Friday, July 13, 2007

Beautiful Ohio Day 41

The riders are tired this evening. The bottom picture, taken at dinner, shows a typical evening scene. Cyclists refuel for the calories expended today, and the ones we'll burn tomorrow. While almost everyone loses weight on a ride like this, it's a fine balance to maintain. Eat too little, and you'll lose more weight, but be more tired and slow on the bike. Eat too much, and you'll have to use that additional energy to carry those extra pounds that are leaving too slowly!
We rode 107 hilly miles today--I got 2 extra miles at 109 (don't ask.....lucky me!) We're working our way across northern Ohio, and are staying in Wooster. Many riders said that some of today's hills were amongst the toughest we've climbed. No hill rose more than a few hundred feet (and most rose far less), but many were steep, and they came in waves. We had 4,450 "feet of climb" today, which is more than we had several days in the Rocky Mountains. Up, then down, repeat until done...
As I've gotten stronger on this ride, I particularly notice the improvement on the climbs. For me, the trick is to never "race" up a hill, but to maintain momentum whenever possible. I personally find days like today much easier than climbing the Rocky Mountains, or the Sierras--instead of those "sustained climbs" that go on for miles at a time, these climbs take seconds to minutes, and coasting downhill can get me partway up the next.
The top photo shows some of the typical scenery we passed today. We were on mostly back roads, rarely passing through any towns. The scenery looks like "home"--with all the hills, think northern Adam County, minus the orchards.
Pictured in the middle is the second SAG stop, where Christine, Greg, David, and Howie are showing their cards (or bananas, for the man from Massachusetts). At breakfast, each SAG stop, and at dinner we were given a card each, with the final card to come tonight. High hand wins--it cost $1.00 to enter. Winner take all. My hand doesn't look promising.....

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