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!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Smart Choices

I purchased my Trek from Dr. Julio Bird just about one year ago. He had ridden about 250 miles on it according to the computer that was (and still is) on the bike when I bought it. I think he didn't care for all of the hills around here, so he decided to sell the bike and look for another, less taxing pursuit. Climbing Mt. Everest. He did that in May, 2002. But he took the easy, south face. I guess his buddies kidded him about that so this year he led a team attacking the more difficult north face. He did not make the summit, basically because he didn't have enough oxygen to reach the peak AND return. That return part is pretty important*, I think, although I am not a mountain climber myself so I can't really say for sure. In an interview after returning to La Crosse he said about the decision to turn back without reaching the top, "Half of me wanted to go for it..." Which half was that, I wonder? He is safely home and not planning to sell his used climbing equipment as he did with the Trek -- achieving the peak from the north face is still on his list of things to do.

In contrast to Julio, Bill and I chose to do something REALLY challenging: ride our bikes out County K and continue on to Avalanche before returning home via Coon Valley, Bohemian Valley and Barre Mills. On the ride, we attacked both of the more challenging west faces of County K, acheiving the summit each time. Then it was through the rolling hills of the Amish farmland, up the seemingly downhill section on Y, one of Wisconsin's now famous Mystery Spots (see the May 31 post for a brief review of Mystery Spot lore) and a stop at the Coon Valley base camp (aka Kwik Trip) for lunch. My choice? A hot dog and orange juice.

Bill and I parted company in Barre Mills; he headed for home and I made my way to the Bliss Road descent. On the way down, I looked at my mileage for the day - almost 90. I decided then to push the ride to 100 miles. First, a stop at the local Kwik Trip to refuel and then south, retracing the route of about 6 hours earlier. I rode down the river to Goose Island, a point about 5 miles from home. My ride distance was right at 95 miles so I turned around at the bottom of County K and finished with 100.3 miles.

A training note: Bill is ready. He has the ride-ahead-then-wait-for- Jack-to-catch-up thing down pat. In fact, he may have overtrained. But he'll be on his game in Washington, Idaho and Montana, I'm sure. He IS a good rider.

* Just in case you are wondering, I am impressed with Julio's accomplishments and was very glad to read that he had made the right choice, getting himself and his team safely home. Returning is, of course, the important thing.

Total ~ 1972.2 miles

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Returning IS important!