Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where’s the rest of me?

Paul Rosenthal on July 22nd, 2009

“The sea was angry that day, My Friend. Kind of like an old man sending back soup at a deli.” George Costanza in “Seinfeld.

I suppose the weather wasn’t THAT bad. The day started out a raw again. Rain, cold and wind. Most people were suited up in rain jackets and since this was another almost 80 mile day with about 4,500 feet of climbing, a lot of riders were beginning to feel a little leg weary or have other symptoms of riding long distances.

Now that we are moving from some of the remote areas of Western Iowa, the cell phone/wireless signals are getting more reliable. And, after more than 150 miles in the last two days, I am hoping for regular signals from the area below my waist known as the Netherlands–or as my frjavascript:void(0)iends from Holland call it, “down there.” Good news. The signals are returning.

Because of technical difficulties, I couldn’t send you the picture of the 900 pound boar I met yesterday.
Don't like the picture? Soo me.

We stopped in E. Peru today. I summoned up my best Spanish to ask, “Donde esta el banyo?” They just looked at me funny and said go pee in the cornfield like everyone else, Gringo. (Ok. So maybe that part didn’t happen.)

I am going to postpone further discussion of my teammates for a few reasons. First, I don’t have all of the pictures I want/need to introduce them better. More important, I think I may be better off being outside of the jurisdiction for legal reasons. Seriously, they are so nice and supportive–even though they have taken up a new sport: making fun of me. Tonight we are staying with a fabulous host family in Indianola, Iowa. They are letting the ENTIRE team stay inside their house. Not everyone has a bed (I do), but this is paradise in just about every way. The family could not be nicer or more welcoming.

The main reason to postpone discussion of the team, though, was that this was a more eventful ride than the others.

As the day wore on, the sun came out and the temperature rose. I wrapped my jacket around my waist and was traveling at a good pace in order to get to the host home in time for a conference call with clients. About 4 miles outside of town, I heard a screeching sound, then a pop and looked down to see my tire was flat. I did my best to keep the front wheel straight and stopped abruptly. Fortunately, I didn’t fall or crash into anyone. I had seen a rider crash hitting a crack in the road a little early, so I felt extremely lucky that I came through intact. As it turned out, my jacket had gotten caught in my back wheel, which caused the wheel to jam. The tire was not fixable.

As I was waiting by the side of the road, my conference call came in. While many riders offered assistance, no one had an extra tire. After about 30 minutes, a pickup truck came by. The driver was not only kind enough to give me a ride to town, he made sure he dropped my off where I had to go. Given all of the bicycle traffic, and that he was going out of his way, it was an extraordinary gesture. The man, Joe, is pictured below.

Today’s Pies:

Forest delight
Caramel Apple

Total so far: 16