So, yesterday was the big bike ride. Actually, it started at 7pm Friday, and went until 7pm, Saturday. Over 1,600 riders raised over $1.3 million for Cancer Research. New record for the 24 Hours of Booty Organization.
I set a new PERSONAL best for me: 222 Miles in that 24-hour period. I rode 15 hours, 6 minutes to hit the 222 mark.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE RIDE::
– The 1st loop (it’s a 2.97 mile loop we ride) is always done by cancer survivors. I was happy to see it was a VERY crowded field of riders for that 1st loop.
– The support from onlookers cheering us on. There was this one lady (named Dawn) who cheered all the riders on the ENTIRE time. She was on the back part of the loop, which was the HARDEST PART. She was awesome, as were the other folks.
– Riding at 3am in total blackness (minus the bike headlights) and hearing the tremendous roar of cicadas. It was very loud, yet eerily quiet at the same time. There were VERY few riders out between the 3am to 5:30am part of the ride.
– All the kids along the course route holding out there hands to give ‘High 5’s!” to all the riders. The kids LOVED getting high-fived… I tried to get to every kid that had their hand out. The look on their faces was priceless.
– Losing 11.5 pounds during the ride… (see the lowlights section about hydrating… don’t think it was all “water weight)
– On my last lap, I rode up alongside this little boy. He had to have been 10 or 11 years old, tops. I had seen him throughout the day on Friday and now on Saturday. I asked him, “How many miles have you ridden?” He proudly looked down at his odometer, and with a BIG smile of accomplishment on his face said, “132!” Simply amazing.
– Finishing the ride at 7pm and being 1 of only 7 or 8 other riders still out on the course. I couldn’t get over how many folks had left, prior to the finish. The last 3 laps were so empty of riders. (See my next bullet point about the weather, and it will explain this bullet point.)
SOME LOWLIGHTS OF THE RIDE:
– Charlotte had a record high temp yesterday of 101 degrees with a heat index of over 110 degrees. It was a BRUTAL DAY to be on the bike. I have NEVER had to hydrate the way I did yesterday. I was going through a water bottle every 3 miles. I wish I had read up more about “over hydrating” because it was on my mind the ENTIRE ride! I was SO SO SO thirsty though, so I just kept drinking. With my kidney issues, I really wish I had read more up on that before the ride. It was really horrible weather. I could’ve easily done 250 miles if the weather had been better.
– Saw 2 crashes that both involved little kids. Fortunately, everyone was OK. Scary though to see kids in a pile up of bikes.
– At the 75 mile mark, I really thought I was done. I tweaked my right knee really badly and was favoring it pretty strongly. My left leg (locked into the pedals) was doing a lot of the work, but I knew I couldn’t do 200+ miles on ONE leg. Standing to ride the back part of the loop (the BIG BIG hill) was out of the question. No fun when you can’t stand to attack the hills.
– Then at the 100 mile mark, with the heat being as high as it was, and the humidity being just UNGODLY hot, I got a SERIOUS rash on my “derriere.” I could NOT sit down on my bike. It felt like my butt was SERIOUSLY ON FIRE. Incredibly painful. Now I was CONVINCED I was done. I was back at our camp site almost in tears because I didn’t think I’d be able to continue, and the thoughts of everyone I had let down was just overwhelming. I thought to myself, well, maybe I can ride 100 miles standing up. Not with my knee. CRAP! So, I sucked it up, stopped having a self created pity party and thought “Yeah, my butt is killing me, but I bet cancer is WAY worse…..” So, I headed back out, almost in tears with every crank I pedaled. It was at this point that I met up with a guy doing the ride on a mountain bike. He and I chatted about bikes, trails, mileage, you name it. 25 miles later, I realized, “Hey, I’m RIDING AGAIN!” That conversation totally took my mind off my injuries, and it was at that point I knew I was back in the ride! Whew! 122 miles later, I was done.
I don’t think I’ll ever do that ride again, but I am glad I did it. My riding neighbor (Bill) rode an amazing 253 miles, compared to my 222 miles. 475 miles between the two of us. To date, for this year, I have now ridden 2,275 mile. I’m hoping to finis 2011 with over 3,000 miles.
Now it’s time for some post-ride nourishment, which right now consists of Ibuprofen, coffee, eggs, bagels, and more ibuprofen! I’ve already taken 2 long hot baths, and see more of them in my future.
Thank you to EVERYONE who donated to the cause and cheered me on along the way (on Facebook). I couldn’t have done it w/o you guys. Awesome job!