Friday, August 12, 2005

In My Hometown

The return of morning weigh-in: 178.5#, 8.5% BF

(I am waaay overweight right now, don't be fooled by body fat... scary "wake-up call" pics on the PPRAC rides pages.)

Looks like trouble in Easton: mayor's girlfriend got caught writing "WTF?"-style graffitti on the eyesore that is Drinky Drinkerson's (a relatively new, and shabby, bar downtown) -- they'd "renovated" by covering some neat architectural facade with painted plywood or whatever... I guess now we know what (or who) was behind that "historic downtown" push, c'est ne pas?

Bringing it home: Ride days five and six... I'll just say that day five almost broke me but not quite, and day six I rode well, but it was mostly horse-smells-the-barn motivation. Tired.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mason and Dixon and Michaux, Oh My!

Well, let's see... ride days three and four...

I brough two books to read during any downtime: Cloud Atlas because I'm rereading it, and Mason & Dixon, uh, because I'm obsessed. (I was going to bring Blood Meridian to get in the mood for Cormack McCarthy's new No Country for the Old, but I forgot to pack it. Also forgot soap.) At the Scout camp I put CA to one side to read M&D, since the next day we'd be crossing repeatedly between Maryland & Pennsylvania -- couldn't see the line, no real landmarks on those rurual roads -- you'd just notice the road signs were PA-style, then a little later they'd be MD-style, etc. Another hard day of riding, another 100+ miles.

That night at dinner I wore the latest Michaux race shirt, since we'd be going up PA233, right through the middle of Michaux, from Caledonia State Park through Pine Grove Furnace and continuing on. This was, after the Skyline Drive, my favorite part of the whole ride: beautiful, and very cool, almost chilly temps from all the springs and roadside streams. As usual, the ride got much much tougher after lunch.

Back in the real world: I still have numbness in my left hand fingertips, will see a doctor about it. Went out last night to Which Brew (Mug Club Night), may check out MusikFest tonight.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Three States And A Few "Incidents"

Something I didn't mention about the Skyline Drive leg, a bit of bad news: One of our drivers, was injured in a pretty serious accident. No one really knows what happened, but aparently Les failed to negotiate a turn and hit a tree, breaking his pelvis and femur and trapping himself in the van. He was medevac'ed out but has a weak heart and when they tried to operate he couldn't take it, so they put him in an induced coma. Word is, he's going to be fine, but he's a long way from there right now. Nice guy too, older German dude, kind of a wistful air about him but you can see he has hipster tendencies...

Anyway, Day Two: This was shorter, 93 miles total but it was just as hilly -- and the hills were steeper -- and just as hard as the first day. We rode through Virginia and West Virginia, and ended up at a Boy Scout camp in Maryland, just getting closed down for the season. I slept in the building used for nature studies; as we were setting up they were removing the snakes and letting them go -- the rats, guinea pigs and fish stayed with us.

The days are blurring, so I'll just mention these incidents here...

Incident One: At lunch one day, we were set up at a crossroad, and some guy in an SUV ran the stopsign & hit a pickup truck. I heard the crash, saw the SUV airborne & landing on the lawn across the street as well as the truck spinning around in the intersection. Minor injuries, but if we'd been on that lawn instead of this one, we'd have all been dead. Strangely enough, the lunch crew originally wanted to set up in the bad spot, but Brian dissuaded them...

Incident Two: This was actually day three I think, but we had to go through a covered bridge; and one of the slower/later guys neglected to take precautions (like slow down, put a foot down etc), got his wheel stuck in a plank, flipped & broke his collarbone.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Skyline Drive

The first actual ride day on the Perimeter Ride took us from Waynesboro to Front Royal, both in Virginia, via the Skyline Drive. The ride was 113 miles long, and, though the grades were comparatively shallow, maybe 6%-8% max, there was 15,500 feet of total elevation gain on the ride. This was my best day: I was fresh and the type of riding suited me well.

By the way, you can see my trip photos here.

Monday, August 08, 2005

PPRAC Recap (first impressions)

No morning weigh-in, but I don't think I lost any weight on the trip...

Well, 575 miles in six days, some of the biggest, hilliest (steep hills too) rides I've ever done, I'm glad I did it but I'm also glad it's over.

I'm having trouble really gathering my thoughts on this, so I think I'll let it sort out some more.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

"Once Upon A Time, There Was A Terrible Disease Called Cancer"

I'm back. Wow! What a week, more on this later... spent the day sleeping, eating and doing laundry, and am back to work tomorrow.