- Did I mention I haven't been riding consistently for months? Sure, when I've been commuting to and from work, 25-30 miles a day, 43 miles is nothing. But when you haven't been commuting, or leisure riding, in months? Only a fool would think they'd be fine. A fool that looks something like this:
- I was riding my beloved Madone. Which, without question, is the sweetest machine in the world. However, I've only ridden it once before, and that was only for a few miles so I could lead out the ROCK the RIDE & RUN. While it's amazing, it is still relatively foreign to me. And she's a finely-tuned machine, but, just like the finest race horse, a little temperamental when it hasn't gotten to know you, and you haven't gotten to know it. Not to mention the fact that I'd violated the Cardinal Rule of New Road Bikes - GET A FIT DONE BEFORE YOUR FIRST BIG RIDE!
- If you've been following the blog for sometime, you may know that I have Hashimoto's Disease, which is a very bizarre auto-immune disorder which does funky things, the most commonly known about is causing hypothyroidism. In my case, my metabolic system, adrenals etc are all thrown out of whack. What does that mean? That I've just started a whole new naturopathic nutritional plan, a set of new drugs and supplements, none of which have been in my system for very long, and all after my "season" in 2010 ended. So I really didn't know what my body would do, how it would react, etc to a ride.
My son and I got up at 3:00 am Sunday morning, started to get ready, gathered our last minute items that weren't already packed up in the car, and left the house at about 3:45 to get to Stamford, CT train station by 4:30. The train didn't leave until 5:03, but knowing that we had to unpack the bikes, put the wheels back on, get our gear on and make sure nothing was left behind, I wanted to give ourselves plenty of time. So, after some early morning stupidity (we thought we were done, I locked the door and realized my helmet was inside... he closed the trunk, forgetting that his Camelbak with our stuff was inside... I locked the door and realized I forgot my tea behind... ), we crossed the street from the parking garage, went up and down 2 sets of escalators and onto the platform for the train.
|Friendly crustacean, whose penguin buddy was a bit farther up|
For those of you who rode any stretch of any of the LIVESTRONG challenges with me, you know I don't like hills. For those of you who have mountain biked with me, or raced with EFTA with me, you know, I don't like hills. (Ironic, I know. A mountain biker who doesn't like mountains. That's a whole other
Then the anxiety sets in as I make it around the turn and I see the slow rising, distant expanse of highway. I see the number of riders who are dismounting and walking. And I start to weep. Literally. And somewhat uncontrollably, because I'm terrified of what my back will feel like. I'm terrified that if I slow down and need to clip out of my Speedplays, I won't, and I'll fall. I'm afraid I'm going to lose my son as he goes ahead and gets lost in the 32,000 cyclists on the road and I won't be able to reconnect with him.
|With the Dreaded Verrazano behind us - literally.|
|Passing the Statue of Liberty|
We chilled at the Festival for a couple of hours, as we heard there was an hour plus delay at the ferry, until we could catch a SAG bus to the ferry (after the time at the Festival, my injury had swollen to the point where I couldn't sit in the saddle at all). We passed the Statue of Liberty on the Ferry, got pictures taken with my Team RadioShack Madone with tourists from Japan, Canada and someplace else (all the guy would say was that he was "from another country," though he had a pretty good American accent, if you ask me).We got off the ferry and then flagged down a minivan cab faster than I'd ever hailed a cab before in Manhattan in all of my life. We picked up our traditional Zaro's Black & Whites (one for all three of us), a hot beverage for us both, and got onto the train.
We were so tired when we arrived in Stamford. We packed up the car, hit the road, and just as we were pulling into my parents' driveway to pick up my daughter, my son turns to me and says, "I don't mean to be rude, but if we have both bikes in the car, and I have to sit in the front seat, where did you think we'd put my sister?" Uh... I had completely forgotten that not only did we have to pick her up, but that she had to fit into the car, with a seat belt and all of that good stuff. After driving several miles out of the way to pick her up, I had to call my father from his driveway to ask him to follow us with her in his car to take her to our house because we had no room for her. We got back home just after 9:30, with just enough time for my son to take a shower, for me to snuggle with my daughter and slip into a coma before "Brothers & Sisters" was halfway done.