So...Amelia (Shawn's niece) and I mounted up on the old blue tandem. We like to call it vintage. Within the first 5 miles, I was beginning to question my capabilities. I've had this happen before. I knew I was not in the best of shape, but we just felt we were not that efficient. Now, if I had trained much, I would have for sure known whether it was me, or the bike, or my stoker but I could not confidently say it was any of the above. We wheeled up to a bike shop in the first town, and low and behold, our front brake had been rubbing. Talk about a little extra effort being exerted for Amelia and me. From there we started rolling quite well. Throughout the week we did have to tinker with the vintage baby quite a bit though. Chain coming off, derailer needing tweeked because it would rub on chain or on the pedal, rear brake having to be manually released every so often.
Regardless, we kept pedaling away. And, of course, refueling...eating all the way across the state. With the limited diet I am on, I was slightly concerned about being able to consume enough to keep me going strong AND providing the right nutrients for the Magsters. However, meat and veggies were readily available and overall, I didn't seem to have much trouble at all. I was pleasantly surprised! Of course, breakfast burritos bowls were a must have every morning!
Throughout the week, to help raise funds for "Working in Tandem" (Both Uncle Steve's "Get Steve Moooving" and "Miracle for Maggie"), we sold raffle tickets for a RAGBRAI quilt. (If anyone would still like to buy tickets, let us know) With the mention of a GOAL to do every mile, Uncle Steve had called KWWL, the local TV station, to inform them of our story and proclaim that Maggie's mom WAS doing every mile. Not so sure how I would be concise with explaining everything, I was relieved they never tracked me down to interview me. However, I felt I had to do every mile, just in case! And really, there wasn't much consideration of doing anything else. Thursday afternoon/evening, after a day of hills and some headwind, I was about in tears from my right knee. I was a little unsure of the next 2 days, but luckily Grandma Carla came to my rescue and I was careful to nurse it along the next couple of days. I came to realize the knee trouble was actually probably coming from my seat being so uncomfortable. Never have I gone all week with my butt in pain. (it usually goes numb after the 2nd day.) If only Amelia and I would have known that our butts would never going numb, we would have traded the seats out earlier in the week. Oh well, lesson learned. We kept going. Finally Friday was a sweet treat with tailwind and smooth sailing. Then on Saturday, about halfway through the day, we were once again a little unsure of the vintage bike. After the pedal caught the derailer, bent it some more, and caused us to lose our chain, Dad was able to help get us back in action. Where the chain was placed, nothing was rubbing, which is quite the feat with the limited clearance between rubbing one way or the other. Amelia and I made the decision that we wanted to make it to the river, so we decided, if at all possible for those last 20 some miles, we would just crank it harder up the hills, and hopefully not have to change gears at all. So, we got our momentum down the hills and kept sailing to get up the hills. The gear we were in was about 12-17 mph of comfortable pedaling, which served us quite well on the terrain for the rest of that day. My knee held out fine too. Still unsure that the bike would make it, I had visions of the tires both going either direction and all the components just flying off. We started discussing how many miles out could we be before we would just run to the river to accomplish every mile as we wanted. Finally we got to the 2 miles out and knew it was straight down hill to the river, so we knew we could just coast the rest of the way if something happened. We were going to make it! And, we did. We got down to the river, took all the dipping tires pictures, and then...dum dum dum...We went to get back on the bikes to find Shawn and the bus, and the chain between the front and back pedals split in half and broke right there! 412 miles all the way across the state, and it waited to fall apart until just after we made it. As Joy was quick to point out...that's a God thing! Crazy!
It was 15 years ago that I rode every single mile. That was the last time I had done that. It was also the last time my bottom was on the same seat all the way across the state. At 30, Amelia was 15, and the two of us made every single mile together on the tandem. Unfortunately, in 15 years, when I am 45, Amelia is 30, Maggie would be 16 and I am not so sure I'll be able to captain a triplet across the state! Grandpa Kevin, our great friend Joy, and Uncle Tyler's good friend Brent also did every single mile with us! Impressive for our group!
|Support crew sleeping in!|
|Daddy being Daddy because Mags was fussin'|