So, working on my brevity (maybe) and timeliness (yeah, not so much), a few of the highlights from my day:
– BillO asking if Jason Pierce was there during the opening remarks. Oh sheesh, don’t encourage him… No. Silly Pudu had taken someone else’s name plate
– rolling out from Analy under the most amazing sky on fire sunrise
– towards the back of the pack in Santa Rosa, Michael Burke, part of whom I’m sure was itching to (and could) roll closer to the pointy end, looking over his shoulder to make sure he didn’t get to far ahead, as he’d come out of “doubles retirement” to help his wife get her t-shirt. It was so sweet I wasn’t sure whether to hug or punch him
– pacelineing on Silverado Trail and 128 with the aforementioned Burkes, Vern Piccinotti and Hunt Moore, all of us in Paul Stimson Never Forget jerseys.
– chugging up the Geysers. There were a few folks out I think just doing Geysers (didn’t have the breath to ask what their route was, but they weren’t on the TT), one that passed me asked, “so what do you get when you finish? It must be something really great.”
– passing a rider stopped in a small spot of shade on Skaggs. He asked, “how many of those jerseys are out here?” (the back says Never Give Up) “A lot.” He said, “Every time I think about quitting, one goes by.”
– all the people who put their everything out there on the course, however far it got them
– refining the fun type meter: besides Type 1 (fun while it’s happening) and Type 2 (fun when it’s over), there’s also Type 1.5, which is kinda fun while it’s happening, but you’re glad when it’s over (like descents on craptastic pavement)
– moon high in the sky between the redwoods in Monte Rio
– rolling in to Analy after dark, in the waning hour of the event, and being greeted with smiles and hot food.
All the support is awesome, but that toward the end is really over the top. At Monte Rio I wanted something out of my bento box, but discovered I’d had a nutritional malfunction (something gooey all over everything), and couldn’t get my snack package open. Despite my warnings of stickiness, a volunteer took the package and found scissors to get it open for me. Then my pockets had gotten to high or my arms too short, so I had to ask Dr. Bill for help to get my gloves out, which he kindly and cheerfully did.
And, last but not least – Michael, Sarah and Vern for sharing an awesome day with me, and laughing at my jokes (even if they were courtesy laughs) – having congenial riding companions is something really great. Of course you don’t have to ride 200 miles to know that, but it certainly does reinforce one’s clarity about what a wonderful thing that is. Thanks for a best day ever! It was so awesome to ride with friends all day. Sarah had tried before, but not completed. She and I ended up finishing DMD together this (now last) year and rode Bad Little Brother too. She’d been riding super strong. Not so much a climber, but can definitely do distance. The other 3 of us had finished TT before, and really thought she’d get it this year (2015). Unfortunately she succumbed to bad cramping on Skaggs. That was a super super bummer. So in a way it was sorta 2 rides, the first part rooting for Sarah, then I don’t think any of us had really thought about what we’d do if she didn’t finish. So then there we were at Las Lomas at like 4:30 or so going uh… what do we do now? Well, we do have our bikes, and we’ve made it this far… what the heck. So it turned out to be a bit of a push, in retrospect if I’d really looked at the clock and thought about the rest of the distance I might have packed it in too, but I’m glad we continued on. I didn’t quite have it in me to get in by t-shirt time, but we did finish before the final cut-off for “credit”. To that person on Geysers – Yes, this ride is really something great.
Ride date: June 20, 2015