Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining-well sometimes it's hail

Here we are before the ride still warm and dry
After the fact we had a chance to warm up and eat before this photo


A few years ago my friend wanted me to do a bike ride that she was helping to organize.  Based on Little Red it was the Goldilocks women's only bike ride.  I rode with my friend Teri.  I had never done anything like that and had so much fun.  The next year I registered but Teri couldn't do it and I couldn't get another friend to join.  So I rode alone.  I still had fun but it's better with friends.

I think I skipped two years but wanted to do it again this year.  I posted it on FB asking if anyone wanted to create a team.  I didn't get the minimum to make a team but two really dear friends signed up to do it with me.  My friend Doreen is in killer shape and my friend Julie has some health issues that make it hard to do some physical activity but biking she can do.

We only had one day where we could all go out together.  My front tire was going flat and Julie had a hard time with the hills ( she was using Doreen's daughter's bike). I kept reminding them that it was a ride not a race and if it took us 5 hours to do twenty miles the 80 and 100 mile people would still be out there.

Julie's husband decided to get her a bike for Mother's Day.  So she had a brand new road bike for the ride.  We started the morning with me picking them up at Doreen's. She made us breakfast and coffee.  Doreen is a locovore and I have never had bacon like that before.  So good!

We loaded up the prison van. (Don't tell my husband I called it that again.  He hates when I say that but it looks like a prison van). Doreen was in the back and the bikes were in the middle.  I don't know why Brian has the middle seat out but it worked for us.  Until Doreen tried to get out to get gum for Julie and fell bruising her butt before we even started.

We got to the ride location and picked up our packets.  There were booths to check out and we got pictures taken.  Then it was starting time for our wave.  We rode off and at some point they got ahead of me.  I couldn't keep up.  But no worries I enjoy riding alone.  We met up at he first ready stop and Doreen was  freezing and worried about rain.  Julie said she just wanted more food ( this group knows how to stock a rest stop).  We got on our bikes and headed off again. They got ahead and I found them at a corner waiting.  Doreen wanted to take a short cut in.  I didn't.  I said I would do what they wanted but I did want to continue.  I noted that the clouds were easing and that I thought the rain was over for now.  We decided to go on but Doreen said she was going to ride fast to finish.  She was off. Little did we know we still had the hardest 7 miles ahead of us.

Doreen was gone and Julie and I stuck together for a bit but then she got ahead.  It did clear up and almost warmed up.  I was blissfully thinking about Doreen warming up when a huge wind came up and with it came hail!  I was being pelted.  But I found it really fun for some sadistic reason.  Here I was legs burning from this gradual uphill climb, all my skin was bright red from the cold and I was being assaulted by cold hard ice pebbles.  I believe that is what endorphins are for; I found it fun.  And I was worried about Doreen.  I finally hit the turn off and it was downhill to the next rest stop.  I rode in and one of the papa bears took my bike to check air and park it.  I found Julie but she said Doreen wasn't there.  We ate again and were told two plus miles to the finish. Woo hoo!  I got my bike and that's when it hit me that I was on a mountain bike and they both had street bikes.  Duh! No wonder I couldn't keep up.  I said something to the papa bear and he said that my bike weighs ten pounds more and the wide tires slow you down.  I felt so much better about being so slow.

We headed off again and had some great downhill.  Most of the people in our wave must have taken the short cut back because we were no longer in a pack of riders.  I realized that I hadn't put my gloves on and couldn't get Julie's attention so I stopped and lost track of her and the other gal with us.     At one corner the mama bear holding the sign had it pointing the wrong way so instead of turning I went straight.  I thought we were going in on the Main Street so I rode along for about a mile and then realized there were no signs or people.  Ugh I was going the wrong way.  Luckily I know my way around that part of the valley.  I made my way back but went about 3 miles longer and had to climb the worst hill of the day (put your head down, gears both on 1 and just repeat spin it spin it spin it and you get to the top). I found Julie but Doreen was missing.

Julie thanked me for pushing them to do the full thing and not cut off.  She was so excited about her accomplishment.  I told her I was glad too but hoped Doreen didn't want to kill me.

We got our lunch and found a seat then tried texting her again.  Finally I saw her.  She too had missed the tun off but not knowing her way around she went 13 miles extra before finding her way back.  She got her lunch and joined us. She told me that she was really glad she didn't quit and that she needs me in her life to remind her of the silver lining.  I said "even when it hails?"  Apparently she missed the hail.  She was enough ahead of us that somehow she avoided it.  It had cleared up and although not warm it was sunny.

We ended the day by meeting up to see my friends in Spamalot.  Truly one of the best days of my life.  But today my crotch is sore.  The drawback of long bike rides.