Not An Ironman This Year

About 3,000 people rode in the 50th annual Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride on Sunday.
They endured what Willmar cyclist David Moody described as “Lots of rain and plenty of wind, too.”
That was from an email by Moody, whose recent participation in the Ride for World Health has been the subject of recent posts on this blog.
David and I thought our paths might cross at Ironman while we were both out riding.
But we weren’t both out riding.
While David and the other riders were pedaling through wind and rain, I was at the Barnes and Nobles at the Har Mar Mall in Roseville reading the latest issue of The Atlantic.

Our walk back to our daughter's apartment from the St. Paul Art Crawl Saturday took us past the James J. Hill house.
Our walk back to our daughter’s apartment from the St. Paul Art Crawl Saturday took us past the James J. Hill house.

I planned to ride. I’d registered myself and my daughter, Gabby, and her husband, Daven.
Daven had ridden and won an 80-mile gravel bicycle race the day before.
Sofia, my wife, Gabby and I spent the previous afternoon at the St. Paul Art Crawl. We walked to the event near the farmers market, climbed several floors to a variety of artists’ lofts and returned to Gabby and Daven’s apartment via the daunting steps next to the James J. Hill House.
Then Gabby and I rode our bikes to Minnehaha Falls and back home along the Mississippi River Trail.
It was an enjoyable day and made the trip to the Twin Cities worth it.
But the point of the trip was to ride in the Ironman.
And that was looking less likely with each passing hour Saturday night.
We were all tired and Gabby and Daven didn’t want to get up before 7 a.m.
At about 6 a.m., I first heard thunder.
Besides going to the Art Crawl, Gabby and I rode to Minnehaha Falls and back to her place on the Mississippi River Trail.
Besides going to the Art Crawl, Gabby and I rode to Minnehaha Falls and back to her place on the Mississippi River Trail.

Jarrett Hubbard, who we were going to ride with, emailed a while later to say he had seen the weather radar and decided not to ride.
When they got up at 7, Gabby, Daven and I stood in the livingroom of their apartment trying to decide what to do.
The three of us have ridden in bad weather — including the Ironman two years ago.
Held in late April when Minnesota weather is volatile, the Ironman gets its name — with the triathlon association’s permission — because it’s held even if it’s snowing, raining or blowing heavily.
Two years ago the Ironman was cut short because of weather that left some riders with hypothermia and other exposure problems.
After that experience, Gabby always qualifies her willingness to ride the Ironman. She says she’ll go if it’s not raining.
As we stood in their apartment at 7 a.m. Sunday, we heard some more thunder.
Daven said he had no desire to ride in a thunderstorm.
We went back to bed.
When Sofia and I returned to Willmar Sunday afternoon, the streets were dry.
It had rained a little Sunday morning, but not much, we were told.
I heard later that lightning had damaged or destroyed some homes in the Twin Cities area.
But in Willmar the wind was gusting to 30 mph.
I unpacked and then rode my bike for a while anyway.