Day 17: Mile marker 37 in Napoleon, ND - Fargo, ND
Distance: 145 miles
Vertical: 873 feet
Biking Time: 7:40
Wow. One hundred and forty-five miles. The biking portion of the Iron Man is 112 miles, so by the Iron Man's standards we exceeded the cycling equivalent to running a marathon by 33 miles. We are basically ultra-marathon cyclists, no big deal. Bare with me on this post, I am pretty mentally fried right now. I am at the thinking capacity of my little brother Joey, which is pretty low (love you little man).
Yesterday, Nigel and Josh were supposed to go 120 miles and today was supposed to be around 110. Because Nigel is a failure and could not make it the extra 30 miles, I heroically stepped up to the plate and said that I could cover the rest for him. No I'm kidding (kind of). Nigel "broke" (probably intentionally) his bike again the other day so they got a really late start. I told Josh and Nigel that I would pick them up at 8 pm regardless of how far they went, giving them about 8 hours including breaks (Probably like 6 hours of biking. Nigel really needs his breaks, its pathetic) to get the 120 miles they needed. They claimed that they had to battle a headwind that started at 2 pm, but honestly I don't know what they were complaining about. The breeze felt incredible in the car.
I parked the car 80 miles into the ride yesterday to check in on them, and by the time they showed up I realize that they were just about spent. Josh insisted that they had 45 minutes left in the tank so I began to frantically crunch numbers in the car to see how to make up for this undershot. "Okay so that would leave us with about 140-150 miles tomorrow, 103 the next day, and 68 miles after that, that would be about 108 miles a day. Okay thats manageable." I thought to myself.
45 minutes passed by so I picked Nigel and Josh up and we drove to Beth's apartment to retire for the night. Nigel and ate a ridiculous amount of food (no surprise) while Josh typed away at his computer. After a little while he looked up at me and said, "lets make the 145 mile ride to Fargo tomorrow. How bad ass would that be." I did some mental math and told him the pace we typically bike, that would be 9 hours on the saddle, and he responded with, "Yeah but that would be so bad ass." I agreed (without complaining) and we decided that we would try our best to make it to Fargo.
Fueled by images of Evan Laws telling me that it would take us at least 60 days, we set out on our bikes and rode all day and made the entire trek. We even had enough energy to get tackled while in Gackle.
As far as the ride went today, it was long (no duh). There was not terribly much to look at, kind of like Eastern Montana with sporadic trees and less small towns. I turned my odometer off of the distance function today because I knew watching the device slowly tick to 145 would make me lose my mind, but quickly learned that that wouldn't work because I just stared at mile markers to calculate how far we went. We had rather a dead wind or a tail wind for the entire ride, so we were very fortunate in that sense. We also got lucky in that It was overcast for the majority of the ride with periodic rain, which kept us cool and awake.
8 curate bars, 2 zip lock bags of trail mix, 2 gatorades, 2 coffee vita cocos, and 3 GU's later and we made it to Fargo. When we made our final stop, we found out that John Sommers set us up with another news interview that night and they would need footage of us riding our bikes for it. Thanks a lot John, way to add salt to the wound.
A quick shout out to our Theta Chi brothers in North Dakota State University for allowing us to stay in your live out. It has been really awesome to meet all of you guys, despite the fact that I lack ability to hold conversation.
After today I feel like there is nothing holding us back from making it to Boston on schedule. We made it through days with monstrous ascents, ridiculous head winds, and ultra marathon status distances. I am sorry to disappoint you Laws, but I think you were 20 days off in your estimate (but honestly thank you for motivating me to want to do it faster).
Hate us cuz you ain't us,