Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 31 – Hot Springs, AR to Little Rock, AR (48 miles)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

We fell asleep last night to the sound of a ridiculous rain storm. I don’t think I have ever seen/heard rain fall that hard for that long of a period of time. Had I been in my own bed, the storm may have seemed soothing; however, lying on the floor of a gym with the rain pounding down on a tin roof and the lightening streaming across the sky outside isn’t necessarily the most pleasant situation.

We woke up this morning to threats of thunderstorms all morning. Chance of thunderstorm was supposed to become more severe throughout the afternoon/evening, with changes of large hail. Wonderful. Everyone was incredibly excited to get on their bikes. Actually, many people were anxious to get out on their bikes in an attempt to out-race the approaching weather.

I was on support again today, so luckily I did not have to deal with the weather. I did, however, have to deal with lots of problems out on the road. I was in the middle van, which is really only supposed to be for water stops and lunch, but we did a lot more than that today. Within the first 10 miles of the route, we had already picked up one person (he was having problems with his tire) and helped fix two flat tires. Exciting morning. We arrived at the first water stop just a few minutes before the riders started coming in. While we waited, we went searching for bullfrogs. Fun times for all.
The rest of the ride actually went pretty smoothly. We had to stop a couple more times to help out with flat tires and other little problems, but overall, nothing major. And, probably best of all, we were able to avoid the terrible weather that was looming across the radar. (We were, however, bombarded by these storms later in the evening).

We went out in Little Rock in the evening. Roshan worked really hard to get us free admission into a “Crawfish Boil.” I had never heard of such a thing, but presumed it was similar to a lobster boil. I was both correct and terribly incorrect in this thought. The similarities to a lobster boil: crustaceans are boiled with potatoes and corn, all food is thrown on a table, and the food is doled out to hungry onlookers. Differences from a lobster boil: crawfish are just plain scary. They have beady little eyes that stare you down. Granted, I am veggie so I did not try the crawfish, but I definitely watched people (suffer through) eating them, and it was a humorous site. Crawfish have very little meat – I guess this meat is located in the tail area. But it seems to me that much more waste is created from attempting to eat a crawfish than is really worth the effort for the measly portion of meat. We were also entertained by a terrible cover band. They had no musical talent whatsoever. They were also terrible “dancers.” But they were highly entertaining, nonetheless.

We went to a deuling piano bar later in the evening. It was a lot of fun. We somehow managed to make it back to the parish (we are staying at the family center of the local Catholic church) just before another wave of crazy storms blasted its way through Little Rock. The storms are crazy here in Arkansas. I just keep my fingers crossed that we never see any tornadoes on the horizon…

End of the thirty-first day. And it was stormy.

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