Ride of Silence



Crooked Tan Lines: July 9, 5:30pm, Grand Coulee Dam

Well,…that sucked!

128 miles with a 40 mile climb. Are you serious? Dude!  Shoot me, kill me, run me over. “Isn’t this great scenery,” one of the other cyclists asked. I didn’t really notice while coughing up a lung.

I am definitely not feeling well. Swallowing is like shoving swords down my throat. So I didn’t swallow today. I’m leaving a mucus trail across the state of Washington. With the many mountains, passes, and valleys, my ears won’t pop due to the congestion. When I cough, it feels like razor blades. I scare small children while my voice is more of croak. Then I gag, and out comes a green slime resembling something from the school cafeteria line. My head has a high school marching band inside it playing John Phillip Souza. Nice.

Tomorrow night I’m supposed to meet the Spokane Ride Of Silence organizers and participants. I hope they don’t mind me sharing my DNA.

I was dosing off on the bike in this section where you could see 30 miles of the road you were on, in both direction. There was the  head wind from hell, the equivalent of someone holding you back with their hand on your forehead as you swing wildly. Or in our case, pedal. Lance was over joyed whenever we made over 5 MPH. He call 7 MPH “sprinting.”

There wasn’t even wild life out there. It was as if the land had gotten shaved and just a stubble was coming in. There was nothing over 2 feet tall. (How do we have an overcrowding problem when all this open space exists? And, despite there being 360 degrees of unobstructed sun, I did NOT see a beach bunny catching sun from a lawn chair. Why not?)

Found out there’s a doctor here. “Bill” took a look at me out in the parking lot just now. (I think I hear the Calvary bugle to save the day.) Thankfully, he wasn’t told I was due for my prostate exam. I’m not sure the other guest would appreciate it.

Here’s a couple of thinks you don’t want to hear from your roomie on such a trip. First, “Hey, can come take a look at this?” It be the anatomy lesson you didn’t get in school. Also, “Can I use your Vaseline?” Uhhh,…no double dipping pal. I know where I use the Vaseline. You need to get your own then go wild.
So, turns out buddy Lance brought a pharmacy with him. What a guy! “Bill” said amoxicillin three times a day. Lance’s stuff is from Mexico. I’m hoping it’s double (triple?) strength with the occasional hallucinogenic flashback as a bonus.
So, the good Lord willing and the creak don’t rise, I should start feeling better…tomorrow or the next. Wonderful. Only 170 miles separates me from feeling like death warmed over and paradise. Hope I can make it.

Today… Geez! What a beating. Over 100 miles. We went from 50 degrees to 107-108. The fever of the sun was in my face. Oh, and there just happen to be a 10 mile uphill after the first mile this morning. Then, several other 4 mile climbs. (You can see the problem my ears were having.)

Man, I was looking for the hotel. Hard to enjoy the…“scenery” when you’re dying.

Once here at a hotel less than half a mile from the world’s largest dam that powers nine states and waters several others, I found it ironic that my shower had less of a stream than I did after 70 miles on the bike. How is that possible? You can’t run a tube from the dam? How ‘bout a straw?

My butt’s barking at me. I need to show it some attention but there doesn’t seem to be an opportunity to stretch, roll, etc. I’m getting concerned. The bursar sacks are inflamed on the pelvic bone. This halted my training in mid-March, a critical time. I don’t need it to halt this ride.

To add to my frustrating day, other than American Express sucks (Do NOT use this company. No one since leaving Dallas takes it. Had a fellow rider pay for dinner tonight. Don’t know HOW I’m going to get through the remaining 28 days for food! Janalou: send a new credit card or money. People who don’t know me are lending me money from day to day. I can’t imagine what they think.), my phone isn’t working (Thank you Metro PCS. Think you could build a shack with a tower somewhere between Seattle and Chicago? No? How ‘bout two cans and a string? I’ll gladly take that at this point.) and the Wi Fi in the hotels isn’t connecting either. Geez! You’d think we lived in 1870.

Yup, only 3600 miles to go. 
Happy, happy, happy.