My most important race this year
As I said yesterday, I had designs on winning the 30 yr old on a blue independent fabrication road bike in a velodrome category. Today was the day that I had to put it down in the name of ending this hideous disease and raising some money to help the Lance Armstrong Foundation do what they do best. Fight cancer.
Some time at about a quarter past early Jenni yelled some nonsense over to my tent about waking up. I played dead for a bit, but I was already up because on teacher time, there is never such a thing as sleeping in. We were both up and breaking down camp pretty quickly. We saw the parking lot of the velodrome start to fill up quickly with all sorts of dorks plying their goods in the parking lot black market. This is where most of the real deals go down not in the fancy velodrome.
We had all of our stuff packed up and then moved one of the cars down to get a good spot because there was a Wawa run built into the morning. I think she might be obsessed.
After our Wawa trip and quite a few interesting offers on our bikes we were off to schlep too much crap into the velodrome to start our ride. As I said yesterday, we simply brought too much stuff, but instead of just moving from the car to the tent. This time we had to go up and over the velodrome catwalk to get our stuff to our spot. Humping all of the stuff up and over the catwalk should have been included in our mileage since our haul made Hannibal look like a lightweight camper.
Once everything was set up, I took a lap of the velodrome and picked up a shifter I have been looking for and a brand new Park floor pump. I only spent $25! That was pretty sweet considering Jenni sold a jersey for me while I was away and I got rid of some other parts along the way, which makes for my first financially positive swap ever. My lap of the vendors was cut pretty short when I saw what the wind was delivering in the form of giant storm clouds.
While I was bringing stuff back and forth Jenni went to one of the vendors and picked up an inexpensive cyclocomputer that ended up keeping us entertained for two hours with the hieroglyphic directions that were included until she finally went back to the vendor and he made it work in two seconds. So much for my bike shop experience.
After finally setting up the bikes, supplies and setting everything up…the sky opened up. We took in some of our friends as refuges which made our already cramped tent that much more cramped. I was tempted to just start riding in my civies, but decided that the wet jeans would probably not do well for the nether regions.
With a trip to the car to change and a call to the lady for some last words of encouragement, I was on the bike for what seemed like an eternity. Someone in our camp for the weekend would talk about the few times that I got off to adjust things or do a money drop, but she forgets that usually when we are out for a ride I get chance to stop every few miles because she is well behind me so it was not because of lack of discipline, it was just habit.
Once I got on my steed, I really hit the pedals hard because I had 15 minutes to catch up on. I was of course sweating in no time and it seemed that as soon as we started, we were getting donations dropped in. The donations really started to flow when we were picking people out of the crowd and letting them know that riding a trainer really sucks. We kept saying more or less the same thing to all of the folks that walked past. Some would stop and talk with us for a few minutes and ogle our bikes. Those folks kept us going. Explaining what we were doing and really convincing folks that we were in this for the long haul was part of the process. I know some people like to do this challenge at home alone, but I think the public spectical that we created was kind of motivating. There were folks that would check on us all the time to make sure we were still earning the dollar that they had donated.
The random strangers, team fatty members, and the good friends that stopped by really made the day go by pretty quickly. I got to talk to an old friend for almost 30 minutes and I barely felt the pedals even turning even though I was actually working pretty hard at the time. For the future, I think that is one of the keys for the day.
Doing the whole ride with a good friend who is equally motivated if not more is also one of the keys to the 100 miles to nowhere. My ADD would have prevented me from turning the pedals for too long, but with a motivator and watchful eye over you the entire time really helps even if she tries to sleep sometimes.
We said that we would ride for 2 hour hauls then take a break. I decided that when I hit 11, I was going to stay on and keep riding. I am glad I did because I would have had a hard time getting back on. It was kind of nice out and I could have easily found some folks to shoot the bull with and avoid the bike saddle plus we were actually having a good time. When we were able to avoid talk to the pain down below, we were pretty happy for the most part.
We both kept working past the 11 o’clock hour where we were not only entertained by friends hanging around but also a hula hooping family. I have been part of some very interesting “geek out” sessions about random stuff, but to watch some hula hoop nuts discuss their obsession is something totally different esp when the age difference between the hula hoopers is greater than the age of the youngest.
Just like clock work, the noon hour brought the high winds. At this point I was riding with one hand on the bars and holding onto my tent. I can not say that the pedals were going that quickly as we were entertained by Philly Jen and I was trying to keep us in Kansas for the rest of the afternoon. At one point I had to hang my pretty full messenger bag on the tent to give it a bit more ballast.
These winds were easily over 30mph and around a quarter to one, Jenni became the victim of the wind. She is probably the only person to ever crash out of the 100 miles to no where. One gust picked up the tent pretty forcefully and when I looked to my left, Jenni was going down. We still don’t know if it was the wind, the trainer coming loose, or a blend of those things exasperated by the improvised trainer block. Luckily she was physically ok, but she was done, and I can not say that I was going to argue that point. It was time for our ceremonial oranges. 1 2
We went for a victory lap of the hardcore vendors who were still around with just an hour left in the day and then back to the cat walk exodus. With the help from Philly Jen and her friend, we were able to get the stuff back over and out very quickly and were off to the diner to shoot the bull, plan for Team Fatty Philly and count all of the donations.
While departing the diner we promised that when we got back to our houses we would finish the 100 miles since we did not think that the 4-4.5 hours that we rode on the trainer got us there, but when I arrived home to incredibly high wind and rain,
I decided that I would finish stage two soon enough and instead went out to shoot a bunch of pictures.
I plan on doing the 100 miles to no where again, but I am not sure I would do it at the swap again. It was a fun experience, but I think I would be better suited to ride a half mile course over and over again versus a trainer in one place while people walked around and freely enjoyed their day. Suffering is part of the point because we are riding for all of those who are suffering much worse than we could imagine, but I think my chances for completing are much greater on a small course than on the trainer again.