Isang's Blog/

{July 5, 2010}   Day 10

I woke up this morning, nervous but excited. The leg was amazingly pain free. Bending it in bed, I was incredulous how so suddenly the pain was gone. A few pins, acupressure and all of a sudden I’m brand new? This is why I’m excited to explore oriental medicine. I relate to the practice of acupuncture, the theory behind energy flow, and the preventative medicine aspect. I set off stretching, self-massaging and jogging a bit before getting into the car to be sagged up to the 38 mile mark. The acupuncturist gave me a warm up routine, and advised to start slow. Out of the 100 mile day I chose to do 62. That’s a good start up.

The idea is to keep the Chi flowing. Keep the leg warm, massage it, and keep the blood moving. The day started off stormy, but it was calm by the time we got our gear ready to go. I rode with Bridgett to the 38 mark, and lo and behold there’s a giant steer waiting there for us! Muk Muk and I started off the riding again with a great photo op:

Steered in the right direction!!

Here’s was my once chance being in front actually ;). We have some amazing riders on this trip. They fly by you like it’s nothing for them to average 20 mph during a century ride (depending on wind that is). I’m never one to be in the front what with my lack of experience riding long distances and a heavier bike. The feeling was good while it lasted lol.  I sang my way through the first 20 miles, trying to stay away from being nervous about the leg. Bridgett recommended I try and focus on every 20 miles to keep me mentally there. I was cycling at a cadence of 90+ to keep the knee from feeling resistance. Of course being new at that cadence I sort of went a bit too fast as I found out at the end of the day Brad figured I was going 100+. Either way, high cadence makes you feel like you’re doing so much yet moving very slow. Slow enough you can have a whole conversation with a local as you passed by. I was pedaling so fast and moving so slow near a house that the local got enough info on the ride, how old I was, and what I liked about Montana….yeah that’s slow. But you know, the knee appreciated it.

Another good reason to go slow at times is to hear better. I was biking near rolling hills when I heard a horse whinny to my left which made me turn my head. Well it wasn’t just one horse, but a dozen galloping over the top of one rolling hill. They moved like a flock of birds, galloping fast and strong until they settled near the bottom of the hill. I stopped and started laughing. Aww man just like the movies. They were all beautiful, magnificent creatures. Its no wonder many cultures revere them.

Made it to a rest stop with Frank and scouted out a bathroom break. All past Big Riders probably nod their heads at how they lost all sense of modesty on this trip. Most of us just drop it and go. I’m still laughing how when Justin was with us I was concerned finding a bathroom along the way the first few days. He probably would be proud now that if I see a bush, and there’s scarcely any cover behind it, I’ll just say not my problem if someone sees me. My how I changed.

Making my way across I was passed by several riders who made me feel all the more better with their encouraging words. It really is something to cheer on someone. It was so tempting to try and push my limits, but I know I have to be patient with the injury. So hearing that I’m doing good gets me through alright. I of course had to have at least one wacky moment on this day trip. So I’m taking pictures of hay bales (pictured below), when all of a sudden I hear a crack on my helmet. Was it a bird throwing a stick, seeking revenge for the time Bridgett hit one? Perhaps a bee doing a nose dive? No…it was HAIL!! Sure enough I saw little pebbles falling left and right of me. Camera thrown in, head down, I started pedaling as fast yet cautiously as I could to seek refuge. Oh great, this cadence wasn’t doing it for me. I got slammed by rain and hail. Screaming and cursing at the Hail Gods I made my way fast down the road. Of course it’s not enough to get slammed by weather. You have to have three big rigs catch you off guard on your side, spinning the water up and back into your face as you try to avoid getting too near them.

The bale before the hail

So here I was screaming away pedaling when I saw ahead of me a cemetery! Ok, hang out under a tree amongst the tombstones? As Timmy would later remark I should have hung around there since “people are dying to get in”. Waaah waaah waaaah. No, I decided against it. There was a house on the left coming up and I shot for living company. Then of course, Hail Gods thought they got enough fun out of the day and flicked the switch off. Soaking and frazzled I gritted my teeth, passed up the house, and made my way to camp. Of course, as everyone would remark later on, “what hail storm?”. Thanks Montana weather, you’re way to spontaneous and random for anyone to catch on to you. I ended the day watching a sunset with a lightning storm taking place in front of it. Just think orange setting sun with electric bolt crossing over it. Alan the mechanic simulated the bolt for Jeremys camera with his tazer giving a charge in front of the sun. Jeremy missed out getting a cool picture of the real deal and Alan was ready to impress. Such great teamwork! Day one back in the saddle. Wish me luck!

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