Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day 4: Nothing like getting your butt kicked, twice

Had winds followed the prevailing pattern, Wednesday's 78-mile ride to Tama-Toledo would have been a breeze. Instead, it was a challenge. The consensus among Team CoeBRAI was that this was even tougher than the 83-mile, 5,200-foot climb into Jefferson on Monday.

While only 2,869 feet of climb, steady head and cross winds tested our resolve. It couldn't have helped that we added a few miles onto the beginning -- from David Moore's house in Ames to the route and off the route in Toledo to Stan and Charlotte Upah's homestead.

We soon discovered it was worth the effort. Predictably, the Upahs went all out. A hay rack was implemented to shuttle riders across the mile of gravel to the Upah home. There were hot showers aplenty and, though I may have been the only one to take advantage of it, they had a hot tub. Throw in a dinner feast -- not to mention breakfast! -- and a tough day on the road would have ended ideally.

Then Wartburg College arrived for the second annual kickball showdown. Team CoeBRAI held its own for three scoreless innings, before falling 6-2 in seven. Chalk this loss up to coaching. The Knightriders were prepared -- even taking batting practice as we finished dinner. Never mind that they appeared far too fresh to have biked this grueling day. I guarantee a different approach to next year's game.

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