Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Louisville, Kentucky

"how much can you know about yourself 
if you've never been in a fight" 
                          - from the movie Fight Club

I woke up in a barn in the middle of the county fairgrounds to sound of rain early in the morning and my cold hadn’t improved overnight, not a great start to the day, especially with 96 miles ahead of us.  Luckily by the time we were packed up and ready to hit the road to Louisville the rain had stopped and a massive tailwind had developed.  We were able to average close to 21 miles per hour before lunch even with some extremely steep climbs including one whose grade approached 20% for a time.  Riding a long the Ohio River for most of the day was the culprit for the changes in elevation that played havoc on our legs and minds.  It was beautiful scenery, though, especially crossing the bridge into Indiana, another new state for us. We finished riding along the river again as we pulled into town, including a final stretch with the wind at our back where we pushing 30 miles per hour for close to 5 miles.  The house we were staying at for night was located on a bluff so the final 2 miles of the day were basically straight up hill, during which many of the riders contemplated their ability to go backwards on their bikes while continuing to pedal forward, it was a very tough way to end.  I spent much of the day riding on my own because of the head cold I’m currently battling.  Right now it’s taking a long time for me to catch my breath because I can’t breathe through my nose and my chest feels so tight, especially when I’m pushing hard.  I absolutely had nothing left as we pulled into our destination, I felt like I had just gotten beat up in a fight which was evidenced by the 4 hour nap I instantly fell into.  One of Chris’s college friend’s family was gracious enough to host us at their compound.  I say compound because they had their own lake, forest, barns and a house large enough to accommodate 22 riders. Our hosts also prepared some amazing barbeque and a cake decorated in our honor, it was all really good!  Some of the riders hit the town to explore Louisville, I went right back to bed because I knew I had another big day coming that I wanted to feel reenergized for.  Just one more day in Indiana before we hit Ohio, I can’t wait! No chain!

Climbing hard.

The Ohio River from above, the source of hills.

Tim descending quickly to the bridge over the river.

Just another new state.

Perfect form into the lake.

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