Today was the first day of the ride. The route was 60 miles from Marinette to Green Bay. It primarily followed the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Deb dropped me off and then headed into Green Bay to ride the Fox River rail trail. My goal was to try to finish by 2:00 because we were to go on a tour of Lambeau Field at 3:00. I kept on pace for the first 30 miles and then things started going bad. It was about 90 degrees and very humid. I thought I was drinking enough fluids, but apparently I didn’t. My first clue should’ve been that I hadn’t had to pee all day. There was a long stretch of the route that didn’t have much shade and I got overheated. I was 44 miles in and was looking for a spot of shade along the road to pull off and rest. I couldn’t find any shade and decided to just pull over anyway. When I stopped, I got very lightheaded and laid my bike down and plopped on my butt on the shoulder. I felt horrible and thought I was going to pass out. I kept thinking about the cyclist at home that had died in the extreme heat recently. I couldn’t even think clearly enough to call a SAG for help. After sitting there several minutes, I texted Deb and asked where she was. She had just finished her ride and was back at the vehicle. I told her I needed picked up and she headed my way. I felt well enough that I thought I could try to ride a little further. I went about a third of a mile and then both legs started cramping up bad. I did manage to stop in the shade that time and that’s where I stayed until Deb arrived to save the day. I was sitting on the ground with ants crawling all over me and I didn’t care. I amused myself by feeding the ants some coffee flavored energy gel…….bet they were up all night! After Deb picked me up, we made it back to the school where we were to overnight and got cleaned up in time for our stadium tour.
Lambeau Field is quite impressive….. a huge facility. We toured the Hall of Fame and then had a private tour of the stadium itself. We got to see one of the private suites which rents for $30,000 per game. Their smallest box suite which I believe seats 10 people goes for $69,000 per year. We got to walk through the player’s tunnel out onto the field. At the end of the tunnel is some of the concrete encased in brick from the original city statium. They put it into the floor of the existing tunnel and the tour guide said the players click their cleats on it for luck before a game. The field is grass with synthetic fibers mixed in. The grass winds around the fibers as it grows and it helps keep the turf from breaking up. They mow the field every other day. It has sensors on it that transmit data to a satellite which in turn sends data to a computerized system for watering. The tour guide said they get about 10 years use out of it before it has to be torn out and redone. After our tour we went back to the school for supper. I was still not feeling too well (dehydration headache and diarrhea) so we decided to heck with camping again and headed to a hotel. We also made reservations at a hotel in Sturgeon Bay for the next two nights……so much for camping! I’ve decided that tomorrow I’m going to take it easy. Instead of riding the route, I’m going to ride a paved rail trail with Deb.