Leg 5 St. John - Halstead
13.8 mph average
21.8 mph max
5:41:02 total time
Leg 5 began at the same time: 5:45 a.m., except my companion actually woke up on time (I gave him a friendly nudge after returning from brushing my teeth). He and I set off at 6:30a, with a new friend, for 'all you can eat pancakes.' I had four, plus two patties of sausage, coffee and OJ. It was excellent. We then met up with two other new friends, and the five of us set off for yet another record setter (for me at least): 78 miles.
We left right at 7:00a. My knee was again bugging me, so I took it easy. Thankfully two others in the group wanted to go easy as well, so we made our way with a straight headwind on our faces and ominous clouds everywhere (hence the 50% chance of rain). My knee bugged me for 35 straight miles, and I was getting REALLY fed up. I wanted to quit right there at the lunch stop (the food was excellent, by the way. Best homemade strawberry pie I've ever had). That point was by far my lowest on this journey. We set off from lunch with the clouds even worse, and I continued with them for another 5 miles, my knee bugging me all the way. At that point I decided enough was enough, and I took off at my regular pace, left the group behind, and reconciled myself to the idea that if I was going out today, I was going out with a bang (but hopefully not a literal bang from my knee). I pushed hard, and for some reason my knee pain started getting better. The wind was still brutal, but at least my knee was holding.
*ed didn't tell me what these are pictures of, i'm assuming their lunch stop with the group of guys he was riding with*
I started picking off cyclists ahead of me one by one, keeping my head down to buck the wind. I continued that way for another 30 miles. We had to make a few turns to get to the right roads, and it seemed like every time I turned, I was still heading into the wind. It was very strange. I felt myself starting to fade I the last eight mile stretch into Halstead, but found a buddy to chat with, and that helped pass the time as the wind pushed hard against me.
I got into Halstead feeling like I had nothing left, but when I got to the camp I immediately felt my spirits boost, as I realized I had not only set a personal distance record, but also had conquered the hardest physical and emotional challenge I have had cycling. I got a shower, then a massage, this time from the other girl, and tried to make some phone calls, but had no cell service. I asked a local and he said if I had AT&T I would have to go three miles north of town. I found a landline, made my calls, and wrote this update. It is now 5:30, and I have family coming to see me and eat dinner. I can't wait. To eat, that is.
*a little evening entertainment to eat by, these guys were playing some bluegrass and it sounded great*____________________________________________
*FWR here now. Ed did great yesterday and I'm so impressed with his record setting days (he'll have another today) and his ability to stick with it. I realized looking at his stats he rode longer than I have ever run, and I think he is amazing. The Kansas wind is no joke, and to ride into that for 5:45:00 is brutal. He is being humble, Ed is kicking total ass! I work with a BAK veteran (he has done it 10+ times, but not this year) and I was talking to him at work in the hallway yesterday telling him about Ed's stats and journey, this guy was seriously impressed and proud of Ed. So GO ED!
And coughahem... not only family went up to see Ed and eat dinner with him, but I did as well. I got to see the incredible set up and effort that BAK takes, I have an entirely new appreciation for what this event entails. Ed writes all his updates on his iPhone (not an easy feat), so hopefully once he makes it home Saturday evening he can post more about how the whole operation works, it is seriously amazing. I am now convinced I need to do this event, Ashley at Journey to a Better Me and I are thinking of doing it next year. Ashley, we soooo need to do it!
Since Halstead is only 45 minutes from Wichita, I brought Ed home last night. He needed the rest and relaxation and comfort of being home for a night. I think seeing me, my parents, his parents and grandparents made him feel supported and really boosted his spirits. The gigantic iced mocha we stopped for this morning at 5:30a on our way back to Halstead didn't hurt either. It has already been a long morning for me, speaking of, I need to get going, time for this girl to work. It's a misty dreary morning and the BAKers look to have a challenging day ahead, so keep Edder in your thoughts and prayers. Thankfully, after sleeping at home last night, Ed's knee wasn't hurting one bit this morning! Oh and Ed's new riding partners are on the ball and good at heading out bright and early... and on time. I got to meet some of his companions last night, they are really great guys.
Last thing, Ed is really loving all the bloggy love, he greatly appreciates it! So thanks interwebs, keep the kind comments coming, on rough days it really boosts his spirits!