Tour of Saints Bike Tour (50 miles!)
On Sunday – I was a part of the Tour of Saints Bike Tour in St Joseph Minnesota! I was so excited!!! I have been a part of this tour 4 times now. The first time was in 2004 and I completed the 50 mile tour. The two times following the weather had been so awful in 2005 and in 2006 that I took the shorter run and completed the 35 mile part of the tour.
This year I was so determined to go and do the 50. My cousin Jarrod and his wife Farrah went with me and that was so much fun! I don’t get a lot of time to catch up with Jarrod, and I have never had a real chance to talk with Farrah so this was a great opportunity to do both.
We left on Saturday at 5:00 pm and with the craziness of working the garage sale all weekend I was already exhausted. Driving to St Joseph I was just zoned out. We got to our designated spots where we were staying – they had elected for a hotel and I went to the college dorms where the tour starts and ends. Once checked in we met up for dinner at Granite City in St Cloud. Fantastic food and just sitting and talking with these two was great. I had a chance to share Honduras stories (you know me and Honduras…. ha ha) and they shared a lot about what they have been doing these past few years. After dinner we went back to our rooms for the night.
On Sunday the sky was clear (YAY!!!) but the wind was incredible (and not in a good way). We started the tour around 8 am and with the hills and the wind the tour was not as smooth sailing as I had anticipated it to be. Most of the way the wind was blowing right at us and there was a point that even downhill you had to petal to keep your bike moving. There were quite a few times that Jarrod and Farrah stopped to wait for me to catch up – I always lost them on the up side of the hills. I had a great time talking to both of them as I would ride with one for awhile, and then the other. Jarrod and I went over crazy things we did as kids and memories of us all hanging out together. With Farrah I was able to learn more about her and I really enjoyed getting to know her.
At about mile 38 I was completely exhausted. My energy was zapped from the wind that had even become stronger as the ride went on. At this point it took me so much energy to get up a hill that by the time I got to the down side I was too tired to even enjoy that let alone move. I was seriously considering calling it quits right there and hating myself for that because I hate to quit on anything. At this point I was passing a lady who started to talk to me and and as I listened to her talk about her biking events that she does and she pointed way ahead and said, “See that lady in the orange shirt, that’s my sister.”
And I said, “See those two black dots way up ahead, that’s my cousin and his wife.”
We laughed at that and rode together for about 30 minutes and as the road leveled out the ride became easier, the wind settled a bit. We reached our final pit stop (the third one) where we were able to get water and fruit and even chocolate – oh yeah. The direction of our tour then changed and we actually were able to ride out the last 10 miles with the wind actually to our back!
I was thrilled to have finished and told Jarrod and Farrah that if it were not for them and I would have taken the shorter route and ended my tour at the 35 mile point. I would have been disappointed in myself. It was a tough ride – a hard ride but so worth it!
We stopped for lunch at La Casita where we had fantastic Mexican food before we went our separate ways. Driving home I was so tired but I had the best time just hanging out with those two and doing the tour. I am already looking forward to next year!
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