22.May.2015

May 22, 2015

After my successful 5 km time trial on Wednesday, I’ve spent the past couple of days cycling with Big Andy in the region around Berry, Kangaroo Valley, and Fitzroy Falls. Yesterday was particularly tough, with nearly 6,000 feet of climbing on the bike, some of it at around a 20% gradient. You can see the stats of the ride, including the dramatic vertical profile, on https://connect.garmin.com/activity/781181747.

I rode with Big Andy in January, when I was several kilos heavier and less fit. That was really hard, and I failed to keep up with Andy (the cycling machine) on that occasion. But this time I was able to keep with him on the long mountain climbs, and without any specific cycling training either. More confirmation that my fitness level is improving.

It’s only a little over a month now until my book is in the stores. Already one of the major Australian newspapers has indicated they intend to run a review of the book. That augurs well for the reception the book is likely receive in general, although book reviews can be critical as well as positive. I hope it’s the latter.

Today’s photo is of fields of strawberries on the California coast between Santa Cruz and Monterrey. The late afternoon sun is shining over the Pacific Ocean.

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On This Day

 

May 22, 2012

Distance today = 52.02 km; Total distance = 6613.12 km; Location = Pringle, South Dakota – 43 36.487′ N, 103 35.353′ W; Start time = 0843, Finish time = 1648

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/181075189

Running on a 33 C day may sound bad enough, but when you’re out in the direct sun, with heat radiating off the dark road surface, the effective temperature is over 40C. Add to that a dry wind and a lot of uphill, and it made for a difficult day.

However, the bonus was that I ran into the Black Hills of Dakota. I can see why they are so renowned.

Earlier in the day I passed through Hot Springs. I found this place quite charming, with its consistency of architectural style, based on the local red sandstone – quite different to other famous sandstone cities, such as Salamanca, which are mostly constructed from a golden sandstone.

As I ascended into the Black Hills, the girls, who had gone ahead, came back to tell me there was a herd of bison right by the roadside. Signs abounded, telling tourists that these animals are dangerous. And that was if you were in a car. I was a little concerned at first, but when I passed them, they were quite sedate and not interested in me at all. As a precaution, the girls were there in the car, should I have needed to be shielded behind it in case of an attack from a charging bull.

The tracker is showing me in the town of Custer (named after George of the Last Stand fame), although my official run position is about 20 km south in the village of Pringle. Tomorrow I run past both the Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore. Tune in at the same time tomorrow to hear more about those.