Sunday, September 27, 2009
ode to the best biking partner EVER
first of all I have no idea what an "ode" is but Elaine is getting one from me but before my "ode"
a few notes on the Bike Fresh Bike Local ride.
ok, it rained, it rained a lot, i was covered in grit and grim when we got back. Took me a full hour to clean my bike and shoes. the roads were very wet, and very gravelly (sp) and often had pot holes as we were on some really really back roads, they looked like some old farm's driveway.
Elaine and I and Lisa and Steve and Sara went barreling up rt 282, man we were great! That was at 8:40 am. Then came Devereux, a right turn that went straight up, naturally I fell, same old same old Redwood going down, Elaine helped me up and i walked the rest. The others took off at this point and we saw them briefly at the rest stop.
but holy wheel hubs Batman!, it took me 4 hrs to do 30 miles, yeah you heard right. If I got any slower I would have been going backwards. Lots of hills and lots of downhills,but the roads were so terrible we had to brake downhill, that is what brakes we had.
so we obviously got no running start for any hills, we met the next walking hill in French Creek. We just went up and up and up and then right at the end, the up got really UP! I managed to extricate myself from my cleats to avoid a repeat of the previous fall.
There were others walking so i had some company. There was a guy behind me in way worse shape, but he proved to one fine fellow and had either a girlfriend or wife with him and we invited both to join us on a Biker Chicks ride.
There was ONE rest stop and that was at 29 miles. I did not even walk down to the food table as I did not want to slip since like a moron i forgot my cleat covers, idiot! The next stop was at 41 miles but you had to climb a long hill and then turn around and come back down. Elaine and I said "no way in hell" and we headed home.
Elaine stayed for lunch and had pulled pork, i was so wet and dirty I headed home and straight for the showers.
Now for my "ode" to Elaine. I would have never finished this ride without her. The whole way she kept me focused and upbeat. I coulda been crawling on hands and knees and Elaine would not leave me. Elaine is one of the rare few who when she says she is biking with you, she really means it. A few times I had to slow down and Elaine slowed down. Elaine, this is one big huge public thank you, you do win Biker Chick Partner of the Year Award.
But, heck, I am not done with awards, again, me and Elaine (yeah i know that is bad grammar), anyhooo, me and Elaine get the award for doing and surviving the 3 worst rides of the year - French Creek Iron Tour, Covered Bridge and Bike Fresh. French Creek ride was just one big hill. Covered Bridge was the Iraq ride, i mean coulda it gotten any hotter?? Then we rode 50 miles in rain, dirt and hills again on the Bike Fresh. Only thing that saved me on the Bike Fresh ride was that the last 20 miles were basically flat and the rain had stopped somewhat and the roads improved, they became paved instead of the messy roads we had at the beginning. We could get a little speed downhill, so that was great, and felt great too.
But on the happy side, Elaine and I made it. We did about 53 miles as we got lost, the road markings were far and few between. We really had to use the cue sheet, Elaine went through 2 of them. The first one just melted. But Elaine is back and Elaine is good. She survived two surgeries and lots and lots of rehab. Riding with someone is a skill, you have to constantly keep your partner's well being in focus. You have to stop and rest if your partner needs it even if you do not. A good biking partner is never so far ahead that they have to stop and wait for you. Cuz if they were, they would not be a good partner.
The Bike Fresh ride required an excellent biking partner as there were very few riders on the road. I wonder why?? This ride demanded that you take care of your partner. Or you could of been in trouble. So thanks again Elaine. We made it.