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)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 30 -- July 20th -- Worthington, MN to Mankato, MN

Miles Ridden: 101.5
Avg Speed: 20.3 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 127 bpm
Climbing: 902 ft
Calories Burned: 2,484 (need to recalibrate)

4 Hour 55 Minute Century ... 1st to finish ... personal best ... enough said

Today' route and map --

The day after going down on your bike is usually a slow and tentative outing.  After a nice omelette and stack of pancakes at Perkins, I left a little earlier than the Geldings to test out my road rash and leg.  I felt pretty good and found a nice pace at around 18mph.  The weather was nice, the roads were flat, and I was singing!  After a few miles, Daniel and Bruno (the Swiss Express) flew by at 20+.  I jumped on board and rode with them for about 15 miles until the Geldings plus Katie and Alex (bothy fillys!) flew by going even faster.  I switched trains and was quickly at the first SAG at 30 miles.

Early Morning Farm With Nice Pond
This part of Minnesota is very similar to the Maryland eastern shore ... long flat roads, big farms, lots of corn.  The only thing missing is the ocean.  Minnesota does have big (and I mean big) wind turbines.  Some nice farms and great country roads once we got off of route 60.  The pace line made quick work of the miles and we traded pulls very effectively.  My average for the day was hovering around 19.5 mph while the rest of the group was right near 20 since they had been together since the early hours.  I have always wanted to break 5 hours for a century and started to think it was possible today.  To accomplish that I knew I would need to somehow ride a little faster than the group.  I pushed hard into each incline and went ahead of the pace line a few times.  A few miles from the 2nd SAG I pushed out alone and was followed by Jeff (ABB).  He is amazingly fast and bridged the gap to me pretty quickly.  I arrived at the 2nd SAG as the first rider.

A Lone, But Big Wind Turbine

Close Up ... It Was Big

Farms and Corn As Far As You Could See

A Mighty Empty Sign In Sheet At SAG 2 (Just Me!)

More country roads and farms followed the 2nd SAG.  I was itching to go and when the first small hill came, I went out ahead and didn't look back.  I was really in the zone and pushed hard on the pedals.  I established a gap between myself and the group (they were still cruising too).  My speeds were 22-25 mph.  After going through the quaint town of Madelia the route turned to a divided section of highway 60.  The shoulder was pretty narrow with a rumble strip and had a fair amount of ruts and debris.  Alone I was free to pick my line and cruise.  I really bumped it up and pushed myself.  My heart rate was up and my speed was too.  I was flying along at 25 mph.  Jeff (ABB) just loves it when one of us goes ahead like that.  He chased me down about 3 miles before the final SAG stop.  I kept him in sight and arrived at the SAG (mile 90) as the first rider again.

The Speedy Pace Line (Most Broke 5 Hours As Well)

Another Scenic Farm

Wind Farms Too
That highway stretch caused a rough crash today and prompted Mike Munk to spend an extra 20 minutes at route wrap on safety, pace lines, and other lesson learned (my RR crossing incident included).  The Geldings plus the fillys arrived at the SAG a little while later.  I made the final 10 mile push into Mankato with Dave.  He helped ensure my goal was met.  At the 100 mile mark, my time was 4:55 ... a personal best!  We pulled into the hotel a few minutes later.  The hotel is right downtown and part of a nice convention center complex with shops and restaurants.  Several of us got together at Pub 500 for a casual lunch.  I showered and watched the tour before wrap and dinner (hrrrrr ... Old Country Buffet).  Another 100+ miles tomorrow.  I hope to stop at the Gift of Life transplant house in Rochester.

Alex's Fuel Sensation At SAG 3

Dave and I Arrive At The Hotel

Jeff's (CT) "Bright" Jersey

Sights of Mankato

Happy Chef of Mankato

The Lung Association had a nice card and goodie package waiting for me at the hotel today.  Speaking of which, I received several additional donations this past week.  Thanks to Mike Atassi, Bianka Nebel, Alison Franklin, and Gail Fredrick.  I am up to $15,750.  I have received so many great emails and Facebook comments from my donors and friends ... they really raise my spirits and provide incentive to ride harder each day.

Good night moon ... good night sub 5 hour century ... good night Leslie (you inspire me each day) ... good night Cathy (the pig rocks and your emails are great) ... good night Mom ... good night Dad (feel better) ... good night friends and donors (thanks for being there) ... good night ALA NE (thanks for thinking of me)