Saturday, August 1, 2009

Event #13, Go For Blood Bike Ride & 5K....and some misdirection

After a drought in terms of races in July, between races / event schedules and work - August got started off in the right fashion.....30 - 35 mile bike ride in and around Waxhaw, to benefit the Union County American Red Cross - best of all with my wife, Sheila. With the way work has been for the past several weeks, getting home at midnight or later - working weekends, etc...I was itching to get back out and get another event under my belt...

With the way fundraising went through July - I was pumped to get out and of today, with a few matching gifts outstanding, we are over $13K! A good chunk of that came from a friend and fellow TnT Alum Julie Jones and her 3rd grade class at Cotswold Elementary...Julie was training and fundraising for an event and could not participate, she transferred her donations to the 40 in 40 - almost $1,800!!! $13K Thank you all so very much.

So we get to the venue - Cane Creek Park in Waxhaw (site of event #19 - Cane Creek Tri in September) and they're lining up the riders, we're a tad tardy. Tardy??!?!? I don't Feel Tardy.

Anywho - so we register and head out. The road markers for the ride show a 30 mile route and a 60 mile route, so I'm thinking, OK - it's only 30, not big deal....

As we ride along, we pass a few folks and then get passed by two of the is Dr Josh Kollman - best Sports Dr in the CLT - as far as I am concerned. So I yell out to him, and he and his buddy pull up - and we chat for a bit..he's training for IM Florida - as are Kevin Collins and John McLean, TnT coach and TnT Alum respectively...and Josh mentions, "I just go back from France...I rode a stage in the tour... A STAGE IN THE TOUR - as in Tour de France...holy schnikies! Will post more once I find out which stage exactly - but Josh rocks...he's the best guy and Dr...anywho - so they peel off

We keep going cruising along, nice and easy..get to rest stop #1 around mile 15...grab some chow and head back out - we're riding along and I'm goofing around (I know shocker) and we are just cruising...the we see a SAG (Support and Gear) truck, and they wave us down, around mile 18...after some back and forth, we realize we missed our turn, about 3 miles back - right about the time I was goofing around...oops.

So back we go - but before we get going, Sheila aka the Cat Whisperer, notices a little gray tabby kitten alongside the road...meowing adamantly that it needs to be picked the SAG truck comes up and they agree to take it with them back to the start/ we were MEANT to go those 3 extra miles, to save a kitten...good to know.

We make it back to our turn, and chat a bit with the folks there who were helping other riders not miss the turn, and get on our merry way....

About 25 miles in, we get passed by a pace line - a group of riders, in a straight line, using drafting (blocking of the wind) to speed along. When they get about 200 yards ahead of us, I decide, I'm feeling pretty good...I'm gonna go catch them - they're doing about 22 off I go, imagining the Tour - catching a breakaway...and I am actually gaining on them, 100 yards, 75, 50...and then I try to shift and mess it up...they crest a hill and off they go - not to be caught...stupid me...why shift when I am gaining on them? Oh well, so I spin back and rejoin Sheila and we continue on.

As we get to about the 30 mile mark, I am doing the math in my head, we've got about 5 - 10 more to go, due to my little detour to unexpectedly save the cat...probably closer to 10...

This little stretch of road was pretty hilly, and as Sheila said, no one told us these hills would be so hilly. But we make it to just shy of the 35 mile mark and again - another pace line...this time I'm like - nope - not going to do it. But I'm still feeling good and my competitive and curious nature creeps up..can I actually catch them? They're about 1/4 mile ahead of us by now.

So I figure - why not try. So I shift now, better planning this time and jump on the pedals. Start hammering pretty hard - not gaining yet, but wait, I start to, and then some more, a little more, shift again and gain more...they crest a hill - but I decide to keep going...about 3/4 of a mile into it - I catch the back wheel of the last rider - and let out a little whoo hoo! The last rider turns around and is like "who's back there?"
Right where the marker is on the pic where I caught them

As I chuckle to myself and give myself a little pat on the back, I turn around to rejoin Sheila...

So - last few miles to the end, we cruise along and just enjoy the ride - 2 and a half hours later we return...some of the most fun 40 miles I've done in awhile- I got to ride with Sheila and really enjoyed the ride. Sheila had an awesome ride after not riding, we figured, for almost a year.

Go and check out the snacks at the end - and the volunteers tell us the kitten, which they brought back (YEAH!) has been picked up and passed around by several kids who were their cheering on their parents. Looks like it will be adopted right there. Very cool.

Looks like the folks who organize the event are considering adding a 10K and/or a half marathon to the events schedule in the next year or so. Something to keep in mid for all those folks training for a Full IronMan in the fall - a half marathon, in early August....seems like perfect timing - depending on your keep your eyes open for that.

All in all an amazing day. First event back after the July hiatus, and knowing we've raised over $13K was truly all rode with us this morning.

Thanks so much - next event is next weekend - Y2Y metric century in and around Weddington (south of Charlotte). Looks like Cat Reid and Cheryl Ryan, Tahoe riding partners will be doing it as well.

Go Team!

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