Ride of Silence



#15 Crooked Tan Lines: July 21, 2013, Back Off Before Full Throttle

Today was our easy day. Actually, it was our easiest of our schedule. With only 70 miles to get from Custer to Rapid City, SD, we had a stop at Mount Rushmore scheduled in the middle. Some elected to ride over and see the Crazy Horse carving. I’ve done that before. 
If you ever been to this area, you know firsthand of the hills and climbs to get to the monuments. Though we had a short distance ride, it was filled with easiest gear, out-of-saddle, throwing the bike from left to right, just to get up. It was a lot of huffin’ n’ puffin’.
Though some chose to skip it, I went. A journey to see the famous stoned, er, stone presidents years ago was a wash when fog forbid anyone from seeing beyond a few feet, let alone the side of a mountain. Today, it was crystal clear blue skies…and a lot of people. Hey, it was Sunday. Evidently that’s a great day to feel patriotic as it was swarming people who wanted a glimpse of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln, and get a nifty t-shirt, necklace, sweat shirt, painting, or anything you could think of, souvenir. It’s the American way. Nothing is a success until an associated vendor culture is developed. Nevertheless, a nice day. Glad I got to finally see the carvings.

Rumor has it…
We have some closet views to this blog. Cool! It’s OK, trust me. I’m laughing. A spike in your nose, a rubber on your thumb, and I don’t mind. This site can use all the clicks it can handle. Even the clandestine ones. So enjoy the reading. Know that I know you’re reading along, too.

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
* If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
So, be careful what you plant

I got a care package a couple of days ago…WITH BROWNIES!! And Rice Krispy Treats, red twizzles, Smart Food (popcorn), and some chocolate. How cool is that?? (I also received a card before that. Thank you!)

Rode, and finished, with the lead pack on the same day. That was an accomplishment given how I started out and where I was riding. It was 109 miles in a stout head wind the WHOLE way. Just a beating you know you have to suck up and take; there was no way out. Scenery? There’s not a whole lot in central Wyoming. …No wonder the sheep are scared.
The right Achilles is REALLY bothering, tight from Big Horn’s climb. The masseuse worked on it for a bit, besides my left pelvic bone. It’s swollen big time. It’s quite sore. I’ve iced it, Ibprophen…  Organizer Lon Haldeman taped it up before today’s ride and will wrapped tomorrow morning. I’m icing as I can.

Our hotel was next door to a Pizza Hut. I ordered and ate an entire medium onion & pepper thin crust pizza without any problem. Then went to McDonald’s for cookies and a vanilla shake. I’d like to lean out from this ride, but I get hungry.

Sometimes I think God must have fun with me. First, I have to fight sickness and a sore butt just everyday just to get started. I overcome that while being propelled up a mountain. Not done with me yet, He has me ride with the leaders for two days, then blows up my right Achilles. He must have GREAT confidence in me, or just like me for amusement. I finished well again today. …But, it’s not a race. J

We rode past Devil’s Table yesterday where the Spielberg movie, “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” with Richard Dreyfus was filmed. It’s also where I wanted to stop years ago, but the thinking at the time was the Nat’l Monument had bad mojo, and elected to keep going.

We’re in Rapid City tonight. We’re well over 1500 miles total. Unbelievable. That seems SO huge to me.  Can’t believe I’m doing it. I can tell I’ve gone a good distance because my back tire is no longer round. The part that’s in contact with the road is starting to square off. The scenery was great, and I felt I had my own rhythm on the mountains

Tomorrow we will ride our longest day (150 miles). That will be part of our longest week, 930 miles! After seeing how I did today, I think I can do it. Once I find that pace, I think I can last forever. It might sound a little sick, but I’m actually looking forward to the test. I think I can shine. The rest of the week is: 150, 145, 137, 123, 123, 125 miles! It’s a heck of time for me to not be 100%. This Achilles has been the bane of my athletic career.

A week from today, I should meet up with Bob Ruby in Portage, WI, if it doesn’t rain he said.
That will be nice.

…I just realized it’s July 21. Wow. The  month is moving on. Good.

Lance is still sick. I feel bad for him because I know exactly what it’s like. I was the first to get sick. Now at least half of the group has it and are feeling miserable. At the end of one day’s ride. my chain locked up and was really stuck, jammed. I got it fixed, but then couldn’t shift into the big chain ring up from. The last 11 miles were a bit scary, wondering what was wrong. Lance got in front and pulled me in. Organizer Lon is an expert with bikes. After looking at it he was going to have me ride to a bike shop in town (tired and sore).
But he and another guy tweaked with it, and it seems to be working now. The problem is the front derailleur.

Most of the time, most of the days, the mind is a blank, awash as an ocean beach with waves constantly washing away the slightest thought, other than the worldly pain, discomfort, and goal of the day. I’ve gone through sickness while riding consecutive 100 milers, up mountains, through desserts, and four states so far.
Beauty, blandness, dramatic landscapes, and openness the mind can’t absorb. And the best is yet to come. Lessons are in pieces, and daily, particles of thoughts that might get strung together with a moment from the day before. 

I’m only pedaling.
Dan Beckman catching a draft into South Dakota