Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

RAGBRAI XLI Day 5: Knoxville to Oskaloosa

I gave myself a major attitude adjustment this morning. I didn't come out here to be miserable. I love riding my bicycle, and yesterday I couldn't stand it, and worse... there were three more days to go!

I woke up today and my quadriceps were already hurting. I figured they'd loosen up after a couple of miles, and they did.

The first few miles out of Knoxville were very easy today. Mostly flat and downhill. It was at this point where I decided, for lack of a better term, to stop being a whiny bitch :)

Yes, RAGBRAI is a tough thing to do. Yes, there's hills. Yes, it's challenging. But lots and lots of people do it every year.

Furthermore, and much more importantly, I am fortunate to be healthy enough to be able to do it. There are countless people right now who would give anything for the pain of a hill-filled bicycle ride over the pain of cancer or cancer treatments. Pain that is unavoidable.

So I told myself to quit bitching. Quit letting the hills dictate my mood. Why I let yesterday get to me so bad I don't know - I guess I was just in a bad mood. Today, however, I was going to enjoy the pain. Not once during the 54 miles did I switch to my climb page on the Garmin bike computer. That page shows total elevation gain and current grade of the hill. Up until today I'd flip to that page at the bottom of every hill, and look at it as I labored up the hills. I decided to say fuck it- don't care how steep, don't care how much you've climbed already... just go.

It was a great ride. At the end I finally looked at the climb page and discovered that I had climbed 200+ more feet then yesterday, yet had the mood of someone who just did 50 miles downhill.

Today I crossed back across Lake Red Rock, this time on the dam. I also discovered that Lake Red Rock is the biggest lake in Iowa. After a quick stop at a roadside all you can eat pancake and sausage stand, I rolled into the city of Pella. I didn't stay long, but basically saw it was Holland in Iowa. Being Dutch, I was torn between staying a while or going on. This was only 12 miles in, and I wasn't sure if my newfound attitude was going to stick yet, so I snapped a few pics and took off.

When I finished, we went to a winery for a picnic. I didn't partake - wine gives me an instant headache - but I did drink a beer! 

We checked into the hotel, I showered and napped, and then we decided to avoid the crowds in Oskaloosa and head back to Pella for dinner. Even though the distance on the bike route was 40 miles, by car it's about 15. I'm glad we went back. What a cool town.  

Flickr set of pics for today is here. Here's one of me in Pella:

Here's the Strava info:


Tomorrow is 52 miles and relatively flat, but it would have been a good day even if it were hilly. :)