Saturday, May 26, 2012

training for tour de kota

My first tour of the summer, the Tour de Kota, kicks off 3 weeks from tomorrow. With no rain in my immediate future, I set out to get some miles in this morning to prepare myself to ride 464 miles in 6 days.
Hoping to simulate conditions in South Dakota, I headed out the door about 8:00am. Let's see, wind? Check. Temps headed quickly for the mid-80's? Check. Rolling hills? Check.
And as a bonus, I irritated my eye before I left, and about 10 miles out it started watering for the next 20 or so miles. This made my nose run for the rest of the morning, and my glasses fog so I could barely see the road. Just like riding on a hot, rainy day. Minus the road grit in your teeth, or as my buddy, Pat, calls it "Belgian toothpaste".

So, I rode into a headwind, crosswind, uphill and down, including a few repeats on this hill. OK, the wind was at my back for part of the ride, but seriously, maybe only 10%! And I made it home with 50 miles in, less than an average day on TdK, but I was home by noon. and speaking of which, when I got home there was no pie, no brownies, no seven-layer bars. No way to run a bike tour.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

going north to get to south

South Dakota, that is. After considering several other rides for the early part of the summer, but not finding any of them that I absolutely needed to do this year, I decided to go back to South Dakota and do the Tour de Kota again.
This tour was my first week-long bike tour back in 2006, and I made it back in 2008. The rolling hills and wind offered more than enough of a challenge for an early summer tour, and the miles I piled up helped me keep riding strong through the rest of the cycling season.

I had been trying to get my wife's brother, Paul, to join me on a tour, but he's not ready to commit yet. I'll keep trying. In South Dakota, though, I'll get to ride with my sister's husband, Bruce, who I've joined on two TdKs and two CRMBTs. This picture of Bruce was in the Argus Leader newspaper, the tour's sponsor.
I have fond memories of the Tour de Kota, besides it being my first tour. The small towns that we rode through and spent the night in were as welcoming as possible. Milling around a small town at a rest area was where Bruce saw a guy in a Ride The Rockies jersey, asked him about it, and hatched the idea that we should go to Colorado and ride in the mountains. I thought he was crazy, but I'm sure glad he convinced me to try it!

And as I wrote in this post, if I see any Hutterite children sitting on a hill, I'll stop for a picture. And if an old man gets up out of his chair to offer me a bottle of water, I'll stop and take it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

happy mother's day!

I'm lucky enough to still have my Mom. We aren't able to see each other often, but we talk every week. From her I got my sense of humor, appreciation of clever wordplay, and love of all kinds of music.
She was "Mom" to six kids as well as scores of foster kids. Her and Dad still live in their own home, and in her eighth decade, Mom spends her free time with her Nook reader, or on her laptop on Skype, Pinterest, or Facebook.

On this second Sunday of May I'd like to wish a happy day to my Mom, my Mother-in-law who raised my lovely wife, and all of my sisters, nieces, and friends who tackle such an important job with grace and humor. To all of you, I say "Happy Mother's Day!"