Sunday, May 2, 2010


Today was amazing. I'm so proud of myself. I did 30 miles after not sitting on a bike for 25 years. Seriously. This morning at 5am was the first time I'd been on my bike.
Up at 2:30 for no reason whatsoever and out the door at 5am on the nose. Rode the bike to the PATH and was in the city by 6am.
Stood around for 2 hours and they counted down from 10 and we were off...sort of. Almost immediately I had to scoot my bike along with my feet because of the crowds. This would be an ongoing theme all day and one of my downfalls.
The stopping and trying to balance or ride super slow and not crash was the worst part of the whole ride. If I'd been able to just move forward at a good pace I think I wouldn't have been so wiped out. Stopping, starting, tensing muscles, collecting bruises on my legs it's exhausting.
And the bridges. Dear LORD the bridges. The hills and the inclines. At mile 15 we were at the Queensboro Bridge and I couldn't do another hill. Not ONE MORE HILL.
I approached a marshal and asked if I could walk my bike up. He said I absolutely could (This after I was told by another marshal at another hill that I couldn't do it and I huffed and puffed to the top) I walked to the top of the Queensboro bridge and tried to ride and immediately my right thigh cramped. I cried. I admit it. I had tears streaming down my face. I didn't want to stop because of a stupid leg cramp but I was so exhausted I got overwhelmed. I pulled over the cramp subsided and I was able to roll on.
Let me tell you something you wouldn't know from being in a car. The up side of a bridge is a bitch and the down side is fucking SCARY. Especially when you don't have hand brakes but rather a bike that brakes by backpedaling.
The Queensboro Bridge is this beast of a down ramp and when you are surrounded by thousands of other bikers your room for wobbling or for error are nill.
Hit the rest stop to refill my water and sit and rest.
After about 1/2 an hour I found the strength to go on and almost immediately ran into a standstill crowd where you eek your bikes along. Not slow enough to dismount but not fast enough to keep your balance either.
I didn't see the demarcation between Queens and Brooklyn but all of a sudden we were at mile 25. I rode on another 5 miles and my tank was empty. I turned a corner and saw another hill and I sat down and called my dad to come and get me.
30 miles was my day and I was done. I couldn't do another hill. I couldn't. The spirit wasn't even willing.
It was 88 degrees today and the sweat and the grit and the grime and the dirt and then my poor butt from my seat. OUCH. I was done.
I feel super accomplished and did better than I thought I would. I wanted to stop so many times and toss in the towel but I didn't. Pushed on and did 30 miles.
My sweet bike got LOTS of compliments from other riders as they passed me. More than once she was called "The coolest bike of the day"
Three riders to my count went down hard enough to need ambulances and I saw more than one person off to the side with a bent wheel or a flat tire.
My beautiful gal soldiered on and never once let me down.
My nose is sunburned my arms are sunburned and I still have the sensation that my sunglasses are on.
I'm exhausted but I had an amazing time and I can't wait till next year!

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