Saturday, June 28, 2008

Last TdN Post - I Promise!

I found these pics on the TdN photo site - Rich had taken them during the tour. Since some of them have me in them - and very few of my pics do, I copied them to post.

Brats and gatorade at the Broadway bar in Ewing.

Pancakes in O'Neill.

Ya gotta like pie!

Rich took these from the SAG van.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

TdN - Day 5

We rolled out of Genoa on a fairly flat road, so we made pretty good time early in the day. We pulled into Fullerton for a short rest stop, followed by a pretty good climb out of the river valley, and then about 45 miles of rolling hills. It was like the Roca Roller road on steroids. Pretty road, but tough at the end of five days of riding.

Pit stop in Fullerton.

About halfway through the rollers, the Great Plains Bicycle Club hosted a pie stop - thanks, guys! Kevin and I had joined the Dave's Death March group at Fullerton, so we were ready for a break. After some pie and a deserved rest, we headed out for some more hills and some nice scenery.

Our last rest stop was in Wolbach, where the grocery store in town opened early for us.

Finally, bikes on the car rack, gear in the car, showered and shaved, we had one final lunch at a sweet shop in St. Paul - they have collected 1100 cookie jars to display on the walls.

It was a great trip - and nice to finish this year by riding every mile with no injuries! Good scenery, good exercise, good food, and good people made for a great tour.

TdN - Day 4

On this day we rode from Neligh to Genoa. This was the hilliest and prettiest day of the tour. Much of the ride was through beautiful rolling farmland and sandhills on a deserted country road. We were blessed again with cool temps and almost no wind.

Here are some pictures of the beautiful country road:

Eventually we rode out of the hills and onto a flat stretch perfect for forming a paceline to ramp up the speed a little. We were cranking pretty good (23-24 mph) and were on the verge of catching the pink train (team Spirit from Kansas City, see bottom pic) when they pulled over to take a pee break. Drats. Those guys look older, but there is at least one senior Olympian on their team, and they can really haul. It would have been great fun to have reeled them in, but I'm sure that if we had passed them, they would have passed us right back, just to put us in our place.

All in all, it was a great 47th b-day for me, except for the shot of tequila which a very bad person bought me at 9:45 a.m.!

Back to the campground to get our gear to set up for the last night of camping. I enjoyed meeting Al Maxey on this trip - one of the schools I work at is named after his wife, and he volunteers there often.

After showers, beer, and a visit to the ice cream store across the street from camp, (where we watched a storm try to blow Arnold and Doug's tent away) we all headed to the final TdN Awards dinner. Bruce and Alisa won the Spirit award, much to our delight and Alisa's dismay.

Bruce, Alisa, and Dan.

Rusty and Di, Bill, and the Rowes.

Bob, Lori, and Dennis, and Karen and Lori.

Bob and Mary.

Dave and Martha.

Jordan and Angie.

Hottovy and Weishahn group.

The coveted (maybe not so much by Alisa) Spirit Award.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

TdN - Day 3

On day 3 we rode from Atkinson to Neligh - the whole route was either flat or slightly downhill, and there was no wind to speak of. Since the scenery was not that interesting, we started a paceline with some other riders and rode at 20+ mph most of the way. Made for a quick day.

Here are the pics:

Early morning preparation for the day's ride.

Riding in a paceline helped us make better time and conserved energy.

The Pamida store in O'Neill had free pancakes for us at our first rest stop.

Having eaten two breakfasts already (one at the campground, and one at the Pamida store) you would think that I could wait till Neligh for food. However, when we stopped at Ewing at the Broadway Bar, these were waiting for us - possibly the biggest brats I have ever seen. I couldn't pass up one of these:

We also stopped for a quick break in Clearwater at the Waterhole bar - according to the sign, though we just missed getting free beer :).

The showers at Neligh H.S. were interesting to say the least. Out of about 8 showers, two of them actually worked. I had to take a picture of this one (although I did get some questions as to why I was bringing a camera into the shower). You win the prize if you can figure out where the water is going to come out.

The town of Neligh did a great job of decorating for us. The couple in the bottom picture are tandem riders Jordan and Angie from Lubbock, Texas. They were strong riders who did a lot of paceline riding with us - nice folks to hang out with, as well.

After showering and eating lunch, we toured the old Neligh flour mill. Very interesting to see all of the contraptions that went into making flour.

Dinner in Neligh was at a nice steakhouse. If you see me out on a ride - ask me about the story when Al Maxey tried to order ice cream for dessert.

After dinner, it was back to camp for some relaxing and good conversation.