Well, I guess I should have no more fear of riding in the rain! I don’t know why it’s always scared me, but it has. I guess I just had this picture in my head of me sliding around a wet road on my bike, or not being able to stop or something. But, I rode 90 miles in the rain yesterday with no incident. We had planned on riding 100, but it WAS pretty miserable, so we packed it in after 90. Court and I rode with her friend Melissa who did IMFL in 05 and IMLOU this year. She had some great tips for us about the race in general, and made me feel a little better about my level of preparation.
We started at Court’s house in Blue Springs and then swung by Melissa’s place to pick her up. She only lives about 5 miles from Courtney, so it was pretty convenient. Then we headed out towards the route we had ridden on one time before since it has some nice flat stretches. I don’t know all of the road names out that way, but there was a flat stretch just west of the Lake City ammo plant that we did a couple of times, another one just west of Buckner, and another one on the east side of Buckner. Most people think that Kansas and Missouri are flat, but that is not the case! It’s hard to find nice stretches of flat road to train on, so we had to do the few that were available several times. Hills are good for strength, but since Florida is flat, we do need to get used to the constant pedaling and learn how to keep from slitting our throats out of sheer boredom.
About 5 miles into the ride, it started sprinkling, and it just kept getting heavier. About 10 miles in, Court was in front and went down as she rounded a corner. It’s been dry lately, so this rain was really making the road slick. She got back up quick, and wasn’t too banged up. It kept raining off and on the entire time we were out, so I think we were all pretty conservative with how we were riding to avoid any more spills.
On the way back home, we passed a house out in the country with a wrought iron fence in the front yard, and the guy was mowing his yard with his two dogs out running around. The dogs saw us ride by, and ran down the fence “chasing” us. We thought it was kind of cute, and I made a comment that they wanted to come run with us. We got past the house, and the dogs were out of the yard running down the street after us! They were just little fluffy pooches, so we weren’t worried about them attacking us or anything, but they just kept running right along side of us. We were in the middle of a 2 mile long incline, so we weren’t going all that fast, so the dogs were able to keep up with us pretty well. The road was pretty winding, and I was afraid that a car would come around a curve and hit them because they were running down the middle of the road. So finally, we pulled over and called the number on their tags. No answer. We waited a few minutes and called again. Still no answer. Well crap. We didn’t want them to get hit, but we couldn’t wait around all day. So we kept going, and they kept following us. At the top of the hill there was a fire station, so we pulled in there and Court told them “I’ve got this dog problem. Now it’s your problem”. At least we were rid of the dogs!
After we got cleaned up, Melissa came over and we watched her highlight video from Florida. It was a pretty crappy video, but it was still exciting to see! Especially the start. I really wish I would be able to actually watch the start of our race, 2000 people running into the ocean at the same time is quite a sight.