Hills and bust. Rapid City, SD to Newcastle, WY 6/29/2010

To make it up to Lauren for taking me to the doctor, I agreed to ride up some hills to Mt. Rushmore with her.  Some hills turned into many hills and steep hills.  She worked her butt off to get to the top of Mt. Rushmore where we faced our most challenging hill of the first leg.  On our way through the town before Mt. Rushmore, we passed by the clinic that I went to yesterday.  It took us 6.5 miles to get there yesterday, and it only took us 3 miles of cyucling to get there today.  Man did I feel dumb.  No more directions for me! 

Mt. Rushmore is much smaller than I imagined.  The people there were very curious about our voyage.  Here are some pictures.  There are some pictures floating around with our prairie dog Brad taking the face of Lincoln. 

The next leg of the 80 mile ride proved a little more difficult for me.  Actually, extremely difficult for me. I could not breathe deeply at all.  I basically hyperventilated for the next 20 miles.  I was getting dizzy and weak.  I was falling behind.  Me gapping was very surprising to my riding group.  Something was wrong.  I blame it on a couple of things.  The heat at Mt. Rushmore was unbearable.  Our break was very long.  The headwinds were tough and the air had a scent in it that irritated my lungs.  Whatever the case, I felt so horrible at the lunch stop at 46 that I chose to sag the rest of the way into Newcastle, WY.  Here was my pretty view. 

Some suggested that it could have been the altitude.  That kind of alarmed be because we were only at 4000 feet.  We have another 9000 to go!  If I can’t breathe at 4000 feet, my lungs my shoot out of my mouth at 9000.  My plan is to ride out fast tomorrow to test my lungs.  Probably not a smart idea, but sometimes you have to be crazy to get better!

Comments (5)
  • tomodon says:

    Altitude blows. I remember running in Denver last year- anywhere else I could do 3-6 miles, no problem. In Denver, after a mile and a half on the track, I was tanked. Being closer to the sun doesn’t help either.

  • Barb says:

    Happy 4th Stephen!
    Sounds like your adventure is just that, ADVENTUROUS!
    Keep a positive attitude & listen to the signs your body sends you. You remain in our thoughts & prayers daily.
    Hope you see spectacular fireworks tonight & rest!

  • sandy miller says:

    Hi Steve, take care of youself and whoever Barb is I agree, listen to what your body tells you. Enjoy the ride into Yellowstone, drink lots of water and for altitude you need a ton of carbs. Take care and again I say watch out for bears!!

  • Steph says:

    You guys are crazy! It is amazing actually, every time I get bummed about a doctor appt. or disappointed with school stuff, I read your blogs and your teammates ones and I wish I could be slightly as strong as you. I’m glad to hear the lump was a build up of blood and am so impressed that you just keep pushing yourself. Your blogs are inspirational and are extremely powerful. You and Lauren sound like you need some breaks and I hope that you were able to have a relaxing 4th of July ending with some wicked awesome fireworks!
    ps i agree with Barb above don’t ignore your body!(which if you are at all like me, which it kind of sounds like from my 7 or what not years of ignoring mine you probably won’t until it forces you to). Anyways just stay safe and enjoy the surroundings!

    also its almost 3 am here so please ignore any mistakes in my writing

  • Aunt Pat says:

    Hi Steve,
    It’s so incredible to read about your daily adventures!
    You show remarkable strength by pushing through the tough moments and looking ahead to the future. You know how to make a family proud, that’s for sure! We love you lots!

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