My ride is over, but the memories will last forever.

A life long dream fulfilled ... a great cause ... new friends ... amazing support

Thanks to everyone who helped make a difference!

I have maxed out the picture space on this blog. To see my postings for Day 42 (August 1st) onward click the link below:

GOTO Mark's Trek - NEW Daily BLOG (August 1st Onward)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 29 -- July 19th -- Sioux Falls, SD to Worthington, MN

Miles Ridden: 70.7
Avg Speed: 14.1 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 116 bpm
Climbing: 1,332 ft
Calories Burned: 1,862 (need to recalibrate)

Rain ... Sioux Falls ... bad RR tracks ... fall ... road rash ... another second wind

Today' route and map --

A few pictures from yesterday's Sioux Falls sculpture walk ... a yearly competition that makes downtown quite interesting:

These Girls Would Need A Pretty Big Saddle

Three Not So Little Dancing Pigs

I Applaud The Reading, But She Needs A Helmet

The DC Zoo Comes to Sioux Falls
After a nice rest, everybody was eager to get back out there today.  We learned that Phillip from California was leaving due to an injured wrist.  He was a happy go lucky guy and will be missed.  We added six new riders: Susan (Margot's friend), Graig & Tom (Salt Lake City), Dennis (Oklahoma), and Mark & Carol (California).  We bid farewell to Howard, Bob, and Janis.  The sky was mighty threatening as we loaded the truck at 7AM.  Another waffle breakfast along with some eggs and ham had me energized for a relatively flat day into our 5th state of Minnesota.  The threatening sky quickly produced rain as we detoured around some construction before ending up on the Sioux Falls Greenway bike path that led to the falls that give the city its name.

An Open Section of the Greenway

Sioux Falls

I Was There ... Rain Gear and All

Another Falls Shot
The rain was not particularly hard, but was steady.  Most of us donned our rain coats.  Dave opted to wait out the weather at a local McDonald's.  He must have know something I did not (like ... what was coming!).  As we exited the bike path we got a rude introduction to the roads of Sioux Falls.  Lots of ruts, seams, pot holes, and railroad tracks.  Several were at the worst possible angle for a bike.  We had to carefully turn to hit them perpendicularly.  Probably the worst design and most dangerous for cycling that I have seen.  I was careful to slowly approach and stand while maintaining good pedal pressure.  Well, good technique does not always work when the roads and tracks are covered in rain and muck.  It also doesn't help when the tracks have metal borders instead of something with more traction.  The end result ... I was a casualty on one of the nastier set of tracks.  My rear wheel went out and I slid down on my right side.  Some nasty road rash and cuts, but at least it was below my knee so I could flex without constant pain.  Beth and John went down right after I did.  We immediately stopped all those who had not crossed and had them walk.  Quite the Tour de France looking pile up.

My One Legged Method ... Trying to Shake Out the Pain! (Note Angled RR Tracks)
My knee brace paid big dividends and doubled as nice bandage after several folks (including Toronto Mark and Steve) helped clean me up.  I rode pretty good for the next 15 or so miles, but my leg started to stiffen up after that and I dragged myself into the SAG at mile 39.  We hit our 5th state line, Minnesota at mile 25.  I had pushed on past the Geldings who had several flats.  Barbara helped me clean up and gave me some neosporin, bandages, and tape for the ride into Worthington.

Our 5th State ... Minnesota (Me On The Left)
The first 10+ miles after the SAG were sheer hell.  The rain had stopped so that was not the issue.  The winds were brisk, but from the side, so that was not the issue.  The terrain was flat with lots of farm land, so that was not the issue.  My body and energy levels rebelled.  It seemed like everything hurt ... my newly acquired road rash and cuts, my back, and  my butt.  I trudged on, but was pretty down and moaned and groaned with each pedal stroke.  Luckily I was in between groups, so my misery was my own.  Margo passed me and tried to cheer me up with a joke.  Tom passed as well and I was able to keep the two of them in my sights.  Having other riders around definitely helps and gets me more focused.  A little after mile 50 we hit the town of Adrian and stopped for a quick snack.  My new replenishment source ... chocolate milk.  Well it did the trick again (the GU I had taken earlier was probably more to thank) as I became the Grinch after his heart grew three times bigger.

And Mark Found The Strength of Ten Cyclists Plus Two

Today's Scenery
For the next 20 miles I passed everybody and everything in my path.  More farms, windmills, towns, and ABB riders.  I don't understand how I could be so crappy one minute and so strong the next.  I cruised into the hotel a little before 1:00 and helped unload the truck before settling in for some rest and a shower.  Turns out I lost my cadence sensor during my RR track incident, but good ole Beth was on the scene and retrieved it.  I reattached it after wrap and cleaned my bike of all the filth and grime (hmm ... just did that yesterday).  Dinner was at the Ground Round with a DQ run for dessert.  I stalked up on some gauze and tape for the next two days of riding ... long days in the saddle ... back to back centuries.  Let's hope my new ailments don't slow me down or stiffen up too bad. Hitting the sack early tonight ... no Tour to watch at the hotel.

My Right Leg Below My Knee ... Look For The Gauze Tomorrow
Good night moon ... good night RR tracks ... good night road rash ... good night gauze ... good night Mr. Second Wind ... good night Minnesota