The Official Kickoff To Summer was today at my girl’s school (as I mentioned in my last post). They’ve always got a couple of bounce houses and a dunk tank that the kids can play on for a while, then we have a nice little picnic catered by Famous Dave’s BBQ (Dear God in Heaven, if you have a chance, check them out – it’s good). Thank goodness I put in that 25 miler this morning, because they stagger the kids – Josie went through first and Isabella an hour later – this meant that one of either me or Mrs. BgddyJim had to eat twice!
Well you know I took one for the team and had a second delicious pulled pork sammich with enough barbecue sauce on it to drown a small animal – or a quarter pound of pulled pork (and a piece of watermelon and a bottle of H2O).
In any event, they added a new inflatable climbing toy this year – that had to be 20′ tall. The kids get into a one size fits all harness that snugs up, and they’re attached to an emergency rope in case they let go, and up they go. Josie dug right in (after a little convincing from papa) and made it about half way:
Then came the dunk tank where she really showed what she could do – this will take two pictures, read the captions:
Now look at this:
Then after second lunch it was Bella’s turn. And that kid didn’t disappoint:
Now my girl made it up pretty high – not to the top but pretty stinking close, but that’s not what impressed me… The kid didn’t give up. When she got stuck, she tried every path and every angle that she could until her hands just couldn’t hold her up there any more. I’ve never seen that girl fight so hard to accomplish something. It was inspiring to watch and it really made me proud to be her dad. In the end, what was important was not that she didn’t make it – it’s that she didn’t quit until her body failed her. I couldn’t have asked for a stronger daughter. YES!
My girls have a picnic every year on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend and I try to make it when I can. That made an afternoon ride impossible so I shifted my ride to first thing this morning. It was pretty windy out but because I made friends with the wind a few weeks ago I wasn’t fretting it. Clouds were plentiful but the local radar showed all clear. I wore a loose shirt to make the ride a little more work and headed out. The first mile was with the wind followed by two with a cross tail wind and then I started into the wind. It was ugly but survivable because it was only a few miles. The next leg is where the ride got a little long, six miles into a cross head wind that got old after about three miles. I put my head down and just concentrated on spinning the pedals around as fast as I could. At mile 13 my ride got fun – 15 mph wind at my back. I shifted to the big ring and got to cookin’…for all of two miles before the clouds opened up – so much for the local radar. After about a mile in that mess I started chuckling to myself – the rain really wasn’t all that bad. Sure it was a bummer, riding through that much water would obviously require a bike wash this afternoon, but I was very comfortable as long as I wiped my glasses off every now and again so I could see. At mile 15 I came upon a choice – either keep going or turn right and cut 7 miles off of my ride and call 18 good for the day. You know which one I chose.
The rain continued for another 2 miles before it quit and it started clearing up rather quickly and the rest of my ride was quite enjoyable, even if I did have to ride through soaked shoes and socks. I met my goal for the day and kept my speed moderate at 18.5 mph so I’d be fresh for a long ride and run tomorrow.
So my “first” was not riding in the rain – it was enjoying riding in the rain. It was a fun ride for sure.
I have written often about Endomondo, my tracking software of choice, and about many of the Challenges that I take part in. I received the following email this morning:
The month is coming to an end and we will soon be selection this months winners across the prize levels. You are currently at the gold prize level with 403.55 miles logged.
Don’t forget to log your miles no later than the last day of the month to have them count in this months prize selection”.
That should be well over 500 by the time the end of next week rolls around…
I’m currently in 8th place of over 400 participating local riders. Nationally I’m 864 of 24,342.
I have it on good authority that it takes the average rider 2 hours to climb L’Alpe D’Huez. Lance did it in 38 minutes. The record of 37min:35sec is held by Marco Pantani – after he’d already ridden 189 km that day. Lance’s poker move with Jan Ulrich on the Alpe in 2001 is legend (click on the link – it’s an awesome story, unless you happen to be German).
From L’Alpe D’Huez to Lance…