Thanks to a really nice co-worker I was able to make the Tour de Corn this year. My pal Shon went with me, he wanted to ride the 100 mile route, but I didn’t. Essentially I just wimped out, it’s a great route, and a very good way to get a century in, but it was also going to be hot and humid. In many ways we were fortunate, this was an excellent day for the tour; winds were very light, just a few miles per hour, it was hot and humid but it could have been worse. All in all it was a great day for a bike ride.
I lost Shon in the crowd at the beginning, and started near the front. Before long I had chased down a group of 3 guys who were flying. We worked together and reeled in the remaining riders in front of us and flew past the first rest stop of the 60 mile course without stopping. By the time we came to the second stop we were all ready to take a break. In less than 30 seconds Shon, and my pals, JW and Justin rolled up. 30 seconds after that was a huge peloton of probably 40 riders.
The rest of day, my new riding friends, Bryan, JJ and Derek, along with old pals rode together at a pace that was a bit outside of my comfort zone. I was OK in the draft but as soon as I hit the front to pull I was losing speed. These guys were all awesome and it was a privileged riding with them.
In a recent post I’ve already covered how much I like Tour de Corn, and this year was no different, it was great again. There is one story I have to share though. The volunteers are always super friendly at the rest stops… but. Well Derek wanted to get a group photo of us and he asked a lady behind the counter at the final rest stop if she would mind snapping a photo. Pretty normal thing, right? People do it all the time. Well this woman looked as though he’d ask her to help him build a house, rebuild his transmission, or join a cult. The look on her eyes was like a deer caught in the headlights. Derek repeated his question slower, thinking perhaps she misunderstood his request. She began moving her head back and forth slowly and pointed at the other volunteers. “I’m just here to volunteer,” she said.
There was an awkward pause for several seconds while we all just tried not to burst out in laughter. Eventually he asked a different person to take our picture and she was happy too. Perhaps the volunteer has a phobia of cell phones, maybe she was Amish? I’m sure she wasn’t being rude, but it was such a hilarious out of the norm reaction that we all cracked up.
The ride finished with me taking a final pull to get us close to town, when we entered the town I pulled off and shifted into my lowest gear, I was completely spent. As everyone else sped away from me I was riding alone for the first time. My back wheel was making a horrible sound and I could hear and feel the brake rubbing. I looked back and saw my rear wheel was radically out of true and banging against the brake pads every rotation. Wow! No wonder it was so hard.
This was a very old open pro wheel that is on my spare bike. Why did I take my spare bike to the biggest ride I’ll do all year? Because it has aerobars. A spoke had popped out of it’s threads and was completely loose, an easy fix. I wonder how long I was riding like that and how much difference it would make?
Thanks again East Prairie for hosting another excellent Tour de Corn.