Surprisingly, easier than I expected. Way easier than a ton of our training rides, which had us riding the toughest hills in the area, that's for sure.
And WAY more fun than I expected!
I can't even put into words how much fun I had yesterday. In fact, it's taken me until now to write just a few words about it because I am still reveling in the excitement of it all.
Mix together College Park in downtown Orlando, a big group of excited cyclists of all ages, a darn-near perfect (if not hot) day, and over $11,900 raised for the Ronald McDonald House, and you have my day. Then add in darn-near perfect nutrition and a darn-near perfect group. Pepper liberally with laughs and mishaps, shake and serve chilled.
Ok, so that analogy is admittedly ridiculous, but you get the picture.
The ride was relatively uneventful except for losing my chain at the very beginning and getting into the worst bicycle crash of my life so far at mile 75. We stopped at 3 SAG stops for fluids and restrooms. My seat never bothered me. We rode in a rotating pace line and when it got tough I just hit the drops and sucked wheel as much as I could.
Bear in mind, I haven't been in a ton of crashes; but this one sent a riding buddy to the hospital and ruined my back wheel. In fact, just as we were on our way to that last 25 miles, feeling fresh and strong, I was telling someone hell, I have 40 more miles in me. It all happened so fast: I was riding, then I saw Joe go down, then I was sitting on the concrete with Joe. By some miracle of Whoever-You-Believe-In, I was completely unscathed. My bicycle looked unscathed too.
But then I realized the back wheel wouldn't turn.
And then I started to think, oh my God . . . .I'm not going to be able to finish.
We tried the chain, whacking the back wheel on the ground, changing gears . . . . to no avail. The back wheel was completely warped.
I trained all these months and I'm not going to be able to finish.
Our rescue vehicle arrived, to take Joe to the hospital and tote my busted bike away, and I realized my rescuer was a bicycle mechanic. With a trueing wrench in his hand. He popped two of my spokes out, trued the remaining spokes, and said, "the wheel isn't going to last, and your brake doesn't touch both sides of the wheel, but if you're careful you can finish."
So what do YOU think I did?
I rode 25 more miles is what I did.
100 miles, 16mph, about 6:14. And memories that will last the rest of my life.
|We're still standin;. Yeah, yeah, yeah!|
As for the burning question are you thinking of doing Ironman? - well, part of the reason I am doing the IronMAJ is to decide if I do, indeed, want to ever go down that route. I can tell you two things: 1) I could definitely have run after that ride and 2) nope. I still don't want to do Ironman.
For now, finishing a 70.3, the IronMAJ, and continuing to hang with this group is enough for me.
Now, ladies and gents, the swim is done, the ride is done, and all that's left is the marathon.
IronMAJ, here I come!!