Tour de Cape

Saturday I went in to town early for the Tour de Cape. I got there about 7 AM, and Patrick had been there for two hours already. As he informed me, he also played a gig the night before, so he’d had approximately two hours of sleep. You can see what that does:


The long haul trucker got a lot of attention on the ride, by the way. I ran into Rick Brindell after the ride and it turns out he’d seen it parked before the start and had been admiring it. Patrick said there was a woman there from out of town who wanted to try mine because she’s thinking of buying one, but unfortunately we never did manage to find her.  I think it’s the next big thing.

Anyway, I started out fast, which is something I always am tempted to do. I wound up somewhere in the front 10 or so by the time we got out to CR 621. I have to admit I find a bit of entertainment in passing people on steep hills and thinking of their view of my mud flaps as I recede in the distance. Of course, I can only keep this up for a few miles before I run out of steam, but at the moment, I gloat.  One person I managed to pass was my student Steven Smith, looking almost as retro as me on a bike with a rear rack and clip-on fender.

I did fall in with a pretty fast group, though, and finished the first 30-mile loop in a short time. Then I wound up riding with Gene Magnus and Gordon Glaus on the trip over to southern Illiinois.  It’s a nice ride, avoiding the main roads, with some pretty scenery and not too many hills.  Somewhere in there we passed a couple of dogs that just watched us go by. I heard later that they’d chased the lead riders a long way. I guess by the time we got there, they’d had enough.

I was kind of hurting from the fast pace by the time we got to the turnoff onto Bean Ridge road, or whatever it is. Gordon was in front, missed the turn, and continued blissfully on toward IL – 3. I tried yelling, but he was in the zone or something. I had to chase him down and persuade him to turn around; meanwhile the rest of the group had blown us off. This provided me with a bit of a break, so I caught my breath and proceeded to suck Gordon’s wheel down Bean Ridge a ways. After a while we could see Gene up ahead. Gordon says “There’s Gene struggling along all by himself,” and speeds up. I was personally okay with Gene struggling by himself, but I managed to hang on and we caught him.

Next thing you know, we had another little rest when we came around a downhill curve to see an ambulance ahead. A woman had taken the hill fast, found a hay truck in her way, and run off into the gravel. She wiped out and broke her collarbone.  I resolved once again to watch out and try to keep all my blood on the inside.
We eventually got to Olive Branch. At the fire station they had quite the spread of food.  I skipped the hot dogs, but I did eat a muffin and a banana and some cookies. Steve had beaten me there (I blame the delay when Gordo missed the turn) and he took off shortly after we arrived.  Gene and Gordon continued on the 100 mile leg, while I turned around and headed back.

I’d never ridden the route back, on Rock Springs Hollow road. It was pretty, and I was also enjoying being alone for a while.


When I got back to Cape, Hannah, Sophie, and Robin were there to cheer for me. I did the arms spread triumphant finish, but Hannah didn’t have her camera ready, so I had to go back and do it again. I guess I’ll get that pic from her eventually. Meanwhile, here we are at the end:


63.3 miles, 17.1 mph rolling average, total time 4 hours 15 minutes including stops. I think the broken collarbone was the most serious injury — the only one I heard of. If it hadn’t been so damn hot, it would’ve been a perfect outing for the Tour de Cape. At least, unlike the Chicago Marathon, we were able to finish it.

One Response to “Tour de Cape”

  1. Cabell says:

    Is Hannah slouching or are you wearing platform shoes?

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