Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Look at the email I received today:

your wristband number is: 101***

I’m in RAGBRAI -
I’m very excited but also a little nervous…mainly about the hills and all those people on bikes! But it is something I have to try at least once and it will be great to experience it with my oldest daughter! It also reassures me a great deal that we won’t be out there on our own with the masses, we’re signed up for the ShuttleGuy camping and shuttle service. I talked with Tim P. who used ShuttleGuy last year on RAGBRAI and they did a great job of making sure everyone was well taken care of. The ShuttleGuy even provided the option of letting everyone “camp” in the basement of an air conditioned church on one hot July night last year.

Now about those hills…plenty of time to train for those. And I rode these rolling hills on highways 1804 and 1806 along the Missouri River between Pierre and Chamberlain (the Native American Scenic Byway)last year.

My first hill training ride might be the Bunyan’s to Bob’s ride on May 17th. Ashley and I are thinking of doing the road bike ride. The Bunyan’s to Bob’s ride ride would help us train for both essential elements of RAGBARI – hill climbing followed by the recovery drink of thousands of cyclists: BEER. The theme for the BtoB ride is: bikes, burgers, beer.

As posted on the RAGBRAI message board:

we're in! better start training. gotta get a beer.

Here is a nice summary of what we should expect on RAGBRAI 2008:

“Sunday appears to be the usual sand hills, with a couple 200 footers but otherwise never level, always up and down as expected for that area. Monday looks to be the most unpleasant day with 80+ miles and 5200 feet of climb as well as passing into some areas deemed unpleasant by many in 2006, but headed north this time, not south, so if the wind holds out, it shouldn't be as bad. We often get a tailwind headed north this time of year. Tuesday into Ames looks to be one of the easiest 55 miles and just 1500 feet of climb, although there appears to be a 200 foot hump in there around Boone as mentioned above. Wednesday looks longer at 75 miles but proportionally about the same with under 3000 feet of climb. Thursday into North Liberty and Friday into Tipton again, about the same. And the final day is easy again, about like that Tuesday into Ames, minus the 200 footer.”

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend Recap

Not a good weekend for riding bike but that was alright since the schedule was already pretty full.
Friday night our usual routine is to go “uptown” which in a town of 300 means either walking or driving the 3 blocks to Main Street to go the “Pit,” our fine local establishment. Torey, owner and self-taught chef extraordinaire, has three specials each weekend: a steak special, pasta or seafood special, sandwich and salad special. Everything on the menu is $11 or less and you eat it on styrofoam plates but it is great food! Some of our favorites are the steak gorgonzola alfredo, dirty mashed potatoes (red skinned potatoes with pepper jack cheese, garlic, etc.), cucumber pasta salad, etc. It is all yummy! And a great way to end out the week.
Saturday was another wedding shower, this time I was helping to host the shower. The mother of the groom is a good friend and member of our church. Hubby and I just watched TV Saturday evening. It was prom night and he had volunteered to shuttle the high school kids from Irene to Wakonda for the after prom party. So he left the house about 11pm to go do that and then the phone rang and it was my youngest daughter calling to say the bachelorette party (which she hosted for her big sister) had arrived in Wakonda via the chartered limousine party bus. I went down to the Pit to bring an extra camera that was requested and have one drink with the girls. Twenty girls between the ages of 21 and 25 had descended upon the Pit, I could hear the giggling as soon as I got out of my car. The bachelor farmers and good patrons of the Pit, didn’t know what hit them! It was fun to participate for a short time but I’m quite sure I feel a lot better than they do today!
We almost missed church because we overslept. Hubby had to get up at 3:00am and shuttle kids back to Irene, so our sleep was a little disturbed! After church hubby and I did some odd jobs around the house. It is cold outside with a north wind but dry and hubby is eager to go out for a ride in his mid life crisis (a mustang convertible). The plan is to take off and go to a movie later in Yankton (with the top up on the car!) and maybe kill some time at Ace; he can look at tools and I can look at the biking stuff and dream about my next bike ride.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tickled Pink!

