Friday, August 14, 2009
Wind Beneath the Wings of My Soul
The old Gunnar is a tired puppy this evening. In the middle of the morning I headed East out of Lanesboro, Minnesota. It was one of those days when the legs are working and you feel like flying. Five miles up the road I wheeled into Whelan. Hell, I'm strong, I don't need a break. Today I'm Fausto Coppi on a solo breakaway, putting pain in the legs of the peleton. Ten more miles and it's the village of Peterson. It's almost 90 degrees and humid, so I stopped for water. Still feeling strong - I'm a god today. Ten more miles down the line is Rushford. I'm riding like the wind, clicking off the miles. Rolling into Rushford I was dripping with sweat, but still in good shape. I ate at The Creamery, ice water, a great burger and a chocolate malt - only drank half. I had ridden 25 miles, but decided it was best to head back before I was hurting. I swung the Mooney out unto the trail...directly into the teeth of a steady twenty-five mile per hour prairie wind. Ahh, the reason for my speed. I went East with the wind beneath the wings of my soul. I went West...as a fat old man, as the Red Lanterne. I wasn't Lance Armstrong, I was Wim Vansevenant, slowly grinding my way into the wind, hoping to make the time cutoff. I was mentally checking off the miles to the next picnic table or village where I could take a break and find water. By the time I finally rolled up to the Ford Ranger in Lanesboro I was not a pretty sight. At least not from the inside.