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Monday, May 18, 2015

Tour de Bier 2015

Tour de Bier is such fun, I really didn't have time for such this weekend but I did it anyway.

It seems to be growing in popularity but this is only my second one. I rode it last year, set out to do the long route and ended up settling for the middle length one when I realized I wouldn't get back until everyone was going home.

Like the song goes, I'm built for comfort, I ain't built for speed. I can do the miles, a century or better no problem, but I'm fast like a fat lady on a Rascal scooter.

It was so freaking windy, damn. My first multi-day self supported bike touring adventure taught me not to whine about headwinds, it did, but these were as stiff. I wasn't injured and limping back on a fully loaded touring bike, so no whining was in order but they were challenging.

Then, too, when I was fighting my way from Roulo, NE to Atchison, it was a one way trip. I knew that unless these winds did a 180 or died off I would get some help coming back.

And I did. And it was glorious.

I often struggle to channel intensity into my rides. I tend to ride casually, not with an 'as fast as you can' kind of urgency. But sometimes I get in the zone, and I did for this one. I averaged almost two miles per hour faster than my normal average speed. Well, that is I did until we got back to knuckleheads. I averaged 9.9 mph for that first 38.81 miles I rode on Sunday.

According to Algebra, my 9.2 average for the 46.11 I rode total that day, well, after they got a veggie burger and two beers in me I rode home (against the wind) at a whopping 5.5 mph. Yikes. It's like the frustrating double-nickel of cycling.

It's interesting at this event to see the mingling of cycling culture with biker culture. Knuckleheads is mostly a Harley rider type bar. It's a roadhouse type environment, great place to see shows, but on a Sunday afternoon, most people who role up on two wheels usually aren't their own motor.

I wouldn't say there's a clash, it's a peaceful co-existence, but the bikers and the cyclists are visibly not the same species.

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