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DALMAC 2022, Part Two Day Two: More Great Weather, Tailwind and Great Miles with Friends!

Leaving Vestaburg for Lake City is always a little bittersweet for me. Leaving is sweet because we’re well into our four-day, 370+ mile adventure. It’s bitter because the second day is always tough. The profile isn’t exactly what you’d call pretty.

Unlike previous years, I’d taken to helping my wife break the site and camper down. I ate breakfast double-fast and headed back out to the camper to help my wife get packed up. I felt fantastic about the change of heart (or possibly for removing my head from my ass… jury’s out). My wife was moved to tears several times over the course of the weekend at how much better the trip was because we were a team, more than ever. It was certainly about time. Anyway…

We rolled out into a beautiful morning; moderate 64 degrees under partly cloudy skies. Saturday’s weather prospects were looking grim and they loomed on the horizon in our minds. Still, with a decent amount of tailwind, we hammered on to certain glory. I took the lead after a mile or two and picked the speed up, hitting more than 25-mph a few times but setting in around 23-ish. I was feeling it and our massive pace-line was on cruise-mode… though I heard it when I got to the back, the pace didn’t slow after I came back for my much needed rest. I’d set the pace and it was quite fast.

By the time we’d hit the first stop at 32-miles we were sitting on a 22.6-mph average.

I called my wife to let her know where we were, fired down a gel, and we rolled out. I’d let her know that, while we were fast at that point, the pace would be coming down. We had too much “up” in front of us to keep that up.

The story of the day, one of many, was Mike S. The man takes turns up front that can only be classified as “epic”. On day one, he was up front for 30 of the first 34 miles. Unlike previous years, where he’s done for the rest of the weekend after a pull like that, he took a lot of the work on Friday as well. He’s riding like a beast this year.

The pace did steadily slow over the next several miles, but the weather held and spirits were high. I had another 5-hour Energy at the lunch stop and enjoyed the jolt. After a wonderful Subway Lunch, we were off and uphill again. The group was fantastic, tight, and we stayed after it.

Now, the story of my day, of my DALMAC, as I mentioned before, was my wife. The first day is relatively easy. Everyone’s spirits are high, there’s a lot of adrenaline, we’re all happy to see and ride with each other again… there’s a lot of good nature to be spread around. The second day is where it really gets tough… and this second day was no different for me. I was beat as we climbed a couple of decent “almost” granny gear hills.

And, just as the day before, I saw my wife, about a half-mile ahead, turn as she saw our group. She was in her matching Assenmacher’s jersey and my God, was she a sight for sore eyes. When we caught her, she asked where she’d be best suited to ride and I simply asked if I could draft her for a bit.

She got in front of me and didn’t let me off her wheel… and I took it.

My wife is my partner. She’s my best friend. She’s my confidant. She is my Sunshine. And, for the first time on a DALMAC, we both helped each other out. The deeper story on this DALMAC, for my wife and I, was that this is no longer The Jim Show with Jess helping.

This year, our DALMAC became The Jess and Jim Show. God help us, so it shall ever be.