The ride went pretty well, I suppose. Colleen and I rode together the entire way, linking up with a 4 or 5 Air Force guys (she knew two of them from when they were formerly stationed at Sheppard AFB) for the last 35 or so miles.
I was an idiot and tried to reset my bike computer the morning of the ride (the display was flashing in a way that supposedly indicates that the head unit's batteries were low..but they were not that old), and ended up completely messing it up, leaving it in a state of failed syncing with the wireless speed/cadence sensor. So, I have no idea what the overall rolling time was. Our best guess is about 5.5 hours. We stopped at more rest stops this year and for longer, and I think that is probably why my lower back hurt, but not to the same level as it has in some previous years.
One thing that was new was a numbness and tingling in my middle, ring, and pinky fingers on both hands. I didn't think much of it at the time, thinking it was just some temporary numbness from so many hours on the road and the amount of vibration from some of the rough roads. Waking up Sunday, though, it was still numb. Today, it's no different -- still numb. I did a bit of searching and found that it looks to be something often called 'cyclist's palsy' or ulnar neuropathy. It's explained in plenty of detail here and here and here, but the summary is that it's an inflammation of the ulnar nerve (it runs down the entire length of the arm to the hand) from overuse -- in this case, all of the hours of constant vibration and gripping of the handlebars.
Nick has run into this before, and found that some vibration damping bar end plugs from Bontrager (the Bzzzkill) work very well.
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