Ok, first night of Internet since we started. I know many of my fans have been dying for information, so let me try to catch you up a little ;-)
A little gnarlier data, if desired
First day: climbed 4,298 feet, heat index was over 100. 50 people were treated for heat exhaustion (that we heard of). Felt ok.
Second day: Had a nice, overcast morning to keep temperatures down. Then I broke a spoke in the first town, Elk Horn. It was the best place to break a spoke, but still a pain. Started to fade at the end, but had a nice conversation with a woman from Waverly as we rode into Carroll, so that helped distract me.
Third day: uncomfortable, bad day on the bike. Same, basic heat. My bottom was really sore most of the day, then my little toes started to fall asleep and I had trouble keeping my hands comfortable. Had to take longer breaks. Then, as I was climbing the toughest hill we face this year, I broke a spoke. I doubted more than once that I would be able to finish it without walking, but was able to do it. Not sure how much the broken spoke contributed. The wheel goes out of true and starts to rub against the brake (for those of you who don't know). Christine was able to meet me at a crossroads pretty shortly thereafter.
So then I had to go in to Urbandale tonight (we're staying with Christine's aunt in Granger for the next two nights) to get the spoke repaired. The guys at Bike World were great and I really appreciate them!
Preview of tomorrow, Day Four: similar to today in climb (just a couple big hills). Short: just over 56 miles to ride. We'll see how I do and if I can get a little more comfortable on the bike. I feel like I've got the legs for RAGBRAI, but I'm just having trouble being at ease. Not sure what's different this time. The bike is technically higher quality. I did more training this time, like 100 or 200 miles more. On the downside, I'm 7 years older and 15 pounds heavier. Are those two factors really making it that much worse? I don't know. It's driving me crazy.