The weather was so beautiful on Saturday, it just made me giddy! To paraphrase Garrison Keillor from the News from Lake Wobegon on Prairie Home Companion: “A beautiful, beautiful day……people so happy, finally an end to our suffering, our long winter on the frozen tundra.”
My toes were tickled pink to be released from the long wool socks and back into sandals and back on the bike! Last week I even splurged and went for a pedicure to celebrate my new big toe nail. Afterall, it took about 5 months to grow a new one.
Evidently my cycling shoes shrunk after drying out from the rainy day on TDK last summer (Dell Rapids to Madison). Next time I wore the shoes, instead of the sandals I usually wear on summer rides, was on the century ride on the MS 150 in August. The shoes felt tight, like my right toe was bumping against the toe of the shoe, but they weren’t painful to wear. I avoided the problem for several months by ignoring the “loose” toe nail and keeping it plastered with lots of polish so I wouldn’t have to look at the purplish color. But eventually it just fell off. It looked weird, I’m happy that my new nail has finally grown back in and my big toe can be seen in public again!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Emotional Weekend

My first born is getting married! It is really starting to seem real after the shower held at our church on Saturday morning. She should be the cleanest bride-to-be around because she was “showered” with many beautiful gifts….it was all very humbling and emotional for this mother-of-the-bride. What a fun morning, the hostesses served a lovely lunch and kept the coffee flowing while we all visited and watched Ashley open her gifts. All 6 of the bridesmaids were at the shower and sat at the head table with Ashley, lots of giggling mixed in with a few emotional moments and tears of joy and gratefulness.
That was followed with the wedding dress fitting so our good friend and seamstress extraordinaire, Peg, could figure out how to sew in some buttons/hooks to bustle the dress. This was followed by a trip to our legion hall and church along with the mother of the groom to work on decorating plans.
After all this I still managed to get out for a bike ride and enjoy the absolutely beautiful weather! Left home about 4:00 pm and got in a 28 mile ride – my first longer ride of the season. I averaged 14.8 mph and my average heart rate was 154. My new heart monitor tracks calories and is said I burned 1000+ calories. Don’t know if I quite believe that. It was a good pace for me for my first ride of that length of the season.
Hubby and I grilled steaks for supper….the end to a perfect day….only thing I was wishing for was a Leinekugel’s Summer Shandy. I never drink beer but once bike season starts I crave a Summer Shandy after a weekend ride. Biking Brady and CDV got Ashley and I hooked on these after the 107 mile ride on TDK last year. A beer has never tasted so good as it did that day relaxing at the Opera House on main street of Dell Rapids!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Back to training…for Friday Lunches at Mexico Vejo

Gym bag packed with stuff for Killer Kevin’s noon spin class. Get to the Dome, change clothes, see Biking Brady in his gear headed to the cycling room. We intersect with Cindy and Cactus-Eyed Joe who are walking around the track. Cindy says “we should have went out for lunch today.” Next thing I know, after changing out of the workout clothes, the four of us are headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch. So much for good intentions!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Back to a normal schedule

I am so looking forward to getting back to my normal routine. The last 2 weeks I’ve been in Sioux Falls which I have enjoyed because I love being in the clinical setting with the students. But it does mean long hours and feeling somewhat discombobulated being away from home base. Also, I have not done any training but I am getting in pleny of walking. Tomorrow is my last day in the big city and with any luck I’ll be home before the white stuff starts to fly.

Back in Verm-town on Friday. Hopefully I will make it to Killer Kevin’s (aka Biking Brady) spin class on Friday at noon. The weatherman promises, yet again, that spring is coming NEXT week. If this is true, I hope to start riding outside. I am the first to admit it, I’m a wimp. I prefer a minimum of 50 degrees and wind speed no greater than 18 mph when I start my spring training. My total outdoor miles on the road bike for 2008……drum roll please……7.5 miles!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Let me introduce you to Maggie

Isn't she cute! This is our "grand-dog," Maggie who is a blue-tick beagle. She belongs to our oldest daughter and her fiancĂ©e. We love to have her visit – we spoil her and love her up – and then we get to send her home again. We have all the benefits without having to own a dog. And Maggie cheers us up as we mourn our 13 year old beagle, Molly, who went to doggy heaven last month where she is chasing rabbits to her hearts content.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Biking – My Cure All!

Two weeks ago I had a large lipoma (benign fatty tumor) removed from the back of my neck. I had been looking forward to getting rid of the lump so I was disappointed when the incision site had some bleeding on the inside and I developed a large hematoma and fluid pocket. Essentially I had a lump as large as the one removed and now it was an interesting dark purple color with lovely stitching holding it all together.

The doctor said I would need to either have the blood/fluid aspirated with a needle/syringe or she may have to make a small incision to remove the hematoma but she wanted to wait for it to get “mushier” on the inside (very sophisticated medical terminology). She will be very happy at my next appointment to see the swelling is all gone!

My husband was commenting on how much it has improved and I told him I knew exactly the cause; once I started doing some intervals on the trainer and getting my heart rate up, my body absorbed the fluid and hematoma. He just shook his head and commented that my bike seems to be the answer to everything! Truer words were never spoken.

“Be at one with the universe. If you can’t do that, at least be at one with your bike.” Lennard Zinn