Creativity from the Middle

Hi All,

Today I could have ridden 35, 68, 87, or 107 miles. I really wanted to do the 107 mile century, but after taxing my body heavily yesterday, my backside and legs were revolting. I decided enough is enough–after all, if you tax yourself too much there’s nothing left to live on the rest of the week. On the other hand, our terrific Backroads Guides told us today was by far The Best scenic day of the week. So I had to figure out a way to keep the best parts of the long ride in, but cut some of the unnecessary fat out of the ride.

I tried conservative thinking and discovered my ideas were just too rigid to work. I tried the liberal approach, and all those ideas left me exhausted and overly taxed by the middle of the ride. So I went to the old dependable middle of the road, and found an immediate and workable solution.

I’d ride out from the hotel in the morning and get 55 miles in before lunch. That would give me a great scenic experience of the Copper River Valley. After lunch, I’d ask one of the guides to shuttle me to the Worthington Glacier that would have otherwise required me to expend serious energy on a 20 mile climb. This effectively cut out the excess fat from the ride that was more of the same I’d already seen in the Valley, and Eliminated a long climb. Then I would ride the last 30 miles into Valdez, catching numerous glaciers and waterfalls and glacial rivers along the way, and getting to see Valdez on the way to the hotel. It worked perfectly.

It’s too bad more people don’t use moderate approaches to solve issues like this. We’d get more workable solutions. Yes, there is a political message somewhere in the previous three paragraphs.

I ended up riding 85 miles today.  Thats a total of 293 miles in four days. That’s a personal best and the riding has been fairy challenging. I love it though. My backside hurts like you know what, but tomorrow is a non-riding day so it’ll get a chance to heal.

The weather was sunny, perfect temperatures all day and absolutely grand. There was a wind in our face all day; minor at first but picking up to 10 or 15 MPH at the end. The scenery was spectacular, and the riding was epic. At one point, I rode down a steep hill for nearly 9 miles, and never turned a pedal. Just held onto the brakes and tried to keep upright into the wind. There were also long stretches of flat runs that made the ride so unique. We have nothing like this in Pittsburgh, nothing.

The Mosquitos are like dive bombers with stingers on the nose cone. And they love Italian blood. I’m still itching a handful of bites.

The food tonight was ordinary, but we ate like voracious vultures. Today I burned over 5000 calories and I could have eaten anything in sight tonight. And I pretty Much did. I’m definitely losing weight on this ride. My jeans are loose already.

Mary Rago and I saw a bear today. Ran across the road about a 1/4 mile down the road. Big guy for sure. We stopped at a section of the Alaskan Pipeline. I’m impressed every time I see this pipeline. To think of the technology that went into this pipeline back in the 70s is amazing. I saw over 10 glaciers, many of which do not have names. Waterfalls were everywhere. I began to take photos of all of them but stopped because I’d still be out there.  Valdez is a cool little fishing village and of course the terminus for the pipeline.

I’m bushed tonight, so I’m going to attach some pics and hit the sack. We need to be at breakfast ready to go by 5 am. UGH!

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Categories: Travel and Life's Adventures

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