Sunday, July 30, 2006

POP --- the Epic ride

Well where does one start writing about a ride like this? Oh before I start, the pictures are in the 2 blogs below this. I posted them as large so it took up 2 blogs so this is he reading blog and the next two are the "my summer vacation" photo blogs.So I woke at 5:15 this morning via a poking from Terri after the alarm clock went off. I stirred a little and tried to go back to sleep. I'l ride something else today I thought. She poked me again a few minutes later. Ok, it's a sign (or maybe a direct order) that I was to go ride. Showered and in the kitchen for a small breakfast and out the door. I was the first to make it to our Starbucks meeting place. Ordered a vanilla latte and waited just a few minutes and John Martin pulled in. The top of his car sported a brand new bike he just bought from Robb at Arkansas Bike and Fitness yesterday. A great looking ride. Cool red and black color scheme.JBar pulls in next, then our Air Force base riders Rob and,,, crap, someone email the other guys name and I'll plug it in. Sorry man! Ok, pay attention close because there are multiple people in our club with the same name. Robb with 2 b's is Robb that works at AR Bike and Fitness. Rob with 1 b is the Air Force guy. Anyway, Yale arrives and the gags all here and it's time to take a little road trip to Perryville.Yale and I rode together and we had a good time laughing on the way out there. He asked me if I had been a flower child. I was cracking up and told him I had been and in fact there is nothing in those VH-1 I Love the 60's and I love the 70's that I didn't remember. I even told him about 3 fingers for 15 bucks. Lots of good laughs.We got to the start point just as ride leader Robb (That's with 2 b's...ya catch that? Good!) was just getting there. The gangs all rings, Yale answers, "Uh uh yeah ok." The says Rebecca and Chris ae late... again! Yep these were the same 2 kids that live in the luv shack and don’t get anywhere on time these days. I heard someone say after Yale announced the hunny-mooners where on there way that "they were really making a name for themselves". I cracked up!So we take off and everyone is looking good and the pace line is moving well. Robb is moving up and down the line like a good leader does making sure everyone's doing good and letting us know what's ahead.After awhile it's my turn to pull after some great pulls by the other guys. Riding along at 20 and I get the hold up a little. What's this? Telling the old guy n the group to hold up a little. What's wrong? You young whipper snappers can't keep up with old guys 20 mph pace? I love it! AAPR Rulez! HA!We slowed a bit and waited for the group to regroup. We start again and I end u riding with Chris and Rebecca. We have a lot of fun and laughing a lot. Rebecca said she wasn't worried about staying with the front group since we are going to climb some "notable" climbs. I told her that see just wanted to taunt the guys on the climbs and she said, "So they can call me a do-do head like you do?" I like and told her that they were younger than me and would use the "real" word. I told her and Chris about the time I got in trouble for trying to start a cussing club at church. Good times!We got to a regroup area and the fun was about to begin. It was a hill that I had not heard about before and it was a booger! Up up and up. The view from the top was great. I was started to feel a bit tummy ache but just blew it off since there was a store just down the road.We came out on Hwy 10 and I was on the same stretch of road that I was on a little over a year ago when I did the state tour ride. I was riding in between to groups and solo and began to think about how I felt on this road as I was riding home for the final day. I really got choked up for a moment and counted my blessing. It was a weird bust of emotion. The I past one of the beloved chicken houses and the emotion went away! HA!Chris and I ride together for a while and I quiz him about his 2 mountain ride yesterday and his weight loss program. He has dropped a lot of weight and looks great. John Martin has done the same but through cutting out sugar and cheese. We get to the regroup and Chris will be riding a different route and wife Rebecca will be conquering Petit Jean. We began to ride and here we go again. Up up and more up but this is just the base of the mountain. We will hit the real mountain soon enough and Yale and I ride together. We climb and climb and climb still more. The sun is being a royal pain and zapping the strength right out of me. But there is still more climbing to do. As I'm not far from the top I spot Rob on a rock taking a break. I think of riding over there and just falling over in the grass but if I stop on the climb I won't get started again. I make it to the top of Petit Jean and I unclip, lean the bike up against a tree and walk (actually stagger) over to one of those big rocks under a tree and the indentions in the rock are the perfect fit so I lay there. The rock was actually cool. I fall asleep. Robb walks over and wakes me up so we can get moving. People are asking if I'm ok and I think I'm just really tried from climbing the mountain. I get on my bike and realize this is a bit more than tired. It takes me forever to get a mile down the road to the c-store. I opened the ice storage box outside and stuck my head in. Ahh cool air! I go in and buy the group ice bag and me some water and Poweraid. It's announced that Chris will sag the c-store in Odello (sp?) at the bottom of the mountain. I leave before the others to keep from holding them up with my s-l-o-w riding. I'm shaking and on the verge of barfing. I never did but came really close a few times. The guys all pass me a few minutes later. Yale hangs back with me and we start off down the mountain and I tell him that I'm taking it slow and he said he was too. We had to pull over a couple of times to let cars pass.Down at the bottom there was a craft store and I was hoping that was it but it's still miles away. Yale and I ride along and Chris comes by and says he'll return and pick me up. Yale and I continue to ride and a blazing 14 mph if that fast. I know at times it was 9mph. It was hot and I was weirding out. We stopped on the side of the road and rested a moment and then continued riding. At the moment I was hating this ride. I've gotten really tired but nothing like this. A few minutes later Chris picks me up and Yale continues to ride. The c-store was just a mile or 2 from where I got picked up. We stopped to pick up Rebecca at the c-store and return to the start point which is not far at all but has a huge climb. The deal was I would go get the car and go pick up Yale but I think my buds didn't really want me driving. Thank you! "Friends don't let friends drive BONKED!" HA! JBar went after Yale who refused the lift and climbed the hill. It was an awesome display of endurance. Hey Yale, thanks man for hanging back with the sick kid today! You're a good guy.The temperature at the end of the ride.... 102!!!!So I made it home, showered and Terri made dinner and I ate it all. She went to run some errands since I had the Explorer all day and I was going to sleep. I of course couldn't go to sleep but I can barely keep my eyes open now.Oh by the way, Tyler bought a house today! Engagement ring, buy a house, looks like this wedding/marriage thing is for real! We love y'all too!Yes, I'll crawl out of bed in the morning and find big ole latte someplace and see if I survive the day after!

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