We took a break at a gas station and Chad had found some frozen Burritos in a box in the cooler. we nuked them and they were heavenly. Giggles caught up with us and we saw Jeremy Kershaw riding solo, already heading out while we were going on our break. We talked to the other racers and encountered some friendly Iowa riders on their sunday cruize in the country.
We rode and rode and eventually Giggles fell behind. We pressed on to make the second checkpoint on time. We arrived again at 8 but this time pm to the check point with 1 hour 45 minutes to spare. I was really happy with our riding and felt great to have found somebody to pace with. Special K did a great job at navigation and he really kept us going strong. Whenever he would go in front and start gapping me I would whistle and he would ease up a bit. I took some long pulls on any flat section and made sure he was behind.
We rode on and off with other riders and it sucked that we could not stay together. 10 miles out of checkpoint 2 we were to find a Casey's. We got distracted with our support picking up other riders and missed our turn. We burned time touring the town looking for the Caseys. It had gotten dark. So we had put our leg warmers, jackets, balaclavas, anything we had.
We finally found the Caseys and hammered some Pizza, choc milk, reeses, coke, chocolate, pringles. All the junk you can imagaine. We also ran into Paul Jacobsen. He greeted us and wished us well. We left the gas station and we were full to the gills with food. The gravel roads got dark and cold and we entered the dark part of the ride. It would take me a while to warm up and by now some aches and pains were showing.
The afternoon heat cramps had gone away and now just turned to aches and pains. Special K was instrumental in keeping the moral up while I started to get tired and sleepy. We stopped and jammed a bunch of chocolate covered espresso beans. The moon and a billion stars were out in force. I saw an enourmous falling star and made a wish. WE rode some gnarly downhills in the dark. There was a lot, lot of fresh gravel. After a very long time came 1 am and we had another 5 hours until sunrise. The fog was coming out again and I felt the dampness on my hydration pack when we stopped. I felt my clothing damp and wet. I was happy to have my balaclava, my wool buff and my DBD approved man diaper. That thing was tucked under my baselayer and it was keeping my chest warm and toasty.