“No dream is ever chased alone.” —Rahul Dravid
He was panting down my neck and nipping at my heels. I pedaled like my life depended on it and couldn’t thwart the attack. The slope touched 10%, and that’s when he cracked, his will broken, as his tongue trailed limply from the side of his mouth.
It took 55 days and nearly 4,000 miles before the first duel with a dog on a remote backcountry road in my home state. I’m climbing again, and if the central New York terrain had come early in the trip, my canine competition wouldn’t have had a chance.
When climbing this way, two thousand six hundred feet of vertical gain in 38 miles is a solid day. I call them tweeners. The uphills aren’t long enough to get into a rhythm like in the Sierras or Rockies, and they don’t have gradual slopes and defined limits like the rollers of Iowa.
The double-digit pitches lasting a few seconds to a few minutes come in rapid succession, and my Zwift racing legs would’ve loved it. I don’t have those legs anymore. A few more dog chases, and they’ll be back. Until then, I’ll have to discover them one percent at a time.
There are camels in Cobleskill!
When I rolled into our overnight destination, my quads needed a rest, and I wanted a relaxing shower. Twenty-five cents for 9 minutes? Really, what’s the point, and where did the short-sighted money-minded management come up with that?
Not the scrutinized sociological research of shower scientists unless they eliminated my daughter as an outlier. I dragged my weary body back to the Schwenk Tank to pull payment from between the couch cushions and returned to the bath shack on a mission.
With my supplies prepared and positioned, I dropped a quarter in the slot and asked my cerebral Siri to set a timer for nine minutes. I was going to give it to the man by washing as many times as possible. The first drops began to flow, and I was off to the races.
In mid-lather on scrub number four my internal warning began to blare. It was exhilarating, like when the low fuel light in my car told me I had 25 miles to get to the gas station near my office 27 miles away.
Not a sputter or slow trickle, just an abrupt “that’s all you get!” The jokes on you, Mr. RV park water tax person! The sink is free.
Clean and calm, we set off to explore the cool 52- degree caves of Howe Caverns.
Not exactly spelunking, but it was cool! The jokes on me. The tour costs a bit more than 25 cents.
About the DIRT Dad Fundo Pledge for Day Fifty-Five—Perry McFall
Here is what Perry had to say—”Cycling has been an outlet for me for 35+ years. The virtual cycling world has been a new twist allowing me to ride more often with less risk. I’ve been hit two times while road riding. I ride MTB, gravel, and road.
The DIrt racing team, DIRTy WATTz teams in particular, have been phenomenal for me. I look forward to the WTRL seasons and the Thursday night TTT’s with our teammates.
I’m envious of your ride across the country! I read the daily posts as well as all the great things DDF has accomplished. Keep up the great work – taking care of one another is what our life on earth is all about!”
Amount Raised to Date—$9,879
Thank you, Perry!
Now off to Catskill, NY!
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit. Chris is committed to helping others with his bike through its work and the pages of his site.
In the summer of 2022, he rode 3,900 miles from San Francisco to New York to support the charity he founded, TheDIRTDadFund. His “Gain Cave” resides on the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two independent children.
You will read him promoting his passion on the pages of Cycling Weekly, Cycling News, road.cc, Zwift Insider, Endurance.biz, and Bicycling. Chris is co-host of The Virtual Velo Podcast, too!