So about 3 miles after I took this picture all hell broke loose. (literally just past the 34 mile mark) The map took me up a hill that looked perfectly normal, so I shifted into a “granny gear” and started to pedal hard to get up. But managed to throw the chain. Which would have been fine, but I couldn’t get unclipped from the bike. Randy had just passed me heading up the hill to make sure I was going the right way, so didn’t see me crash on the side of the road when I lost forward momentum, which happens very quickly when your chain isn’t engaged in the sprocket.
I lay there for somewhere between 3 & 5 minutes trying to figure out if I was more hurt than I thought. My knee was bleeding just a little bit, and I had the wind knocked out of me, but I could find nothing significant. Randy had been waiting up the road for me, and came looking to see what had happened just as I got up.
Once we got me going the right direction again, I was okay for several miles, but kept getting hit by a head wind that would take my breath away. My ribs ached like I’d just landed on the ground. Attributing it all to the wind, I texted Randy and had him come back and I’d head the other direction for the second half.
Got to the “finish” and discovered that my rear tire wasn’t holding air so we went to a bike shop about 10 miles away and got new sealant in the tire, which seemed to fix the problem. (Thank you and shout out to Rock’s Cycling and Fitness in Burley, Idaho – you totally saved me!)
I only got about 10 miles in the reverse direction. I knew there was a significant problem when I walked up a very steep hill in the heat and saw that there was only unpaved road in front of me, and it was 94 degrees. There were some beautiful shady trees on my right and the greenest grass I’d seen all day, so I sat down and waited for Randy to come up the hill. (He’d been following me pretty closely because of the heat and the pace I was going through water/ice) He drove right past me while I was sitting there stretching. Lol.
Anyway, when he came back around, he got out and sat down with me and just let me vent. I still had 18 miles to go, (made just more than 50 miles) and I was frustrated, hot, and exhausted. I would have been crying, but the tears wouldn’t come (was pretty dehydrated, too). Was lying on the grass and could feel my heart beating super-fast through my whole body. Had Randy put a timer on his phone for one minute, and I was at 180 bpm, which is 8 bpm faster than my absolute maximum for my age, and I’d been sitting down for almost 20 minutes. My breathing was normal.
The owners of the home where the super green grass and shade was came out and visited with us for a little bit. They were shocked that I would attempt such a thing and offered lunch and ice water. I’d eaten just a mile before, and dehydration always makes me nauseous when it comes to ice water or food, so we sat and chatted a little longer and then hit the road home. Slept for a long time in the car and again when I got home. I am one gigantic bruise on my right side, and everything hurts, but I don’t believe I’m actually broken. Just old. Lol. I may just stay in Utah this coming Saturday and do a few less miles to make sure I recover before hitting the road again as hard. Probably will stay on the route, but 30 miles should suffice if I get a good early start and monitor the heat.