Posted by: twistsoffeet | July 29, 2011


When I woke this morning I had a good attitude and still have that attitude but it was a difficult day for me. I was very gelled up this morning and it took me a while to loosen up enough to ride. I got up at 04:30 but didn’t hit the road until 06:30. It was cool this morning and no wind whatsoever, however that didn’t last for long.
The first 24 miles to Merriman were not bad although there were some good sized hills and a headwind that took it’s toll on me but I at least for a short while was able to work through the pain and stiffness of my RA. By the time I hit Merriman I had drank nearly 1 gallon of my water supply and had planned on refilling in that town. Unfortunately the towns water treatment system broke down and the whole town was under a boil order and no water was available to refill my water bottles. This was definitely not a good thing for me as I still had 30 miles yet to ride and it was getting hotter.
The man who ran the gas station in Merriman was actually a pretty cool guy and his bookkeeper was friendly and pretty cute. He advised me that the road between Merriman and Gordon was mostly flat except at 6 miles this side of Gordon. It never fails to amaze me what people call flat. I mean there were huge rollers and long hills with short downhills for the first 10 miles then it leveled out, or maybe leveled out is the wrong term to use. The road stopped going up and down and started just going up at about a 4% grade for the next 10 miles. Then at 10 miles from Gordon the up and down started again for 4 miles until I reached the top of 6 mile hill. At this point the road dropped quickly and I actually rode 1.8 miles without pedaling a stroke.
The next 4 miles were very small rollers up and down and up and down and should have been no problem. But there was a problem because I had run out of water before beginning the 4 miles of rollers and hills to the top of 6 mile hill and by the time I reached the top I was feeling the effects of mild dehydration. I was starting to cramp up pretty severely and by the time I finished my coasting down the hill I was barely able to pedal.
So off the bike I climbed and began the walk/push into Gordon. Fortunately when I got there the woman at the Pump and Pantry let me fill my water bottles with ice and water, she also let me have a few little packages of salt. I had originally planned on camping at the town park but there was very little shade and no restroom facilities or electricity. There were water faucets in the park but I decided to look elsewhere. I rode to the Local Lutheran church where the Pastor readily said yes to my request to pitch my tent at the church. He told me where the most private place would be and gave permission to get water from the outside faucets. He also let me use the bathroom facilities and clean up a little. I pitched my tent today much earlier than usual to avoid the flying critters which have been everywhere today. The horse flies were able to out run me on my bike and feasted upon my flesh all day long.
I am now sitting in my tent 3 hours after setting it up, the cramps are just now subsiding and my RA well it rarely subsides so why should today be any different. I rode a total of 56.8 miles today, OK I walked a couple of those miles. And I have another 45+ mile day tomorrow so I sincerely am praying that my RA and these cramps subside by tomorrow morning.



  1. Sending out lots of prayers that your ra stays at bay and you are able to make your destination tomorrow. Waiting with baited breath…

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