Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day 46. Thursday, August 1

  Day 46. Thursday, August 1o Little Falls, NY. 79 miles

I'm back on the bike! After one day of extra rest, it felt good to get back in the saddle.
When I got back to the group last night, I think every rider found me and warmly welcomed me back. Having spent the last six weeks with this group, you get pretty tight and want only good things for everyone. I told them that there were still some issues that I'll have to check out once back in Columbus, but not enough to ground me. I will take it easy the rest of the way and not press too hard. I need to get the swelling down and the fluid out of my lungs.

The day started out very overcast with a strong chance of rain, mid 60s, increasing during the day to mid 70s. Yuval volunteered to hang back and ride with me. The first 25 to 30 miles were fairly flat and a pace of 17 to 18 felt very comfortable. I stopped a couple of times along the way to put my feet up to help drain fluid. As we pulled out of the first SAG stop at mile 33, it started to rain, keeping a fairly steady drizzle most of the rest of the day, so out came the rain gear. Funny thing about riding in the rain...once you get used to the idea of being wet, it's no big deal. Once in a while I got too close to Yuval's back wheel and got an extra spray right in the face.

The second half of the ride presented a few more ups and downs, so between the hills and the rain, the average speed came down. We were able to keep a pace of 14 to 16 pretty comfortably. Today we entered into the Mohawk River valley, passing through a number of picturesque towns, farms and fruit stands. Much of the day was next to the old Erie Canal. Yesterday, the group rode about 25 miles on a bike path that was part of the old tow path.

With about 10 miles left, POW, my back tire blew. We tried to find what may have caused it to blow, but finding nothing, we proceeded to change the tube. On rides like this, it's easier to fill the tube using a CO2 cartridge that pumps air in quickly - POW! It blew again. This time when we looked, we saw the tire (not the tube) had a rip in the sidewall. No way I would be able ride on this! Fortunately, one of the support vans came by just then. We threw the bike and me into the van, drove about three blocks to a gas station, waited five minutes for the mechanics van, and Jim had a spare tire. In ten minutes, tire changed and we were back on the road. It felt good to finally pull into the hotel, get out of the wet clothes and into a hot shower.

We are in Little Falls, NY tonight. This town used to produce a lot of cheese. As roads developed in the 1920s and 30s, and as refrigeration became more common, they found they could transport the milk a lot further. Consequently, much of the local cheese production slowed and the farmers began to ship their milk to NYC and parts of New England. This county produces much of the milk used in these areas.

I forgot to mention earlier that when I was in the hospital in Rochester, Tam drove up, fully expecting to take me back to Columbus. She will be with us the rest of the way. It's so good to have her here.

Thanks, Yuval, for staying with me today.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts, prayers and support.

Be well. Do good.



  1. SO glad to hear you are back at it, Don!!! This reminded me so much of one of my roomies who had to leave for 4 weeks or so to get his pacemaker adjusted. I rode with him for several days leading up to that and it was hard watching a very experienced rider struggle along at a slower pace. I was ecstatic when he was able to rejoin the group. You all are now on the streatch that overlaps with the xcountry challenge ride so all of the descriptions are quite familiar. Hope Tam can fit in with the group and the schedule -- Marcia found it a bit tough to adapt over the several days she traveled with us since she was not part of all the bonding that had gone before. Good ride Wednesday on our annual "pre-Pete" ride from Hilliard and tomorrow Les and Ernie will be picking up 3 vehicle loads of food for Pedal-with-Pete on Saturday. We have over 600 pre registered so far and are hoping to get 1000 riders this year. Definitely praying for good weather and safety along with same for you.

    Be cared for.

    1. Chris, it is so good to be back on the bike. We have been traveling along the Mohawk Valley the last few days. Gorgeous! Hard to believe, but we have only three more ride days and we're done.
      I think Tam is fitting in well. She met some of the folks in Oregon and then came out to Sioux Falls, SD, so people have met her before.

      Best wishes for a very successful PwP this year. Sorry I won't be with you.

  2. glad you are back in the saddle and all is well.