6-2 Agonizing Slow Crawl to Aberdeen

I don’t have a lot to say about today’s ride. Certainly it was humbling. Only the night before I told my dad during our talk that Aberdeen was only 50 to 55 miles away and made for a short ride. But if I didn’t stop in Aberdeen, I would need a 90-mile day to get to next town w camping or hotels. I told Pops that I would decide once I got there – whether to continue or rest. 

I should point out that Pops or my dad has always been my foundation. My dad is a career electrician and blue collar working man. I have an electrical engineering degree from Valparaiso, yet only know a fraction of the common sense stuff he knows. 

Dad Knows Best

Need an example? About 10 years ago, my dryer quit working. It made a weird noise when it was turned on and clothes took forever to dry. So, I replaced it with a new dryer. At same time my pool pump started making a weird noise. I know some of you have already solved the mystery and likely laughing at my expense and the expense of the new dryer. 

I was talking to my pops about my bad luck with 2 appliance failures within days, and he suggests I go to my electrical panel with a meter to see if I “dropped neutral.” What? Really? 

No way…within minutes it was evident the neutral line for 220 to the house was broken somewhere from the transformer to the house. Called Duke electric and they sent out an electrician like Pops who quickly confirmed this scenario and fixed the lost line. 

Needless to say, my ol dryer was fine. Dad knew this ….I didn’t.  

Pops has recently taken up biking on a recumbent as he has some back issues. I say recently because he only began biking maybe in last 10 years. 

But because he bikes, he is still the guy I call to review my biking plans. Yep, Pops is the man! 

I say all this as he suggests that maybe Aberdeen is a good location and where I should stop to rest. He offers to find some places for me and texts me their address. It’s like he knows what was coming… 

What Was Coming …

The ride was hell from Redfield to Aberdeen. Every inch of the 55 miles was against a north headwind of 25 mph. The terrain was boring…flat fields that went on for ever. Dust in the air. 90 degrees of heat.  

Did I ever mention this blog is really designed for me to whine? Not to disappoin,t but that was 1 tough ride.  

As my son Jesse says, you need grit to “get er done.”  

I crawled to Aberdeen. Slow grit pace between 8 an 10 mph. Before you judge, put 40 to 45 lbs of gear on your bike, ride for 3 weeks, then face your headwind. It ain’t easy. 

It’s humbling! 

Gas Station, My Safe Place

I stopped at gas station at intersection with US20 and bought a V8 and a Gatorade with a bacon cheeseburger. It was around 11:30 and represented the half waypoint to Aberdeen. 

I sat at a booth in the station and watched dust flying across the parking lot. Farmers came and went with dusty overalls in dirty trucks. They stopped here for quick drink and sandwich. The lady at the cash register knew everyone who stopped. 

I overheard conversations about their kids, who was in the Army, who lost a calf to coyotes. An older lady stopped and went to the casino which was a small room with swinging doors where you could play or gamble on some slots.  

Weird, but I didn’t want to leave. It was a safe place for the moment.  

When I left a rode for about 15 miles and stopped at only shade I could find which was a cemetery marked with 1883. I sat under a cedar tree and fell asleep. No idea for how long. Just passed out. 

I did make it to Aberdeen and went to the Schwinn bike shop to get a replacement tire for yesterday’s failed tube. I then realized I have been biking for 8 days straight and camping for 7 days. 

Time to get a hotel, do some laundry and send my most recent blogs to Jane to be posted.  

Super 8 on US12 by Walmart for 55 bucks, another 4 for laundry and 20 bucks splurge for salad and wings next door. 

Scenery was so boring….no pics today 

Leave a Reply