Isang's Blog/

{July 4, 2010}   Day 9!

We had our rest day in Missoula. I was fidgety with the hours in the early morning. Will the acupuncturist be good? Can I get back on the bike tomorrow? Such big matters for so small an injury. God imagine how much of a beating our bodies take in doing this. From what I learned, many charity rides do not go the distance we do in a day. For example, a tour group that stayed at Gonzaga University with us was doing more mileage over the course of 9 weeks to get to Boston from Seattle. Yet they did 60 miles a day. I’m not saying 60 miles is easy, but something about passing that number really pushes the body, at least for me. It’s when we’re around 70 miles and my butt is going “whoa, that’s enough sitting for one day”, and we get this big hill on the road, then the butt goes “ok, maybe if I cause you excruciating pain you’ll get the message”. yeah, more then 60 miles is pretty intense back to back.

We really have to stay on top of our health to do this ride the right way. Thus, rest days are crucial. We were staying at the University of Montana for the break. Missoula is a small quaint town with a downtown area full of bars and a few cool restaurants. Next to the University is a river. Taking a stroll over the bridge a few of us riders were able to witness the impulsive, blind summersaulting by several teenagers into the fast moving currents. Yeah, try doing that with a log coming at you. Apparently even the locals avoid rafting in the river due to the debris moving fast through the snow water. I second guessed my ability to swim in there. I may be young, but I’m no 17 year old adrenaline junkie guy trying to impress the ladies. Besides the leg was still screaming out from bending it.

I made it over to the acupuncturist later in the day after a 2 mile walk. Along the way, I splurged on ice cream. For all the past Big Riders out there, you know the Ice Cream situation. So many of us are splurging on it every time we get in the saddle. It put me in an optimistic mood arriving to the acupuncturist office. There I met Douglas, a licensed acupuncturist with 7 years experience and 2 years international practice. He pretty much solidified why I believe in oriental medicine. During the session he informed me he was opening the energy channels, letting the Chi flow through my legs better. Right away I could feel the blood flowing more on the outside of my right leg. He suggested I avoid ice, as that constricts and stops the Chi from flowing. I was given to options, Western or Eastern. Ice or self-massage and stretch more. After walking down the stairs from the office, I had my answer. There was no more pain walking up and down the stairs. Eastern it is! I snagged a ride back to campus on a motorbike with a friendly Missoulan. Rushing through town, wind whipping all around,  I felt on top of the world!

I readied for the next day with a great dinner at Iron Horse, courtesy of Timmy’s friend Debbie. Thanks Debbie! The leg was pain free, and I was packing with haste and excitement. Great news is we had a few team members join us for the ride tomorrow. Suzanne Bay will be going with us from Missoula to DC. Patty will be with us for a week. So excited for the next few weeks!

Little things I learned on the way to Missoula. When road changes texture near a state boundary you know you’re crossing a state line. The quaint, white washed houses built out in the middle of nowhere were once owned by mill owners. The way the wind suddenly shifts means one should be ready for a storm. We’ve had few wild life sightings, reason being animals are usually out very early in the day near road.


et cetera