Day 3 of the I Ride for Cancer 2012 Ride started out very well. I was able to get on the road at 7:30 (I keep shooting for 7 or earlier) which just allows for me to get more miles in before the heat of the day.
So the ride today was from Silsbee, TX to DeRidder, LA – about 76 miles. So a shorter day again, but that’s great for this first week. No need to burn out my legs (and bottom) on 100 mile days starting out.
I had a tailwind. I felt strong. I rode hard for the first 40 miles. My average during that time was around 19mph, which is amazing as I’ve been averaging 16mph lately.
The reason I was making such good time was the tailwind, but also a very nice road with wide shoulders and nice smooth pavement. My first turn however took me onto a very bumpy road with no shoulder that was trafficked by huge logger trucks. Thankfully that stretch was only about 17 miles. By the end of that stretch my arms and shoulders just plain hurt.
The next stretch was again on a nice wide road with smooth pavement and a tailwind again. Plus I got to stop at the Sabine river and take a quick video and a few pictures. Into Cajun Country I go! (That’s Louisiana if you didn’t know)
About three miles from the river, I stopped at what I thought was a convenience store, but was actually a small tractor and lawn mower store. I walked in and immediately knew I wasn’t where I expected to be. Three elderly gentlemen who were sitting around talking looked at me and I said “I don’t think this is a convenience store.”
They all laughed and said, “NO that’s down the road.” As I stated to turn around they asked what I needed and I said “Gatorade”. They said that they had Powerade. I figured that was close enough.
They of course asked where I was heading and I told them to Baltimore. All three of their jaws dropped to the floor. One old guy said, “Well I ride my bike to the river ever once in a while, but that takes me 45 minutes.”
Another old guy said, “I figure I’d just fly there.”
“I’d probably drive – I don’t like to fly.” said Old guy 3.
“You know, my son used to work for continental and he tried to get me to fly for years, but I never would. He’s now an insurance salesman”, said Old Guy 1.
And that’s how my next 15 minutes went until I could eventually get out of there. It was pretty humorous actually how their conversation just went from one thing to another without even notice that I was standing in the room.
So on the bike I went and headed for the next stretch of 19 miles. The rest of the ride was great. With a tailwind still, I made good time. The heat of the day was coming on at around noon, but really not too bad. I made it into the Pleasantville RV Park at around 12:45 where Vince and I met our host and delightful lady – known as the cyclist angel. But that’s going to be the next blog probably tomorrow.
Here’s the best church sign quote of the day: “Disclaimer (or Warning, I can’t remember) – exposure to the son will prevent burning.”
Tomorrow’s ride is 91 miles from DeRidder, LA to Washington, LA. It’s supposed to rain in the afternoon so I’m trying to get an even earlier start to maybe avoid that. Wish me luck and a tail wind!