Oehmen Report: Riding With Cicadas & Character Building

Riding with Cicadas
So last month my riding partner says to me on Saturday lets go to the Orland park forest preserve tomorrow. (Which is a lovely ten mile loop in the south suburbs) Then i ask have you been there in the last couple weeks because the cicadas are really bad by my house right now. She assured me she only saw a handful and they were fine. So I set out at 7am to go biking in circles while she sleeps in. She meets up with me after 40 miles. I say to her on the phone as she calling me to say she is here, "You haven't been here in the last couple weeks.... the cicadas are pretty bad." Then she admits she hasn't been. So a handful of cicadas landed on me and another handful flew into my wheels (which was gross because cicada juice got on my legs) Then there was the occasional sprinkling of "rain" which my friend and i suspect was a birds eating a cicada overhead. Then there was constant dodging of them flying overhead. Around lunch time cicadas get really loud. All the males are looking for mates and they just go crazy. I guess if you only get to do it once before you die, everyone would be very desperate. So one landed on Pam and i took a picture, then told here about it.

Character building
Whenever i have to do something i don't like i consider it character building. A couple weeks ago i went on an easy mountain biking trail but i am really bad at that kind of stuff so i considered it character building. Then i got lost on the trails and rode longer than i had intended. Ooops! Then there was that 80 mile ride where we got rained on for over 10 miles. Which i would take any day over yesterday. Yesterday i did the heatstroke 100. Pam didn't come with. I don't know why she didn't want to drive over an hour to bike 100 miles in 100 degree weather. My bad hydration habits often lead me to dehydration and then in hot weather i start to get heat exhaustion. It already happened this year and lead me to cut my last century 20 miles short. So i was upset about that and i said it would happen this time. So here i was thinking that i needed to be sure i drank lots of water and sprayed myself with it all the time. I started the ride feeling ok but i have been nursing a cold and a sore throat all week. It cause me to only ride 40 miles last week and the 4th of July ride was very slow. Plus i somehow sprained my ankle last month but i am ignoring that. (Stupid ankle) So I am by myself knowing that if i latch myself onto a group i would push myself too hard and forget to drink. Around 30 miles into the ride the was a curve ball. A train was stopped on the tracks and a guy was trying to fix something. A lady in a car next to us asked how long it would be. He suggested that she turn around. Then we ask, can we go through the empty flat. He says i wish you wouldn't and i wish the other riders didn't. And i am thinking well why would you tell me someone else already did and he probably doesn't want to get in trouble by saying we can. The lady in the car was all like , "you guys have some real balls" in a i hate all cyclist way. So i say to her, then can you help us find our next stop because we don't know our way around here. She suggested we turn around then turn left then ask a business how to get there. Haha i found that very funny in a it's bad enough that i am doing 100 miles... i am not also going to get lost! So there was a group of five of us and we team worked it to get the bikes across. I stood on the train and I passed the bikes over to someone on the other side. I wish i remembered to take a picture. Before the other three people came across but all the bike were on the other side. The train guy warned us that the train was moving. So i hoped off and i am thinking great we did all this work an the train is moving again. No worries it only moved around 20 feet then stopped again. We were on our way. The story at the rest stop seemed to be that half of the cyclist were going around and the other half were going through the train.
So anyways the character building part. So around 60 miles the heat is sucking but i am doing good with my water. I actually have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the ride which never happens to me. Can anyone explain to me why an 80 mile ride is easy but once you go over that it gets hard? So anyways around 80 miles my thermometer say 102 and this is where i cracked last time. But this time i refuse and i keep going. I keep telling myself that i am character building. I think it is even harder when you are by yourself. No one to help push each other. I feel great today. And i can't wait to do another next week. I get a great amount of pride every time i finish one. It must be all that character building i do!

Ok thanks for reading my very long rambling. I don't write stories to the club often!
Liz Oehmen

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