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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Biking a Hot Century










They say be careful what you wish for...

They are right.





I knew I needed sun training if I'm to survive the desert crossing America.

But not on my 130 mile day!





The day started out fresh for my 65 miles into the wind...

...past fields and cows.





The cows knew to stay in the shade.








But Phoenix and I found no shade for our rest ...
...just more sun.




No workers to be found in the heat.



The farmers turn the warm hay from inside their cabs.




I began dreaming of fountains...
water...
cool.


The road got hotter.



Long ago, on a hot bike ride, KC asked me - Mom, if you take a picture of a garage, is it still there?

My brain addled - I thought that was a strange question.

Only later did I realize she had said "mirage"

The sun beat down on my helmet.

I had strange thoughts.

Will we have clouds in the desert?
Will there be shade?

I'm staring at the wheel on the road...


spinning

spinning

spinning.

My mind goes blank.

Whoa! I had blacked out from the heat, but kept my bike upright.
I was at heat exhaustion!

What could I do?
It was 3 1/2 miles till Lynn, Indiana.
No shade around.

I should stop -
- but with no gatorade and no shade I wouldn't recover.

Would I pass out?
Would I crash?

I kept going...



..sweat soaking my skin.

Finally, yes!

The Flying Sauser Truck Stop!

My oasis!


Long stop.

Gatorade.

A/C.

Then time to head home with a tail wind.


But no, my head was still dizzy.

It seemed hotter with no breeze in my face.



Was I seeing things...

...a UFO over that field?













Only the cemetery seemed to offer shade....

...crowded with the Memorial Day crowd.



Stopped again at the Corner Mart.

More Gatorade.

Checked the Droid.

88 degrees still!

Texted Tom - don't know if I'm going to make it.

Straight west into the sun ...

....burning into my eyes.

Electrolytes askew.



Finally at mile 119, I turn south.

I find shade.



The sun is lower - it catches the trees.

Long shadows cover the road.

The heat loses its edge.

My skin stops burning.

My head stops spinning.





I see the fountains of home.









And the sun finally drops behind the trees.

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