Moving On

The original purpose behind The Fourteen Percent Ride has long since been fulfilled. So, I've decided that Mighty Proud will be the last posting. It just seems right.

But, don't worry. Or maybe you should. In any event, I plan to continue. I'll keep riding. And writing. Click here to come along in my new blog ~ The Long White Line. <-- check it out!


As I've ridden for the last two years, I've picked up on the fact that Shirley, my darling wife, has been more worried about my safety than impressed with my "accomplishments." How do I know this? Well, when I'd come back and tell her, for example, that I'd hit 53.6 mph going down FO, she'd reply, "I don't want to hear it." Being the sensitive sort I figured out, after many such comments, that just maybe we were not on the same page here. But last week, she told me that she would "greatly reduce her focus on the 'fear for my safety' issue." We talked about the tour, looked at some maps, researched nutrition suggestions on the internet, and so on, just enjoying the idea of the ride. How nice is that? Thank you, Shirley!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Milestone and a Bad Break

Went out with Bill this morning after church. Today's 73.1 mile ride was a milestone. Two milestones, actually. First, the ride was longer than the shortest day of the Seattle to Missoula ride. Longer than TWO of the days actually (there are two 68 mile legs). And, I've now ridden farther this year than the tour's 605 mile total.

One insight I had after the ride on Saturday -- sunblock would have been a good idea. Took care of that today, although my head is now sun-tanned in the pattern of the holes on my helmet. We rode up over the Mindoro cut, through West Salem and headed for Coon Valley. West Salem to Coon Valley was an awful leg. I was weary, hadn't eaten well today and just struggled along and up Highway 162. We caught a break with the wind, however and at Highway 33 decided we would continue on to Coon Valley. Things seemed to be going better. Just a little, though.

That did not last long. A few miles from Coon Valley, one of my shifter levers broke, leaving me in the big ring. I thought, "That's OK, at least to finish out the ride to Coon Valley -- no hills. However, the derailleur was not all the way out and rubbing on the chain so I finally shifted down (I could do that, but could not shift back up). Now what? I figured that I could ride to Chaseburg and on to Stoddard then up the river to La Crosse without needing to shift down, using only the gears on the cassette. I suggested that Bill take off and ride as he wished, but he set his gear on the middle ring and took the loop with me.

We had not a bad ride after that. It rained just a bit about a mile out of Stoddard and that really felt good. Wind was not a factor -- helpful, even -- on the way up the river.

I had planned to have the bike in to the shop during the week of May 7 (I'm going to be in Tyler, Texas for 3 days), but now I'll just drop it off on Monday and ride the Bianchi until I get it back. It's always good to lose some weight for riding and I know this will help. Although the loss will be only from the wallet.

Total ~ 674.6 miles

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