Monday, September 6, 2010

It's been too long.

A month or more later since the last post and some news.

I finally finished my latest goal of 70 miles a few weeks back and realize that I haven't posted the specifics.

Biking from Richmond to Yorktown, Virginia was relatively painless... except for waking up too early (I was anxious), we arrived at the start too early (I was still too anxious) and the day prior my body was not interested in digesting food properly (I might have been anxious).

I was quite surprised at the reality of finishing this ride with relatively little pain as much as I think my back end was... ok, getting ahead of myself.

The first twenty miles began too quickly (I must remember to slow down) and then we stopped in the country area known as Charles City. The flat roads were a great change from the usual. We pedaled beneath trees whose overhanging limbs shaded us from the rising sun. I repeatedly looked down to my cyclocomputer to see my average mph climb to record (my record mind you) levels. I think the adrenaline had taken hold.

After a few bottles of sugar-laden electrolyte beverage at the rest stop which had I passed by without noticing (my buddy and I u-turned a mile later when we realized) we continued toward Williamsburg -- again, not too painful but again, at too fast a pace. I so wanted to slow down but admittingly pride intervened. Surrounded by people who had biked across the nation for the 52 prior days or people with very heavy bikes complete with cages prepared to carry tents and food... I felt like I should not just keep up, but lead a few miles as well. And what happens when one finds oneself at the front of a line of bicyclers barreling down the road? Well, one feels the need to impress fellow bicyclers with a high cadence and desire to break wind (in the good way) for those behind. Happily, I am able to report that while a bit painful, I was able to do my part and arrived in Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary. Ahhh... lunch of which I did not partake. Fifty miles does not invoke a desire to stuff one's face. Instead, more Gatorade and a warm energy bar (from being crammed in the back pocket of my jersey) would have to do.

And so our last twenty or so miles remaining were spent on the Colonial Parkway between Williamsburg and Yorktown. This road was of course hilly and very rough. Rough as in pavement in which one sprays off the top layer of adhesive during construction so our tires make a friendly hum as we travel alongside the York River. This surface however does not make a friendly hum on 120 psi tires upon which I ride on a very narrow saddle. My arms rattled and I smiled knowing that beyond the bridge I saw ahead... was the "finish line". I must also interject here that this is when the tears began.

As we closed toward the end, I thought of all of the people that had contributed their hard-earned dollars to support my endeavor to raise money for cancer researchers. On my back in another one of those jersey pockets I carried a handwritten list of all those sponsors and those they contributed in honor of. A list of departed friends and family as well as names of people who had survived their battle with cancer. Thinking of them, the tears fell down upon the road as it sped by beneath me.

And then we arrived. Not too tired and in fact ok. No crashes. No bonking (referring to when one has no energy due to the lack of food consumption, not the bonking for which rabbits are known), no cursing my decision, no screaming for an end to the madness. In fact some energy left in the tank -- encouragement for the 100 mile ride to be completed in October.

Another milestone completed. Next challenge is later this month when I attempt my longest distance of 76 or so. This one I think will include a few more hills. I anticipate that my legs will hurt... but I think it's the kind of hurt that's good... I'm looking forward to it.

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