Sunday, August 24, 2008

LimpStrong 2.0: On The Books!

Avid readers (all four of you) will note that the Second Annual LimpStrong Ride for the Femorally-Challenged didn't quite get the media coverage of last year's inaugural LimpStrong. Frankly, I was feeling a bit undertrained, so I wasn't quite sure there would even be a Second Annual LimpStrong. But, undertrained or not, I took advantage of astonishingly good weather yesterday and gave it a shot. (Full disclosure: What little media coverage there was for LS 2.0 had mentioned the possibility that it would be on a fixed-gear. Those reports were entirely false, and I'm not sure what the reporter was smoking.)

Our intrepid hero rolls out at 9:30 in the morning, bathed in a heavenly glow. Yes, that's my garage back there, proving that all bicycle-related photography must have a garage door in it somewhere:

Had a nice cat-mouse game with someone as I warmed up on the curvy Greenbelt trail. On each straightaway, I could sense her coming up on my wheel, then I would pull ahead again on the curves. The surface of the trail is pretty choppy, so I'm assuming my fat tires provided a little advantage in the serpentine parts. I could actually hear her getting on the brakes in the curves. Once we turned off on the Raccoon River trail and broke out into the long straight stretch before Waukee, she dropped me like I wasn't moving.

An impaled Yugo on the outskirts of Waukee warns all who come near: "Tiny foreign cars are not welcome here! Begone!" I suspect the ghost of this car prowls the nearby Chevrolet dealer, mocking the rows of unsold SUVs. Yes, that's an official Iowa cornfield in the foreground. I hate to encourage the flyover cliche, but that's our scenery.

Trusty steed, ready to get the "real ride" underway at the trailhead outside Waukee. I did drop my $2 into the "trail pass" tube (confession: I don't always), and it was a good thing I did. They were checking today. Alert readers will note the blue coffee recycling center in the background. I believe those are also soybeans back there, proving that we do have some variety in our scenery.

Old railroad signs don't lie: Yes, this is a converted railbed, and yes, I made it to Adel:

And then there was Redfield. The name of the town didn't turn out in the photo of its co-op, but trust me, it's there:

Lunch break in lovely Panora:

And here's where things turned ugly, as evidenced by the full stop of photos in the SpongeBob mini-cam. To get 100, I needed to push past Panora for about six miles. Next town out there was Yale, 12 miles away. In other words, I was headed into a long mid-day slog in no-person's-land. I gamely pushed out of Panora a couple miles, got pummeled by both wind and sun, and decided to heck with it, LimpStrong 2.0 would be a 90-miler.

Of course, after catching a brief second wind (thanks to a tailwind) getting back home, 90 seemed extremely lame, so I ended up riding some very slow loops around town for the last 10 to make it an official century. I looked (and felt) pretty rough by the time it was all said and done, but I did it. A little over 7 hours ride time and 9 hours "real time." Had every intention of seeing a friend's band play at a nearby street festival, but after a shower and an "eat everything in sight" meal, I just couldn't motivate myself off the couch. Sorry about that, Timm (no typo, two M's) and the rest of Faculty Lounge!

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