waiting out the storm, while everyone had their bags loaded on the truck and safely eating bfast in the church’s basement. I’m not sure if I wanted to eat the church’s bfast cuz their dinner gave me an upset stomach that lasted throughout this ride. Instead of the typical 3 water bottles filled with Gatorade and electrolytes, I packed an extra bottle of pepto with me. At first I thought I might not have washed my hands thoroughly enough after cleaning my bike, but 4 other riders had the same problem as me. Riding’s not fun when it’s cold, rainy and when you have the urge to throw up and have the poopies.
I would've taken a picture of the "welcome to minnesota" sign, but it was raining and i didn't bring my camera..

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 24 Miller to De Smet

The day started off rough. Half of us camped, the other half slept in the high school. I chose the high school, good idea; slept in the same room with Ash, bad idea (I thought he was noah –late riser). Ash is one of those dreaded early riser. I like the canuck, but does he really need to get up at 445 for a 6am bfast? (he’s not even on bfast duty). Whatever.

The ride started off with another “noah idiotic moment”. I might have some blame on this one, though. Me, ed and noah just started the paceline 1.2 miles away from where we left. I led the way and in the distance I could see james and steph stop and get off their bikes. I thought, “I hope everything’s alright with them” and then it dawned on me why they got off (but it was too late). Seconds later, I hear a bunch of loose gravel disguised as road under my tires and then a little sissy girl shrieked, “Oh, F*@!” I turned back only to see noah superman his handlebars again. He got some road rash on his elbow and a pair of shorts with a new set of pubic holes. At this rate, he’d never have to pay for another Brazilian. We couldn’t stop laughing at how he fell. He bunny hopped 1” to get onto the 1.5” elevated pavement, hence the fall (note to noah- don’t do anything that requires you to lift your front wheel over cement). At the University of Montana (Billings aka rimrock) he tried to copy Nick and “front wheelie” over a curb. Only this time he T-boned the curb and then crumbled to the parking lot floor, entertainment at its finest. I hope you guys don't think that I enjoy seeing people get hurt. It's just that even Noah starts laughing at how stupid he is and that's what makes it funny.

Noah Reenactment and battle wound from Fall #4 and #5

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 23 Pierre to Miller

Half-way there

ALAW staff couldn’t have been crueler. They put me on Bfast duty…again and on the day we cross into Central Time, where we lose another hour. Apparently, the bfast and dinner duties have been previously schedule and Dan, the ride leader, has no control over it. I’d be happy to do dinner duties, but bfast duties hurts, man. I had to wake up at 5:30am. I don’t think I’ve even adjusted from Pacific Time yet so I’m practically getting up at 3:30am for bfast. I snoozed a couple of times and got out by 550am. Tony, an early riser, assumed I’d be late and set up half of it by the time I got there (thanks!). It’s funny, some of the slow risers use me as a barometer for how late they are. If they see me out of my tent, then they’re seriously late (better start moving your ass, Simon).
Ride really isn’t worth mentioning, except when Noah rubbed Ed’s tire when drafting. Noah shrieked, “Oh, F*@!” like a little sissy girl before his crash. The moment I turned around, I see Noah superman over his handlebars. He went unscathed except for his “big ride” shorts. He now has two matching holes along his pubic area, one from the fall and the other from getting snagged on a tree branch.

Noah - notorious for falling (#4). he strategically placed camelback in front because there are under 18yo reading

Me, Ed and noah couldn’t stop laughing at how he shrieked like a beotch, how he fell and how he has a new pair of shorts that almost exposes his junk. Thanks for the entertainment. When certain stretches get boring, I think of Noah flying face first and chuckle enough to snap me out of the boredom. Ed, on the other hand, straight up falls asleep, veers off the road and has to run over the rumble strips or loose gravel to whip’em straight.
We celebrated Chad’s 21st Bday at the only restaurant in town that would feed 40 hungry riders. After a couple of sirloin tips went down the hatch, we wasted no time to throw down some drinks. Even the locals bought rounds for the guys. Before I forget, I gotta give a shot out to my main man, Bobby Hanks. We had a 20 minute convo about life and to be honest I didn’t understand a word he said. It was as if I was talking to my grandfather (he speaks Chinese, I speaka English), I just nod and said, “uh-huh, yeah”. It didn’t help that he has a deep accent and had a $50 tab when I got to him – drinks run about $4.25, you do the math. But at least he bought me a drink.