Ride 89 Day 9

100.73 miles, 1,942 feet of climbing

This was my shortest day yet, thanks to the extra miles I rode yesterday, and the fairly flat terrain. Due to a negotiation with my crew, we decided to start at 6 instead of 5 (read, the kids wanted to have waffles with Aunt Shauna this morning 😉 )

I took off before the kids ate their breakfast and got a start on my morning. With all of the hilly and long days, this was a nice contrast, especially since I had a lot of tailwinds today. By the time Annie caught up to me, I was 1/3 the way through the ride. I know this area pretty well from the Salt to Saint and Saints to Sinners relays.

The back of my right knee has been bothering me since Friday. I adjusted my seat over the weekend and that took care of my left knee but my right one was still bothering me. I think it might have been all the climbing over the past few days.

I woke up at 2 a.m. (with all the food I’m eating, I wake up several times a night, but that’s another story). And I had the impression that I needed to visit a physical therapist in Richfield as I went through the town. I did a search and found a physical therapist in Richfield, Therapy West Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine. Annie called ahead to see if they could see me. They were happy to. When I arrived around 10:30, they ushered me in to a room, checked out my knee, and found that my hamstring was inflamed. They did some scraping, taped it, gave me extra tape strips for when these inevitably come off, and suggested I use my TENS unit each night. They even gave me an ice cream sandwich while they were working on it. Such great guys!

After I left, my knee was a bit more sensitive for about five miles, but then started feeling better. I’m glad I went. Speaking of stops, I got a flat just outside of Richfield. I stopped to change it, and I’m not sure what happened. Either I left my tools on the ground or else I put them into the bag but left that open. Either way, I’m out of bike tools. This is after I left my larger toolbox in Montpelier, ID.

Guys, I’m a mess. I’m so forgetful right now. I get up in the morning, jump on the bike and go. Then after, I spend the day updating the blog, recovering, and getting ready for the next day’s ride. It’s like I have no brain power left to keep myself organized as a person. The first hour after I finish the ride is the worst. I think this is the biggest effect the ride has had on me. The only thing keeping me together right now is Annie.

It’s interesting watching the landscape change. I’ve now ridden through the rolling hills and mountains of Montana, through the greater Yellowstone area, down into the mountains of northern Utah, and now we’re transitioning to the painted hills of south/central Utah. I love the diversity. I took a nice bike path from the city of Joseph to Big Rock Candy Mountain (yes, the song was stuck in my head this afternoon). The story goes that after the song became popular in the 1920s, someone put up a sign that said, “Welcome to Big Rock Candy Mountain” as a joke. But the name stuck.

Now I’m here in Marysvale sitting underneath a large cottonwood tree writing this blog and eating my recovery meal (orange chicken and rice). Tomorrow will be my last full day in Utah.