I just got back from TdN, so I thought I would upload my pics and do a quick ride report. Daily stats:
Day 1 - Clay Center to Minden - 61 miles, 16.2 mph avg.
Day 2 - Minden to Cambridge - 80 miles, 18.1 mph avg.
Day 3 - Cambridge to Alma - 61 miles, 17.6 mph avg.
Day 4 - Alma to Red Cloud - 60 miles, 17.5 mph avg.
Day 5 - Red Cloud to Clay Center - 55 miles, 16.0 avg.
On days 1 and 2 I rode primarily with Bruce and Alisa S. and Jordan and Angie M., which made it easy to form an echelon and fight the crosswinds. Day 1 was a pretty brisk cross/headwind. We were fortunate on day 2 as it was the longest day and we had a slightly helping crosswind. Days 3 and 4 had light crosswinds and very hot temperatures (it reached 100 degrees each day). On day 3 we had a nice rotating paceline going with the same people as days 1 and 2, with the addition of David R. On days 4 and 5, we had a light crosswind until we turned north, and then had to fight a pretty good headwind for the last 20 or so miles. Those last two days I rode with Jordan and Angie, the tandem towing company, as David either rode with Martha or took off into Kansas to get in a century.
Here are the pics, starting with Rich's opening instructions:
Once on the road we formed up our line to fight the wind - it was a pleasure to ride with such good cyclists.
Day 4 was supposed to be a short day (48 miles), so we took a detour and did a nice 6 mile climb out to the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie - which also put us right on the Kansas state line.
It is interesting what you can see on the road. Here the base for one of those big windmills gets stuck as it tries to make a turn and can't clear the RR crossing sign.
The community lunch stops are usually either hosted by some organization or the town bar opens up for us. It is always a welcome time to refuel, get off of the bike for a minute and stretch, and meet some new folks.
It can also be fun to check out the different towns as we pass through them. We found this sign in Oxford:
As a musician, I enjoyed this one in Funk (sounds like a good band name from the '70s, I think):
My only mechanical incident happened in Oxford when I somehow lost two screws from my cleat and I couldn't clip out. I had to take my foot out of my shoe and wait for the Bike Rack truck to come help.
After showering, post ride activities include finding a good spot for the tent:
The search for a bar with lots of unhealthy fried appetizers:
Exploring town and looking at all of the shops and buildings:
We couldn't figure out if this sculpture was a bike rack, an ad for a dentist office, or an ad for a proctologist. Bruce helped us visualize the possibilities:
In Alma we walked down to the Harlan County Reservoir - it was nice to see that it has filled back up.
Once back at the campground, there is always good conversation at the tents:
Or maybe a nap:
Or a card game:
Several of us on the tour are friends with a Lincoln musician who also has a nice little house in Cambridge. We gave her a call and she invited us up to have a drink on her deck:
I'm tired, sore, and happy to be home, but it was a great time.